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Old 08-04-2011, 06:41 PM   #1
MattTimBell
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Default brettanomyces behavior

Hi all,

I've been poking around these pages for a bit trying to "distill" out the behavior of Brettanomyces, and am confused slightly on something. It sounds as if under some conditions Brettanomyces goes very, very slowly and superattenuates, taking upwards of a year to complete its work. Under other conditions, it ferments just slightly slower than Sacc, or sometimes at the same rate.

I'm curious: does anyone have a summary of those conditions? I'm trying to decide an a next brew, and have only dabbled in Brett before (cultured from the dregs of Victory's Wild Devil), where I mixed it with bread yeast in primary and the whole thing went down from about 1.07 to 1.008 in about two months time, and the result, while ever so slightly sour, was hardly "funky" at all. (But, then, neither was Wild Devil!)

So, I guess another way of putting my question: does anyone have a good summary chart of how to control brett behavior?

Thanks,
Matt

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Old 08-04-2011, 11:19 PM   #2
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Use Brett yeast in place of a sacc yeast and it will ferment similarly to a normal fermentation. It will give lots of fruit flavors and little (if any) typical Brett 'Barnyard' flavors. Need a big starter and ensure you aerate the wort well.

Add it either with or after a normal sacc yeast and the sacc will do most of the primary fermentation, and the Brett will be left with the scraps. In this case you will get flavors more associated with Brett beers. It will take a long time, it can take 6 months to get any Brett flavors to start coming out. In this case, you do not need a starter, and I think under-pitching is a good thing so as to stress the Brett increasing it's flavors.

Brett does not really produce 'Sour', there is some debate as to whether it contributes some slight sourness, but certainly nothing like you get in a Lambic or Flanders; the Sour in those beers are produced by other organisms.

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Old 08-05-2011, 06:54 AM   #3
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every brett i've done has attenuated very well and every one has also done it slowly. others may have different experiences but brett has been very subtle for me... haven't had what i'd call a vigorous brett fermentation yet.

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Old 08-05-2011, 04:35 PM   #4
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Just finished with 4 different brett fermentations (Brett A, Brett L from both Wyeast and White Labs, and Russian River Chips). These were all primary ferments with the same wort. Each carboy had 6 gallons each, and I added in about a 1/2 gallon starter of each yeast (decanted and swirled). Didn't oxygenate except for shaking the carboys.

Brett A took off first and vigorous. Brett L from WY same thing, a little slower than the Brett A. Brett L from WL developed a thin sheen on top for 2 days, yet it took about 3 days to develop that. Then it took off like the others. The Russian River chips took about a week to get going then they went bonkers as well.

The next step of this experiment is to take the same wort, we brewed 48 gallons, which was fermented with 530 and secondary on those 4 brett strains. I expect that ferment to be slow and low for a few months.

No samples taken yet, I expect to this weekend. Will report back with results.

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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brett a? - i'm only aware of b, c and l.

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Old 08-05-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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here is a good talk from NHC this year about brewing with brett.

http://www.ahaconference.org/confere...brettanomyces/

Also the babble belt is a good resource for all things brett and sour.

I have found that, like others, when using brett for primary fermentations, and pitching it at similar rates as sac 1x10^6/1ºP/1ml. It will behave similarly, and can produce surprisingly clean beers. Using it for a primary fermentation and under pitching can result in more brett character. ( at least thats what I have found)

Brett used as a secondary fermentation is what it is commonly used for. as well as using multiple brett strains.

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Old 08-06-2011, 03:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtakacs View Post
brett a? - i'm only aware of b, c and l.
Brett Anomolus (sp?) It was in production but eventually replaced by Brett C. Had a discussion with Jamil about it on Monday and asked him though his experience and connections if Brett A = Brett C and he said most definitely not. Brett A was isolated from English Casks and when added to a porter adds a nice level of complexity, not a lot of funk, but enough to make you ask what is that?

I did an All Brett A Pale Ale with 7 oz of Amarillo at 10 mins and that is one great beer. Smoky, some leather, and a hint of pineapple to go along with the Amarillo hops.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inhiding View Post
Brett Anomolus (sp?) It was in production but eventually replaced by Brett C. Had a discussion with Jamil about it on Monday and asked him though his experience and connections if Brett A = Brett C and he said most definitely not.
Brett Cl. is Brett A, genetically. That doesn't mean it can't taste different- Saccharomyces ranges in flavor expression from Budweiser to Saison Dupont.
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brettanomyces behavior

Thanks folks! I was curious, because I'm wanting to experiment with yeasts, but not wanting to bite the bullet and take on year-long to multi-year fermentation times.

What range of beers can be made with an all Brett fermentation, say Bruxellensis? Any reason why not to do something along the lines of a Belgian Dark Strong?

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Old 08-07-2011, 11:34 PM   #10
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Any beer that tastes OK with a fruity taste. My Brett beers are similar to Saisons.

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