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Old 02-14-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Default First use of Brett C

Prior to this batch I had never used any strains of Brett, with the exception of the one batch of Apple Cider in which some wild Brett volunteered its services.

I had a Foreign Extra Stout that finished higher than I wanted. I expected it to finish around 1.017, but it finished at 1.023. I think the yeast cake I pitched onto may have been pretty weak. It was British Ale II and was the fourth batch north of 1.060 (two over 1.070) for that yeast cake and the batch before it stopped the exact same way.

I figured this would be a great opportunity to rack to secondary and inoculate with Brettanomyces Clausenii. I had wanted to use it for sometime, but just hadn't found a batch I was willing to risk. This one already had a couple changes I wanted to make for the next version so I went for it.

My LHBS finally found one vial of Brett C in their fridge. It wasn't new, but not too old so I thought I'd try it. After racking and pitching I watched for any signs, but I was starting to wonder if it was too old because you could see a layer in the secondary (glass carboy) of yellowish yeast flocculating out with no apparent signs of activity. I kept expecting a pellicle but none was forming. I followed the same advice I've given to many others--"Don't rush, it. Wait and give it time to work."

The glass was pretty reflective so you couldn't see well, so today I decided to take a peak. I pulled the airlock and looked through the port. Inside you could see a wispy pellicle forming nicely and the aroma was amazing (Note: I am not an addict to fermenter sniffing! I can quit anytime I want! Stop looking at me like that! Hey man, you mind if I look in your primary?) I guess I'll let it sit for a few months and see where it goes. I can already tell my wife will probably not like it--which usually means I'll love it!

I'll definitely be using this again if the taste is anything like the aroma. I want to try an all Brett fermentation later.

I'm wondering, after reading a bit more on HBT, if I should have used an ale pail for the secondary for a bit of permeability to let the Brett scavenge a small amount of air.

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Old 02-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #2
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How long has it been since you added the brett and have you checked the gravity again? If it hasn't been 6 months, I would't expect much. I'd eave it in the carboy, buckets have more than a bit of permeability. If you want to get fancy, toast a piece oak, put in in a drilled stopper, and stick that in the carboy. That'll get some air in and maybe some barrelish flavor.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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I have an Oak "Infusion Spiral" that I am considering using. The Brett has only been in for a couple weeks. I don't expect much in the way of gravity change yet. I was actually shocked at how much aroma change there was. I expected it to come on very slowly as well. The pellicle is just beginning to form now. It will sit in the carboy for at least six months--that is the plan. I will probably add the oak in the last few weeks.

The reason I thought it might have been better in a pail is because the article on here about Brett says, unlike Sacc, it uses oxygen in its metabolism of sugar. I mainly chose the glass because 1) I wanted to be able to sanitize it after and reuse for non-Brett beers. 2) I have one pail that got a wild Brett infection and I did not want to use that because I want to know what kind of Brett is in the batch and how much. 3) I really didn't want to lose another bucket infected with Brett, in case I don't like the results.

Oh, well. It's all part of learning.

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Old 02-14-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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There must be some oxygen exposure or you wouldn't see a pellicle, right? Is there a way for you to rig up the spiral so it goes through the stopper? Like this: http://www.themadfermentationist.com...ew-barrel.html? Not sure if that's even something he's still doing, but I'm interested in trying it out myself.

The chart in Wild Brews shows roughly 50x as much oxygen diffusion in a homebrew bucket as compared to a wine barrel.

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Old 02-14-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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In another post he says that he wasn't happy with the results and has stopped doing it.

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