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Old 07-19-2013, 05:49 AM   #1
philiphirz
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Default Brett Saison tastes like feet

About 4 1/2 months ago I brewed a saison using WLP568 which is the blend of belgian yeast and a belgian saison strain. The saison recipe was pretty straightforward with a gravity of 1.060 made up of 75% belgian pilsener malt, 17% munich malt, and 8% wheat malt. After it fermented for about 2 weeks, down to about 1.010, I moved it to secondary in a 5 gallon better bottle. Initially the beer smelled really good with a distinct spicy yeast character. I also tasted some and was excited about the prospects.

In secondary I pitched a vial of ECY04 - the now discontinued Brett blend. I let it sit in secondary for a little over 3 months with the hopes that it would develop some interesting Brett character. After 3 months the gravity had barely moved - maybe only down a point or two - and I never really saw signs of Brett activity and didn't really notice any Brett character. The smell was still good and so was the flavor. I decided I wanted to repurpose that carboy for a sour with ECY01 so I kegged the Brett saison a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to shoot for pretty high carbonation so I set the regulator for 25 psi at 42 degrees F thinking that I would be in the neighborhood of about 3.5 volumes of C02.

Tonight I finally kicked one of my kegs and I tapped the saison. The flavor was totally disappointing and tasted somewhere between sour apple juice and smelly feet. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Do you think I should let it ride for a few more months to see if the Brett changes the character? Do you think that the carbonation is just too high and it is accenting some strange flavors and adding too much acidity from the carbonic acid? Any thoughts would be appreciated as I was really looking forward to this beer just a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks,
Phil

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Old 07-19-2013, 02:29 PM   #2
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could be an infection. could just need more time... but sounds suspiciously like an infection.

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Old 07-19-2013, 02:31 PM   #3
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Not sure what feet taste like but does it have a barnyard taste?


....not that I've tasted a barnyard either....

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Old 07-19-2013, 02:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philiphirz View Post
About 4 1/2 months ago I brewed a saison using WLP568 which is the blend of belgian yeast and a belgian saison strain. The saison recipe was pretty straightforward with a gravity of 1.060 made up of 75% belgian pilsener malt, 17% munich malt, and 8% wheat malt. After it fermented for about 2 weeks, down to about 1.010, I moved it to secondary in a 5 gallon better bottle. Initially the beer smelled really good with a distinct spicy yeast character. I also tasted some and was excited about the prospects.

In secondary I pitched a vial of ECY04 - the now discontinued Brett blend. I let it sit in secondary for a little over 3 months with the hopes that it would develop some interesting Brett character. After 3 months the gravity had barely moved - maybe only down a point or two - and I never really saw signs of Brett activity and didn't really notice any Brett character. The smell was still good and so was the flavor. I decided I wanted to repurpose that carboy for a sour with ECY01 so I kegged the Brett saison a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to shoot for pretty high carbonation so I set the regulator for 25 psi at 42 degrees F thinking that I would be in the neighborhood of about 3.5 volumes of C02.

Tonight I finally kicked one of my kegs and I tapped the saison. The flavor was totally disappointing and tasted somewhere between sour apple juice and smelly feet. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Do you think I should let it ride for a few more months to see if the Brett changes the character? Do you think that the carbonation is just too high and it is accenting some strange flavors and adding too much acidity from the carbonic acid? Any thoughts would be appreciated as I was really looking forward to this beer just a couple of weeks ago.

Thanks,
Phil
Can't say I've ever had "smelly feet" thats a new one to me, but I've made a few brett beers with initial off-flavors (sulfur, plastic, band-aid, cider, etc) that cleared up and turned out wonderful a few months later.

For what its worth, I recently resampled a brett beer that I hated for a year and at 13 months it is drinking quite nicely.
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Old 07-19-2013, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcHokie

Can't say I've ever had "smelly feet" thats a new one to me, but I've made a few brett beers with initial off-flavors (sulfur, plastic, band-aid, cider, etc) that cleared up and turned out wonderful a few months later.

For what its worth, I recently resampled a brett beer that I hated for a year and at 13 months it is drinking quite nicely.
This^

I've had some really good cheeses that smelled like dirty feet, but never a beer with that particular smell.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:26 PM   #6
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This^

I've had some really good cheeses that smelled like dirty feet, but never a beer with that particular smell.
Great, now I want cheese.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcHokie

Great, now I want cheese.
I've got a nice wheel of Camembert in the fridge, but those soft cheeses are a commitment.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcHokie View Post
Can't say I've ever had "smelly feet" thats a new one to me, but I've made a few brett beers with initial off-flavors (sulfur, plastic, band-aid, cider, etc) that cleared up and turned out wonderful a few months later.
This has been my experience as well. I did an all Brett c. pale ale and I wasn't happy with it at all after a couple months. Tasted almost like it had detergent in it. I pulled the keg back out and let it sit for a few more months. Turned out fantastic.
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Old 07-25-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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"Footy" is a flavor sometimes made by Brux. (Kind of similar to barnyard/funk)

Prairie Artisan Ale's "ALE", a Saison with Brux, has a particularly footy smell to me. But it's well balanced so it doesn't overpower the beer.

James Spencer from Basic Brewing complained about having an extremely footy beer by adding the dregs of Orval at bottling.

If its kegged, you can try venting and re-carbonating a few times. This has worked to get rid of cheesy smells from Brett in a no-hop Berliner.

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Old 07-25-2013, 09:05 PM   #10
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Feet, cheese, goaty, etc can all be precursor compounds to tropical or floral. I don't have the chart here, but there is isobutyric and a second similar sounding acid that Brett can change into pleasant esters given time.

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