Brewing bretted lagers

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Beer666

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I am going to try and make some bretted lagers and looking for advice. I recently made a no boil lager to which i added a started from my solera and it soured. Made a lovely beer but i didn't want it sour. Thought 20 IBU's might supress it but it didn't. Now i am trying to cultivate up some brett from my collection and give it another go. Should i mash higher than normal. I like my beer dry so mash at 62c. Should i rack, add brett and oak halfway through? I am guessing this can be drunk fairly fast so 6 to 8 weeks. I tried one of these the other night from Deya and found it very pleasant.
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Beer666

Beer666

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Anyone have any advice?

I have got my beersel blend so hopefully get this on soon.
 

mashpaddled

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Unless the only lactic acid bacteria involved in a hop intolerant lacto strain, it's going to develop sourness with anything else in the mix. I usually bitter all my sour beers to 30 IBUs and have no problem developing acidity. If you only want brett character, pitch sacc and brett only.

You don't need to mess with mash temperatures for brett and if you intend on drinking this early I definitely wouldn't do anything to make the beer take longer to reach a point you feel it's ready to drink. I would just take a pilsner recipe you like, brew it as is and copitch brett. If you want to add oak I would do it in the last few weeks before packaging so you can control the amount of oak flavor in the beer. According to Deya's website, they condition that beer for three months and I would guess there are a few weeks of primary fermentation preceding that. I wouldn't condition for less time unless you want the beer to have less brett character.
 

SanPancho

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if you're not willing to wait for months of conditioning then you're going to have to just shoot for an approximation. im not really getting what the lager yeast brings to the party, but if it works, it works.

however i'd wager you'll have to do more of a copitch than an aging with oak/brett. i'd say get your brett starter going so its nice and active, then pitch it in once lager gets to like 60-70% attenuation. you'll likely need to use a warm fermenting lager so the temps match up.
then oak it once you seeing the brett slow down and go silent.
 
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Beer666

Beer666

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I don't want this beer to sour as i have a lot aging already. I have made some nice red sours using 100% beersel blend and lacto and they had significant brett character after a month and quite drinkable. Happy to wait three months though if necessary. Problem is my garage will be getting cold soon though, perhaps i should of done this in the summer.

For some reason i was thinking there would definitely be lager yeast in the mix. I do have one that ferments up to 23c so co pitching shouldn't be a problem.

Should i mash higher though? My lagers normally finish at 1004 to 1006. I don't want anything over 5% abv so don't want to go above a 1040 wort. Will be using Hana malt and aim for around 20 IBU's.

Another question would be what oak would you recommend. American, French, light, medium or heavy toast? I have never bothered to take notes on oak usage in the past which in hindsight was foolish.
 

SanPancho

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brett wont make it sour. although some bretts do give a bit of a tart character. just clean and sanitize and you shouldnt be getting any sour bugs, especially as you're using oak chips/cubes vs an actual barrel.

if you're copitching, i dont think you need to worry about mashing higher. the brett will act like a sach in primary.

not sure which type of oak you use matters so much, but im guessing you'll be in for a light toast considering the beer is a pilsner base. seems it'd be too easy to overpower with a darker toast.
 

mashpaddled

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I don't want this beer to sour as i have a lot aging already. I have made some nice red sours using 100% beersel blend and lacto and they had significant brett character after a month and quite drinkable. Happy to wait three months though if necessary. Problem is my garage will be getting cold soon though, perhaps i should of done this in the summer.

For some reason i was thinking there would definitely be lager yeast in the mix. I do have one that ferments up to 23c so co pitching shouldn't be a problem.

Should i mash higher though? My lagers normally finish at 1004 to 1006. I don't want anything over 5% abv so don't want to go above a 1040 wort. Will be using Hana malt and aim for around 20 IBU's.

Another question would be what oak would you recommend. American, French, light, medium or heavy toast? I have never bothered to take notes on oak usage in the past which in hindsight was foolish.

Co-pitch a lager strain and brett. Primary ferment at lager temps for that strain and then let it warm up as much as you can and let brett ride. The cooler months aren't ideal but brett will still work at coolish temperatures albeit slower.

I wouldn't worry about mashing higher. You're going to get a dry beer with plenty of brett flavor without fussing with the recipe.

You could use whatever oak you like but I would suspect that brewery uses former wine barrels which would be a light to medium toast and in the UK, probably French. I don't think it is going to make or break your beer either way.
 
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Beer666

Beer666

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I got this on the go today. Co pitched fermenting at 18c. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the advice.
 
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