Strong Brett flavor

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guiriguiri

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I’ve made a few Brett saisons over the past few years but they always seem to come out so much funkier than most commercial examples. Like no remaining saison character— just Brett (my phone will never stop auto-capitalizing that). Any hints for how I can reduce the overall Brett flavor while still having it be featured? I kegged my most recent one after barely 4 months.
 

Qhrumphf

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My experience, Brett is gonna Brett. Eventually it'll take over. That's what it does. Has been my experience with every beer with Brett that I've had, my own as well as commercial.

Was actually reading an article earlier today talking about this. Author recommended copitching the Brett w/ Sacch instead of a secondary pitch later, that counterintuitively it led to less assertive Brett character. I haven't noticed a difference but I've never tried isolating out that variable. May be worth a try if you haven't already.
 

OldDogBrewing

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I’ve made a few Brett saisons over the past few years but they always seem to come out so much funkier than most commercial examples. Like no remaining saison character— just Brett (my phone will never stop auto-capitalizing that). Any hints for how I can reduce the overall Brett flavor while still having it be featured? I kegged my most recent one after barely 4 months.
There are different strains on the market and some strains claim to be less dominant or more subtle than others

I have 2 Brett saison in the making (4 month old) and both of them are 100% peppery, there is a bit of pineapple and floral notes that might be coming from the Brett, but The Yeast Bay claims that this blend is less bretty than other blends or isolate strains, maybe you should try one of this blends that the labs have tested and know more or less how the beer will end, TYB descriptions seem to be pretty accurate
 

radwizard

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If you are kegging you could just use actively fermenting Brett in a priming solution. Let it carbonate, Chill it in the same time frame as you would a clean beer.
 

brownni5

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I have similar experiences - brett in a saisons gives me brett flavors and little to no saisons flavors. Not complaining, just don't always get it.
 

henchman24

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What brett strain/s are you using? That will have a large impact on how much funk is in there and how much conversion of the phenols happens. Co-pitching will keep down the funk as well. If you want mild brett flavors in a saison... use a strong sacc starter and co pitch with Brett C. With any brett, you can drink early to keep down the funk as well. Any long-term aging will have more of that development. So if you can get it fermented out in ~3 weeks and ready in 4-5, you'll (typically) get less of that conversion... but it will continue in the keg/bottle. Obviously you should be aware of bottle bombs if the FG isn't low enough.
 

TheMadKing

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Brett needs something to work on, just like any other yeast - so what if you use a diastaticus strain of saison yeast, let it attenuate to a very high level, then pitch your Brett? You could control the level of brett based on the residual sugars in the beer when you pitched it.

I used a similar technique in a Brett Cyser and it worked well. I primary fermented with S-04 until I was at 1.001 and then pitched OMEGA All The Bretts into it, with no nutrient or anything. The brett character was balanced with the honey and apples and didn't overpower anything.

Brett strain is also important - some are much more funky than others
 

henchman24

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Brett needs something to work on, just like any other yeast - so what if you use a diastaticus strain of saison yeast, let it attenuate to a very high level, then pitch your Brett? You could control the level of brett based on the residual sugars in the beer when you pitched it.
At least in my experience of beer, leftover sugar has an opposite effect on brett funkiness. If brett doesn't have a bunch of sugars to eat, it tends to go after other compounds, including ethanol, to create a deeper funkiness. When you co-pitch it seems to stop, or more likely delay, those conversions. A cyser is probably different just given the different precursors available in the sugars.
 
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guiriguiri

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What brett strain/s are you using?
I've tried it with All the Bretts and Brett Trois Vrux (supplemented with some dregs). Currently have a Belgian going with just brett C dregs from a couple of bottles.

What's the shortest time people have been able to detect brett flavors? I had always understood that it usually took at least 3 months for them to appear. Now that I keg and bottle bombs are no longer a concern, I can cut it short whenever.
 

henchman24

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I've tried it with All the Bretts and Brett Trois Vrux (supplemented with some dregs). Currently have a Belgian going with just brett C dregs from a couple of bottles.

What's the shortest time people have been able to detect brett flavors? I had always understood that it usually took at least 3 months for them to appear. Now that I keg and bottle bombs are no longer a concern, I can cut it short whenever.
All the bretts has brux and lambicus and trois vrux is a brux. Those are going to be more aggressive and take over more, especially as they age. C is going to typically be pretty light brett flavor, even as it ages... but it can still take over a beer given enough time.

Subtle brett flavors will be there the whole time if you co pitch. They will just be small to start. If you just want it in the background, you could really drink in 6-8 weeks with no real issues. I'd watch the gravity at the end because brett can still eat slowly at low temps and could over carbonate your keg, but if you want real subtle, early is better.
 

brownni5

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What's the shortest time people have been able to detect brett flavors? I had always understood that it usually took at least 3 months for them to appear. Now that I keg and bottle bombs are no longer a concern, I can cut it short whenever.
My last kegged Brett farmhouse beer started exhibiting Brett characters nearly right away. A couple summers ago I co-pitched 3724 and Brett C, bottled that one within 3 weeks of pitching (no bombs/gushers) and started picking up mango/pineapple type flavors within a month or so. As always, flavors develop over time.
 

OldDogBrewing

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I've tried it with All the Bretts and Brett Trois Vrux (supplemented with some dregs). Currently have a Belgian going with just brett C dregs from a couple of bottles.

What's the shortest time people have been able to detect brett flavors? I had always understood that it usually took at least 3 months for them to appear. Now that I keg and bottle bombs are no longer a concern, I can cut it short whenever.
I have two beers ageing that where fermented with Saison & Brettanomyces II from The Yeast Bay, one showed Brett flavours (pineapple mainly) on its 4th week and the other one on its 5th week, I pitched active wort onto the 4th week one, so I guess both of them were on the same page as the Brett was 5 weeks old on both
 

mashpaddled

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A lot of the commercial brett saisons are released fairly young so brett hasn't had time to fully work its magic. Find those same bottles with some age on them and they are a trip to funkytown.

A couple of things that seem to restrain classic brett expression are fermenting in or with oak and a fair amount of late addition or dry hopped hops. I don't know whether it is the tannin presence, the presence of other things to metabolize, or the sugars bound with flavor compounds in oak and hops but those beers tend to either not show aggressive barnyard flavors or delay their presence for a very long time.

Holy Mountain is one of the breweries that masters this. If you look at their brett saisons they are usually fairly young (2-4 months at bottling), oak aged and typically moderate to aggressively hopped.
 

goodolarchie

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Holy Mountain is one of the breweries that masters this. If you look at their brett saisons they are usually fairly young (2-4 months at bottling), oak aged and typically moderate to aggressively hopped.
I love HM's saisons, and they have a few ways of achieving results. Demonteller is the classic example of this, and one you might even get on draft outside of Seattle. That's a single foudre that produces a classic brett funk (fairly funky) and they dry hop it to perfection with different hops, galaxy and mosaic notably. They can continuously draw and refill and dry hop, somewhat attainable at a homebrew level but a small barrel isn't the same as a foudre at all. Their Misère Au Borinage was one of my top 5 beers of 2019, from a different foudre, they used Cascade and EKG. That was a classic, complex and very funky saison but only about 6 month turnaround.

They also do a lot of what you described - fairly young, well crafted saisons, grisettes etc. that they bottle with brett, like Vesper. They use a fairly aggressive brett strain for bottling, their beers end up a beautiful blend of oak, hops, and brett.

What I can tell you is if you use HM dregs, holy mother of god, hang onto your hat. I drove a lightly hopped (~3IBU) beer down to 2.98 pH. And repitching Borinage dregs is definitely not a shortcut to recreating borinage... there's no replacement for their foudres!

@OP - The best advice I could give you if you want light funk and the classic saison phenols is to blend at packaging and drink fairly quickly. Brett will definitely take over, some strains are more aggressive and assertive however.
 
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