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Old 11-29-2008, 01:21 PM   #1
Zymurgrafi
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Default Old ale and Brett question.

I have an old ale I brewed last February. It never fully attenuated, final gravity was 1.025 IIRC. It is currently carbed and cold. I have been drinking it some but it just ain't that wonderful compared to other beers I have on tap.


I was planning on just letting it age further but then a thought occurred to me today. Why not mess around with it. Why not try some brett to see how that might make it taste. I have never used any "bugs" but thought this might be a good case to play around with it. I believe brett is not unheard of in old ales correct?

So my questions for those of you with brett experience.

-Can I still do this even though it is cold and carbed?
what would I need to do? Warm it up and completely de-carb? I realize I will have to release the pressure on the keg to add the brett.

-Would this keg now be forever more the "brett" keg and infected.

I am sure I will have more questions of process, but I am just deciding if this is worth doing first.

Thanks.

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Old 11-29-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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ka-BUMPO



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Old 11-29-2008, 05:10 PM   #3
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You definitely want it to be heated back up into the fermentation range. I know that when Avery made their Brett IPA they did something similar. Added the Brett to the keg, seated the lid, and then allowed the yeast to carb the beer. I can't see why the beer already being carbonated will hurt it.

As far as having a life long Brett keg, I am not positive, but I think it will be ok. I know Brett has a knack for permantly infecting bottling buckets, wood casks, plastic fermentors, basically anything that can be scratched or is porous. But if it is a SS keg or glass carboy, if you clean and sterilize well, you should be ok. (I think)

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Old 11-29-2008, 09:47 PM   #4
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It depends on who you talk to about brett and kegs. Some mark the keg as a permanent wild beer keg. Others (Jamil) say that if you disassemble and clean the keg after every use (even with non-wild beer) you should be fine.

Your method sounds fine. Take it off the gas and warm it back to room temp. Bleed off the pressure while its warming. A lot of CO2 will come out of solution since warm liquids hold less gas than cold liquids.

Just remember that brett takes a lot more time to work. You will probably need to let it sit for a few months if not longer.

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Old 11-29-2008, 10:29 PM   #5
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1.025 is a fine FG for a good old ale. I've never really looked into bret but that seems like an odd beer to try it with. It might be really good to make a black and tan with on the other hand.

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Old 11-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #6
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1.025 may be okay but it was only about 62% apparent attenuation. The target was 79%. It is just a bit on the cloying sweet side. Haven't really dug it all that well. Definitely a strong molasses character. I have blended it with other beers in the glass but it dominates even with a small amount. I thought perhaps a whole new profile might help.


No problem letting it age longer with brett. I was going to sit on it for a few more months anyways.

I am just unsure about how to use brett. Plus I will need to find some. It is not available locally.

It is my understanding that old ales traditionally were aged in wood barrels and likely had a bit of brett character from the wood. According to 2 sources at least Randy Mosher's Radical brewing, Ray Daniels Designing Great Beers.

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Old 11-30-2008, 12:32 AM   #7
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So I think if I do this I will go with brettanomyces claussenni strain as it is reputed to be milder.

any thoughts.

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Old 12-05-2008, 03:56 PM   #8
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I did a Old Ale with Brett C 2 years ago. It came out with a fantastic aroma, but at 1.010 it is too dry for an Old Ale. I would suggest adding Brett to ~1 gallon of the beer, letting it age for 6-12 months (maybe with some oak cubes as well), then pasteurize it with either heat or campden tablets before blending it to taste with the reserved “clean” beer.

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