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10/15/06 04:47 PM  
Soured Saison
So i'm brewing up my first saison this week. If all goes well and I get a saison i'm happy with, I plan to brew it again around january.

For round 2, I would like to use some bugs. Just have some general questions.

I want this to be good to go by june or so, is 5 months going to be long enough to get a decent brett character?

Saison + brett - all primary? Saison strain primary, and brett secondary?

As far as the brett goes, is there a good temperature range to stay in? I know the saison does well into the 90's, does the brett do ok at warmer temps, or would lower temps be better?

10/16/06 11:50 AM  
Re: Soured Saison
<<I want this to be good to go by june or so, is 5 months going to be long enough to get a decent brett character?>>

The stuff Al and Sebastian have done with Clausinii have produced great results in a pretty reasonable time frame. They should comment but in the context of BC I think the answer is yes.

<<Saison + brett - all primary? Saison strain primary, and brett secondary?>>

I plan to do a similar beer this winter but I plan to use all BC. I made a barley wine with that and found that you can control the souring effect by controlling O2 exposure. Or at least it looks like that is the case. Still learning!

<<As far as the brett goes, is there a good temperature range to stay in?>>

Sebastians was awesome and he's in AZ. Looks like hot is OK!

Al B
10/18/06 11:59 AM  
Re: Soured Saison
This sorta depends how much acidity/brett character you like. And it could really depend on the mashing with the production of dextrins/proteins. If the wort is high in dextrins that the Saccharomyces can't ferment - all that will be left over for Bretts (so bottling might be dicy in over-carbonation). Sulfites can control Bretts to an extent or keep the brew refridgerated too will help.

A mash w/ low dextrins might be better off (5 months should get you some brett flavor I think and making it dry + slightly tart.

However, I used 400ml slurry of Brett as a sole fermenter - theoretically it ferments the simple sugars first, then complex dextrins later, but it seemed to do this quite fast due to the high amount of brett starter. The result was quite sour, but not overbearing. I attributed this to oxygenation of the wort, temperature was around 70-74F.

So ......if your mash is dextrinous - try brett with high amount of popualtion. This way, if you plan to bottle in 5 months, dextrins will be devoured.

Now, after drinking Sebastians brew fermented at 90 (less o2 in high temps) and Steves BW (less O2 in high gravity) - both w/ Brett clausenii as a sole fermenter, those were not as acidic as mine. Aeration causes more acids produced from Bretts, it seems, than anaerobically.

So if ya want acidity (pronounced but not overbearing) I would then add it to the primary. Whew.

<<Sebastians was awesome and he's in AZ. Looks like hot is OK!>> This was with B. clausenii. Other Bretts may/or may not have the same response at 90 - I wonder?

Mykel Obvious
10/19/06 04:14 PM  
Re: Soured Saison
I'm about to transfer a Saison to secondary and add a tube of B. claussenii. I'm planning on doing this ala Orval and aging in secondary for 4 to 5 weeks, then bottle condition for 4-5 weeks before tasting... I know this will give only a low Brett character, but I think it will be interesting to see how the beer evolves over time...

My only concern is bottle conditioning with Brett yeast... I have no experience with this as of yet and was wondering how to achieve a high level of carbonation without creating bottle bombs... I'm bottling in 16 ounce swing-tops, and my last Saison was carbonated to 3.7 volumes of CO2... I would like to achieve a similar level of carbonation and was wondering how much corn sugar is safe to use... I used 240 grams in my 5.5 gallon batch and as long as they are chilled, there are no gushers... I guess my real question is how much more carbonation to expect from the Brett yeast under the above conditions



10/19/06 04:31 PM  
Re: Soured Saison
Not a brett bottling expert here, but I would imagine that it depends what your gravity is when you bottle. Fermentation of 2-3 points of sugar gives you “standard” carbonation if I recall correctly. So, if you got a good high attenuation with your primary yeast and the brett in secondary knocks it down to less than 1.005 and seems to be finished, then I would just slightly under-prime the bottles. However, if there is still a good chunk of gravity remaining and the brett still looks active, I would prime really low and wait for the brett to do its thing.

Just be sure to check a bottle every week or so and chill them all down when the carbonation gets to your desired level. I have also heard of people putting a balloon over the top of an uncapped bottle to monitor the carbonation as time passes.

Good luck. I’m considering a Russian River Deification (American Pale ale finished w/brett) clone at some point in the future. They get around the bottling problem by adding the brett to the keg so excess pressure can just be vented if need be.

10/19/06 04:45 PM  
Re: Soured Saison
Ok so all this info sounds good and looks to give me what I'm looking for, a nice tart/sour saison.

Just a couple more questions, should brett starters be treated more like lager starters in regards to time frame? As far as mash temps, should I mash higher than normal for a saison if only using brett? For my regular saison I was planning on a 145-147ish mash temp. Should I mash in the mid to low 150's for the brett version?

Al B
10/20/06 07:28 AM  
Re: Soured Saison
As far as starter cultures of Brett go and time frame, I think it depends on the age/storage and possibly the indivdual strain. The clausenii strain I had was way past the best used date, and grew slowly initially, once I transferred into fresh media couple of times.....it exploded.

I tend to think to stay on the lower side, even w/ the Brett. I plan to do this for my own Saison/Black Saison soon. I would be surprised if there isn't any Brett

character in a few months.

10/20/06 12:41 PM  
Re: Soured Saison
In regards priming bottles with sugar and using "Brett" I read in a Brew Your Own magazine that a good rule of thumb is to use HALF OF your normal sugar charge.

I followed those instructions and had great results. Just make sure that your terminal gravity is low. Saisons are typically 1.006 to 1.010. That should be just right.

Altough if you are making a 1.075 saison and it finishes at 1.020 be careful. That is a lot of residual sugar.

Another idea is to age it in a bucket or carboy for six months with the "Brett" maybe even using two strains. Then add a little sugar and fresh yeast to carbonate. WLP565 maybe.

Fun Fun..

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