Maximizing Barnyard/Horse Blanket

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RPh_Guy

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Does anyone have experience producing a beer that had high levels of barnyard in a relatively short timeframe?

serveimage (6).jpeg


What Brett strains produce the most barnyard?

What type, quantity, and schedule of hops?

How long was souring delayed?

Did you co-pitch vs delayed pitch the Brett?

What strain of Sacc? What type of esters/phenols did it produce?

Did you use wild/spontaneous yeast/bacteria?

Which dregs (if any) and when were they added?

Did you leave in primary vs transfer secondary?

Do you transfer only clear wort to your fermenter or all of it (with break and hop material)?

Can you estimate the level of micro-oxygenation? E.g. what material of fermentation vessel and airlock?

How long did it take to develop significant barnyard?

Did you add yeast nutrients?

At what temperature did you hold primary and secondary fermentations?

Did you perform an acid rest during the mash?

Any other details that might be important?

Thanks guys
 
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RPh_Guy

RPh_Guy

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Aaaaaand so I'm not just asking questions, here's what I've found so far:

The flavor of interest partially comes from 4-ethylphenol, which Brett produces by converting p-coumaric acid into 4-vinylphenol and then 4-ethylphenol.
Coumaric_acid_to_4-ethyphenol.png


See the first attached article for more info on these phenolic compounds.
P-coumaric acid is naturally occurring in barley.
Pollen supposedly contains a bunch of it, so maybe adding some pollen might be something to explore. (?)
The second article I attached seems to indicate that filtering wort reduces the p-coumaric acid, while boiling with hops increases the p-coumaric acid. (See tables II, III, IV, and V.) It stands to reason that larger quantities of hop matter would therefore increase the barnyard funk, as anecdotes also indicate that dry hopping increases the funk.

4-ethylcatechol is another barnyard phenol, produced by Brett's metabolism of caffeic acid, which is also naturally occurring in wort. Less info is available for this compound.

While not "barnyard", ferulic acid becomes 4-vinylguaiacol, which in turn becomes 4-ethylguaiacol, a very pleasant phenol with smoky and vanilla-like flavor. This pathway is much more understood and easy to produce.

See:
http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Brettanomyces#Phenol_Production

Capric and caproic acids are non-phenolic acids that contribute barnyard. Fatty acids are precursors, which is another reason to transfer all the trub to the fermenter.

Wyeast 5112 seems to be the most explicitly barnyard-forward commercial strain, and jolly pumpkin beers are very barnyard, so perhaps they would be useful too.

Info I've found from wine research indicates that Brett barnyard is produced when cells are dying... and this confirms everything else I've seen related to this flavor. I'm wondering if adding dead/dying cells or doing things to increase cell death might accelerate its production (high temp, high alcohol, sulfite, directly adding boiled Sacc, etc).

Why am I investigating this? Because I want to accelerate sour beer production, of course! It's already easy for me to make fast sour beers with lots of yeast flavor and obvious fruity Brett character, but they lack the hint of barnyard that I like in aged sours. I want a quick barnyard batch for blending.

Cheers
 

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Andrew Hodgson

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As always watching but having just gotten into Brett strains I have not developed the horse blanket at all yet.

Interested to see if anyone has any angles on this.
 

Gnomebrewer

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My experience with Brett is very limited so far, but two batches developed funk quickly (very noticeable after four weeks and now, 8 weeks after brewing, they're really strongly sweaty, funky, barnyardy). Other batches I used brett in haven't developed much character yet after a similar timeframe. Some things that I think might be important about the funky ones are:
- no souring (they're funky saisons)
- 40% wheat (25% wheat malt, 15% flaked wheat). OG=1.054.
- 1g/L bittering hop (Centennial), 1.25g/L Styrian @ 30 mins, 1.25g/L Styrian @ 5 mins.
- Co-pitched Brett (amalgamation blend in one, beersel in the other) with WY3724.
- Fermented at 22 to 24C (WY3724 probably stalled early at that temperature).
- Very small pitch of brett: 1/2 a vial into 3 gallons of out-of-date brett (which have very low cell counts even when fresh and in-date).
- Gravity is currently 1.003. The taste is quite full-bodied (not what I wanted) which I put down to glycerol production from the WY3724. It's still in the fermenter though, so carbonation might change that.
 
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RPh_Guy

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Thanks, that sounds promising! 4-8 weeks is adequate for my purpose.

I'm thinking a non-sour hoppy batch with full trub and barnyard Brett strain might do the trick for what I need. ... Plus also repitching part of the cake from batch to batch.

I'm wondering how much the Sacc strain matters. I might use Lallemand Abbaye.
 

Gnomebrewer

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I'm wondering how much the Sacc strain matters.

It's one of many things I'd like to experiment with. Split batch pitched with Brett and
1. Diastatic strain (not 3724)
2. Non diastatic Belgian.
3. Low attenuating English yeast.
4. Chico strain or similar.
5. WY3724 lower than it's ideal range (because it tends to stall at 1.030ish).

But then I'd also like to try different Brett pitch rates. And different Brett strains/blends. And different ferment temperatures. And different hopping rates.
That's a lot of beer to drink.

If there were a few more interested brewers on here, it could be worth divvying up the experimental factors and sharing results.
 
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RPh_Guy

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Yeah it would be nice to know, if for no other reason than to keep costs down. I'll have to buy yeast specifically for this 1 gal batch.

But then I'd also like to try different Brett pitch rates.
A number of experiments have shown that Brett pitch rate doesn't matter.
My personal experience matches this; I've added just a couple drops of slurry from my bank to a batch and the Brett character changes relatively quickly. Brett character is equally evident in a Brett starter where it's "overpitched".

If there were a few more interested brewers on here, it could be worth divvying up the experimental factors and sharing results.
I split a lot of my batches and try lots of different processes to find what I like. The most recent Brett beer I split into 12 different batches by adding different mixed cultures at bottling ;)
 

Gnomebrewer

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A number of experiments have shown that Brett pitch rate doesn't matter.

I think I read somewhere (I can't remember where) that there was some evidence that low and high pitch rates gave good funk, but in between (standard) pitch rates muted funk. Have you noticed that in any batches? I have three batches going at the moment, split from the same wort but with a hop stand using different hops (amarillo, citra, mandarina bavaria). They had a blend of WY3724, WLP570 and Brett (Amalgamation and Beersel) - about 1/2 cup of active Brett starter wort for each 3 gallon fermenter. After four weeks, there is no funk whatsoever, and I was wondering if it was to do with the Brett pitch rate. Maybe it's something else. One of them (the amarillo batch) has the most abnoxious green apple smell and taste that I've ever come across - it's like concentrated acetaldehyde.
 
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RPh_Guy

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Brett character* has been very evident in every batch I've made with it regardless of pitch rate, with the exception of one batch of cider where I added a tiny amount of slurry from a previous mixed fermentation (WLP644+WY5526+Lacto) to an otherwise spontaneous fermentation. I can't explain why that one was a little muted. I pitched a tiny amount of a different culture (Deesko degs) and then it was Bretty rather quickly.

*Brett has a signature flavor/depth I detect that I'm not comfortable calling "funk". This generic Brett character doesn't taste/smell like the barnyard/animal/earthy flavors. It's more fruity but unlike Sacc fruity, and I'm not sure if people are including this aspect when they talk about Brett "funk".

Regarding the barnyard/manure/horsey/goaty/sweaty/hay/smoky/earthy types of flavor, so far none of my batches have developed that in less than 9 months.

After four weeks, there is no funk whatsoever, and I was wondering if it was to do with the Brett pitch rate.
4 weeks is very short for the barnyard flavors to develop in general. I'm thinking all the significant variables need to be optimized to get it in such a short time period. Evidence points toward pitch rate not being one of the significant variables, but anything is possible I guess.
Strains are all different, so maybe it varies by strain whether pitch rate affects production of phenols or capric/caproic acids. That wouldn't surprise me at all.
 

Gnomebrewer

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*Brett has a signature flavor/depth I detect that I'm not comfortable calling "funk". This generic Brett character doesn't taste/smell like the barnyard/animal/earthy flavors. It's more fruity but unlike Sacc fruity, and I'm not sure if people are including this aspect when they talk about Brett "funk".

It's definitely a challenge trying to use words to describe flavours. I haven't had many Brett beers apart from gueuze (which, of course, has a wide variety of microbes playing a part, so it's hard to say what Brett contributes). I also haven't had a Brett only (no Sacch) beer. The generic taste that I pick up in the Brett beers that I've had, I'd describe as 'Leather'. That's basically what I associate with Brett and call 'funk'. Maybe that's not what should be classed as 'funk'? I couldn't associate anything fruity with Brett just yet - maybe after I get hold of a few more of them to try.
 

Gnomebrewer

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OK, I bottled my Brett Saisons last night and need to revise the descriptions. RPh_Guy's descriptions helped with what to look for. I definitely get the 'Brett Fruitiness' thing, which I really like. That's there in abundance. There's some good leather notes in one (amalgamation) but not the other (beersel) and some slight tobacco in one (again, amalgamation) but not the other (beersel). Both have a slight sweaty aroma but not taste and both taste quite dry (as they were intended to, at 1.002-3). I really like both and am happy with where they're at after 8 weeks (they're still ahead of my other brett batches in terms of 'brettiness'), but there isn't any barnyard/animal/horse blanket (and might never be - they aren't meant to be as funky as B. lambicus). I plan to not crack any bottles until December (but I'm not very good at being patient).
 
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RPh_Guy

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Some thoughts ... Hope you don't mind.
I haven't had many Brett beers apart from gueuze (which, of course, has a wide variety of microbes playing a part, so it's hard to say what Brett contributes).
The flavors in gueuze are almost all Brett derived. Many examples also have a notable bitterness from hops (but no hop flavor), oak, and/or a bit of oxidized malt.
There is a lactic acid sourness from the LAB and often some acetic acid tang from the Brett and/or AAB.

The varied ages of Lambic in the blend contribute both the fruity side of Brett (younger Lambic) and the barnyard side of Brett (older Lambic).
I also haven't had a Brett only (no Sacch) beer.
Smelling and tasting Brett starters helps get a feel for the sort of flavors that Brett contributes, although I often find overwhelming THP on the palate (not the aroma as much).
The generic taste that I pick up in the Brett beers that I've had, I'd describe as 'Leather'.
I agree, leather is funky. It's a fairly common phenolic flavor typical of older Brett beer.
they aren't meant to be as funky as B. lambicus
"B. lambicus" is actually B. bruxellensis, like most or all of the strains in Amalgamation.
IMO it's best to refer to individual strains like we do with S. cerevisiae. Brett is probably even more varied than Sacc with regard to its flavor and fermentation characteristics, so lumping together an entire species is an oversimplification.
I really like both and am happy with where they're at after 8 weeks
That's awesome! Especially so young. What kind of fermentation vessel are you using?
:mug:
 

goodolarchie

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I'm currently on the same journey, getting a really good fast-horseblanket culture. I had success doing this last year but it was a total fluke - pitching Imperial Sour Batch Kidz with two Oregon mixed ferm beers (De Garde and Little Beast) - it had the most wonderful funk and lemon warhead character after just 4 weeks! Craziness. Thus became a kriek that took best in show, I want lightning to strike again!

So here's what I've tried:
-Propping up that culture from my own bottle dregs - no luck there. Will retry next brew day.
-Pitching SBK as a solo pitch into both 2IBU and 10IBU wort. Nice product but no real fast funk.
-Copitching 3724 (base sacch for SBK) and 5112 into ~18 IBU wort on 9/8. Will sample in three weeks. Pitch rate on 5112 was low.
-Propping up 5112 solo with a half gallon of same 18IBU wort on 9/8. Pitch rate on 5112 was high, has a nice krausen now, smells awful.

Next may be the final thing I haven't tried... finding another fall 2017 set of beers from de garde and little beast again.
 
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RPh_Guy

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Haven't had enough time to brew lately. :(

I'm planning a hoppy pilot batch with BE-134 and 5112, both of which I have in the fridge, so it'll be soon.
 

Beerswimmer

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@RPh_Guy In the next few days I'll be making a post-souring sour pale ale and will add some Orval dregs to the bottling bucket for the last few bottles and see what happens.

100% Vienna
3oz each of Citra & Amarillo for dry hopping after a week
Voss kveik

Will mash @152, bring wort to 165-ish for a few mins, cool to 90 and pitch yeast. Add heating pad and wrap in blankets. After 24-36-ish hours add plantarum and ferment until finished. Add hops, cold crash after 48 hours. Bottle to 2.5 vols. Add dregs from one bottle of Orval to bottling bucket for last 6 bottles(plastic soda bottles, no bursting!).

Will keep bretted bottles at room temp and not sample until after January.
 

goodolarchie

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-Propping up 5112 solo with a half gallon of same 18IBU wort on 9/8. Pitch rate on 5112 was high, has a nice krausen now, smells awful.

Now 10 weeks in on the hoppy 3724 + 5112, not much "barnyard" yet but certainly some of the classic Brett earthiness. I will check again in 6 weeks time.

Meanwhile I have a gallon of wlp653, and yeastbay's wlp4613 going - both of which are pronounced barnyard strains.
 
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RPh_Guy

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All of the few Brett strains I've used so far do add barnyard funk, just not always quickly.

With kviek I suggest adding Lacto earlier, at around 12 hours, assuming fermentation is well under way by that point. The goal is to add the Lacto when the fermentation is only 1/4 to 1/2 complete because the yeast produces esters during the first half of fermentation.
will add some Orval dregs to the bottling bucket for the last few bottles and see what happens.
Sounds like a recipe for gushing bottles.
 

evolutionary

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I’ve got a few batches with some strong barnyard Brett in there. The strongest I have showed by about 6-8 weeks and were the result of pouring wort on a 3rd generation roesalare cake. Decent amount of trub and dead things to feed on. Also took some of the same cake and put a fairly sweet dopplebock on it after fully fermented and came out a totally different horse blanket beast. Both were more farmyard than sour by a good margin - would’ve blended if I was that worried about it.

The other dregs I’ve had the best luck with so far are fantomé and sapwood cellars but always trying more.
 

filletsteak

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It's one of many things I'd like to experiment with. Split batch pitched with Brett and
1. Diastatic strain (not 3724)
2. Non diastatic Belgian.
3. Low attenuating English yeast.
4. Chico strain or similar.
5. WY3724 lower than it's ideal range (because it tends to stall at 1.030ish).

But then I'd also like to try different Brett pitch rates. And different Brett strains/blends. And different ferment temperatures. And different hopping rates.
That's a lot of beer to drink.

If there were a few more interested brewers on here, it could be worth divvying up the experimental factors and sharing results.
I'm about to do my first 100% Brett beer. I'm using wyeast 5112. I have stepped it up to 500ml using a stir plate for 6days now, gonna brew in two days. The plan is 4x5L, A: soured fermented @20c, B: same @ 30c, C: unsoured @20c, D: same @30c.
 

evolutionary

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I'm about to do my first 100% Brett beer. I'm using wyeast 5112. I have stepped it up to 500ml using a stir plate for 6days now, gonna brew in two days. The plan is 4x5L, A: soured fermented @20c, B: same @ 30c, C: unsoured @20c, D: same @30c.

post your results as it helps us all. a 100% brett beer is not a horse blanket farm masterpiece, but will result in a relatively clean, slightly fruity beer. what are you souring with for those options you mention?
 

filletsteak

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Will do. Split the wort before the boil, steeped 500g of acidulated malt in 10litres. Didn't in 10litres. After 4 days both acidified batches were bubbling away nicely, neutral bathes not showing much life at all.
 
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