Brett Dregs...

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drinkslurm

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A little background - I brew 1-gallon batches and I am a bit "rogue". I brew what I feel like and dont really controll temp to much - (outside seasonal room temp), I dont own a hydrometer, nor do I secondary. So far I have had some really good results by brewing smart and simple, and just enjoying what the yeast give me.

Anyway, I brewed a RIS on Saturday - Approx 1.125 target (hopville calc). I did a second runnings and added that to another "kitchen sink" mash of my leftover grains (1.084) (yea I know, this is a big 2nd running brew) and hops I had laying around as a "fun batch". My goal was a very hoppy black DIPA. I pitched SO-4 which went biserk for 24 hrs then slammed on the brakes. I love brett and sour brews, so I added the dreggs from an Anchorage Galaxy White IPA when I pitched the SO-4. I actually added it after I aerated the SO-4. I didnt do a starter but just poured directly into carboy - after reading a post by the MadFermentationist. http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/06/harvesting-sour-beer-bottle-dregs.html

Also, about 5 days prior to bottling, I plan on dry hopping with leaf simcoe and adding some medium toasted french oak (soaked in some kind of red wine).

Long story short...My question is, will this give me the sour/brett flavor im looking for? Should I pitch the dregs from another brett/sour/wild brew in a few days after the majority of fermentation ends? Should I make a starter and pitch that? Should I just let it ride?
 
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drinkslurm

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those dregs should be enough to add some brett funk, but they will not make it sour (need lacto/pedio for that). if you want to make it sour, look into this, sounds like something you want: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f127/easy-way-make-sour-beers-1-gal-wort-dregs-189748/
Thanks dcp27. Thats a good forum to have saved.
One other question...what is the deal with adding wood to brett yeast? Ive seen people add a wooded dowl, or chips. I want to do it for flavor, but does it give brett a boost?
 

Cincy17

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I don't think you would want a sour ipa. Sour and bitter do not play well together. But the Bret funk and hop bitterness should be awesome.
 

dcp27

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Thanks dcp27. Thats a good forum to have saved.
One other question...what is the deal with adding wood to brett yeast? Ive seen people add a wooded dowl, or chips. I want to do it for flavor, but does it give brett a boost?
brett can chew on the cellulose in wood so it adds another character. i think the dowel is for allowing some oxygen in too
 
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drinkslurm

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Thanks all. This is my first brett....everyone is super helpful.

How long should I let it sit in the wood chips?
Also, how do you know if the brett us "working" in the carboy and isn't dead or if I should pitch some more brett dregs?
 

dcp27

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brett is pretty slow in secondary so it takes some time to know if its active by gravity. generally you'll get a pellicle if there is some oxygen exposure. more dregs certainly wouldn't hurt in any case if you got em
 

Coff

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If you're using wood chips I would be careful about oaking it for too long. My experience with chips are they impart an oak flavor relatively quickly.

I would give this beer 3-6 months total, try your oak at the end and taste it after a week on oak and see how oaky it is. You can't tell Brett beers that they are done, they are on their own timeline. This is where you should probably start to use a hydrometer bc you don't want to bottle this beer too early.
 

05m50dan

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After a couple months, fermentation should be done. I don't know how you're bottling, but if you can, use Belgian cork/cage bottles just in case. The Brett shouldn't add more CO2 in the bottle unless you add more sugar, but the flavor profile should continue to change over time.
 
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drinkslurm

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After a couple months, fermentation should be done. I don't know how you're bottling, but if you can, use Belgian cork/cage bottles just in case. The Brett shouldn't add more CO2 in the bottle unless you add more sugar, but the flavor profile should continue to change over time.
So would you recommend to not use sugar to prime when bottling?
i was planning on standard bottles/caps and malto dextrin or raw sugar...
 

dcp27

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still add sugar to prime unless you're bottling it early. you can use MD but it's kinda a tricky game on when it'll actually carb up since only the brett would work on it
 

05m50dan

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You should allow the Brett to work in the secondary for at least a month if its already in the beer. let the Brett eat all the residual sugars in the beer before you bottle, and then add sugar as usual. If you are just going to add Brett at bottling time...you should have a pretty dry beer first, and then bottle in something with thick glass...like the Belgian 750s. If you have a high FG, the Brett will eat a lot of that sugar and turn your normal bottles into bombs. So, my suggestion is that if you have a high FG, put your beer in a secondary fermenter and add the Brett and leave it there for a couple of months to let it dry your beer out before you bottle.
 
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