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Old 04-27-2013, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default Flavour Development with Brett Brux

At the start of the year I made a batch of Jamil Zainasheff's Orval clone from Brewing Classic Styles (Val D'Or, p.213). I pitched a pack of Wyeast Brett Brux into the secondary and let it sit (the book says for one month, but I've left it longer to make sure the gravity stabilises before I bottle).

I tried a sample today, and it has a strong barnyard aroma and flavour---it's not particularly pleasant at the moment actually, and I'm wondering if I can expect that to change at all over the next few months as the Brett continues working. Will the development from here just be to a stronger barnyard-y kind of profile, or will it be transformed somewhat into something else?

I've had beers with a similar profile to this before, and I generally don't like them when these flavours are so pronounced. I've had other beers where the barnyard aroma is there, but not quite so dominant and, well, gross! The bottles of Orval I've tried have never smelled this way, though I can see how the flavours are related. I don't know if that's because of the age of the bottles I've had, or because the dry-hops cover it up, or what.

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Old 05-02-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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The character may change, but odds are it won't radically soften. Those Wyeast packs have a lot of cells, I also find I get a more complex/integrated Brett character if I dry a beer out as much as possible and then pitch Brett at bottling (which is what Orval does). Bottle conditioning in general seems to improve Brett character. Dry hops certainly wouldn't hurt.

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Old 05-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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When making a beer either to be a clone of orval or strongly inspired I dry hop and pitch brett orval bottle yeast a day or two before bottling. Then I just have to make a slight assumption of the brett's ability to continue fermenting in the bottle. Last time it went another 4 gravity points in the bottle when I brewed over a year ago. If the flavor is over the top I would possibly suggest making the same recipe all over again holding on to this batch and blending them together. The other benefit to that tactic would be you loosely know the attenuation ability of the brett in the recipe granted you brew it fairly accurately again. So when you blend it together you'll know what further gravity contribution the fresh batch would offer in the bottles and you can calculate that into your final carb. Last time I calculated for about 4.25-4.5 and it damn near got there. I primed for, I think, 2.8-3 volume with sugar and let the brett do the rest.

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Old 05-04-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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Thanks to you both. In hindsight I think I pitched the brett too early (about halfway through the primary fermentation), and that might account for the strength of those flavours compared to Orval.

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