All Brett Fermentation

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MTBbrewer

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Has anyone ever fermented with all Brett? I am making a Sour Belgian Blonde that uses all Brett. I am using WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii in the primary for a 5 gallon batch. OG 1.060 to 1.065 Will I need a yeast starter if so how big?
 

billslaw1024

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I've never done an all Brett brew, but a friend did an all Brett Saison that came out great. Wouldn't have guessed it was all Brett. He didn't make a starter, but pitched two different Brett strains from white labs.
 

DurtyChemist

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No you don't need a starter. You can make one but Brettanomyces will eat everything in there including the longer chained stuff. Make sure you research what the final gravity of your yeast is because it's not uncommon for Brett to go down past 1.005.
 

youreanimpulse

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YES you need a huge starter. Those vials are designed for use in secondary and at most have like 50 bil cells at packaging if I recall correctly. You want between ale and lager pitch rates for 100% Brett fermentation. Google Chad Yakobson. I'll get you started: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/100-brett-starter-452107/

In there it links a great Brewing Network episode in which he suggests ale rates (also need a big starter), but also talks about an article where he recommended to do 1.5 times that rate at home. Others suggest lager pitch rates.
 

Calder

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Yes a starter is required. Pitch close to lager rates.

It will ferment out like regular sacc yeast, and will not super-attenuate.

Using all-Brett, you will not get any souring. Generally you don't get any souring from Brett anyway. The results are very much different than pitching it as a secondary yeast. You will get fruity esters rather than brett 'funk'.

I have a vial of that yeast that I am planning to use in a Brown ale (as the first beer). I asked the question on the Lambic forum about the best temperature to ferment it at as a primary yeast. The White Labs web site says 85+ F. I've had a few responses about the yeast, but no-one has provided ant temperatures. I'm planning on running it in the low 80s for my first use.
 

jack_a_roe

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I have a vial of that yeast that I am planning to use in a Brown ale (as the first beer). I asked the question on the Lambic forum about the best temperature to ferment it at as a primary yeast. The White Labs web site says 85+ F. I've had a few responses about the yeast, but no-one has provided ant temperatures. I'm planning on running it in the low 80s for my first use.
I've been under the impression that the temperature guidelines on their website are for using it as a secondary strain. I've had great results fermenting well down to 65 and up to ~75 as a primary strain (keep it around 68 if i can as much as possible). That only includes brett brux and trois however, so not too sure about any other strains but one would imagine they are all pretty similar.
 

ffaoe

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I have done a few all brett beers as well a dozen or so sour beers. Doing a Belgian with all brett WILL NOT sour the beer. All brett beers tend to come out pretty clean with little to no funk, and ZERO sourness. Brettanomyces Claussenii will leave the beer with slight fruity and pineapple notes. As mentioned above, a large starter will be needed. You will need to add lacto, pedio, or both for the beer to become a sour Belgian blonde.
 

Calder

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I've been under the impression that the temperature guidelines on their website are for using it as a secondary strain. I've had great results fermenting well down to 65 and up to ~75 as a primary strain (keep it around 68 if i can as much as possible). That only includes brett brux and trois however, so not too sure about any other strains but one would imagine they are all pretty similar.
I don't know if the temp is for secondary (85+, does seem high for long-term secondary) or primary. I tried to get advice from anyone who used it, but didn't really get anything I could use. Per White Labs web site:

WLP644 BRETTANOMYCES BRUXELLENSIS TROIS: Optimum Ferment Temp. 70-85°F (Rumor has it this is not a Brett strain, and is actually sacc)

WLP653 BRETTANOMYCES LAMBICUS: Optimum Ferment Temp. 85°+

WLP650 BRETTANOMYCES BRUXELLENSIS Optimum Ferment Temp. 85°+

WLP645 BRETTANOMYCES CLAUSSENII Optimum Ferment Temp. 85°+
 
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I decided I am going to use a Belgian style yeast in the primary and Brettanomyces Lambicus in the secondary.
 

ffaoe

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I decided I am going to use a Belgian style yeast in the primary and Brettanomyces Lambicus in the secondary.
That should allow it to develop some good funk, but almost no sourness. You are still missing an acid producing bacteria to sour the beer.
I would think that by using a belgian primary yeast, brett lambicus, and a souring bacterica would technically make your beer a lambic then, not a sour Belgian blonde.
 

ChefRex

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I decided I am going to use a Belgian style yeast in the primary and Brettanomyces Lambicus in the secondary.
Sissy:D Did a 2 gallon brett "B" a little over 5 months ago with a bottle from ECY and bottled a little over 2 months ago , good stuff, lots of stone fruit esters, used the cake to start a 5 gallon batch, since you reminded me I put one in the fridge to see how it's doing.

Grow a set:p
 
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I contacted the brewer that came up with the recipe, and they just used WLP001 in the primary. They used Brettanomyces Lambicus in the secondary with a pound of yellow raisins. It is supposed to have some sourness to it. Is it possible that it is getting some bacteria from the skin of the raisins?
 

ffaoe

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I contacted the brewer that came up with the recipe, and they just used WLP001 in the primary. They used Brettanomyces Lambicus in the secondary with a pound of yellow raisins. It is supposed to have some sourness to it. Is it possible that it is getting some bacteria from the skin of the raisins?
Theres a good chance that the raisons have wild yeasts (brett) on them as well as the possibility of some bacterias.
 
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Ok, after listening to y'all I am concerned with this not being sour enough. Since I have not started this beer yet I am going to change it up. I am going to use WL655 Sour Belgian mix. The only question is should I start the wort on this in the primary, or just put it in the secondary? If I use it in the secondary I have a variety of dry yeast I can use in the primary. Would it be a good idea to start the wort on a dry Belgian yeast and pitch the sour mix at the same time, or would they compete with each other? Keep in mind that I do have Brettanomyces Lambicus, and Brettanomyces Claussenii that I could add at anytime or not at all.
 

Calder

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Just pitch the sour mix - no starter, and all will be good.
 

MileHighBrewer

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Pre made mixes often are mild in the pucker factor on their first run.

Just use the belgian strain and either add bugs and/or bottle dregs. Add them at the same time as the yeast. THis has worked many times for me and others, better then sour mix or roeselare.

If you go with commercial bugs, you can pitch them 1 hours ahead of the yeast to give the bacteria a boost. In this case, no starter is needed for brett. You can makea lactic starter, but it is not a deal breaker.

If you go with bottle dregs, same thing, add them with the yeast but no head start. Jolly Pumpkin, Crooked Stave, Cascade are very powerful and will sour a beer very quickly. But feel free to use whatever non pastuerized sour you like to drink. The fresher and lighterabv the better
 

lbond2

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I have brews 2 100% Brett beers, of that there is some excellent advice here...here is what I know...!!!

First, these strains are kind of a mystery and nobody exactly knows what is right and wrong; which is why there is so many different suggestions and probably the reason you ask in the first place.

Both Brett beers I brewed were IIPAs and they were amazing. Fruity, hoppy, pineapple, great color, juicy, and a bit funky.

Myth, Brett contaminates everything...bull sh!t, clean then sanitize, it's not hard..I feel people get lazy cleaning and sanitizing which could cross contaminate anything.

Myth, you need a huge lager size starter...NO..although it is true the wl vials are low cell count made for secondary conditioning and not primary fermenting. I have had great success with a 2L starter for 2 days, use nutrient in your starter.

I have heard rumors that 644 is not Brett...that's hard to believe based on a few variables...how vigerously it ferments and how attunative It can get. Which brings me to my next point...

I prefer to stick to the basic rules (planning out where you want your FG) and stop fermentation no more that 1.100 via cold crash and transferring it to secondary. Must cold crash in order to put yeast to sleep and help them floculate..I prefer a little juicyness with this strain and if you go too low on your FG it will become a bit dry obviously and just a little off. Use fruity high alpha hops with this stain...

True, this yeast eats everything, so keep that in mind...even if this strain is some how saccro it is a fun and rewarding strain...I love it.

Cheers!View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1419613522.206203.jpg
 

JBIII

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I used both Brett B and Brett C as the primary and only yeast for multiple batches. Although I didn't do a starter, I did add a second pack at 4 days into primary fermentation. I definitely got sourness and tart cherry notes from the Brett C and vinegar from the Brett B.

Funny thing is, I almost decided not to use Brett as the primary and only yeast. Everyone kept saying you won't get a pronounced flavor profile from this method. I'm glad I didn't listen because that was definitely not the case!

So the short of it is, yes Brett C will add sour and tart elements to your beer. The long of it is...how sour do you want your beer? If you want a big sour profile, either doing a sour mash or adding lacto will really make it pop. If you want more of a nuanced sourness, all Brett C will do the trick.

Hope this helps and happy brewing.

Another thing...a lot of people will say you need completely separate equipment for Brett yeast...as long as you follow your normal cleaning process, you'll be fine. I turned around and used the same equipment immediately after every all Brett batch I've done and never had an issue.

Is it possible you could get some cross-contamination...sure...anything is possible, it's just very improbable. Fact of the matter is, you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than you would of getting any type of detrimental contamination when following your normal cleaning routine. So unless you plan on getting struck by lightning anytime soon, it's not anything to worry about.
 

Calder

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I definitely got sourness and tart cherry notes from the Brett C and vinegar from the Brett B.

So the short of it is, yes Brett C will add sour and tart elements to your beer. The long of it is...how sour do you want your beer? If you want a big sour profile, either doing a sour mash or adding lacto will really make it pop. If you want more of a nuanced sourness, all Brett C will do the trick.
Really!!!!

I've used Brett-B many times as a primary yeast and not once gotten any sour notes; especially no acetic/vinegar taste. I've used 2 strains of Brett-B, with no sourness. I've probably done at least 10 batches using this as the primary yeast.

I have Brett-C in a starter right now (never used it before). Probably be another week until I pitch it. Everything I have read or heard is that it will be a clean ferment. I seriously doubt I will get any sourness, but we will see. I'll try and remember to report back in about a month.
 

lbond2

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Sourness mistaken by super low gravity????? My off flavor was due to super low gravity, I let it go until there was zero activity. It was around 1.004ish...that's why I say, control your FG and you will be fine!
 
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MTBbrewer

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Thanks for all the great info. I will use it when I brew the sour.
 

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