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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Lambic & Wild Brewing > Need some info on WLP644 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois
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Old 11-25-2014, 01:18 PM   #1
nasty_rabbit
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Default Need some info on WLP644 Brettanomyces bruxellensis Trois

First a little of the back story. A buddy was trying to dial in his equipment and improve his technique with mash infusion so he decided to brew a simple 7 gallon batch. He kept 3 gallons and I got 4. It is beer that I don’t “need” to keep the pipe line going so I thought that I would experiment with it. I went to the LHBS and told the clerk the recipe that we were using and he suggested a sour/bret attempt. The yeasts that he suggested were “Wyeast 3711 French Saison in primary for 14 days then secondary with WLP644 and let it ride for a couple of months”.
The recipe is as follows:
53% pale 2 row
42.7% wheat
4.3% Vienna
56g Ammarillo
7@FWH
14@60
21@15
14@5
Primary is 4 gallons in a 5 gallon carboy but I was going to secondary in a three gallon, I don’t mind losing some beer remember it’s a trial and I don’t need it for any purpose other than experimentation.
I have a 3 gallon keg that’s not in use and when complete I would like to fill it with the finished beer so if I can take the secondary close to full that would be better.
I have never used bret before and don’t know what to expect with the fermentation process. I was wondering how full I can take the secondary before there is concern with krausen or blow off if any at all. Also, the recommendation of “let it ride for a couple of months” was a little vague, any clarification would be appreciated.

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Old 11-25-2014, 04:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasty_rabbit View Post
First a little of the back story. A buddy was trying to dial in his equipment and improve his technique with mash infusion so he decided to brew a simple 7 gallon batch. He kept 3 gallons and I got 4. It is beer that I don’t “need” to keep the pipe line going so I thought that I would experiment with it. I went to the LHBS and told the clerk the recipe that we were using and he suggested a sour/bret attempt. The yeasts that he suggested were “Wyeast 3711 French Saison in primary for 14 days then secondary with WLP644 and let it ride for a couple of months”.
The recipe is as follows:
53% pale 2 row
42.7% wheat
4.3% Vienna
56g Ammarillo
7@FWH
14@60
21@15
14@5
Primary is 4 gallons in a 5 gallon carboy but I was going to secondary in a three gallon, I don’t mind losing some beer remember it’s a trial and I don’t need it for any purpose other than experimentation.
I have a 3 gallon keg that’s not in use and when complete I would like to fill it with the finished beer so if I can take the secondary close to full that would be better.
I have never used bret before and don’t know what to expect with the fermentation process. I was wondering how full I can take the secondary before there is concern with krausen or blow off if any at all. Also, the recommendation of “let it ride for a couple of months” was a little vague, any clarification would be appreciated.
If you are just doing brett in secondary you shouldn't need much head space, I would give it a few inches but not a lot more than that.
Let it ride until you think it's ready. I would probably let it sit in the the secondary 3+ months, personally, then bottle it and drink/age until you get your desired flavors from it.
Good luck, sounds good. Cheers!
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Old 11-25-2014, 08:02 PM   #3
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Sounds like a good plan. I recently bottled a similar recipe with the same 3711 primary and 644 secondary (mosaic saison instead of amarillo though). You won't get a krausen with the 644 so fill the 3gal carboy all the way up to the neck. I'd need to look at my notes but I think I let it sit 4mo before bottling. I'm brewing another saison with 3711 and nelson this coming weekend with plans to pitch the 644 in secondary again.

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Old 11-25-2014, 08:46 PM   #4
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I just tried a bottle of Citra saison using WLP670 (which is saison yeast and Trois I believe) at 6 mos from brew day (2 in bottles) and it's just now developing the nice Brett character I like. It was fruity when I bottled it but not as funky as I'm getting now. So I'd say leave it in secondary for at least 4 mos, maybe 6. It's a nice mix, I'm a big fan. And yeah, fill it up. It shouldn't go crazy.

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Old 11-26-2014, 12:46 AM   #5
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Thanks for the info and confidence builder that it will fit if I pack it in. From this point forward it looks like patience is the key and I am willing to go the distance. By the sounds of things, longer is better so I may target about 5 to 6 months. Fortunately the pipe line is quite full and I am not relying on this batch to get in the lineup but I believe it will be a nice surprise come sometime in May or June.

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Old 11-26-2014, 03:20 PM   #6
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If this is truly an experiment for you, there are some other approaches that might be interesting as well. As people mentioned above, bulk aging in a carboy with the Brett for 4-6 months will give you a really nice brett character.

In addition, Brett does some really amazing things when it is under pressure. Try doing a regular primary ferment and then throwing Brett in for another month. I've had some interesting results aging for less time and then bottling once the gravity of the beer has been stable for a couple of weeks. It helps to use an attenuative yeast strain for you primary that throws off a lot of phenols -- usually your favorite Belgian is fine. Also, make sure it bottle in heavy Belgian bottles if you do it like this.

Alternatively, a lot of breweries simply do a regular primary and then pitch Brett directly at bottling (i.e. Orval). You absolutely need a really dry beer when doing this or you risk bottle bombs.

These two approaches also allow you to free up carboys a little quicker. A good general rule of thumb is that stressing Brett will lead to more "funky" flavors. Stuff like pitch rate, lower oxygenation, high pressure, etc.

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Old 11-26-2014, 07:02 PM   #7
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I enjoy sour beers and was always cautious about trying to produce one, so yes it is an experiment but I think that I will take baby steps this go around. I will be kegging this and if it turns out close to what I'm looking for I can see a lot more experimental and funky beers in my future. I can even see me dedicating one of my 3 gallon kegs to Bret only, then I can brew 5 keg 3 and play with the other 2 in bottles. At that point I will try the alternative techniques but for now I may just let it go about 5 or 6 months and see what comes of it.

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Old 11-26-2014, 07:49 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nasty_rabbit View Post
I enjoy sour beers and was always cautious about trying to produce one, so yes it is an experiment but I think that I will take baby steps this go around. I will be kegging this and if it turns out close to what I'm looking for I can see a lot more experimental and funky beers in my future. I can even see me dedicating one of my 3 gallon kegs to Bret only, then I can brew 5 keg 3 and play with the other 2 in bottles. At that point I will try the alternative techniques but for now I may just let it go about 5 or 6 months and see what comes of it.
Mr Nacey hit on some good advice above but I'll add a few things.

3711 is going to dry the beer out dramatically, close to 1.00, so you really dont have to age this beer in secondary at all. I would just let that primary fermentation dry the beer out and go right to the keg and add Brett Trois, let that Brett strain break down the esters and phenols while under pressure in the keg. This method will give you the most complex beer in the shortest amount of time, I would bet 1-2 months and youre drinking it.

Also, I am a nitpicker, but this is not a sour beer youre brewing here as there are not LAB in play. Just call it a Saison, or Farmhouse.
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:49 AM   #9
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I'm fine with picking nits, it's the best way to learn the little details. Now you are saying move it from primary to keg and add the Bret. At that point do I leave it at room temp sealed and let it do it's thing or place it in the kegorator at serving pressure?

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Old 11-27-2014, 01:03 AM   #10
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It's a great strain to ferment an entire beer with. If you haven't brewed it yet, I'd consider using the Brett in your primary.


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