Author Topic: 1st time pitching Brett  (Read 1273 times)

Offline cptnpenguin

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1st time pitching Brett
« on: April 07, 2015, 07:48:35 PM »
So I had a saison in the primary for 3 weeks, and when I checked SG it was down to 1.012 from starting at about 1.045.  I used WLP568 in the primary.  After reading the article on saisons a couple issues ago in Zymurgy, I decided to pitch some brett as well to help finish it off and get it a little dryer.  I had mentioned this in another post and someone said I need to give the brett (brett c. to be exact, also WL) an additional 3-4 months to work otherwise I'd have some serious bottle bomb problems on my hands (do they actually explode by the way, or just shoot caps off or both?)?  Do I definitely need to wait that long?  Did I just completely ruin the saison?  Am I freaking out for no reason (I'm still a noob to brewing).

Offline Stevie

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 08:25:35 PM »
Yes bottles can explode. If stored in a box together, a chain reaction can occur akin to Bill Nye (or Mr Wizard for us old enough to remember) mouse trap and ping pong ball demo.


The brett will continue to chew on some of the more complex sugars at a rate slower than normal sacch yeast. Might be best to measure the gravity every two or three weeks and take any change as a positive sign that fermentation is still taking place.


I don't think you ruined the beer at all. I love brett in saisons. The bottles will get better with time as well.

Offline cptnpenguin

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2015, 08:45:15 PM »
In your experience what kind of final gravity could i potentially expect?


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Offline cptnpenguin

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2015, 08:45:37 PM »
And I am now horribly terrified of my new hobby.


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Offline Stevie

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2015, 09:04:04 PM »
You could get down to 1.000, maybe lower.


Don't be scared. Read this blog. He is all about sours and brett fermentations - http://www.themadfermentationist.com/

Offline brewinhard

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2015, 09:37:54 PM »
You totally did NOT ruin your saison.  At a 1.012 FG, your saison will definitely benefit from some Brett C.  As stated previously this strain is not a super-attenuator and works quite slowly compared to other commercially available brett strains.  With that being said it is a great yeast and produces some interesting light tropical fruit notes like pineapple and mango when used in secondary. 

You may or may not see a pellicle (thin white layer) on top of your saison as the brett begins to work on the beer.  The pellicle typically forms in response to available oxygen in the headspace of your fermenter and works to protect the beer from other aerobic organisms giving the brett a chance to take hold in the beer.  After around 1 mos you might start to see large bubbles on the surface of the beer which can sometimes lead to a "dusty" pellicle with this strain of brett. 

I would at least give the beer 2 mos before taking a gravity reading (and taste of course...).  At that point if the beer is down to 1.005 or lower, than I would have no problems bottling it if you like the flavor and aroma characteristics at that stage (although I don't think this brett will eat that many points in that time frame, but I could be wrong). 

Be patient, try to keep the beer cool (around low 60's) for best flavor/aroma development and to hopefully avoid any overly goaty, horsey, or overly barnyard/sweaty characteristics which brett can impart. 

Welcome to the crazy world of FUNK!

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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2015, 09:47:38 PM »
You should allow the beer to condition until it tastes ready to you.

If the FG is above 1.004 or so when you bottle, Brett could continue to ferment and overcarbonate (and potentially overpressure) the bottles.

I think homebrewers worry MUCH more about this than necessary. Store the bottles in a relatively cool place, and open one every 4-6 weeks to check the carbonation. If you notice a significant increase in carbonation, stash the rest of the batch in the fridge and drink over the next few months.

Bottle bombs are much more common in poorly fermented beers with considerable amounts of simple sugar left behind.

Because you reached a reasonable final gravity, the simple sugars are most likely gone, and only the more complex dextrins/carbohydrates remain. Brett takes much longer to ferment these compounds, and the process is slowed down even further at cellar temps.

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Offline cptnpenguin

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2015, 03:24:23 PM »

You totally did NOT ruin your saison.  At a 1.012 FG, your saison will definitely benefit from some Brett C.  As stated previously this strain is not a super-attenuator and works quite slowly compared to other commercially available brett strains.  With that being said it is a great yeast and produces some interesting light tropical fruit notes like pineapple and mango when used in secondary. 

You may or may not see a pellicle (thin white layer) on top of your saison as the brett begins to work on the beer.  The pellicle typically forms in response to available oxygen in the headspace of your fermenter and works to protect the beer from other aerobic organisms giving the brett a chance to take hold in the beer.  After around 1 mos you might start to see large bubbles on the surface of the beer which can sometimes lead to a "dusty" pellicle with this strain of brett. 


Do I need to do anything special with the pellicle when I finally rack to bottles? What exactly is a dusty pellicle?


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Offline brewinhard

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2015, 03:33:01 PM »
Pellicles can come in many forms.  Sometimes you will just observe a thin sheen across the surface of the beer.  Other times you will see large crusty bubbles and sometimes you might even see a thick funk across the surface.  You may not even see a pellicle at all. 

A dusty pellicle simply means that it is thin and wispy as opposed to thick and funky looking.  When the beer tastes right to you, you can simply rack from beneath the pellicle into your bottling bucket and proceed with bottling as normally.  You do NOT have to wait for the pellicle to drop or fall out of suspension before packaging.

Offline cptnpenguin

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2015, 03:24:08 AM »
So upon further review I guess I pitched WLP644 Brett B Trois and not Brett C. Does this change my approx timeline?


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Offline erockrph

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 03:39:53 AM »
So upon further review I guess I pitched WLP644 Brett B Trois and not Brett C. Does this change my approx timeline?
Possibly. I have a saison that I pitched Brett trois in secondary almost 2 years ago that still has zero Brett character. There is currently some debate as to whether White Labs' Brett Trois strain is even Brettanomyces. Having said that, I do know of other brewers that have had good results with Brett Trois.

In the end, you don't set the timeline with any yeast. The yeast does. Sample it every so often, and let your palate be the judge.
Eric B.

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Offline cptnpenguin

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2015, 03:50:53 AM »
Well that sucks. Does that mean I could have to wait that long to bottle safely?


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2015, 09:15:39 AM »
Well that sucks. Does that mean I could have to wait that long to bottle safely?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Bottle at final gravity. And I test for FG on my sours with two readings at least a week apart.

Funky beer is not a race. Enjoy the wait and rewards

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2015, 03:08:09 PM »
Well that sucks. Does that mean I could have to wait that long to bottle safely?


"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

If your FG 1.012 when you pitched brett then I would say yes, you are going to have to wait some time.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline cptnpenguin

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Re: 1st time pitching Brett
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2015, 09:49:52 PM »
I can wait a couple months, I can't wait a couple years to bottle, that's the problem.  We currently rent and potentially could be moving this summer, plus I only have 2 fermenters at the moment.