Who has added Orval when priming???

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Well-Known Member
Nov 29, 2008
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Draper, UT
I did a ten gallon batch of a Belgian strong golden ale and am thinking about kegging half and bottling the other half. I'd like to add a the dregs from a couple bottles of Orval at bottling to get the brett profile. My OG was 1.073 and I finished at 1.008 in primary. I'm going to rack to secondary today for three weeks at 32*F. My question is how much priming sugar (if any) should I add at bottling time since the brett will feed on sugars that normally aren't eaten by sacchromysis? I don't want bottle bombs but I do want a good level of carbonation. Somewhere around 3.5-4 volumes of CO2 would be appropriate. I think I am going to dry hop the batch that will be bottled with 2 ounces of styrian goldings one week before I bottle. Any ideas or feedback?:fro:
I can't say I've done it, but you will probably want to give the Brett a chance to propagate at a higher temperature, otherwise you may end up with some bottles having brett and others not.

Your best bet might be to pull 10 or 12 ounces of the cold-conditioning beer, and let it culture with the brett at room temperature in the Orval bottle for the duration of the cold-conditioning. Then before you bottle, add that back into the main batch, and mix it around well so the brett is evenly distributed.

Just my 2 cents. Like I said, I have never done this before.
I havn't done it but just want to warn you to be careful with your bottles. Orval bottles are much stronger than the average beer bottles. I would suggest only bottling this in Orval or similar Trappist Ale bottles (Chimay and Duvel both appear to be stronger than average) or Champagne bottles.

I would be worried about getting the appropriate level of carbonation with this technique. I think I would rather pitch the Orval dregs in the secondary and leave it be for 6 months to a year. Then bottle with the appropriate level of sugar, maybe add a little more yeast at that time, though its probably not necessary.

The bret will eat dextrins that the yeast strain you used can't process. If you add bret and bottle then you stand a big risk of either over carbonation or bottle bombs.

Most add the bret in secondary after the yeast has had it's go with the wort.
IIRC, from Brew Like a Monk, Orval adds sugar and Brett (brux?) to the secondary.
Then they bottle with more of the primary yeast.

Here's a good site/forum:
The Burgundian Babble Belt -- Pushing the Homebrew Envelope
The Orval clone recipe on the last page of the book "Brew Like a Monk" says to add the dregs from two bottles of Orval at bottling. It doesn't talk about adding priming sugar though and I'm wondering if the brett is used in place of the priming sugar to carbonate the beer or if that was simply an omission.
I leave it 5-6 months, although the next time I make it I believe I'll let it go 9+ months as it gets better as it ages. I added 5.5 oz sugar per 5 gals and added 1/2 package of any dry yeast
All the advice suggesting adding the Orval dregs to secondary make sense. However, I mashed at a VERY low temp of around 145*F and ended up with about 92% attenuation. I don't think there are a lot of dextrins for the brett to eat. I just siphoned a liter off the top of one of the carboys which was very clear into a PET bottle and force carbonated it with my carbonator cap. It was very dry...like no sweetness whatsoever. I think I am going to add the Orval dregs at bottling with a reduced amount of primimg sugar. I will fill three PET bottles as well as the regular 12 oz. glass bottles and monitor the PET bottles closely for excessive carbonation. It tastes very good already and is a whopping 9.4% ABV. This will be dangerous as it is very light and drinkable. I'll try another sample in two and a half weeks when I keg half and bottle the rest.