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SteveG
08/23/06 03:37 PM  
Learning to ferment with Claussenii
Had plans to finally make my brettanomyces barley wine Sunday, but I sprained my ankle Saturday and had to postpone. Was having a hard time getting up and down stairs. Started feeling better so I took a really great vacation day yesterday and finally did it up. By days end I had a spectacular wort and set it to ferment with a nice slurry compliments of AlB. Thing is I want to see what brett can do as a primary fermenter, I don't want to simply see how far I can push the sour envelope. Keeping O2 low was the best shot I thought I had at limiting acid production, so I employed a foolhardy approach. I had 2 litres of unboiled 1050 extract left so I figured I had a decent margin. I decided to fill the carboy to the neck. I planned on loosing beer, but having no experience with brett as a primary I figured I'd be OK. Al said it could ferment vigorously, but after all its not like it's actually yeast. I though these two litres boiled down to one would be enough to cap off whatever blew out. Oops.

By the time the peak had come and gone (<12 hours), nearly 1/2 gallon was in the blow off bucket! Wow man, note to self - if Al gives you anything that ferments assume it could trash Cleveland! Amazing, fantastic, aggressive fermenter, the Claussenii has surpassed what I thought was possible. Knowing what I know now I wish I had just purged a 5 gallon carboy with CO2 and used that, transfering once CO2 production seemed to subside. Oh well, 1/6th to 1/7th of my 3 gallon (or however much it takes to fill a 3g carboy to the neck) is gone and I can make up half that. This weekend I plan to do a fresh-hopped IPA, I'll take some of that, boil it down to get an appropriate gravity to top up the last litre. But man, I have to say after day one I see very little difference between what I pitched yesterday and a good-size, healthy yeast slurry. I even smelled a little similar. Had a bit of the "cheese and toenails" aroma Al encountered when he first started this project, but by this point it was also reasonably bready. Quite the eye-opener.

Cisco
08/23/06 06:31 PM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
Wow! I would not have expected such a vigorous ferment either. Keep us posted as the batch progresses.
SebastianP
08/23/06 07:01 PM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
Not suprising at all. When I did that split batch with the three Saison yeasts and the Brett Clausenii, the brett batch was easily the most vigourous fermentor. This was in both krausen generation and time to finish primary fermentation.

Interesting stuff indeed.

Mykel Obvious
08/23/06 07:59 PM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
Hey Steve,

What is your OG and what temp are you fermenting at? I'm interested in doing a B. Claussenii only beer as one of my next few batches and I'm still working out a few of the details... I'm probably going to work up a 2 L starter and treat it mostly as a normal beer otherwise... also, what mash temp did you use? I'm thinking of going low... say 150 F and letting it finish on the dry side...

I'm thinking about the following 5 1/2 gallon recipe:

11 lbs. Dingemans Belgian Pale Malt

.5 lbs. Dingemans Aromatic

.5 lbs. Dingemans Munich

1 lb. Dark Moist Candi Sugar

1.5 Oz Hallertauer @ 4.6 AAU for 60 min

2 Oz Styrian Goldings @ 4.9 AAU at knockout

Mash at 150 F for 90 minutes

Boil for 60 minutes

Ferment at 72 F

Expected OG 1.062-065

Expected IBU 35-36

Expected SRM 9ish

Anticipated ABV 6.5%??? (Ok, so I have no idea where this would end up for an FG... I have read it doesn't tend to super-attenuate when used as the only yeast though)

This will be bottle conditioned and probably carbonated at around 3.5 volumes of CO2 for a nice fizz... I'd like this to be a tasty, tangy, dry, quenching brew...

Any thoughts???

Sebastian, what about you??? Info on your B.C. Saison would be appreciated...

thanks,

mikey

SteveG
08/23/06 09:09 PM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
OG was a hair over 1.100. A big boy! I'd guess temperature was low 70's.

As far as super attenuating, I understand from Al that it just needs time. It doesn't stop with the bigger dextrines, it just takes its time.

As far as any thoughts, I feel like I'm back in first grade again! Its pretty cool, with all the accumulated brewing knowledge over the ages there is still stuff to discover here, its really pretty exciting.

Worry not Cisco, reports will not be often but they will not stop coming! I'm dying to see if an all brett BW can even work. I havn't ruled out having to dump the whole batch, but I have to know what results are possible.

Matt Walker (mwsf)
08/24/06 03:23 AM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
Yeah, that Clausenii is explosive! I made a 1.2L starter in a 2L flask and I should have used a blowoff tube on that! I ended up with crud all over my stir plate...
Al B
08/24/06 09:06 AM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
"Ya better say yer prayers, ya flea-bitten varmaint, I'm a-gonna blow ya to smithereenies."

- don't chuck out dat batch, mac! We can filter it and blend with something else if desired.

Al B. Clausenii

......and now, for my secret weapon.........

SteveG
08/24/06 09:42 AM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
Oh, I would not flush a monster like that without asking you first! So do you think the general 3 minute airlock blorp rule will apply here? Or is there another sign that will reveal its availability for racking?
Al B
08/24/06 11:05 AM  
Re: Learning to ferment with Claussenii
A six-fingered hand a la Chiller Theater might be a sign, but I should think a slow down of Blorping will suffice. That should signal that the simple sugars are exhausted. The bigger dextrins should be a slow process, I reckon.

My second batch "Fungus Brett-among-us" has stopped blorping completely it seems after 1-2 weeks.

SteveG
08/30/06 08:58 PM  
Progress report
8 days in and the carboy is still giving up 4 second blorps. Sunday I made my last beer of the year (at the cusp of apple mode), I took some of the pre-boiled wort and reduced it separately to about the same gravity as the orginal beer (1.100). Added it to top up the carboy to the neck, just over a litres worth. A little foam was pushed out but I took another tact. The blow off tube was maybe 4 ft. I put the blow off container high and about 3 feet of the tube was pointed upwards. A lot less of the foam made it out, lots collapsed back into fluid and returned to the carboy.

Anyway, losses were very minimal this time, after a day it settled down again and has been blorping 3-4 seconds since. In a couple weeks I expect to be ready to rack, I plan to top it up with another barley wine I currently have kegged to take up the head space.

Oh, before I set up the tube there was a bit of beer that escaped, I took the opportunity to see what it was like. Al, toenails and cheese ain't just a smell!

 
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