Author Topic: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations  (Read 686 times)

Offline syncopadence

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« on: August 13, 2018, 03:45:57 PM »
I'd like to try WLP670 American Farmhouse blend. I know Brett shines through better when given more time, but with the Sacc in there, is there any concern of autolysis with the extended fermentation? Should I do a dump at any point? Or if I want more Brett character, should I just save it for secondary?
Thanks in advance.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk


Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1964
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2018, 04:14:59 PM »
The Brett will eat autolyzed yeast so you don't have to be worry about autolyzed flavors IIRC.  Autolysis does affect the Brett fermentation and the Brett flavors produced but I can't be more specific.  So autolysis could be a benefit or a detriment depending on what you are going for.

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6229
  • Chepachet, RI
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2018, 04:40:51 PM »
This is one of the few situations where I think racking to a secondary fermenter is useful. This gets your beer off of the bulk of the yeast and trub, and you can fill up all the headspace to minimize the amount of O2 ingress and limit vinegar and nail polish off-flavors during extended aging.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3290
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2018, 04:52:14 PM »
At the homebrew level autolysis isn't a serious concern because there just isn't that much pressure on the yeast like a commercial size vessel. While sacc cells do die over time in aging beer regardless of pressure it's not a problem for the beer. When cells die they release compounds that feed other yeast. Some might be unpleasant flavors in sacc-only beer but brett does a good job putting those compounds to good use.

In seven or eight years of brewing sour and brett beers as a general practice I don't rack off the primary fermentation trub. Most of those beers do not leave the primary vessel for over a year and many remain for closer to two years. No problems with autolysis. No meat flavors, etc.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline syncopadence

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 156
Re: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2018, 05:32:47 PM »
So if the compounds that Sacc secretes from any autolysis are consumed by Brett, would the Brett in turn be less healthy, or produce certain undesirable flavors? Is it a cleaner beer if you do Brett separate in secondary? I'm not exactly a patient guy, but I'll wait however long it takes if it means I get a better beer.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk


Offline James K

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 437
  • Flagstaff, AZ
Re: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 06:52:29 AM »
I am on my 4th Brett experiment and right now the yeast in the batch I have is from bottle dregs. There is Brett in there, I don’t know much much I pitched, but it is a farmhouse ale with Brett. I recently read the gravity and it was at 1.002. Brewed 2 weeks ago and Still bubbling, though has slowed down and burps every 30 seconds now. I do not plan on transferring this beer, but I already taste a Brett character. When I stop seeing bubbles in the carboy I will bottle, a week ago I could see slight movement inside, the beer is beginning to clear up.

In the past I have pitched Brett into secondary. It took about a month for a pellicle to form on both of those beers, and then I waited another 5-6 months to bottle, those beers turned out fine, no autolsys.

I used the dregs from those beers to make another beer and the results were not as good. Thp. Applely. The beer is 8 months old now and I bottled it 3 months after fermentation. The thp has gone away and the beer has changed over time. I crack a bottle every once in a while and the results vary. That beer has more going on with it than I really know. (Not one bottle bomb, yet)

Personally I don’t think a primary Brett pitch with another strain is bad, from my experience. I just had more than Brett in my beer when I did it.

Eventually the Brett is going to eat away at all the sugars, so to get to your question about a cleaner beer if Brett is in secondary. I personally think yes, you can taste the 3711 and the Brett if you pitch Brett in secondary. I don’t taste the primary yeast that was in my built up from dregs experiments.

I have never had an autolysis issue with a primary pitch of Brett or a secondary. But I also don’t have tons of experience with Brett.
Vice President of Flagstaff Mountain-Top Mashers
2017 Homebrewer of the year
"One mouth doesn't taste the beer."

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3290
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2018, 04:06:59 PM »
So if the compounds that Sacc secretes from any autolysis are consumed by Brett, would the Brett in turn be less healthy, or produce certain undesirable flavors? Is it a cleaner beer if you do Brett separate in secondary? I'm not exactly a patient guy, but I'll wait however long it takes if it means I get a better beer.

If anything brett cells will be more healthy because much of what dead yeast cells secrete are nutrients for live cells.

My experience has not been that my brett or sour beers have off flavors or are less clean for sitting on the trub. There are people who will say otherwise but personally I've never seen that statement backed up by anything other than bare assertion. I don't think it's true on a homebrewing scale. It is a concern on a commercial scale because the weight of a large volume of beer sitting on the trub compresses the yeast cells in the trub and accelerates autolysis.

You can rack to secondary if you want. My primary concern would be to do whatever exposes your beer after primary fermentation to the least amount of air. If your primary vessel has minimal headspace then I'd keep it where it is. If you have a lot of headspace I'd consider racking to a smaller vessel. In that case I would also add a little table or corn sugar to the secondary vessel to give the remaining yeast a quick food source to take in whatever oxygen dissolved into the beer during the racking process and help push out any regular air hanging out in the headspace. Brett in the presence of oxygen will create acetic acid so that is the main thing to avoid.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline gws

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Greensboro, NC
Re: Question about Sacc+Brett combo fermentations
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2018, 04:23:57 PM »
At the homebrew level autolysis isn't a serious concern because there just isn't that much pressure on the yeast like a commercial size vessel. While sacc cells do die over time in aging beer regardless of pressure it's not a problem for the beer. When cells die they release compounds that feed other yeast. Some might be unpleasant flavors in sacc-only beer but brett does a good job putting those compounds to good use.

In seven or eight years of brewing sour and brett beers as a general practice I don't rack off the primary fermentation trub. Most of those beers do not leave the primary vessel for over a year and many remain for closer to two years. No problems with autolysis. No meat flavors, etc.

Sounds like you've been doing the brett thing for awhile now. What temperature do you typically ferment at? Most people say ~75F, but I've seen some say you should drop it down to ~60F after a month or so.
“Kilgore Trout once wrote a short story which was a dialogue between two pieces of yeast. They were discussing the possible purposes of life as they ate sugar and suffocated in their own excrement. Because of their limited intelligence, they never came close to guessing that they were making champagne.”
- Kurt Vonnegut