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Old 05-11-2010, 03:00 PM   #1
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Hello,

I'm going to be making a 100% brett beer soon and I have a question. I'm going to be using both Brett B and Brett L for this brew.

I'm obviously going to make a starter and I know it will take at least a week to make a decent starter given the slow ferment time of Brett.

So here's my question:

Since these beers take so long to finish and the yeasts are expensive, could I build two starters from each Wyeast pack and double my amount of Brett so it could be used for two different brew days.

So essentially making 4 starters from two Wyeast packs of Brett? Would my cell count me too low or is this possible? I would like to just do back to back brew days and make two different sour beers.

What do you think?


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Old 05-11-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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unless you have a stir plate with temp control expect the starters to take quite a bit longer than a week. at least in my experience starters took the recent heat wave to getting really going. that was at least a month after pitching the starter. there was really very little activity until the temps hit 85-90* inside. the hotter the better (to an extent).

make your first set of starters and right before you pitch your 2 starters, make additional 2 new starters and pour just a little of each of the first starter batches in. sounds feasible


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Old 05-11-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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I would just repitch the yeast cake from the first beer into another batch. I've done it with Brett C and A without issue. Certainly worth getting a couple beer out of the prolonged starter buildup (start with a cup of wort and work it up to 1 qrt+). I think the Wyeast Bretts have more cells than the White Labs, so it won't take too long.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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I just pitched Brett L into a secondary @ 1.014. Am I write to see I have about 2 months worth of secondary now before I bottle? Egads!!
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
I would just repitch the yeast cake from the first beer into another batch. I've done it with Brett C and A without issue. Certainly worth getting a couple beer out of the prolonged starter buildup (start with a cup of wort and work it up to 1 qrt+). I think the Wyeast Bretts have more cells than the White Labs, so it won't take too long.
I definitely plan on repitching the cakes but I just didn't want to wait the several months it will take to do this. I was hoping to get a few sour beers started at the same time.

So take a cup of wort and build it up into one starter and then spilt it to make two beers? Is that what you are suggesting??
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:48 PM   #6
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So, it's sounding like this starter will take a few weeks? Would you all agree with this?

Can I still use just tin foil on the top of the starter still instead of an airlock? It's Brett so I don't have to worry that much about infection of the starter as long as I follow strict sanitation of all the materials used for the starters, right?

So if I want to brew one of these in two weeks, I should make the starters tonight, correct?

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:33 PM   #7
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A 100% Brett beer should be ready to rack to secondary after a couple weeks (The four I've done haven't dropped any gravity after 2 weeks, and have been fine in the bottle for a couple years without over-carbonation). The fermentation will look pretty much the same as a regular Sacch ferment if you have a big/healthy culture going in.

If you want enough for two beers, I would start with a cup, then step up to a quart, then three quarts (1.5 L for each beer). I try to pitch the same amount of start I would for a lager (about double what you would for an ale).

Like any yeast, Brett needs oxygen to reproduce. Foil cap and an occasional shake is the way to go.

Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldsock View Post
A 100% Brett beer should be ready to rack to secondary after a couple weeks (The four I've done haven't dropped any gravity after 2 weeks, and have been fine in the bottle for a couple years without over-carbonation). The fermentation will look pretty much the same as a regular Sacch ferment if you have a big/healthy culture going in.

If you want enough for two beers, I would start with a cup, then step up to a quart, then three quarts (1.5 L for each beer). I try to pitch the same amount of start I would for a lager (about double what you would for an ale).

Like any yeast, Brett needs oxygen to reproduce. Foil cap and an occasional shake is the way to go.

Good luck.
Thanks for this. So how long would you recommend this particular beer (again brett B and L) sit in secondary?

So I could bottle this 4 weeks after brewing??? I thought that I read that the beer really needs to sit on the brett for several months to get the real sour effect.

Will I get any additional characteristics to the beer by letting it sit a lot longer before bottling? Thanks again.
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Old 05-11-2010, 08:07 PM   #9
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If you are doing 100% Brett it is very different than a "traditional" mixed culture fermentation. When you add a small amount of Brett along with or after a big pitch of Sacch you end up with a slow secondary fermentation that does take months.

You really won't end up with much sourness from just Brett. You really need bacteria (Lacto/Pedio/Aceto) to provide the acidity.

I have yet to use Brett B/L in primary yet, but IIRC Russian River ages Sanctification (which is B/L) ~8 weeks before bottling (but that contains some lactic acid bacteria as well which slows the process).

Just make sure the gravity is stable over a couple weeks before bottling.


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