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-   -   Anybody use Brettanomyces? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/anybody-use-brettanomyces-27205/)

Sir Humpsalot 04-12-2007 10:18 AM

Anybody use Brettanomyces?
I'm thinking about the next incarnation of my SOB. I'm thinking some Brettanomyces Claussenii might be just what the doctor ordered.


Low Intensity Brett chracter. Originally isolated from strong English stock beer in the early 20th century. The Brett flavors produced are more subtle than WLP650 and WLP653. More aroma than flavor contribution. Fruity, pineapple like aroma. B. claussenii is closely related to B. anomalus. This is the srtain that is rumored to be the one that gives Guinness it's slight sour note.

For those of you who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, this is a bacteria, usually considered an infection, which is desirable in certain, typically Belgian, styles of beer.

I'm contemplating adding it to my Special Orange Bitter next time around.... How would you this? Add it along with a strain of yeast? Add it a few days after the yeast? Anybody have a good link for this? Any suggestions?

zoebisch01 04-12-2007 12:19 PM

Hrm, I have pondered using Brett. I would just culture it from a bottle of Orval though. I would primary ferment and when I rack to secondary add the cultured Brett. Here is one of the best links for some of the 'alternative' fermentors that I have found:


Actually, I have a batch of stuff that I have been seriously considering this. If I add it, I'll let you know. I do have some souring stuff cultured that I use for inoculating my mash. I really dig it.

Catfish 04-12-2007 01:20 PM

I have played with brett a little (out of curiousity) I cultured up a couple of bottles of Orval dregs and pitched it into a half batch of a double (it developed a distinct fruity/ horseiness I associate with brett) . It has only been in the bottle for a couple months so I haven't bothered opening any for results.
From the things I have read:
I would advise adding it after primary fermentation has slowed or stopped. You can add it a bottling time if you wish. The brett will produce a more nose under durress; pressure, temperature, alcohol. If you are going to let the brett go to town and work on this beer for a long time, like a year, the initial beer will need enough flavor to last, also the brett will really thin the beer. Brett doesn't like high IBU beers.

GoBrewers 04-12-2007 03:07 PM

Brettanomyces isn't actually bacteria, but a different genus of yeast. That's a common misconception because lactic acid is one of its metabolic by-products, just like lactobacillus, which is bacteria. So they are often used in conjunction to deliver that sour, acidic flavor in some Belgian ales and Lambics. But a good rule of thumb is that anything that ends in -myces is actually a yeast.

Sorry, don't mean to nitpick.

landhoney 04-13-2007 05:32 AM

Check out this...
Basic Brewing Radio , archive 2006 pocasts, for Aug. 3, 2006, about 3/4 down. They talk to a guy who uses an oak 'dowel'(essentially) placed in his carboy to get the bret flavor into the beer. He talks about how the micro-oxygenation from the wood barrels in belguim is where the bret really live and that they are found in wood in nature, etc, etc. Hope this helps.

landhoney 04-13-2007 05:39 AM

Obviously he gets bret into the oak intially somehow(its not just for oak flavor to somehow mimic bret in belgians w/oak), but then I think you just move the bret 'infected' oak from one batch to the next. I know I'm not being clear, but I really just listened in passing..........check out the podcast if you want to know more.

Dude 04-13-2007 02:20 PM

And once that brett touches anything else in your brewery, it needs to be kept separated from EVERYTHING else. The brett can't even be entirely killed off with bleach. Caustic is the only thing that will kill it.

That means hoses, ferementers (unless it is glass or stainless), racking equipment, everything.

Brett is a great thing, but can take over your entire brewery.

Catfish 04-13-2007 02:37 PM

Yes. All plastic (hoses, buckets, fittings, seals) need to be segregated. Heat does brett in, Iodaphore may too. So long as it is not a permiable surface, like plastic.

Really, Bleach doesn't do it? Scary

Sir Humpsalot 04-13-2007 07:08 PM

Thanks for the info. I've gotta say my curiosity is getting piqued... :)

zoebisch01 04-13-2007 07:15 PM


Originally Posted by Toot
Thanks for the info. I've gotta say my curiosity is getting piqued... :)

Yeah it is definitely on my 'to do' list. I am going to get some small barrels eventually. Got too many things on the queue now though and it is pretty involved. That is why I started down the path of souring mash. It gives you the sour characteristic (although not nearly the same thing as a Brett, but it is a different twist) without the hassle of dealing with living organisms because it is done pre-boil.

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