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01/31/07 10:58 PM  
what strain of Brett for historical porter?
I'm currently fermenting a historical English porter and planning to add Brett to secondary, or perhaps at bottling. Can anybody tell me which of the available Brett strains is the most appropriate choice? Clausenii, Bruxellensis, Anomalus or whatever it's called, others?

What sort of strain do they use at Greene King in the Strong Suffolk for example?

I'm really looking for a subtle slow-growing Brett component to the flavour, not an all-out lambic attack. What's the best way to limit the attenuation and the acid of a Brett secondary - should I look at blending, or pasteurising?


02/01/07 12:55 AM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
further researches have revealed that anomalus is the one so I'm getting some of that. does anomalus attenuate as far as bruxellensis and lambicus? how many gravity points can i expect it to drop assuming a normal sort of dextrin composition, an FG of 1015 for example? should i prime the bottles?
Al B
02/01/07 08:15 AM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
Strong Suffolk is a favorite of mine. It is a blend of 2 year old strong ale aged in oak, so the sourness is a product of wood barrels rather than "what strain is added". No idea if Brett is involved there, but one could use lactobacillus delbrueckii and get good results too. It is probably pasteurized for blending with the mild portion.

Are historical porters well attenuated? If so, you can ASSUME a drop of 1015 to 1010 at least, probably more slowly over time (hard to predict these things - I think).

If historical Porters aren't well attenuated, then blending after pasteurization may be the way to go.

Mike T
02/01/07 09:07 AM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
I was looking for Anomalus awhile back and couldn't find anyone who was selling it so I went with White Labs's

WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii

Low intensity Brett character. Originally isolated from strong English stock beer, in the early 20th century. The Brett flavors produced are more subtle than WLP650 and WLP653. More aroma than flavor contribution. Fruity, pineapple like aroma. B. claussenii is closely related to B. anomalus.

My first two beers using it as a secondary fermenter took awhile to get going (1 month or so with a pint starter), and I haven't taken gravity readings since.

Good luck.

Matt Walker (mwsf)
02/01/07 09:35 AM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
I dosed a Porter with b. clausenii (closely related to anomalus) in secondary and it turned out great. It gave a nice dusty aroma and slight sourness. It did not attenuate to the degree that other sour beers attenuate, at least not after nine months, although I refrigerated it after four months or so. It's drier than it would have been without the Brett but certainly not bone dry. Not sure what the FG is. There was a funky grey pellicle on top of the beer when I kegged it. I love how it turned out. Very complex. Good luck!
02/01/07 05:15 PM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
Thanks everyone, just the advice I was after. I think if it's not a super-attenuator I will add it at bottling. Have had terrible gushers, or more like geysers, with Bruxellensis before so I hope this one behaves itself.

next time I'm in the UK I have distant family who work at Greene King so I will see if they will let me scrape some scum off the inside of those barrels.

Matt Walker (mwsf)
02/01/07 06:00 PM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
I'm not so sure I'd add it at bottling. While it wasn't a super-attenuator, it definitely munches some of the dextrins that the saccharomyces does not. While you likely won't get bottle-bombs, you'll almost definitely get gushers. I'd add it to secondary, let it works its magic for a few months, and then bottle. Adding it at bottling is a gamble I wouldn't be willing to take. But I'm fairly conservative about stuff like that...
Al B
02/01/07 07:54 PM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
Man, Greene King is a place I'd like to tour some day. It would cool to taste the aged brew from those barrels too.

If you add at priming, be ready to refridgerate to slow it down - just in case (oh yeah, consume quickly wouldn't be a bad idea either);)

02/01/07 09:40 PM  
Re: what strain of Brett for historical porter?
I was thinking of priming with just the brett, so to speak, and no sugar but i guess i'm asking for trouble. maybe, for once in my life, i will see what all the fuss is about being sensible and see where that gets me instead...

thanks guys

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