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Old 08-03-2011, 01:13 PM   #1
scone
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Default 'Nieuw Bruin' using 100% Brett L. or B.?

I'm thinking about doing a quick oud bruin in the fashion of oldsock's (see: http://www.themadfermentationist.com...oud-bruin.html) but using a different method of souring and funkifying it.

Here are my thoughts, crazy as they may be (and probably are).
1. I want to try using acid malt as the primary (and only) 'souring' element. Quick, easy, and one dimensional though it is, I hope that by fermenting with 100% Brett, the end result with be a bit more complex. Of course using it in large quantities lowers the mash ph. How low is too low? I figure Brett. loves acid, so maybe this is ok?
2. I want to ferment with 100% Brettanomyces B. or L. I have no experience with either, so I don't know what would be more appropriate to an 'oud bruin' style beer.

Here's a stab at a recipe (and a link to the hopville page) OG: 1.056

Grain:
42% 5 lb. 0 oz. Munich Malt
25% 3 lb. 0 oz. American Two-row Pale
17% 2 lb. 0 oz. Acid Malt (too much?)
8% 1 lb. 0 oz. Crystal 60L
4% 0 lb. 8 oz. Chocolate Malt
4% 0 lb. 8 oz. Aromatic Malt

Hops:
1 oz. E.K. Goldings at 60 min.

Yeast:
Brettanomyces (B. or L. ?)

I figure this could be ready to drink in a matter of 1-2 months.

Mash Temperature
Should I mash at a regular temperature, or mash a little higher? If I want this to have some body, but not at the expense of finishing fast, so I should mash at 154 right? That way the Brett. won't take forever chewing through the complex sugars?

Fermentation Temperature
I seem to recall that Brett. is more temperature tolerant than Sacc. Would it result in off flavors if i fermented this around 80-84 like a saison?

Alternative to acid malt
Is 2 lb. of acid malt going to significantly sour this beer? Should I do more? Alternatively, if you guys think using acid malt at this quantity is going to screw up my mash ph resulting in lower conversion, I thought I could do 2 days of just Lacto and then pitch the Brett., thus turning it into a berliner weisse style brew. It should still finish in around 3 months this way, so maybe it's not such a bad move?

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:37 PM   #2
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Technically, if you intend to brew a "'oud bruin' style beer", then no brett at all is the way to go. If you want to follow your concept (and I think its a fine one), then I would use Brett B, myself. Wyeast Brett L will give you some tart cherry and regular brett character, while white labs Brett L will give horse and smoke.

A primary ferment with brett will probably finish under 2 months, but you'll need to pitch a large starter. Smack packs don't have anywhere close to enough yeast. Additionally, Brett will only ferment down to 1.010 or so when used alone. Brett character changes when using it as a lone yeast, as well. I have found that B starts spicy/earthy, C starts tropical/citrus, and Wyeast L give more cherry. All of those will pick up more funk the longer they're aged.

As to the level of tartness you'll get from 2lb of acid malt, it's hard to say. People's perceptions are all over the map. I would say that for me it would not be the level of tartness I was looking for, but then I think that I would like Monk's Cafe a bit better with a bit more tartness.

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Old 08-03-2011, 03:50 PM   #3
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I agree with dwarven stout on the amount of acid malt that people use being all over the place. I think that you would be ok with that percent and it will help the brett out by acidifying your wort. Your mash profile seems good to me.

I am a big fan of Wyeast Brett. L. and recommend going that direction. Dwarven Stout's description of the character of each strain is spot on in my experience as well, so go with what ever description seems right for you. I think that the choco. malt would do well with the cherry characteristic of lambicus.

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Old 08-03-2011, 05:32 PM   #4
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For Brett choice I think the Brett L would be a great choice as I prefer the Oud Bruins with that cherry pie flavor. But dwaren explained them well so you pick.

As for acid malt I have read mixed reviews. I have used it up to 5% in a Saison to both add tartness and adjust my mash ph. (And I like what it did to the beer) Ithaca Brewing talks about using 15%-25% in their Brute on a Brewing Network podcast. You will need to plug your water and malt bill into a water calculator like ezwatercalc to know how much acid malt you can add to the mash. The remaining amount will then need to be added after conversion so the mash pH does not go too low.

As for pH level for Brett I would recommend checking Chad Y Brettanomyces Project as he has some numbers in there. Without checking I think the Brett won't have a problem as long as you give it a nice big pitch like dwaren stout said.

And I have no clue what fermenting in the 80s will do with Brett. Not sure if I would ferment that high since you aren't looking for that many esters in an Oud Bruin.

And I also really like Special B in my Oud Bruins.

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Old 08-04-2011, 03:14 PM   #5
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My only concern with going with the acid malt souring is that it will screw with the starch conversion. This isn't a big deal for Ithaca since they are giving the Brett lots of time to work on those complex sugars, but with a quick 100% Brett fermentation you may end up with an overly-sweet beer. At the least I would wait until after the rest of the mash converts before adding the acid malt (maybe in two additions) to get as much fermentable sugar as you can.

The Lacto-first pitch might be a good way to go, although commercial Lacto is so difficult to work with (go super low on the hopping, ~5 IBUs if you go this route).

Good luck, interested to hear how this one comes out!

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Old 08-04-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
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I recently did something a bit similar, but instead of using acid malt I used a sour mash for tartness. Then I added a big starter of Brett L (wyeast), and after that fermented out, I added 2 lbs/gallon of sour cherries.

Fast forward two months and there is a nice level of tartness, good cherry flavor, but very little, if any, "brett character". It's a decent beer, but if I would try a different (maybe multiple) brett strain(s) next time.

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Old 08-16-2011, 08:39 PM   #7
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Update on my post above: The "brett character" is starting to show up now that I've bottled. It's subtle, but it adds a nice dimension to round out the flavors.

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice, this is very helpful.

I'm going to go with Wyeast Brett. L since it sounds delicious. I think I will also mash the acid malt separately and combine it when I sparge so that it doesn't mess with the conversion of the other malts. I would think I might get some extra tannin extraction due to the low PH of the sparge... is this something I should worry about? Should I also sparge the acid malt separately?

rorygilmore: how much acid malt did you use in your recipe? How's the tartness?

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Old 08-17-2011, 12:26 PM   #9
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Lower sparge pH is what you want. Higher pH is when it can start extracting tannins. I'm actually positioning myself for a sweet high quality pH meter for my birthday so I can track pH on my brew process and beers.

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Old 08-21-2011, 09:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scone View Post
rorygilmore: how much acid malt did you use in your recipe? How's the tartness?
I actually didn't use any acid malt. To sour, I mashed as normal, allowed the temperature to cool to 135 degrees, then added a chilled two liter bottle of carbonated water (which then dropped the mash temp to the mid 120's) and a few ounces of uncrushed grain to my 5 gallon cooler and let it sit overnight (approx. 20 hours). The carbonated water was added to purge the headspace of O2 in the mash ton, and I think that worked well as the wort was pretty clean smelling even after souring overnight. I would say the sourness is somewhere between moderate and moderately strong.
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