Brett Saison doubt

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

luis.salas

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
32
Reaction score
1
Hi, there.

I’m planning to brew a saison (Belle Saison yeast) with a touch of brett (bottle dregs from a wonderful Old Ale). It’s my first time doing co-pitching and I’m curious about when to add the brett. Belle Saison is a monster that will carry the base beer down to 0.99. If I wait until that to add the brett, will I be starving it to death? Should I rack the beer before it reachs FG and then add the brett?

I would thank any advice!
 

moreb33rplz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
155
I'm basically clueless, but I just finished reading that 'american sour beer' book, and based on some of what I read I just brewed a beer where I co pitched Wyeast 3711 (similar to belle) and brett after chilling the wort. That said, I also read that you could pitch the brett a couple weeks later and it'd be good too. The Brett consumes other things besides just sugars so the sacc yeast finishing dry shouldn't be a problem*

*I actually have no idea other than what I read in a book
 

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
4,569
Reaction score
7,832
Location
Albany
Depending on when you add the Brett will determine how much Brett character is in the beer. You could make a build up starter with the dregs and copitch at the start (this would be your fastest turn around). You could do the same with just the dregs (takes longer to develop Brett character). You could wait til at or close to the primary yeast fg and pitch the dregs then. (This will take even longer to develop character 4month+). You could even bottle pitch with a dropper, but this takes more attention and precision so you don’t create bottle bombs.

All methods have benefits and short comings. Review the info on the MTF wiki
 

moreb33rplz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
155
Depending on when you add the Brett will determine how much Brett character is in the beer. You could make a build up starter with the dregs and copitch at the start (this would be your fastest turn around). You could do the same with just the dregs (takes longer to develop Brett character). You could wait til at or close to the primary yeast fg and pitch the dregs then. (This will take even longer to develop character 4month+). You could even bottle pitch with a dropper, but this takes more attention and precision so you don’t create bottle bombs.

All methods have benefits and short comings. Review the info on the MTF wiki
My understanding regarding the timing of pitching the Brett is that there is no consensus about the amount of brett character in the final beer based on innoculation timing?


That little chart seems to say that you get 'more funk' if you pitch after the sacc finished primary fermentation, but " he timing of the Brettanomyces pitch may not have a significant effect a lot of the time; pending data from George Van Der Merwe or another source of scientific data."

And further down, "In general, there were no significant flavor differences between the co-pitched fermentations versus the staggered pitch fermentations"
 

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
4,569
Reaction score
7,832
Location
Albany
My understanding regarding the timing of pitching the Brett is that there is no consensus about the amount of brett character in the final beer based on innoculation timing?


That little chart seems to say that you get 'more funk' if you pitch after the sacc finished primary fermentation, but " he timing of the Brettanomyces pitch may not have a significant effect a lot of the time; pending data from George Van Der Merwe or another source of scientific data."

And further down, "In general, there were no significant flavor differences between the co-pitched fermentations versus the staggered pitch fermentations"
Absolutely. That’s what I am getting at. The fastest turn around would be a high Brett cell count and a co pitch with brewers yeast. You’ll reach stable fg faster. Low Brett cell count (dregs) after primary yeast reached fg will take the longest to finish.

And as you quoted, Brett can consume yeast byproducts as well as hop compounds to produce a different array of flavor/aroma compounds. So later, lower cell count pitches tend to produce more complexity.

In my experience, co pitching with high cell counts produce the least amount of Brett character. 100% Brett pitches produce the most.
 

moreb33rplz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2014
Messages
526
Reaction score
155
Wait, 100% brett beers gave you the most brett character? That's the opposite of what I've read everywhere
 

couchsending

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jun 21, 2016
Messages
2,795
Reaction score
1,753
And it totally depends on what strain of Brett you’re using.

The Allagash strain of Brett is notoriously slow. It can take 7 months to reach it’s flavor profile and attenuation. Hill Farmstead strain is the opposite. It can create a pile of flavor compounds and hit its final gravity in under a month. Both are Brett Brux strains but they’re totally different.

If you are just using dregs I would personally ferment with a primary strain, give it time to finish fermenting and flocc the transfer to a secondary vessel and inoculate with dregs (or ideally built up dregs). I also wouldn’t use Belle Saison either but that’s up to you. There are some much much much better saison yeast out there in my opinion.
 

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
4,569
Reaction score
7,832
Location
Albany
Wait, 100% brett beers gave you the most brett character? That's the opposite of what I've read everywhere
Brett strain dependent. A single strain may not produce its most characteristic. Funky strains tend to do better than fruity strains. Blends are usually the best for this. The Brussels blend from YB I used for 100% ferment got extremely funky after bottling conditioning. The same strain I used in a co-pitch to finish the last 7 points of fg, was far less funky.

As you’ve probably seen so far in your research on brett is there are many factors that can impact outcomes. Especially from strain to strain. 100% Brettanomyces Fermentation
 
Last edited:
OP
luis.salas

luis.salas

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
32
Reaction score
1
And it totally depends on what strain of Brett you’re using.

The Allagash strain of Brett is notoriously slow. It can take 7 months to reach it’s flavor profile and attenuation. Hill Farmstead strain is the opposite. It can create a pile of flavor compounds and hit its final gravity in under a month. Both are Brett Brux strains but they’re totally different.

If you are just using dregs I would personally ferment with a primary strain, give it time to finish fermenting and flocc the transfer to a secondary vessel and inoculate with dregs (or ideally built up dregs). I also wouldn’t use Belle Saison either but that’s up to you. There are some much much much better saison yeast out there in my opinion.
Thanks, I think I’ll do that. May be racking to secundary just a little bit before primary strain ends up its work. Unfortunately Belle Saison is the only saison strain I can get arround here. It wasn’t bad in my last batch, though.
 

mashpaddled

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
528
Reaction score
283
Location
Denver, CO
Brett can develop flavor without needing access to much sugar because it's metabolizing other compounds in the beer to produce what eventually becomes its own character. You'll never be able to pitch brett into a beer and not eventually find brett flavors. The other thing to consider is that a completely dry beer according to gravity readings can still have unfermented complex sugars or sugars bound to other molecules that sacc cannot always ferment (or at least some sacc cannot ferment) that at least some brett strains can. Brett will find food either way you pitch.

I generally always co-pitch everything together for the simple reason that brett multiplies more slowly than sacc so unless severely overpitching brett, sacc will dominate early fermentation anyway. I can pitch everything, close up the beer and let it roll for as long as I want it to. I have a mixed saison culture with several sacc strains and a couple brett strains. It dries out and tastes like a sacc saison early on and then after a few months starts developing brett character. Everything goes in at once but the saison strains are pumping out their esters and phenols and then the brett strains wipe all of that out with their own character.
 
OP
luis.salas

luis.salas

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2020
Messages
32
Reaction score
1
Brett can develop flavor without needing access to much sugar because it's metabolizing other compounds in the beer to produce what eventually becomes its own character. You'll never be able to pitch brett into a beer and not eventually find brett flavors. The other thing to consider is that a completely dry beer according to gravity readings can still have unfermented complex sugars or sugars bound to other molecules that sacc cannot always ferment (or at least some sacc cannot ferment) that at least some brett strains can. Brett will find food either way you pitch.

I generally always co-pitch everything together for the simple reason that brett multiplies more slowly than sacc so unless severely overpitching brett, sacc will dominate early fermentation anyway. I can pitch everything, close up the beer and let it roll for as long as I want it to. I have a mixed saison culture with several sacc strains and a couple brett strains. It dries out and tastes like a sacc saison early on and then after a few months starts developing brett character. Everything goes in at once but the saison strains are pumping out their esters and phenols and then the brett strains wipe all of that out with their own character.
Cool. Great explanation for understanding the misterious brett. Thanks.
 

brownni5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2017
Messages
763
Reaction score
326
Cool. Great explanation for understanding the misterious brett. Thanks.
Once you understand it, fill me in. It's wild - one brew I get pineapple that turns into horse funk, the next brew it's straight band-aid. Unless you use the same strain over and over again and really study it, it can be confusing.
 
Top