Wyeast 5526 - Brett Lambicus

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Quaker

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Made a 1.75L starter a week ago with Wyeast 5526 on a stirplate. Today I decanted a glass of it. It was a very loose, easily roused up slurry, so I pitched the remaining 1.5L into a Flanders Red/Brownish wort. Decided to go for a 100% Brett L after very positive results from 100% Brett Brux Trois beers.

The starter sample is hands down the best starter beer I've ever tasted. Quite acidic and dry, puckering actually. It's like sucking on a sour, tart pie cherry. I actually regret pitching it into a darker wort. I think it would have been perfect in a blond. I mixed the last 4 or 5 ounces in with an equal amount of Dead Guy ale I was drinking. That works quite well too.

I'll give an update later on the actual beer, including a recipe.

Perhaps similar to the WLP644 Thread, this could be place to capture experiences specific to this Brett strain. I searched and couldn't find a previous one.
 

nofootbreak

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I have this on order at my lhbs. I have a solid baltic porter recipe and was thinking of doing 100% brett l. Subscribing.
 
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So here's the recipe I chose for my first 100% Brett fermentation with the Brett Lambicus (prior 2 were with Brett Brux Trois). Based the cherry references in the descriptions, I opted towards a Flanders red grist with some chocolate roasted malts added. Tasting the wort, I'm not sure the chocolate was a great idea. I should have stuck with just the crystal malts, but we'll see how it goes. I've been using a "Countdown" base grist of 4 lbs Pils, 3 Vienna, 2 Wheat, 1 Munich (or vice versa on the Wheat and Munich) for many of my sour and wild beers. I've been happy with that thus far.

I attempted wet milling my grain with this batch. The husks stayed completely intact, cracked, but intact. So I stirred numerous times and let it go 90 minutes rather than my normal 60. I still ended up with a lousy 60% efficiency. It lautered like a dream, for what it was worth, but won't do that again.

Recipe: Lambicus Countdown

Recipe Overview

Wort Volume Before Boil: 26.50 l [actual 28.2 l]
Wort Volume After Boil: 22.71 l [actual 22.5 l]
Volume Transferred: 20.82 l [actual 22.5 l - ferment in kettle]
Water Added: 0.00 l
Volume At Pitching: 20.82 l
Final Batch Volume: 18.93 l
Expected Pre-Boil Gravity: 10.6 Plato [actual 8.7 Plato]
Expected OG: 12.3 Plato [actual 10.7 Plato]
Expected FG: 3.1 Plato
Expected ABV: 5.0 %
Expected ABW: 3.9 %
Expected IBU (using Tinseth): 14.3
Expected Color: 21.8 SRM
Apparent Attenuation: 74.9 % [actual 60% - due to wet milling trial]
Mash Efficiency: 70.0 %
Boil Duration: 60.0 mins [actual 90 minutes]
Fermentation Temperature: 70 degF [pitched at 68, let it freely rise]

Fermentables
4.00 lb (33.7 %) Chinese Pilsner Malt
3.00 lb (25.3 %) German Vienna Malt
2.00 lb (16.8 %) German Wheat Malt
1.00 lb ( 8.4 %) German Munich Malt
12 oz (6.3 %) Australian Crystal 110 EBC
5 oz (2.6 %) US Chocolate Malt
5 oz (2.6 %) UK Pale Chocolate Malt
4 oz (2.1 %) Australian Crystal 190 EBC
4 oz (2.1 %) Belgian Special B

Hops (Target IBU 15, Tinseth)
10 g UK Bramling Cross (6.3 % alpha) Bagged Pellet Hops First Wort Hopped
15 g US Goldings (4.9 % alpha) Bagged Pellet Hops 15 Min From End
10 g UK Bramling Cross (6.3 % alpha) Bagged Pellet Hops 15 Min From End

Other Ingredients
Burton Water Salts 5 g used In Mash
Wyeast Beer Nutrient Blend 2 g used In Mash
Oak Cubes, French Medium Toast 20 g used In Fermenter

Yeast: Wyeast 5526-Brettanomyces Lambicus, pitched from a 1 week old 1.75L starter which was on a stirplate for the first 2 days, then stored at room temp until brew day. Very loose slurry, so pitched 1.5L - only decanted a glass full for tasting.

About a 10 minute rest at 130, then raised by infusion to 151, rested for an hour, then raised by infusion to 158 for another 30 minutes. Batch sparged twice.

Stirred the wort during chilling to aerate in the kettle. Stirred again for about 3 minutes the following morning (about 18 hours later). No visible activity at that time. At 24 hours was fully active. Surface looks more like a thick English yeast cake would look. Really dense looking. Didn't disturb it, but curious how thick it is. If it's just an illusion or not, and perhaps it's thin and wispy.

BrettL24hrs.jpg
 
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After 6 days, the clearly active fermentation had died down. Gravity was down to 2.1P. I kegged a Berliner Weiss which was sitting on a kilo of cherries since May, then racked this Brett Red onto the cherry/lacto mush in the carboy. I only could syphon about 15L of the Berliner Weiss off the cherries, so I topped off that keg with about 4L of this Brett Red. I really wish I could chill it immediately, but there's 3 very tasty and quite full kegs already filling the fridge. I still had more Brett Red, so I filled a 1.5L juice bottle. I won't prime it immediately. It likely will carbonate from the Brett still working, although I'm not sure how much further to expect it to go considering my 100% Brett Brux Trois batches had attenuation closer to a sacch strain. If the bottle doesn't firm up in the next couple weeks, I'll drop a couple carb drops in it.
 
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I never liked it as a straight Brett L beer. It had the cherry pie flavor in spades, but the remaining character was muddled. I ended up using it in a blend with a Rosealare batch and a blond fermented with built up RR Supplication dregs. That blend was great with the RR blond bringing the sharp acidity to brighten up or counter the Brett L's characters.

When I left China I passed a 5 gallon carboy of the blend off to Leon at The Brew. He used it to inoculate a barrel of saison with success.
View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Brew1424393455.932147.jpg

It was cool to know I contributed a bit in it. But the original Brett L beer wasn't worth ever repeating.
 

sweetcell

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thanks for the insights!

Made a 1.75L starter a week ago with Wyeast 5526 on a stirplate. (...)
The starter sample is hands down the best starter beer I've ever tasted. Quite acidic and dry, puckering actually. It's like sucking on a sour, tart pie cherry.
i imagine that all the aeration the starter got on the stir-plate created acetic acid.
 
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The full batch didn't get the same sourness as the starter, so I believe you're right.
 

jujitsudave

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Is this something you would try again but with adding souring bugs as well?
 
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I wouldn't. But if one was to do so, I'd pitch lacto first to sour, then once it has noticeably taken hold based on taste, then pitch the Brett L.

I've learned I prefer the flavors from Brett in secondary over primary. I've pitched Wyeast's Brett Brux and a blend of Brett only dregs in a gallon of my saison wort on separate occasions to build up a starter to be added at completion of the primary fermentation of the main volume with a saison yeast. Both times the Brett only portion was uninteresting when tasted before combining with the rest.

The only 100% Brett fermentation I've enjoyed was with Brett Brux Trois which of course has since been proven to be sacch.
 

TastyAdventure

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I never liked it as a straight Brett L beer. It had the cherry pie flavor in spades, but the remaining character was muddled. I ended up using it in a blend with a Rosealare batch and a blond fermented with built up RR Supplication dregs. That blend was great with the RR blond bringing the sharp acidity to brighten up or counter the Brett L's characters.

.

I'm about to make a 1 gallon batch of 100% Brett L. Do you know of some other ways of bringing acidity to the party without using lacto/other non-Brett bugs?
 

TastyAdventure

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Also I'm going to build up my own supplication dregs. Do you know what bugs/yeast/Brett strains are in it?
 
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Brett and Pedio in RR's funky bunch, but I don't know which Brett strains.
 

Natdavis777

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I have two 5 gal buckets going with a mix of Brett L and Wyeast Belgian Lambic Blend. One bucket has raspberries and the other blackberries.... Both taste phenomenal... Kegging the blackberry next month so I can enter into a competition (will be >8mo) Think I will use this combo for future brews
 

tonymark

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100% Brett L. (WY5526) is moving real slow.
Brewed 2 weeks ago 40/25/25/10, 2-row/flaked wheat/vienna/oats
Kettle soured 1/5 of the wort with goodbelly for 48 hrs at 85 F(no ph reading, tasted pretty sour), boiled and then added to already fermenting beer.
At 2 weeks the gravity has drop to 1.044 from 1.058. Is this typical of this strain? I guess it will get there eventually.
Started with a smack pack and stepped up starter 3 times 150 ml,800 ml(decanted), 2 L. Pitched into 5 gallons.
This was a split batch and other half is down to 1.012 with WL644. Any thoughts?
I have kept temps around 74 F and did not aerate at all.
Just looking at it next to the other half in WL644 carboy and it seems like a lot less stuff in suspension in the WY5526 carboy.
 

TastyAdventure

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100% Brett L. (WY5526) is moving real slow.

Brewed 2 weeks ago 40/25/25/10, 2-row/flaked wheat/vienna/oats

Kettle soured 1/5 of the wort with goodbelly for 48 hrs at 85 F(no ph reading, tasted pretty sour), boiled and then added to already fermenting beer.

At 2 weeks the gravity has drop to 1.044 from 1.058. Is this typical of this strain? I guess it will get there eventually.

Started with a smack pack and stepped up starter 3 times 150 ml,800 ml(decanted), 2 L. Pitched into 5 gallons.

This was a split batch and other half is down to 1.012 with WL644. Any thoughts?

I have kept temps around 74 F and did not aerate at all.

Just looking at it next to the other half in WL644 carboy and it seems like a lot less stuff in suspension in the WY5526 carboy.

Given about a month my 100% Brett L fermented down to ~85% attenuation. I didn't check gravity until about 1 month
 

tonymark

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Given about a month my 100% Brett L fermented down to ~85% attenuation. I didn't check gravity until about 1 month
What temps did you hold it at? 1 week later(3 weeks) it's at 1.034. Kept it 77-81 the past week. I just don't see 85% attenuation happening in another week. Should I have aerated?

This is what I expected

After 6 days, the clearly active fermentation had died down. Gravity was down to 2.1P.
 

tonymark

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You did the starter at 86 F or you fermented the actual beer at 86 F? Maybe I should ramp the temp up to 86 F.

Started with a smack pack and stepped up starter 3 times 150 ml,800 ml(decanted), 2 L. Pitched into 5 gallons.
Probably kept that starter going for 16 days total at 85 F. Was that not big enough? I drank the decanted portion of the 800 ml starter and it was super bretty. Tasted more like a one dimensional gueze than cherry pie.
 

tonymark

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Still slowly chugging along. I told myself not to take a hydrometer pull again until 6 weeks, but you know how that goes. 1.015 after keeping it at 86 F for last 2 weeks. It is determined to only drop 10 points a week. Thinking about adding a quart(almost a liter) of R.W. Knudsen's Tart Cherry Juice to the entire 5 gallons just to liven things up.


 

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