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Old 10-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #1
thasnazzle
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Default Dark all-brett beers?

I'm designing my second all-brett beer, which I'd like to be a dark malty beer (brown, stout, winter warmer, belgian dark strong) that has a mild funkiness and some fruity characteristics from the brett. I plan on using brett b. As I work on building this recipe, I have a few questions:

1) I know that the fruitier characteristics in brett come from it turning lactic acid and ethanol into ethyl lactate (oldsock explains here). What's the best method for doing that? I don't want to add lactobacillus to my fermentation. So I could: 1) add lactic acid to mash 2) add lactic acid after mash 3) pre-boil sour some wort with lacto 4) add acidulated malt as a percentage of the grist. Is there any notable difference between any of these? What quantity of acid/soured wort/acid malt should I be looking to add? I haven't been able to find anything that really distinguishes between these methods or talks about the quantities you should be looking to add.

2) I know all-brett doesn't attenuate as much as brett in the secondary, but I'm hoping to keep the body as substantial as I can. Any tips? I have heard adding oats as about 10% of the grist can help - anyone tried this?

3) I plan on pitching around 75-80 and letting it rise naturally, which I understand is OK for lighter-bodied brett beers. Is that too high for this?

4) Finally, planning on primarying in glass, so I don't risk contaminating my plastic fermenters. Since it's so warm I plan on rigging a blowoff, but should I be concerned at all with the brett getting enough oxygen?

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Old 10-21-2012, 09:48 PM   #2
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I'm designing my second all-brett beer, which I'd like to be a dark malty beer (brown, stout, winter warmer, belgian dark strong) that has a mild funkiness and some fruity characteristics from the brett. I plan on using brett b. As I work on building this recipe, I have a few questions:

1) I know that the fruitier characteristics in brett come from it turning lactic acid and ethanol into ethyl lactate (oldsock explains here). What's the best method for doing that? I don't want to add lactobacillus to my fermentation. So I could: 1) add lactic acid to mash 2) add lactic acid after mash 3) pre-boil sour some wort with lacto 4) add acidulated malt as a percentage of the grist. Is there any notable difference between any of these? What quantity of acid/soured wort/acid malt should I be looking to add? I haven't been able to find anything that really distinguishes between these methods or talks about the quantities you should be looking to add.

2) I know all-brett doesn't attenuate as much as brett in the secondary, but I'm hoping to keep the body as substantial as I can. Any tips? I have heard adding oats as about 10% of the grist can help - anyone tried this?

3) I plan on pitching around 75-80 and letting it rise naturally, which I understand is OK for lighter-bodied brett beers. Is that too high for this?

4) Finally, planning on primarying in glass, so I don't risk contaminating my plastic fermenters. Since it's so warm I plan on rigging a blowoff, but should I be concerned at all with the brett getting enough oxygen?
1 - any all brett ferments start out fruity, but with time no matter what will become more funky/bretty, for the acid i like to add 1lb or so of acid malt which seems to work well

2 - oats can be good in the beer, just put together what would otherwise be a solid recipe and use it (flaked barley also works well as does high % of wheat)

3 - 75-80 is warmer than i would ferment them, I would start at 65-70 tops, and after nearly all fermentation has died down only then would i let it climb up to 80F, cooler temps will slow down the funk a bit

4 - not sure what you referring to with brett and o2, brett is just like sacch it wants o2 to multiply but after that o2 should be kept to a minimum
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:22 AM   #3
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1) I add about 1 lb of acid malt. Brett prefers acidic environment. I really don't know if it does anything. My all-brett beers turn out fruity.

2) I think you will be fine for body. With White Labs Brett-B I've had a couple of problems with it not attenuating enough for my liking, and have helped it along with a sacc yeast added in secondary a couple of times.

3) I've heard Brett prefers high temperatures. My last one I fermented in the high 70s. Still in the fermenter, so can'tr help. Previous brews were done mid 60s to 70 and produced decent beers ....... drinking one now.

4) In my research, I have found Brett likes to be pitched big (large starter like Lager), and lots of aeration. I shake my fermenter for aeration, and do pretty well. For Brett beers, I repeat the process about 12 hours after pitching the yeast, and then leave it alone.

I hope your beer comes out well. The one I'm drinking now is a dark all-brett beer with some interesting additions; Coffee Malt, Vanilla beans and Cocoa Powder.

Good luck with the beer.

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:09 PM   #4
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Thanks! One more question before I start work on a recipe: what temp should I be mashing at?

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:15 PM   #5
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What brett are you planning to use? Different brett's have different requirements. If you are using the newish WLP 644 Brett Trois there's a good thread to read in this forum - it's got lots of user experiences. I recently did a Janet's Brown ale recipe with Trois and plan to keg it tonight. It started off at 75 degrees like a bat out of hell, then crapped out at 1.028. After 4 weeks of sitting at room temps the yeast slowly chewed down to 1.012. Trois does not need lager cell counts either, a 1 liter starter and a few days should be big enough for most beers. Basically treat Trois like a super aggressive sacch yeast.
100% Brett C I think has very different requirements than Trois, so the brett strain does make a difference.

EDIT: BTW, I mashed at 157 and the recipe had a total of 2lbs of crystal/carapils in it. The Brett Trois just laughed at me and said 'Is that all you got?' and proceeded to attenuate at over 80%. Don't think it matters too much what the mash temp is, brett will chew through it given enough time, even if it's a 100% brett brew.

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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I've got a vial of the WLP650 brett brux. Was planning on building up a 2-3L starter.

So the consensus is mash high, but it's not as relevant for all brett?

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Old 10-22-2012, 09:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thasnazzle View Post
I've got a vial of the WLP650 brett brux. Was planning on building up a 2-3L starter.

So the consensus is mash high, but it's not as relevant for all brett?
I would disagree that its not relevant for all brett beers, Ive had some stop at 1018 because of high mash temps and a very dextrinous wort. Expect it to thin slightly but not too much
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Old 10-27-2012, 02:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I've got a vial of the WLP650 brett brux. Was planning on building up a 2-3L starter.

So the consensus is mash high, but it's not as relevant for all brett?
I've used WLP650 a few times and had varying results. I have never had great attenuation. A couple of times have been pretty good, but a couple of times it stopped at 1.020 (OG 1.060), and I've had to use a sacc yeast to dry the beer out.

The 2 Brett beers I had finish at 1.020 are the 2 highest finishing beers that I have ever had (out of over 200). Most of my beers finish below 1.010. To have 2 end up at 1.020 with this yeast, tells me it is not my brewing process, but the yeast (or my handling of the yeast) that is the issue.

If using WLP650, I'd recommend mashing low. Produces great flavor.
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