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Old 02-05-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
Mar 2010
Posts: 7,624
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I recently brewed a basic Brett beer; Pale Malt + Aromatic Malt + Acid Malt + Saaz hops, and 35 IBUs. Brett as the primary yeast, but used Pacman in secondary to get down to my final gravity (the Brett only went to 70%). It's a great beer, with a wonderful fruity flavor.

I'm looking to do something a little different next when my glass fermenter frees up. Thought I'd post my idea here to see what reaction I get. It's something completely different, and I'm not sure if it's too much:

6.5 gallons. Partial Mash
OG: 1.080
FG: 1.016 (or lower)
IBUs: about 40

1 lb 2-Row
1 lb Acid Malt
1 lb Coffee Malt
1 lb Dark Crystal (Probably some 120 + Special B)
0.5 lbs Chocolate Malt
0.5 lbs Rolled Oats.

9 lbs Light LME
1 lb Brown Sugar

FWH: Mt Rainier
Bittering: Mt Rainier & Goldings
Finishing: Goldings
Dry Hop: Still thinking, but would be Goldings.

Primary Yeast: WLP650 (Brett-B). No temperature control (basement winter temps).

PacMan Yeast (if it hasn't reached target FG)
8 ozs Cocoa Powder.

I'll probably also post this in the recipe section for comments. Not sure how many people there are familiar with Brett, so I thought I'd post it here to get input from some folks more experienced in using the yeast.

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Old 02-06-2011, 03:32 AM   #2
Registered User
Jul 2009
Keller, Texas
Posts: 4,882
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My concern would be feeding more sugar into the beer in the secondary might give the brett additional food to consume that the pacman yeast won't and you'll get some additional pressure in the bottle. Of course if you use thicker bottles or keg that is less of an issue.

I also think you have too many flavors going on there...brett, brown sugar, cocoa, fairly high hopping, dry hops, special B, C120, chocolate malt, acid malt. That's a lot of different flavors competing together. I think you risk creating something with a sort of muted flavor.

I also think that's more acid malt than necessary unless you are trying to make a tart beer. The dark grains will lower the pH so you should only need a small amount of acid malt to get down to where brett likes it. Plus, lowering the pH too much during the mash risks incomplete conversion.

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Old 02-06-2011, 05:39 AM   #3
Mar 2010
Posts: 7,624
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Thanks for the thoughts. I agree it is busy. But I'm looking for something different and interesting. Maybe it is too much; still thinking about it.

I'm not adding any sugar to the secondary. Cocoa powder doesn't have any.

In my limited experience, Brett needs a very acid wort to work in. I still may not have a low enough PH.

Again, in my limited experience. using Brett as the primary yeast, you don't have to be concerned about continued fermentation; it seems to act just like regular sacc yeast.

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Old 02-06-2011, 07:00 PM   #4
Apr 2009
Boise, ID
Posts: 1,608
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What flavor(s) are you looking for? This recipe says something like "spiced mocha" to me. It kinda looks like an off-the-wall brown porter.

My experience with brett in non-acidified worts has been just fine. I wouldn't say you need the acid malt unless you want it. Brett also should not super attenuate as a primary fermenter- my experiences have it stopping at about 1.010, and that is consistent with the reports of others.

I'm hesitant to use cocoa powder after a couple bad experiences, but that may just be a failing of technique or ingredient choice on my part. I've only added it in secondary, where it makes a mess, turns the beer hazy, and adds a bitter edge to the finish. On that note, a pound and a half of dark malts is a *lot* in any beer. I don't have much experience on the interplay of roast and brett primary- maybe someone else can chime in. I'd probably swap to pale chocolate, which I have found to give more chocolate and less bitterness.

Anyway, it sounds like a fun experiment. Make sure you tell us what you end up doing and how it turns out!
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