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Old 09-25-2013, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default What's the endpoint with Brett fermentation?

I'm confused when it comes to Brett fermentation and what the best practices are for bottling. I have a Tripel I would like to put into a secondary fermenter with Orval dregs, and I have a vial of WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend I'd like to use in a saison. I'm not sure how I would know when either beer is finished and when to bottle (in regular bottles). Some threads say to wait until the pellicle drops, some folks say they rack from underneath the pellicle. I certainly understand the concept of waiting for the gravity to stabilize, but Brett in secondary seems to work so slowly that I'm not even sure what timeframes I should be looking at.

Above all, I am interested in avoiding bottle bombs from bottling too early.

Any advice?

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Old 09-27-2013, 12:38 AM   #2
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Nobody has any thoughts? Should I ask on the "yeast" forum?

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Old 09-27-2013, 03:55 AM   #3
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I'm far from the most experienced here, but barring very cold temps, I've never seen a significant gravity drop past the 6 (or maybe 8, at the latest) month mark. YMMV.

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Old 09-27-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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It depends on the beer and the Brett or diversity or the Brett. If you have a blend it can take a little longer in secondary because different strains and species.of brett produce different amounts and different enzymes that allow then to brew down complex sugars. I have seen gravity movement past 8 months on a 1.120 beer with Brett. For a saison I typically pet it get near 1.004 and I bottle. I will figure for a terminal gravity near 1.001-1.002 then use priming sugar taking that residual extract figure into consideration. I use heavy bottles though so if I am a bit underestimating bretts attenuation its fine. I prime to be at around 3.5 total give or take a little. The triple should be similar bit it will take longer and the terminal gravity will be higher. With increased malt you have an increase in carbohydrates that Brett cannot ferment.

Contrary to popular belief Brett in secondary will not completely dry out every beer. It can only go so far because the sugar composition of your wort contains only so many bonds that brett's enzymes are able to break. Hope that makes sense. I am sorry I cannot give a more specific answer other than " it depends".

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Old 09-27-2013, 09:03 PM   #5
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Thanks

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Old 09-28-2013, 02:03 AM   #6
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Likewise I've read (and I wish i can remember where) that as long as the beer is below 1.006 you are good to go with Brett at bottling. I think it was on the Mad Fementationists blog..

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Old 09-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinghole View Post
I use heavy bottles though so if I am a bit underestimating bretts attenuation its fine. I prime to be at around 3.5 total give or take a little. The triple should be similar bit it will take longer and the terminal gravity will be higher.
what type of bottles do you use?
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Old 09-29-2013, 03:25 PM   #8
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A lot of belgian and champagne bottles. As long as I think it can take 5-6 volumes and based on glass weight to volume ratio, I will put some real high carved stuff in the bottle.

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Old 09-29-2013, 04:35 PM   #9
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maybe i have been courting disaster here, but i've been brewing with various brett strains for the last couple years and i have rarely waited until the beer was below 1.008. also, i haven't had any problems with using normal bottles.

for my last 100% brett beer (a brett c hibistcus blonde), the gravity seemed pretty stable at 1.012 after 2 months of fermentation so I bottled it, shooting for 2.8 vols. i had no problem with gushing or over carbonation. for my brett-finished beers, i usually bottle 3 months after pitching the brett not really for attenuation (i usually only get 2 gravity points more or so) but for flavor development.

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Old 09-29-2013, 04:53 PM   #10
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If it works for you then it works for you. I do similar things because I know they work. I make a beer similar to the process orval uses ferment clean, dry hop, and add brett from orval just before bottling at 1.009. I prime for about 3 volumes but the beer continues to attenuate for another 4 points or so in the bottle. So I end up with a very sparkly carbonated beer. Over time the brett even chews up the chill haze proteins.

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