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Old 01-28-2012, 02:10 AM   #1
Calder
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Default All-Brett beer finished high - What to do.

I made a 'light' Porter with some Coffee malt, and fermented with Brett-B.

OG = 1.060. After 3 days fermentation seemed to stop and was at 1.020.

I have since added some additional fermentables, but still it stops at 1.020.

At 4 weeks I added vanilla and cocoa.

It is now 8 weeks, checked this evening, and it is still at 1.020.

I don't ever remember making a beer that ended over 1.016, and I've done about 200, so this is very unusual for me. I tasted the sample, and it was not obviously sweet (maybe so much going on, and the cocoa making it taste drier that it really was).

I did almost the same identical beer (but without the vanilla and cocoa), late last year and it got down to 1.013. ..... that one tastes great. This beer used yeast slurry from that batch, so was essentially the same yeast.

Question: Should I bottle it as it is, or try and bring the gravity down some more? I am racking a Dubbel tomorrow, and could put this on it's cake (WLP550).

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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I've talked myself into moving this onto the Dubbel cake (WLP550) later today, and fermenting around 75 F in a swamp cooler.

Question: Withe the addition of a sacc strain late in the process, result in the Brett starting to take on secondary characteristics too? I'm not concerned about the resulting beer flavors, it's more a question of how long it will be before bottling; a month, or 6 months time?

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Old 01-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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did it take off once you got it on the cake?

I may have a stuck brett myself and am trying to decide what to do. krausen dropped after 3 days like yours and its sitting at 1.024 from 1.066 a week later.

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Old 01-30-2012, 11:34 PM   #4
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did it take off once you got it on the cake?
Seems to be going fine. Activity slow but steady, and been going since I racked yesterday. Several bubbles thru the airlock a minute.

I'm only expecting it to go down 5 or 6 points.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:17 PM   #5
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I've only recently started brewing with Brett, so I'm only speaking from my research. 1.020 definitely seems way too high.

From what I've read, general consensus is that Brett *can* take up to 3 months to really finish.

I think after fermentation on the yeast cake settles down, I'd rack to secondary and let it sit for another 4 weeks...checking gravity here and there. I think if you go 2 or 3 weeks and don't see any change, it's safe to bottle. Hopefully the yeast cake will knock it down to 1.015 or lower, and then the brett can finish down below 1.010.

Again, from my research, I'd be nervous bottling any Brett beer that's much higher than 1.010.

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:46 PM   #6
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Again, from my research, I'd be nervous bottling any Brett beer that's much higher than 1.010.
The all brett beers I have done, the brett has only attenuated about 70-75%. It actually behaved exactly like a sacc beer.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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The all brett beers I have done, the brett has only attenuated about 70-75%. It actually behaved exactly like a sacc beer.
Interesting.

My first Brett was an Old Ale fermented with Ringwood Ale and Brett B. Pitched both for primary fermentation. Brewed it Labor Day 2011. Checked gravity this weekend and it was 1.012. Got me a bit worried.

I've been going over in my head brewing another funky beer up and pitching the old ale onto the yeast cake to move it along.
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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did you build up the brett or just throw in the vial for the old ale?

a brett primary takes a very large starter and should be done within a few weeks. pitching at smaller rates (like a vial, dregs, or smack pack) or in secondary is what takes months

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Old 02-01-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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This was a 10 gal batch that I split. Half with 100% Ringwood and the other half with Ringwood/Brett B.

I made a very large starter of the Ringwood and split that between the fermenters. I also made a Brett B starter, but I may not have done it correctly/the best way. I treated it just like I do a regular Sacc. starter. 1.046 wort, with the vial poured in, stored at 62 ambient, and swirled a few times a day for ~60 hours.

I got a vigorous fermentation from both within about 12 hours, lasting about 72 hours at full steam, and then slowly dying down with primary fermentation completing at about 7 days. The brett "pellicle" (not sure if it's called that with just Brett) formed a few weeks later.

At 6 months, the funky half definitely has the pie cherry aroma I was going for, but the taste of the clean vs funky batches are nearly indistinguishable at this time.

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Old 02-01-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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a brett only primary isn't nearly as funky as secondary, but even then should be able to distinguish the two at this point. did your brett starter krausen at all before you pitched it? the vials contain really low cell counts, like 1/10th of normal, since they're meant for secondary use so you need to build them up alot.

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