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06/21/07 10:13 AM  
Brett blending and carbonation
Hi Folks -

There have been a number of threads here regarding Brett, and the issue of carbonation strategy has also come up. I think I've been able to get a sense of the options from this, but wanted to check my assumptions with the wild yeast cognoscenti here . . . my primary concerns are avoiding overcarbonation and not having the brett get out of hand.

In brief, I have 2 beers I am planning to blend and bottle. One is a pale ale that was fermented from 1.048 to 1.011 using a repitched mixed sacch./brett slurry (this came from an Orval clone attempt that used WY1762 in the primary and cultured-up Orval dregs in the secondary. The resulting beer hit the 'gout d' Orval' mark about 3 months in and has proceeded into seriously bretty and sour-ish territory). The second is a stronger porter-ish thing that went from 1.071 to 1.019 by means of WY1272 American). There are 3 gallons of each.

Assuming I blend these 50/50, seems to me I should have an effective FG of (19 + 11) / 2 = 1.015. After bottling, I would think the brett would chew this back down to 1.011 (4 gravity points). Assuming normal carbonation to involve "2-3 points" of sugar, am I in trouble already on the carbonation end? Seems at the very least that I should not plan to add any priming sugar. So that's one option - blend and bottle as is with no additions.

Next question would be, should I 'pasteurize' the brett beer before blending, as some have suggested to stop the brett? It has been sitting for about 3 months and smells/tastes plenty bretty to me now. If I do this, I assume I would prime as normal (to maybe 2.5 vol CO2) and let the sacch. in the other beer carbonate it.

Anyhow, I hope I have provided all the relevant info, and would be psyched to hear the thoughts of others who may have been down a similar path. I have no kegging capacity, so my solution must be bottling-compatible. I am certainly interested to hear if anyone thinks there are other options I should consider too . . .

06/22/07 05:13 PM  
Re: Brett blending and carbonation
Anybody have a recommendation or opinion based on my info above? Think I'm crazy? AlB? SteveG? Anyone? Buehler?

I'm gonna pull the trigger on it tomorrow, and am leaning towards the pasteurization since it seems relatively risk-free - some folks have mentioned possible loss of some flavor nuance, but I think that's mitigated by the fact that its only half the batch. Should make carbonation more predictable too.

Ryan A
06/24/07 01:19 PM  
Re: Brett blending and carbonation
I would strongly advise against pasteurization. If you don't want to worry about bottle bombs, let the blend sit for a month, then prime and bottle with fresh yeast as you normally would.
06/24/07 09:02 PM  
Re: Brett blending and carbonation
Thanks for the feedback, RA, but I'm afraid I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this before I saw your thoughts. So, I'm down the pasteurization road willy-nilly. Most interesting thing about heating up the brett batch was that one could see the CO2 coming out of solutin as tiny bubbles throughout the kettle as it heated up toward 150 deg.

We did some taste-testing on the blend, which turned out to be a good idea as a 50/50 blend was perceptibly too bretty. 70/30 turned out to be the magic ratio, and the blend is now sitting comfortably, mostly under corks in 750ml bottles. I did save the remainder of the pasteurized brett batch - should be interesting to think of what to do with it . . .

Al B
06/25/07 06:15 PM  
Re: Brett blending and carbonation
Just got around to reading.....ah well....

I wasn't happy with what I would say is a loss of flavors after pasteurizing (what exactly, I can't put da finger on it). However, if blending w/ a non brett beer, the resulting brew may be over-carbed. Take notes, and happy drinkin'

06/25/07 06:58 PM  
Re: Brett blending and carbonation
Al, some updated info I forgot to post - upon final SG readings, the brett beer had in fact gotten down to 1.007, and the sacch. batch only made it to 1.022. Based on that large a gap (kaboom!), I think my only other option would have been Ryan's suggestion to blend and age further prior to bottling.

But I was feeling both impatient to bottle and that the B. Brux. was doing more than enough for what I was looking for in the flavor in this particular instance. Will be sure to make some notes when I try it in a few weeks.

Curious also to see if I really killed off all the Brett . . . heh heh.

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