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Dave I
10/03/06 04:10 PM  
Brett/Lambic Questions . . .
I don't THINK these questions have been covered before on this forum. If they are resting some place, feel free to direct me elsewhere.

1) I have heard lambic infections are hard to get out of your brewing equipment and, therefore, you should have totally separate equipment for you lambics that your "normal" beer never touches. Is that the same for Brettanomyces, or will One-Step get rid of the Brett-Bugs just fine?

2) Is there any risk of a high-gravity all-Brett or Lambic (e.g. Tripel or Barleywine/Quad gravities) getting out of hand by giving the infections too much food to go crazy with? Does where the sugar comes from make a big impact (e.g. fruit vs. sugar vs. honey vs. all-grain vs. etc.)?

3) I would like to make either/or, but how steep is the learning curve for your pallette to get a feel for the taste of Brettanomyces and Lambic beers to where they really start to taste good? I have STARTED to get a taste for Lambics (a Kriek forget from whom but the most popular/available one, and a gueze), Duchess Du Borgogne, and the Brett. character in Guinness (the "Extra Stout" non-Nitrogen/widget bottles) and Orval (WOW, I love that stuff!).

Just trying to get some basic parameters for gravity, ingredients, etc. My plan for the Brett Clausenii batch grainbill is just pilsner malt, maybe some wheat (if there is a reason to put it in there), perhaps some CaraMunich or Aromatic, hops, and a little bit of love. In all likelyhood, I would leave it Pilsner and Wheat malts and brew it identically to Sebastian's all-Brett recipe. Part of me wants to start futzing with the recipe (some CaraMunich here, toss the wheat, add some Aromatic, chant some Enigma lyrics around the boiling wort, etc.) but that ALMOST never works out well for me. Almost.

The lambic would probably be the same grainbill just split off a ten gallon batch, maybe add some apricots to secondary, maybe not. No idea as to what are the best lambic (yeasts, infections, bugs?????) to use. As an option, I would consider adding sugar to both batches to make them more in line with Tripel stats. Any problems visible in this train of thought?


10/03/06 04:35 PM  
Re: Brett/Lambic Questions . . .
1. Yes, you want to have your brett beers in seperate fermenting systems. I've heard that Star San san kill off the brett, pedio, lacto bugs, but no hard eveidence, so I just have seperate buckets and hoses.

2.I haven't experimented with high gravity bretts beer. steve has ans can shed more on that. But even with lower gravity beers, if you aerate the wort with O2 well, the brett takes on a very saccharomyces type fermentation. Again, Steve can fill you in better on that, as he saw it first hand.

3. Not really sure I understand the question, but if you're lookinf for good brett beers to get and taste, you'er on the right track. Make an all brett beer and taste along the way over a period of several months as it matures and changes it's profile. Brett and other bugs can really chanfe the flavor over time. I had the privelage of seeing that at the Boon brewery in Belgium. Frank Boon gave us samples of a very young lambic, then a bit older, and older, and then a three year old lambic. It was really interesting how they change.

I would say start simple with our recipe and let the brett shine through.

Hope this rambling helps, somewhat.

10/03/06 05:11 PM  
Re: Brett/Lambic Questions . . .
I noticed the following disclaimer in the brett section of the White Labs site "White Labs assumes no responsibility for the use of this product".

I certainly didn't see a similar warning in the normal yeast section so what risks are there with using Brett?

10/03/06 05:57 PM  
Re: Brett/Lambic Questions . . .
None that I'm aware of, other than it can infecct your whole brewhouse if you're not careful. Then everything will tasty bretty.
10/04/06 09:33 AM  
Re: Brett/Lambic Questions . . .
It is my understanding, that all of the microbes in lambics are killed just as easily with a sanitizer (one-step is legally just a cleaner) as regular yeast or any microbes that infect beer for that matter. The difference is in the number of a microbe needed impact the flavor of the beer.

For example say you make a batch of pale ale using a British strain, you then sanitize and miss the rim of the fermenter leaving just a tiny colony of the yeast. Your next batch is a Belgian beer, and when you transfer it into the fermenter you knock the colony of British yeast into the beer. You’ll never notice the flavor of 10,000 British yeast cells in a beer with 100 billion Belgian yeast cells because they eat the same stuff, and make comparable byproducts. However, if that was a colony of brett, after the new yeast finishes eating all the sugar the brett will continue to slowly grow eating the larger carbohydrates that the regular saccharomyces could not. Eventually the beer would start to get the brett flavor, possibly months down the road after it had been bottled, but by then you may have infected your whole system not realizing that the “clean” beer actually had brett.

So you could use the same equipment for all your batches if your sanitation is immaculate, but for the cost of one ruined batch you can get a second set of hoses and another bottling bucket. All the stuff preboil is fine, no need for a new mash tun kettle etc…

As for your taste in lambics, brew now you’ll have at least 2 years to develop a taste for the style before its done. Also remember it is nearly impossible at home to make something resembling the pasteurized sweetened fruit lambics of Lindemans and Liefmans..

For all the brewing questions I’m a noob to the world of brett/lambics as well so I’ll leave that up to the vets.

Good luck.

Dave I
10/04/06 05:23 PM  
Re: Brett/Lambic Questions . . .
"Also remember it is nearly impossible at home to make something resembling the pasteurized sweetened fruit lambics of Lindemans and Liefmans.."

Which is fine with me. Lindemans Kriek was good but TOO sweet. I just want the interesting brett a/o lambic flavors, not a girly frou-frou drink with pink bubbles. Not that there is anything wrong with that . . .


Dave I
10/04/06 05:25 PM  
Re: Brett/Lambic Questions . . .
Question about wheat in the lambics/brettanoymces . . . Is there any specific reason for the wheat in Sebastion's all-Brett Clausenii recipe, or is that just for head retention? What I am asking is does wheat typically go well or get thrown into Brett/Lambic beers or is that just a personal preference like in normal beers?


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