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Old 01-27-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default Bret C porter tastes horrible at 4 months

I just pulled a sample off a porter that was infected with bret C 4 months ago. Its sitting in a keg at 20C/68F and has developed a lot of CO2 and also a horrible electrical fire and acetaldhyde odour and taste. is this normal for bret C or do i have some other sort of infection? If normal, how long before it comes around?

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Old 01-27-2013, 01:42 AM   #2
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I know nothing about brett short of the minimal reading I've done on the boards. In fact making my first beer using brett in 2ndary now, and am planning a 100% brett next week.......but electrical fire? I had same issue with a blonde ale I racked onto strawberries and Belgian pale ale in the past? Although I can't definitively say for sure, after doing research I assumed it was 1 of 2 things- an infection from bad yeast or the strawberries OR a high level of chloromines in my water which can cause a similar smell. Since, I have treated my water with camp den tablets and have never had a repeat problem (knock on wood).

FYI- I tried to "age" out that burnt electric.....no good. It got worse. I know and usually agree that u should give it time/ have some patience, but when it came to that burnt electric/ plastic taste- not happening.

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Old 01-27-2013, 12:29 PM   #3
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What do you mean by 'infected'? Was it an accident or did you pitch the brett on purpose? Brett primary or added brett to a sacc primaried beer? It's been fermenting under pressure in the keg or you've got it set up as a fermenter?

I did a Brett C dark ale - hesitant to call it a porter, but porterish grist. Had the burning electric smell bad early in the fermentaion, but that eventually cleared as the yeast re-metabolized the compound that makes that awful smell. My beer went through that phase in under a month, so at 4 months in yours could be stuck with it. What sort of dark malts did you use? I think it might have something to do with that. Chad Yakobson recommends not using much if any traditional dark malts or roasted barley and instead using de-bittered products like huskless carafa for color and less astringent 'dark' flavors in all brett fermentations.

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Old 01-27-2013, 05:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNGabe View Post
What do you mean by 'infected'? Was it an accident or did you pitch the brett on purpose? Brett primary or added brett to a sacc primaried beer? It's been fermenting under pressure in the keg or you've got it set up as a fermenter?

I did a Brett C dark ale - hesitant to call it a porter, but porterish grist. Had the burning electric smell bad early in the fermentaion, but that eventually cleared as the yeast re-metabolized the compound that makes that awful smell. My beer went through that phase in under a month, so at 4 months in yours could be stuck with it. What sort of dark malts did you use? I think it might have something to do with that. Chad Yakobson recommends not using much if any traditional dark malts or roasted barley and instead using de-bittered products like huskless carafa for color and less astringent 'dark' flavors in all brett fermentations.
The porter had a primary fermentation with WLP006 Bedford and intentionally infected with Bret in the keg - I racked it into an unwashed keg that had the last pint + dregs of a RIS that I had pitched a fresh vile of WLP bret C into about 8 months early. The original beer was really nice and had no off flavours. It was also an extremely clear beer when it was put into the keg and there were not a lot of dregs so I don't think its yeast autolysis of the RIS primary strain (nottingham), possible but seems unlikely.

The "electrical fire" porter has 5oz of bairds black patent and 5oz of baird's 500L chocolate malt. I didn't pressurize the keg but the porter has naturally carbed itself from the secondary brett ferment. I was hoping to hear "this is normal for bret C, RDWHAHB and it will be fantastic in few months" but I have nothing else to put in the keg right now so I'll let it ride and hopefully it will pass through this.
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:12 PM   #5
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I tried the porter last night and it doesn't have the "electrical fire" thing happening anymore. It is starting to get some leathery brettiness but it also has was seems like acetaldehyde. Is this just a bret thing I'm misinterpreting as acetaldehyde? Does bret ever put out acetaldehyde and more importantly , will it consume it? its better than the burning rubber and blue smoke it was a month ago but i still don't like it.

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Old 02-24-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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It's possible you are tasting Ethyl Caprylate/Ethyl Caproate, usually described as pineapple.

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Old 02-24-2013, 11:02 PM   #7
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I fermented a 100% Brett C beer which ended up with significant unpleasant smokey/plasticy off flavors. I believe this was due to underpitching, but that flavor is definitely within the range of some of Brett C's profile. Glad to hear yours developed past those flavors, hopefully mine will improve with additional bottle conditioning.

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Old 02-25-2013, 12:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I fermented a 100% Brett C beer which ended up with significant unpleasant smokey/plasticy off flavors. I believe this was due to underpitching, but that flavor is definitely within the range of some of Brett C's profile. Glad to hear yours developed past those flavors, hopefully mine will improve with additional bottle conditioning.
More info or recipe? Pitch rate etc? Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:12 PM   #9
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Unfortunately this was the one recipe I have done that I didn't record anywhere. I know I used mostly pils, with a pound of Belgian aromatic malt, probably some wheat, and Centennial and Tettnanger hops. I believe the OG was around 1.065 and I only pitched a 1 litre starter that I made before I had a stir plate, which definitely seems like underpitching to me. Most of the sources I've seen have recommended pitching at lager rates when using Brett as a primary strain, but it matters a lot less if you're also using sacch.

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Old 03-10-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
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I tasted last night and the "acetyl" taste seems to be gone. I'm slightly congested so my palate is not 100% but before it was unmissable (you could taste it in the burps). But...it has a bit of sourness now. Almost like Roeselare which is really weird for bret. Or is it? Does white labs bret C go sour? I do have some roeselare going but I've really really diligent about not cross contaminating them (I have dedicated bret equipment and separate dedicated roeselare equipment - hoses, kegs, carboys, wine theives, etc).

...and I'm not too concerned, just interested and this thread has kind of become my tasting journal. I'd love to hear other peoples experience with brett C.

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