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Old 04-19-2013, 06:54 PM   #1
adamjackson's Avatar
May 2012
Canaan New Hampshire, NH
Posts: 735
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Truthfully, I need a pro to sample these for me.

The one on the left is the result of completely overshooting my grain bill and, when I took the original gravity reading on brew-day in January, BeerSmith told me I’d probably end up with a 13% Saison (Wyeast French Saison + Brettanomyces Lambicus). It’s been 3 months since brew day, the beer is very sour, hints of peach, clove and lemon zest and the gravity is currently 1.028 @ 60F and it’s still bubbling once every 60 seconds.

On the right is another saison that received some Hill Farmstead Arthur Dregs as well as Brettanoymces C..I think I don’t have my laptop with me so I can’t check BeerSmith to see exactly what’s in there. The Estimated ABV should be around 7% and the current gravity reading is 1.001 @ 60F. It received 8 pounds of blueberries on the same day I pitched the yeast and the blueberry earthiness dominates. There’s very little sweet or sour and quite a bit of horse blanket funk.

So, I’m at the point where the one on the left tastes perfect to me, no astringency, no vinegar and enough sweetness to be a nice beer as things warm up. The blueberry beer is too earthy almost like wood when you drink it. Do I just keg these now or wait longer? I don’t want to make the mistake of my Berliner Weisse and let it get too sour.


I could keg both of these now and enjoy them but the first being only at 1.028 makes me think it needs more time BUT, maybe the yeast is already at it's max due to the ABV? I know Brett is known to finish very low (like the blueberry one) but then if I wait, doesn't this beer just get more and more sour?

I'm at a bit of a loss on what to do next. Nothing wrong with waiting as I have plenty of IPAs on tap to drink.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #2
Austin_'s Avatar
Mar 2008
Nashville, TN
Posts: 822
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That one on the left being at 1.028 is pretty shocking. Wyeast 3711 normally takes things down very low in absolutely no time. I'd get it up to 70 at least. It doesn't need to go hot like some people do with the Belgian saison strains, but it does need to go warm. I have done a dozen or so batches with it and have found 70-71 to be the spot I like for it. Can easily get down to the 1.005 range with no problem. I'm pretty sure if you had a pro take a swig, they'd would call it out for being way overly sweet/cloying. Get it warm and let it sit another month. That brett is just starting to do its thing and the sacch still needs to clean up.

The beer on the right is your call. If you like it now, drink it.

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Old 04-19-2013, 09:50 PM   #3
slarkin712's Avatar
Sep 2011
St. Louis, MO
Posts: 795
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Both 3711 and Brett L. have an alcohol tolerance of around 12%, so perhaps the one on the left just had the yeast poop out. I'd warm it up to 70F and keep checking the gravity of the one on the left for a few more weeks. If the gravity is stable and it tastes good to you then you should serve it. I'd let the one on the right sit longer. Brett C should give both fruitiness and horse blanket, so perhaps it needs more aging. In general I ferment Brett beers for 6 months or so and then bottle. And the flavor continue to evolve as they age in the bottle. But I sample from the fermentor every month or so after three months to see if I think it's ready for bottling. The other option you have for the one on the right is to brew up another Brett/sour beer and blend it. Although that would require patience...

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