100% brett fermentation, tips

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dinnerstick

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hello everyone. i'm soon to embark on my first ever 100% brett fermentation using brett b from white labs. i am aware that for obvious reasons (big brewer $/€) far less research has gone into brett than sacc, so i'm curious about other homebrewers' experience with the conditions. those with a lot of brett experience, how much does temperature contribute to flavor, and if it exists, where is the magical cutoff (the one around 15 degrees for lager yeasts between clean and sulfur, and 21 or so for some ale yeasts between slightly fruity and downright wacky), and finally what are the characters that change with temp?? my temp controlled fermenter is busy with lagers for the forseeable future. i have a nice cool unheated stairwell, in which i have had success with ale yeasts, starting them in 15/16 degree ambient temp and bringing them inside to 20-21 after a few days. i need to decide whether to BS it with the old carry-the-fermenter-around-the-house technique, or free up some time on the temp control (at the expense of a highly anticipated big bock).
finally, what sort of pitching rate have people had the best success with? i have heard that underpitching relative to sacc is common? cheers to everyone and have a good holiday season drinking heavily malty barley beverages!
 

Calder

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I don't know I can answer all your questions, but will try to answer some.

Pitching rate: You pitch low when Brett is used as a secondary yeast. The anaerobic conditions stress the yeast and result in the rustic characteristics. As a primary yeast (100% Brett) you want to pitch high; somewhere in the region of lager levels.

Temperature: Brett likes high temps (80s). I've done that yeast in a few brews, some at room temperature, and some in the 80s, and I can't say I've really noticed a difference. Never done a side-by-side, but they seem similar. I think I got a little better attenuation at the higher temp.

Aeration: Lots of aeration. I do a pretty good job shaking. and never notice a problem with any beers. With the Brett beers, I shake a second time at around 12 hours after pitching.

Attenuation: I've had varied results with that yeast (from white labs), ranging from 67% to 80% for similar worts. For the one that went 67%, i used PacMan to finish it off.

Time: My experience is that most fermentation is done in the first week, but it will keep going slowly for several more weeks.
 
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dinnerstick

dinnerstick

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thanks calder! i'm surprised there is not more info on this topic. well, i'm brewing now, and i went with a 3L starter and a recent white labs vial. the starter was done in 2 days. it's not a big beer, 1.054, going to ferment without temp control, at room temp, and lots of O2
 
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dinnerstick

dinnerstick

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woooow !! i'm pleased. pitched all that healthy brett, gave slightly more O2 than i would normally, let it go at room temp of around 21 degrees, went to bed, next day it almost woke me up it was bubbling so furiously! foaming way up. 24 hours later and the foam has completely dropped, bubbling has basically stopped. haven't checked the gravity but this stuff just absolutely devoured my wort! so much for slow fermentations with 100% brett. i know it's not done yet. i'll be leaving it a couple weeks minimum to finish up
 

Calder

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Please report back with your results. I'd be interested in the basic recipe too. I want to compare the performance of the yeast for against my experience. As I said before I have found it very variable.
 
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dinnerstick

dinnerstick

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Please report back with your results. I'd be interested in the basic recipe too. I want to compare the performance of the yeast for against my experience. As I said before I have found it very variable.
will do. at this point, brewed on 1 jan, and it was done bubbling in the blowoff tube by the morning of 3 jan, but i haven't opened it, looked at it, taken a gravity reading or anything and probably won't for another week at least. the recipe is as follows; i was listening to the brewing network and the guys from flat tail (in between being drunk and cracking dick/tit jokes) were describing a dark wheat all-brett beer that i liked the sound of, so i copied their grain bill percentages. the rest i just decided. i want fairly bitter and with a noble hop flavor and aroma. i think theirs was the base for a fruit/spice beer but i can't recall. mine's a 20L batch. malts are all weyermann except chocolate is brewferm belgian, and the color rating of caramunich III is wrong. just under 70% efficiency got me 1.055 OG.
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
2.70 kg Wheat Malt, Dark (15.0 EBC) Grain 1 52.4 %
0.96 kg Munich Malt (15.0 EBC) Grain 2 18.6 %
0.96 kg Munich Malt II (23.0 EBC) Grain 3 18.6 %
0.26 kg Caramunich Malt III (120.0 EBC) Grain 4 5.0 %
0.17 kg Chocolate Malt (800.0 EBC) Grain 5 3.3 %
0.10 kg Oats, Flaked (2.0 EBC) Grain 6 1.9 %
15.00 g Magnum [13.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 29.2 IBUs
20.00 g Tettnang [4.50 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 8 2.6 IBUs
30.00 g Tettnang [4.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min Hop 9 0.0 IBUs
Other: 200 g oat husks in the mash (can't get rice hulls).
The 100 g rolled oats were not mashed. They were steeped separately and added to the boil for starch and body.
50 deg 15 min
68 deg 60 min
76 deg 10 min
boil 60 min.
cooled to 24
oxygenated pure O2 for 60 sec
added (decanted) 3L starter from 1 white labs brett b vial.
fermented at ambient room temp around 21-22.
i'll report back when i know more!
 
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dinnerstick

dinnerstick

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day 7, racked to a keg to get it out of the 'brett bucket' that i fermented it in. (don't trust the seal that much and really don't want oxygen). 1.019 giving 65% attenuation. since it's meant to be drunk relatively young (a couple months) i wonder if the brett is going to chug along quickly enough now that it's off the yeast cake (although so much yeast was in suspension and the yeast cake so loose that i carried a lot over), or if i should nudge it on its way with some sacc...
 
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dinnerstick

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i see in one of these talks mr yakobson recommends pitching multiple strains in all-brett beers for better attenuation. might have to try this next time
 

JBIII

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subscribed...

I have an all brett b dark wheat i brewed 11/5/2013 w/ an OG of 1.062. My plan is to let it sit for 6 months before kegging.

Although mine wont be ready for another 4 months or so, I would be interested in swapping a few bottles with anyone interested in doing so...
 

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Too late now, but my LHBS recommends all separate brew-ware for a brett beer. They comment on how easily a sacc beer can be contaminated by a recently brewed brett beer. Aparently, even fermenting in the same room as a recently brewed brett can cause contamination. I'm not sure if I believe it, but something to think about.
 

Goetinger

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Too late now, but my LHBS recommends all separate brew-ware for a brett beer. They comment on how easily a sacc beer can be contaminated by a recently brewed brett beer. Apparently, even fermenting in the same room as a recently brewed brett can cause contamination. I'm not sure if I believe it, but something to think about.
 

brewbama

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I heard the same thing so emailed the guys at William's Brewing. Those guys said a good cleaning and sanitizing job will take care of the Brett brew so the equip can be used for a Sacc brew. Who knows.


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 

Bearfoot

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Brett is yeast, and is killed by the same things Sacc is killed by.
True, but Brett can be quite persistent, and can take up residence in the tiny scratches and dents in soft plastic equipment, so while proper sanitation techniques should suffice it is possible that the Brett will live on.

Vinyl tubing is particularly susceptible, and plastic buckets.
 
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dinnerstick

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i use the same kegs for brett and sacc beers, never had a problem. i am pretty meticulous about cleaning them and making sure the o-rings in the poppets are not old and cracked. with metal you can always use heat to sanitize. i devoted a plastic bucket and an auto-siphon to brett fermentations, everything else including kegerator taps, beergun, etc. is shared. i've been brewing brett beers for about a year now and all is good!
 
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dinnerstick

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i never updated on this beer, actually it came out really nice. 'finished' at 1.019 and i panicked and added s05. now after having done many more brett b beers (this one was my first) i would have left it be for a few more weeks and i'm pretty sure it would have finished up in its own time. the sacc took it down to 1.016, i kegged it, the brett chugged down a few more points, i'm not sure where it finished but i know it overcarbed in the keg. how do i know? well, i hit the keg with enough pressure to seat the lid, then left it. when i went to open it for whatever the hell reason a couple weeks later (maybe i was going to siphon into 1/2 kegs? can't remember) there was a lot of pressure. captain idiot, aka yours truly, released the pressure and popped off the lid as if it were a perfectly good idea. looked in the top to see a rising tsunami of foam. fumbled the lid. foam now at the top of the keg. rammed the lid in, foam now above the top of the keg. got the lid twisted the wrong way inside the keg, foam now at armpit. etc.
eventually closed off the keg, mopped the ceiling, only lost about half the beer. chilled it, got it to 2.5 volumes co2, bottled it, gave it a couple months, and once it was clear it really shone. gorgeous dark copper color, very nice but still light drinkable body, crystal clear, noble hops coming through against the almost metallic (in a good way) dark wheat. it was very obviously bretty but not out and out funky, with some spice almost cinnamon/clovelike. i am going to make this again very soon actually, and maybe do something weird with half, something involving fruit.
 

tagz

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i use the same kegs for brett and sacc beers, never had a problem. i am pretty meticulous about cleaning them and making sure the o-rings in the poppets are not old and cracked. with metal you can always use heat to sanitize. i devoted a plastic bucket and an auto-siphon to brett fermentations, everything else including kegerator taps, beergun, etc. is shared. i've been brewing brett beers for about a year now and all is good!
With the kegerator, do you use separate serving lines?
 
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dinnerstick

dinnerstick

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With the kegerator, do you use separate serving lines?
yes. i change them pretty often anyways, i won't run an ipa through a line that had smoked porter on it, that kind of thing
 
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