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Old 09-13-2011, 03:29 PM   #1
Ernie Diamond
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Default First time w. Brett questions - Saison

Hey all,

Brewing a straight saison (1.055) w. a French yeast. once it finishes in the primary, I wanted to add brett in the secondary before bottling to give it a slight funk over time.

So some questions. Please chime in to help me with any or all;

1. Throwing off a lot of banana esters in the primary. Anything to worry about or will that get corrected over time?
2. Which Brett to add? Can I do dregs from a bottle? If I do dregs, should I culture them first?
3. How long in the secondary? Can I bottle before the Brett is done working? How fast/slow is it? My understanding is that it is quite slow. Can that occur in the bottle?
4. If I bottle before the Brett is finished, how many volumes of CO2 should I plan on that adding?

Thanks to all.

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Old 09-14-2011, 09:01 PM   #2
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I'm watching this thread. Curious if bottling a Saison with Brett will create obvious Brett character?

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Old 09-15-2011, 12:13 AM   #3
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1. It has been my experience that bottling with brett or at least some secondary time with brett decreases the esters you are experiencing. So much so that if you bottle some with brett and some without they will seem like different brews but close enough you'd know they're the same recipe.

2. The brett to add is your choice. I'd add one of the more aggressive strains as soon as you could. When you bottle are you planning at dosing each bottle with a pipette individually? Or do you plan on adding it to a secondary fermentor before bottling?

3 & 4. You can bottle before it's "done". You just have to have a good idea what you are expecting from additional gravity points that the brett will ferment along with priming sugar. That is less than an exact science at our level with out some sophisticated equipment. I usually err on the safe side and assume more will be consumed but figure for between 3 and 4 volumes of CO2. It has worked for me so far but I bottle them in heavier belgian crown bottles, grolsch, and corked bottles.

For example I just bottled a brett saison that I really wanted to get into bottles. It had been in a fermentor for over two months and I figured at 1.003 it was safe to bottle. I thought that there's a possibility of the brett taking it down to 1.000 or 1.001. That leaves 2-3 points which according to Brau Kaiser there is .5 volumes contributed per gravity point. That's 1-1.5 volumes from additional fermentation in the bottle. So to prime my batch to almost 3 but no more than 4 I added just over 1oz per gallon dextrose. That put me at theoretically 2.7 but realistically higher as the brett shaves off a couple more points.

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Old 09-15-2011, 04:26 AM   #4
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I've got a Brett Saison, is anyone interested in a trade? I haven't had any other wild homebrews....

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Old 09-15-2011, 09:55 AM   #5
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I would use clausenii just personally. It's the least funky of the brett strains and might round off the banana esters early on. I like the aromatics it gives off and might end up adding the strain to secondary on my summer saison as well depending on how low the wild yeast I got and the dupont saison strain get the gravity to go. I want there to be something left for the brett to eat.

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Old 09-22-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
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Update for those of you reading;

Racked it yesterday at 1.002. That 3711 is serious stuff. The esters have almost entirely faded, though still somewhat present. Enough that I am not sweating the final product. Flavor is not complicated but it has a quick bracing bitterness that fast fades to a slight wineyness.

I am thinking that smokinghole's suggestion to use a more agressive strain is the way to go. I am not sure that I have a lot of fermentable sugars left and I want to make sure that what does get used up contributes to the character.

I am thinking that I will just dose the lot in the bottling bucket when I add priming sugar. Bad idea?

I will definitely go the champagne bottle route.

Adding 30g sugar per gallon which I figure should give me 2.8 volumes. If (if) the brett gets working, it won't have sugar enough to contribute more than a full volume of gas. Am I cutting that level a little close? I want to make sure that any bottles I chance to open before the brett has had a chance to fully go to town have an appropriate body.

For some reason i am really feeling indecisive about this one. I may just say to hell with it, pitch the brett and wait for the fireworks.

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Old 09-23-2011, 11:09 AM   #7
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You could add maltodextrine but I'm not sure at this point that 3711 doesn't ferment that to some extent. The MD should only be accessible by the brett but I did that to a saison and it has zero brett character even after six months (in my saison with 3711).

You can dose in the bottling bucket but if you expect brett character from priming sugar and having filtered the 3711 out you are **** out of luck. With you being a 1.002 that gives you a theoretical 1 volume possible from the brett as you said. Adding sugar to prime to 3 volumes will likely just be consumed by the sacch yeast.

Do you want 2.8 volumes or somewhere between there and 3.8? In champagne bottles you're good for that range and even double that range.

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Old 09-23-2011, 01:03 PM   #8
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I would have skipped the 3711 had it been me. Just knowing that I was going to use brett later on in the brew would eliminate it for me unless I loaded it with less fermentables, and even then, I'd still use 3724. When you said you were using a French yeast, I didnt think you were gonna use 3711.

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Old 09-26-2011, 03:36 PM   #9
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So I take it that 3711 has built up something of a reputation?

Pulled a sample last night. I think that it is still slowly working. The mouthfeel is surprisingly full for a beer of this gravity and that is w/o use of any adjuncts like oat, malto, etc.

I wasn't really gearing for a full-on brett beer but I suppose I could have gone for a slightly less attenuative yeast. I am really just playing at this to see if/how the character of the beer changes over time with the addition of bugs. Can't really lose here, right?

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Old 09-26-2011, 11:45 PM   #10
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3711 is the sickest yeast ever!!! It has a reputation you dont want to mess with

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