Fermentis BR-8 dry Brettanomyces Experiences

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G_robertus

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I haven't seen much posts on this yeast yet, so I figured I'd do some experimenting and make a thread with my results. I'll continue to post and update this post as I go along.

Using BR-8 for conditioning
Last week I bottled a braggot-tripel recipe with some BR-8. The beer accidentally overattenuated and the resulting ABV (9.8%) was higher than the advertised maximum (~8.5%), but still I figured it would provide an opportunity to test this yeast's limits. Other Fermentis yeasts can be pushed beyond their stated limits so we'll see.

Process:
I had 4.5 liters of an experimental recipe ready to bottle.
I rehydrated one gram of BR-8 in water and waited for about fifteen minutes, shaking the flask to create a paste. I mixed the rehydrated yeast by adding it to my bottling vessel and siphoning the beer on to to ensure proper mixture. Halfway through siphoning in the beer I added the priming solution and continued adding the beer. I rocked the vessel gently to ensure everything was mixed well and waited another ten minutes before bottling. I added extra water to both the rehydration water and priming solution to somewhat dilute the alcohol. I've yet to try any bottles, but I've already seen that there was a lot of trub present in all of the bottles that wasn't there at bottling. Some bottles also showed yeast coatings on the side of the bottle walls. These bottles were all thoroughly cleaned prior to packaging. I haven't checked all of them yet, but perhaps it's just a one off.

BR-8 as primary strain
The same day, I brewed a barleywine and used the last runnings plus extra grains to create what was supposed to be a bitter, but it the colour is a bit off and looks more like a somewhat dark mild. However, that wouldn't stop me from trying BR-8 as a primary strain. I needed to clear some grains and hops out anyway and these type of beers are always interesting.

The main goal of this experiment was to see if I can harvest BR-8 into ready to use frozen vials for conditioning in the future. Extra objectives were to see what a 100% BR-8 ferment is like (flavour, attenuation, ester production, phenolic profile, in time alcohol tolerance). I'll probably let it go for at least a month, checking gravity weekly. When the gravity stops changing I'll either package the beer or transfer to secondary with additional yeast to finish up any potential remaining sugars (maltose for example). In either case, I'll look to freeze some of the sludge as noted earlier, perhaps do a small test with drying the yeast and adding new wort to the remaining cake. The new wort is to see how reused yeast will behave and in time I plan to add high gravity wort on the second cake to check alcohol tolerance.

The yeast (3 grams) was pitched on Friday 27 April in five liter wort with 1.039 as starting gravity. The carboy was placed in the same chamber as the barleywine mother. The probe was attached to the barleywine and temperature set to 16°C. I allowed to barleywine to increase two degrees over two days and when activity slowed down on Monday morning, I removed the barleywine to continue at cellar temperature (ambient ~14°C). Since the BR-8 beer was not showing that much activity apart from some small CO2 streams I cranked the temp up to 25°C. Only on Tuesday I saw a lot of activity and a proper head forming. I had a blow out and was met with a huge funk and leathery aroma when I opened up the chamber later that day. I let it continue for a day without an airlock before returning the airlock to the carboy. The kräusen diminished over another three days and as of Monday 1 May it is more of a ring lacing the carboy. Gravity had already dropped to 1.009 the next day (ApAt 76%). The sample tasted somewhat tart, funky, leather-like, a bit thin and somewhat spicy/earthy.

It seems that BR-8 can indeed ferment pretty much all the sugars regular ale yeast can (76% ApAt). It also seems to do so quite rapidly. I'll continue to monitor the gravity and see whether it changes, but it's already quite far along in my opinion. The flavour profile is also full on Brettanomyces-like from the start, although they might also stem from the high fermentation temperature.

Closing remarks and follow up steps
From what I've only just experienced I find priming with BR-8 a bit messy. I'll definitely try dissolving it directly into the beer next time to see whether that makes a difference, even though Fermentis does not recommend this. It does however also work for bottling yeasts (both CBC-1 and F2), even though it's not recommended for those either. In hindsight I should've compared the 100% BR-8 fermentation to at least one other strain capable of high attenuation (US-05, for example). I'll definitely do that for the next round, either as a split batch or as jars of wort on the side. I'm also curious to see what a beer using this slurry is like and whether characteristics might be subdued due to the massive overpitch. I'm hoping reusing yeast will allow for a cooler fermentation so I can try a hoppy beer without volatilising all the hop aroma's. Two other experiments on the to-do list are to bulk condition with this yeast, perhaps for various times (one week and up to three months) and see whether the flavour will continue to develop over time, even if only with a short conditioning phase. I also want to see how persistent this yeast is and if I'll have trouble fermenting a beer using equipment that has handled BR-8. I'll continue using my regular cleaning and sanitation procedures to see if that is sufficient. Lastly I really want to try co-fermentation with this strain as I feel like it might even be used to create a (dare I coin the term) pseudo-lambic or at least a funky sour/mixed fermentation beer, possibly without bacteria. I'd like to try Philly Sour with BR-8 (same day pitch, delayed BR-8 pitch and conditioning with BR-8), Philly Sour with BR-8 and a saison strain and eventually BR-8 with bacteria and possibly other yeast.
After tasting the initial results I wonder what the influence of the main yeast strain is when co-fermenting. Does the ester profile matter on Brettanomyces kinetics and profile?
I'll attach the exact recipes and extra grains later. If I can snap some interesting images I'll attach those as well. I'll also update this post when I inspect the rest of the bottles I primed with BR-8.

Edit: the recipe
Recipes
BR-8 Braggot parti-gyle

OG: 1.081
FG: 1.007
ABV: 10.03%
IBU: 40
Boil Time: 60 minutes

Grain bill:
2.80 kg Swaen Pale Ale
1.30 kg Swaen Pilsner
0.55 kg Wheat Malt
0.20 kg Dingemans Biscuit Malt
0.20 kg Flaked Oats
0.45 kg caramelised honey ## for about fifteen minutes, not too dark

Mash:
20 minutes at 40 °C
45 minutes at 62 °C
20 minutes at 72 °C
10 minutes at 78 °C

Boil:
4 g Nugget (11.3% AA) @ FWH
8 g Bouclier (3% AA) @ 15 minutes
8 g Bouclier (3% AA) @ flame out

Yeasts:
5 g Lallemand Abbaye @ 18°C, increased to 21°C after one week.
1 g Fermentis Sabrew BR-8 at packaging

Note: I made a mixture of worts that resulted in 4.5 liters post-boil of 1.053 wort. The honey was dissolved in some of the last runnings and added at fermentation. The OG including honey was measured at 1.081 at the start of fermentation.


100% BR-8 bitter
OG: 1.039
FG: still fermenting
ABV: at least 3.9%
Boil time: 90 mins
Total IBU (calculated): 32 (Tinsenth)

The main beer grains:
2.70 kg Maris Otter
0.14 kg Raw Wheat

Main beer mash:
90 minutes at 65 °C

I collected about 10 liters of wort to boil down to 5.5 liters of barleywine. I collected some more low gravity wort (1.020 and to 1.010, third and fourth runnnigs respectively) to do a mini mash in and as sparge water for my bitter. I used the 1.020 wort to mash the grains and sparged with 1.010 wort until I had collected 8 liters of pre-boil wort.

Mini mash grain bill:
100 g Munton's Maris Otter
60 g GoldSwaen Dark Munich (Dark CaraMunich, 150 EBC)
30 g Paul's Chocolate Malt (900 EBC)
20 g Swaen Salty Caramel Malt (20 EBC)

Mash:
45 minutes at 65 °C

Boil:
2 g Nugget @ FWH (11% AA)
8 g Target/Hersbrucker @ 15 min (10.7%/4.8% AA) ## bags got mixed, I don't know the ratio)
8 g Target/Hersbrucker @ chilling (forgot my flame out addition)

Yeast:
Fermentis Safbrew BR-8, pitched at 16°C and increased 1°C a day to 18°C. After making space in the fermentation chamber I set the temperature to 25°C at day three.

Tasting notes:
The braggot at two weeks reminds me mostly of Orval, but stronger, mixed with generic young mead flavour.
 
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Update on the braggot/tripel recipe:
The weird stuff on the walls of the bottles has dropped completely. The yeasts form quite a compact layer on the bottom, although nothing firm like Nottingham or S-04. Not sure if this is an interaction effect or BR-8 that flocculates better than what most other Brettanomyces are described to do. I'll know more when I bottle the 100% BR-8 batch. I wanted to get a taste of the base beer before the Brettanomyces set in, but it seems that even after two weeks I'm too late already. The sample at packaging was not extremely strong in isoamyl acetate, but it was definitely noticeable. However, after two weeks it is nearly gone and generic Brettanomyces flavours have already appeared and stronger than I anticipated. It seems 9.5% ABV is still within range for BR-8. Maybe the stress due to the alcohol exposure has accelerated the funky flavour creation. Could also be due to the esters created by Abbaye that seem to have disappeared quite rapidly. Makes me wonder what effect ester profile has on the funk creation and whether selecting or blending yeast to maximise (some or all) esters will increase funk levels. Although young and not fully carbonated yet I would describe the beer at its current state as a stronger version of Orval, mixed with generic young mead flavour and a tripel. I'm not very good at describing Brettanomyces flavours, but I can definitely taste something akin to leather and a noticeable bitter flavour that is yeast derived.

I'll post more updates as the bottles age and I package and taste the bitter which still seems to be going.
 
I won a few packets of BR-8 in a Northern Brewer giveaway a few weeks back and have been holding onto them until more hands-on information comes out so I’m excited to see how your beers turn out, especially the 100% BR-8 batch!

Regarding the yeast coating the walls of some of the bottles - I always get that when using Lallemand Abbaye. I don’t know if it has something to do with cell size or flocculation tendencies but it always happens when I use that yeast and it’s the only yeast I’ve used that’s ever done that. It’s nothing to worry about - just make sure to PBW soak the bottles and clean with a bottle brush afterwards because I’ve found it doesn’t come off easily with rinsing alone.
 
Thank you very much for sharing your experience and reminding me of my opened pack of 8 in my freezer.

I will bottle a clean American lager this weekend, you could actually also call it Helles, and I will add a little bit af br 8 to some bottles to see what's going to happen.

As far as I have understood, this particular brett strain can be used for bottling without risking bottle bombs, let's see if that's actually true. And let's see what effect this strain has on an otherwise pretty "boring" lager without much yeast expression.

Cheers!

Ps I might also open one or two bottles of my London porter to drop some br 8 inside.
 
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Fermentis markets BR-8 as "The first dry Brett designed for your bottle and/or cask conditioning." However, the TDS also says "Do not use in refermentation when primary fermentation is performed with a maltotriose negative yeast due to the residual amount of maltotriose at the end of the fermentation."
 
"Used during secondary fermentation, SafBrew™ BR-8 assimilates mono-, di- and tri-saccharides (glucose, maltose, and maltotriose) but not all sugars, unlike other Brett yeasts."

"The primary fermentation is very important to allow the typical funky flavors of SafBrew™ BR-8 to develop correctly. We recommend using a maltotriose-positive yeast (a yeast strain able to assimilate maltotriose), otherwise, the residual sugars concentration would be too high at the end of the primary fermentation."

https://fermentis.com/en/news/ferme...afbrew-br-8-is-now-available-for-homebrewers/
 
Regarding the yeast coating the walls of some of the bottles - I always get that when using Lallemand Abbaye.
Interesting. I have consistently been seeing a coating on the bottles of my recent Dubbel fermented with Abbaye. It is not coming off with my normal bottle rinsing process and even a 24 hour soak in Oxiclean left some residue (hence prompting a recent post to a thread about better bottle brushes).

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming....
 
Interesting. I have consistently been seeing a coating on the bottles of my recent Dubbel fermented with Abbaye. It is not coming off with my normal bottle rinsing process and even a 24 hour soak in Oxiclean left some residue (hence prompting a recent post to a thread about better bottle brushes).

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming....
It's called Bierstein in German. It mainly consists of Calcium oxalate. Vinegar might solve it.
 
I won a few packets of BR-8 in a Northern Brewer giveaway a few weeks back and have been holding onto them until more hands-on information comes out so I’m excited to see how your beers turn out, especially the 100% BR-8 batch!

Regarding the yeast coating the walls of some of the bottles - I always get that when using Lallemand Abbaye. I don’t know if it has something to do with cell size or flocculation tendencies but it always happens when I use that yeast and it’s the only yeast I’ve used that’s ever done that. It’s nothing to worry about - just make sure to PBW soak the bottles and clean with a bottle brush afterwards because I’ve found it doesn’t come off easily with rinsing alone.
I was waiting for other experiences as well, but since it took so long I thought I'd just dive straight in. I think it has a lot of potential on the funky side.

I've also seen coating before, but this time it looked a bit different. I've also not had any coating issues after changing my cleaning regimen so that was another surprise to me. I've also never seen it drop before. Is all that normal for Abbaye? Not that I mind, just interesting.
 
Thank you very much for sharing your experience and reminding me of my opened pack of 8 in my freezer.

I will bottle a clean American lager this weekend, you could actually also call it Helles, and I will add a little bit af br 8 to some bottles to see what's going to happen.

As far as I have understood, this particular brett strain can be used for bottling without risking bottle bombs, let's see if that's actually true. And let's see what effect this strain has on an otherwise pretty "boring" lager without much yeast expression.

Cheers!

Ps I might also open one or two bottles of my London porter to drop some br 8 inside.
As long as you use a maltotriose+ yeast bottling with BR-8 should be fine. I'm mostly glad it won't eat dextrins either. It does pack quite a peculiar punch though. So much that I even am contemplating brewing a saison/BR-8 beer to blend with a wild beer that is not too funky, but could definitely use funk.
 
As long as you use a maltotriose+ yeast bottling with BR-8 should be fine. I'm mostly glad it won't eat dextrins either. It does pack quite a peculiar punch though. So much that I even am contemplating brewing a saison/BR-8 beer to blend with a wild beer that is not too funky, but could definitely use funk.
Sounds promising!
 
Well sorry for the late update. I thought I had ruined my batch after I saw a pellicle form in the carboy and thought I perceived a stronger than anticipated tangy flavour. This severely demotivated me from posting updates or continuing with the batch. However I do know some Brettanomyces strains can form a pellicle as well, so I was not sure how to proceed. I still wanted to package the beer as the gravity seemed stable at 1.009 Given the possibility this batch was infected with a wild microorganism I was not looking for, I therefore opted not to preserve the yeast that had dropped out in the freezer, but I figured it would be a shame to let it all go to waste in case I was wrong. I tried drying the yeast cake out in the oven like one can with kveik (and other yeasts, I presume). I've stored the flakes in a vacuum sealed bag in the fridge.

However, before completely giving up on the batch after packaging, I decided to check the tripel I bottled and noticed a pellicle in those bottles as well. I therefore cautiously concluded that BR-8 might be able to form pellicles or biofilms, although I haven't seen any reports to corroborate this. I welcome anyone else using this yeast to report back whether they have a similar experience.

I'll try the dried flakes in an experimental batch soon, or perhaps I'll try to make a starter with them. I'll also start this project anew with a hoppy batch and ABV stress test like I planned initially. From my own experience with the tripel it seems that 9.5-10% ABV is still within BR-8's limits. I have not noticed much further changes in the flavour of that beer however, as I thought it was very funky very early on. I'll let it continue to see how it changes. The esters have decreased even more though and the mead part is starting to round out.
 
I can confirm that BR-8 does indeed form a pellicle. I brewed a simple golden ale and half of the batch got a dose of BR-8 at bottling. Fast forward 3 weeks to today when I checked on the bottles and all of the normal bottles have no evidence whatsoever of a biofilm/pellicle whereas all of the BR-8 bottles do have some sort of biofilm/pellicle.
 
So it has been a few months since I have introduced BR 8 into my clovy (probably infected) MJ colifornia lager beer. I have made two valuable observations.

1. It is important to introduce the BR8 latest together with the priming sugar, otherwise almost zero bretty expressions from this one.
I have dosed about 30% of the bottles with some grains BR 8 when bottling, together with the sugar, and afte the sugar was consumed, the brettyness was definitely there. In a way that should change further down the road but it was unmistankingly there.

I decided that I prefered that bretted version vs. the clovey non-bretted version (clove was almost completely gone) so I added some grains into bottles after carbonation already finished and closed them (swing top ftw). These bottles up until today never developed the bretty character, unfortunately.

2. It works indeed as intended as the bottles that were dosed after carbonation finished, never developed further carbonation after the BR 8 was introduced.

I am still having two 4.5l glas demijons historic porter fermenting with brett clausenii and brett clausenii/BR 8 mix. I can visually see the activity in ther so I am really looking forward to tasting the difference between these two. Looks like the mixed version is much more active than the clausenii only version. Maybe the clausenii chops the bigger sugars down and the BR 8 steals them. Who knows?
 
So it has been a few months since I have introduced BR 8 into my clovy (probably infected) MJ colifornia lager beer. I have made two valuable observations.
So based on your experience (and that of others) can you treat this yeast just like a bottling yeast like CBC-1 as far as attenuation in the bottle goes? So let the beer ferment out to FG (say 1.010) then add some BR-1 at bottling along with the priming sugar. Have you experienced a higher level of carbonation in the bottle than expected?

It sounds like a great option to add some Brett character to a couple 6-packs while bottling a full batch.
 
So based on your experience (and that of others) can you treat this yeast just like a bottling yeast like CBC-1 as far as attenuation in the bottle goes? So let the beer ferment out to FG (say 1.010) then add some BR-1 at bottling along with the priming sugar. Have you experienced a higher level of carbonation in the bottle than expected?

It sounds like a great option to add some Brett character to a couple 6-packs while bottling a full batch.
That is exactly what I think it can be used for. I cannot say how this specific brett character develops with time, but first impression directly after carbonation is a bit.... special. But it would be unfair to judge it against brett which had time for a year to mature, so for now it is an easy solution for getting brett into the bottle. Let us see how the flavour develops over time.
 
One little additional observation, I have just opened one of the bretted historical porter bottles which I have dosed with BR 8 after carbonation finished. These guys have been stronger than the lager and they got a much higher fg, somehting around 1.035 if I remeber correctly (underattenuated...).

This one now really tastes bretty/winy hard to describe, but the br 8 really did something. No additonal perceived carbonation but flavour has definitely changed.

So it looks like it depends a bit on the strength of the beer. If it is strong enough with enough residual sugars, the BR 8 does stuff to the flavour even after carbonation has finished.

It sure is a bit funky, don't know if I like it tbh. It is a mix of white wine and leather plus a little bit of horse... Sounds yummy, doesn't it? :D
 
I think BR-8 is perfect for cloning Courage Imperial Stout, Michael Tonsmire has done few posts of his attempt with other Brett with good results.
 
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So it has been a few months since I have introduced BR 8 into my clovy (probably infected) MJ colifornia lager beer. I have made two valuable observations.

1. It is important to introduce the BR8 latest together with the priming sugar, otherwise almost zero bretty expressions from this one.
I have dosed about 30% of the bottles with some grains BR 8 when bottling, together with the sugar, and afte the sugar was consumed, the brettyness was definitely there. In a way that should change further down the road but it was unmistankingly there.

I decided that I prefered that bretted version vs. the clovey non-bretted version (clove was almost completely gone) so I added some grains into bottles after carbonation already finished and closed them (swing top ftw). These bottles up until today never developed the bretty character, unfortunately.

2. It works indeed as intended as the bottles that were dosed after carbonation finished, never developed further carbonation after the BR 8 was introduced.

I am still having two 4.5l glas demijons historic porter fermenting with brett clausenii and brett clausenii/BR 8 mix. I can visually see the activity in ther so I am really looking forward to tasting the difference between these two. Looks like the mixed version is much more active than the clausenii only version. Maybe the clausenii chops the bigger sugars down and the BR 8 steals them. Who knows?

So you did not rehydrate the yeast? I was very careful in my first attempt to follow the instructions to the letter and did so, although I haven't done so in years.
I'm quite confused that the bottles you dosed after carbonation did not develop any brett character. I would have expected for the character to develop nonetheless. How long has it been since you dosed those bottles? Did anything change at all, like the phenolic or ester profile? I'm planning a test to see whether or not my beers would develop Brettanomyces character regardless of sugar levels.

One little additional observation, I have just opened one of the bretted historical porter bottles which I have dosed with BR 8 after carbonation finished. These guys have been stronger than the lager and they got a much higher fg, somehting around 1.035 if I remeber correctly (underattenuated...).

This one now really tastes bretty/winy hard to describe, but the br 8 really did something. No additonal perceived carbonation but flavour has definitely changed.

So it looks like it depends a bit on the strength of the beer. If it is strong enough with enough residual sugars, the BR 8 does stuff to the flavour even after carbonation has finished.

It sure is a bit funky, don't know if I like it tbh. It is a mix of white wine and leather plus a little bit of horse... Sounds yummy, doesn't it? :D
Strange that the flavour did change in this one though. Did any beer have more esters than the other? Have you measured the gravity again?

I'm glad to see more experiments are done though!
 
I've got a little update on my beers and experiences as well. The 100% BR-8 mild has developed some carbonation, but much slower than the tripel that was dosed with BR-8 at bottling. This made me hypothesise that the carbonation was not due to BR-8, but the Abbaye strain and the funk followed from other precursors. Especially since the ester profile changed so drastically as well, but the whole process might be a bit more complex than I thought. However, @Miraculix's experience seems to suggest that this statement is both untrue and true. Schrödinger's yeast, perhaps? I was planning on doing an additional experiment to test this though, by adding BR-8 directly to the fermenter of a beer fermented dry with something like Belle Saison and sampling over the course of a few months. If it doesn't work, I'll add sugar and blend the whole thing up and bottle it to see if that will cause some funk to arise.

I also made a BR-8 IPA this week using my home-dried BR-8 flakes. I was not sure whether this would work, but I dried them like I would kveik yeast in the oven. I pitched about 10-12 grams in 5 liters. I rehydrated the flakes in hopped boiled wort that I diluted and cooled down. There was definitely something happening in the cup I pitched the yeast into, and it looked like a very yeasty bunch in there after 30 minutes. After I pitched the beer (a bit on the hot side, admittedly) I did see CO2 arising from the beer already, but it did not take off as fast as you would expect a kveik beer for example. 12 hours later it was still not very exciting. 36 hours later it was raging away though. I was scared it wouldn't take off and was prepared to pitch ale yeast to save the hoppy character at least, but it seems that was not necessary. I'll let this go for at least a week, maybe two and might dry hop it as well. Very excited about this as well. I noticed I did not record my hopping rates all too well, as I needed some Zeus in another recipe and I apparently did not save the changes, so this is a guestimate. Too bad, because the post-boil wort was amazing and I need to make this again.
Next up is the Strong Ale test.

The recipe for the IPA I just brewed:

Name: BR-IP8
OG (calculated; actual): 1.059; 1.055
FG (calculated; actual): 1.011; unknown
Boil time: 30 minutes
Colour: 17 EBC
IBU: 54 (Tinsenth)

Malts:
1.0 kg Munton's Maris Otter (8 EBC, 74.1%)
.15 kg Crisp Rye Malt (24 EBC, 11.1%)
.15 kg Belgomalt Wheat Malt (4 EBC, 11.1%)
.05 kg PlatinumSwaen Salted Caramel (25 EBC, 3.7%)

Hops:
Boil:
8 gr Simcoe @ 30
6 gr Simcoe @ 10

Whirlpool (30 minutes, 77 C):
16 gr Simcoe (10.6%)
8 gr Zeus (11.4%)
16 gr Mosaic (10.4%)

Pitch hops:
6 grams Sabro (15.3%)

Dry hops:
20 gr Simcoe
8 gr Zeus
12 gr Mosaic
 
So you did not rehydrate the yeast? I was very careful in my first attempt to follow the instructions to the letter and did so, although I haven't done so in years.
I'm quite confused that the bottles you dosed after carbonation did not develop any brett character. I would have expected for the character to develop nonetheless. How long has it been since you dosed those bottles? Did anything change at all, like the phenolic or ester profile? I'm planning a test to see whether or not my beers would develop Brettanomyces character regardless of sugar levels.


Strange that the flavour did change in this one though. Did any beer have more esters than the other? Have you measured the gravity again?

I'm glad to see more experiments are done though!
The change could be indeed ester related. The California lager beer was pretty low in esters, the historic porter was higher. It was fermented with the Whitbread 2 strain, if I remember correctly. One of these Whitbread called liquid yeasts anyway, so more English than the other.
 
I haven't gotten around to testing the effect of base yeast or sugars yet. I have tried a few new things though.

Mild
I'd forgotten about my 100% BR-8 mild for a bit, but I tried one last week. It finally has proper carbonation, albeit a bit higher than planned. Using BR-8 for each step evidently just takes very long. The heavy funk has also decreased a lot, but the beer is still quite tart and there is a very strong fruity character now. Citrus/bergamot/earl grey flavours are very apparent now and make the beer taste very much like an English ale. Head retention has been completely destroyed though. I haven't tested the tripel in a while, so I can't say if it happens there as well.

BR-8 IPA
The flakes worked extremely well. The beer finished within two/three weeks, but I left it for three weeks in total to be on the safe side. Dry hops went in two days before packaging. Beer smells very hoppy and also a bit funky. Again, this beer is quite tart. It was not sour or clashing with the hops in the sample, but very noticeable. I also wanted to know whether BR-8 might need some help when carbonating. I bottled a third of the batch as is, a third with extra BR-8 at bottling and the final third with extra Nottingham at bottling. This will hopefully tell me how fast the beer will get carbonated and what is responsible for carbonation in mixed batches. I'm leaving for a two week vacation on Sunday though, so I might miss the exact point carbonation hits its stride. However, I'll compare them before leaving and after returning to see if there are noticeable differences. I doubt the plain version will be done carbonating in three weeks, so I can at least tell whether adding extra BR-8 is beneficial.

Strong ale test
I also wanted to do an alcohol/SG stress test. I was planning on an (American) Strong Ale, but I didn't have any more time and I was brewing a RIS anyway. Luckily I overshot my expected efficiency by 25%, so I dropped a few liters of 1.113 OG wort on the IPA cake. It took off nearly immediately and I'll just let it run its course. I'm not sure what to expect here, but I mostly want to know what BR-8's tolerance is.
 
Well I took my early sample of the BR-8 IPAs as I'll be unable to for a while. The results were not really what I expected and they've got me scratching my head as this calls for even more testing. I had three conditions: plain, no extra yeast; BR-8+ with extra BR-8 at bottling and Nottingham with extra Nottingham yeast at bottling.

Carbonation
Each batch was carbonated, although none of them fully. The Nottingham bottle was more carbonated than the others, similar to my hypothesis. Next most carbonated was the bottle with extra BR-8, but it did not differ too much from the plain version. This difference was so minimal I am not yet ready to consider buying extra or saving BR-8 to get my 100% batches carbonated.

Visual
All beers were very hazy. The batch without additional yeast looked darker and perhaps slightly oxidised. The one with BR-8+ was yeastily murky in addition to hazy, the others were not.

Smell
The plain version smells very fruity and somewhat juicy, as far that is a smell. Not necessarily hoppy, but extremely aromatic. Not very funky, maybe some tartness on the nose.
The BR-8+ version smelled a bit funky and also hoppy. It also had some juicy/fruity notes and a bit of the tart note. It's a bit hard to make sense of what is in here, because it's a lot.
The Nottingham version was extremely funky, masking the hops somewhat. Not very tart. It didn't have the juicy character.

Flavour
The plain version was somewhat tart, but also very juicy. The fruity notes, tartness and juice blended very well. No oxidation present as of yet, I think. Needs more carbonation, but this is a complex and very tasty beer. Very pleasantly surprised.
The BR-8+ version was extremely yeasty. This made making out other flavours quite difficult. There was more funk present, also a bit tart and juicy. Without the suspended yeast this would also be good, but less juicy and more funky.
The Nottingham version also tasted way more funky and less juicy. The funk masks a lot of flavour at this point in time. Also a bit tart, but the funk cuts through the juiciness.

I suspect the juicy notes are due to biotransformation. The aroma and flavour of the beers were not typically hoppy, but still extremely fruity. The funk distracts from some of the juicy notes I can find in these beers. I'm curious whether the bottles with extra yeast will settle down in funk, or whether the plain version will get funkier over time. I'll update in a week or two.
 
I don't know anything about BR-8, but my brett beers take much longer then a month or two to come into their own. I've got one still in the fermenter downstairs. Co-pitched (Wyeast's Old Ale, likely Brett L) in primary at New Year's. Still actively fermenting. I haven't taken gravity measurements in a while, but I give a look see every few weeks. Bubbles still rising, slow and steady. Clearly more than a little off-gassing.

Maybe this has no bearing on BR-8.
 
I don't know anything about BR-8, but my brett beers take much longer then a month or two to come into their own. I've got one still in the fermenter downstairs. Co-pitched (Wyeast's Old Ale, likely Brett L) in primary at New Year's. Still actively fermenting. I haven't taken gravity measurements in a while, but I give a look see every few weeks. Bubbles still rising, slow and steady. Clearly more than a little off-gassing.

Maybe this has no bearing on BR-8.
Br 8 does not eat dextrins and longer sugars so it's quite a different Brett on it's own. But that does not mean that all the flavour compounds are stable and finished after fermentation is done. Maybe it's developing over months as well.

I still have some bottles of bretted lager flying around to solve this mystery. Last time I checked, they tasted like ass. If that changes with time, well have an answer. :D
 
I agree that my typical beers that have Brettanomyces in them take a lot longer to get done, but the main part of fermentation/sugar consumption in these beers seems to go much faster. Especially when you pitch a good amount of yeast.

The stout with BR-8 was the only version of the seven-way split that still had a big kräusen going. Only the Verdant version had some lacing going, the rest were blown out thrice and looking quiet. It's a shame I can't follow the entire fermentation as I'd like to know when the head dies down.
 
@Protos
I continue here to keep information within one thread.
Secondary fermentation in the classic sense seems not to work with this specific strain as it cannot digest longer sugars or dextrins. It needs digestible sugars to express it's funk. Adding it together with the bottling sugar works within a mixed fermentation. I've done that already. However, the specific funk is a bit strange. Might be better after aging or maybe when added from the start, together with the other yeast. It's certainly unique.
 
when added from the start, together with the other yeast.
I like this idea.
In this case, probably, the temp-dependent phenolic/estery distinction may come into play. Or may not.
Can't wait to experiment with this strain. For the moment, it's available only with a excruciating delivery price tag (then more I'm out from Europe these months).
 
@Protos
I continue here to keep information within one thread.
Secondary fermentation in the classic sense seems not to work with this specific strain as it cannot digest longer sugars or dextrins. It needs digestible sugars to express it's funk. Adding it together with the bottling sugar works within a mixed fermentation. I've done that already. However, the specific funk is a bit strange. Might be better after aging or maybe when added from the start, together with the other yeast. It's certainly unique.
If one would add the BR-8 from the start of fermentation mixed with another S. cerevisae strain would you add more BR-8 for bottling or just employ what is already there?
 
Yay! Found where to buy it for cheaper, repacked.

Now, the experiments are coming:
- priming addition after a M41 primary
- co-pitching with a maltotriose-positive (M47 M29) yeast
- co-pitching with a maltotriose-negative (T-58) yeast
- BR-8 as the primary strain (what's the correct pitch rate then, I wonder? For priming, they recommend 1g/10L).

All these in very small batches, just to get the idea and then to choose the preferred way to use this strain.
 
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(what's the correct pitch rate then, I wonder? For priming, they recommend 1g/10L).
Found a hint in Fermentis datasheet: for co-pitching with a maltotriose positive yeast in the primary they recommend 5g/10L .

So, twice as much when used as the single primary strain, I assume? Which is the same as the bottling pitch rate? Looks like too little to me... No, it doesn't look too little, I miscalculated. It's five times as much as for bottling.
Actually, "twice as much" from 5g/10L will be 1g/1L, which is indeed a double pitching rate compared to most other dry top-fermenting strains.

If it's really so, then such a pitching rate looks uneconomical, considering the dearth of the tiny sachet. It's probably better to multiply it in a starter before pitching BR-8 as the single primary yeast.
 
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A small update on my experiments.

IPA
This stayed fresh longer than expected considering the amount of hops and the fact it came from a carboy. Not sure if that is due to my efforts or the BR-8, but notable. Don't add regular yeast to speed up carbonation if you want a well made IPA though, the funk cuts through the flavours too much. I like the plain and additional BR-8 bottles best.

Gravity stress test:
Now this is where it gets really interesting. Because of its slightly slower nature (and my laziness) I let the stout go for about two months. I probably could have transferred or packaged early, but I didn't want to waste beer on such a small batch. I was afraid of a very sweet, poorly attenuated and yeasty funk mess. However, BR-8 finished second lowest of all the splits at a whopping 1.022; lower than US-05 (1.024) and just above Nottingham (1.020). Coming from 1.114 this nets a ridiculous 80.7% AA and a 12-13.6% ABV beer, depending on the formula. This is way above the official rating and my previous experiment at 9.5% ABV. What's more, this stuff was incredibly good as a sample. There was little funk and mostly smooth roast. Notes include (old) coffee, roast, dark/red fruit, slightly burnt and faint chocolate. There was no alcohol presence and no higher alcohols, unlike Nottingham and Verdant for example. I bottled some with extra wine yeast and one bottle without yeast. In hindsight, I should've added BR-8 to half of the bottles to see if that has the same effect as with the IPA. Very excited to see what comes from this beer.

Tl;Dr this yeast is like a diesel that takes its time, but finishes incredibly strong and won't be bothered by most conditions you throw at it ABV-wise.

My next experiment is to see what creates the funk. I've brewed up an easy sour and I plan on adding BR-8 once Belle Saison has dried out the beer. If my hypothesis on yeast characteristics and esters is correct, the beer will turn funky without adding extra sugar. If not, the blending in of extra beers for complexity will kickstart fermentation again and hopefully bring some BR-8 character. To be continued.
 
A small update on my experiments.

IPA
This stayed fresh longer than expected considering the amount of hops and the fact it came from a carboy. Not sure if that is due to my efforts or the BR-8, but notable. Don't add regular yeast to speed up carbonation if you want a well made IPA though, the funk cuts through the flavours too much. I like the plain and additional BR-8 bottles best.

Gravity stress test:
Now this is where it gets really interesting. Because of its slightly slower nature (and my laziness) I let the stout go for about two months. I probably could have transferred or packaged early, but I didn't want to waste beer on such a small batch. I was afraid of a very sweet, poorly attenuated and yeasty funk mess. However, BR-8 finished second lowest of all the splits at a whopping 1.022; lower than US-05 (1.024) and just above Nottingham (1.020). Coming from 1.114 this nets a ridiculous 80.7% AA and a 12-13.6% ABV beer, depending on the formula. This is way above the official rating and my previous experiment at 9.5% ABV. What's more, this stuff was incredibly good as a sample. There was little funk and mostly smooth roast. Notes include (old) coffee, roast, dark/red fruit, slightly burnt and faint chocolate. There was no alcohol presence and no higher alcohols, unlike Nottingham and Verdant for example. I bottled some with extra wine yeast and one bottle without yeast. In hindsight, I should've added BR-8 to half of the bottles to see if that has the same effect as with the IPA. Very excited to see what comes from this beer.

Tl;Dr this yeast is like a diesel that takes its time, but finishes incredibly strong and won't be bothered by most conditions you throw at it ABV-wise.

My next experiment is to see what creates the funk. I've brewed up an easy sour and I plan on adding BR-8 once Belle Saison has dried out the beer. If my hypothesis on yeast characteristics and esters is correct, the beer will turn funky without adding extra sugar. If not, the blending in of extra beers for complexity will kickstart fermentation again and hopefully bring some BR-8 character. To be continued.
I've actually done a similar one regarding no additional sugars. I've added br8 to a lager (which somehow was infected with something clove producing). There were bottles with br8 added together with the priming sugar and bottles which had their br8 additions after carbonation finished, without adding any additional sugars. The ones that never saw any additional sugar created only the slightest funk whereas the ones that had their br8 together with a dose of priming sugars turned full blown br8 funky.

I've done the same with a 7% stout which was fermented with Whitbread 2 and had a higher fg than anticipated. In that case, both types of additions turned funky, but the ones that were added together with sugar clearly developed more br8funk.
 
Am I correct in my understanding that this brett if used at bottling a beer fermented with a maltotriose capable yeast will only eat the priming sugar?
While ordinary brett can consume longer chain sugars and dextrins(with Brittish or brett C being slightly less agressive) this one behaves like an attenuative cerevisae in this regard
 
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