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Author Replies
Sean White
07/18/07 01:44 PM  
First all-brett beer
Okay, I've been doing a lot of reading up on all brett fermentation and I'm stoked.

I'm still trying to decide on which strain to use, and I may use 2, like clausennii and bruxenellis.

Have any of you used bruxenellis only? What could I expect form that? I know the claussenii's supposed to be massively pineappley, and I don't want a one-dimensional beer.

And finally, how can I be sure that the brett won't superattenuate? What is a good sign that I'm at terminal gravity? If I want to go from 1.058 to 1.008, should I use a little sugar and a low mash temp? Or will the brett ferment down that far using only grain?

Thanks.

Al B
07/18/07 02:03 PM  
Re: First all-brett beer
B. bruxellensis should give you more sweaty, horsey flavors over time......definately that "brettyness" a la Orval.

Bretts will probably superattenuate without the addition of sugar. A low-mash temp should help reduce dextrins (that bretts will slowly break down over time and increasing the likelyhood of higher than normal carbonated bottles).

SteveG
07/18/07 02:44 PM  
Re: First all-brett beer
>>Have any of you used bruxenellis only?<<

N8 did in the last swap.

>>I know the claussenii's supposed to be massively pineappley, and I don't want a one-dimensional beer.<<

Claussenii one dimensional? I certainly hope you didn't get that here!

Cisco
07/18/07 02:52 PM  
Re: First all-brett beer
Bret Cl is definitely not one dimensional, it's massively multi-dimensional depending on how it is treated.
Sean White
07/18/07 09:29 PM  
Re: First all-brett beer
That's good to know! I'm not looking for a pineapple bomb. Although truely I don't know exactly what I am looking for. I am considering doing a blonde/saison type thing and splitting the batch 50/50, and innoculating with 2 strains to really see the difference. They would almost definitely be recombined in the secondary. I saw that Sanctification uses 3 brett strains, and I know I liked that one.

Besides the horsey quality of the bruxenellis, what other fermentation flavors can I expect from using it as a primary fermentor?

SteveG
07/18/07 10:00 PM  
Re: First all-brett beer
Last month we had a two session swap of beers made just with brett. Every one was different. There was actually one pineapple bomb, but it was by design and heavily dry hopped. Made for an interesting effect. We had a brew that tasted of dates, figs and chocolate. Another was a glass of potpurri and apple pie. Ciscos was classic Belgian golden ale squared (enourmous depth and robustness). Als beer was light, cherryish and slightly tart like an enthusiasts lawnmower beer. So what other flavors can you expect? At this point I think the best answer is "all of them".

Sean, keep in mind that when you go brett you have to start relearning brewing a bit. What to expect will depend on a lot of factors - pitching rate, O2, fermentation temp to name a few. I'm pretty sure we don't actually know what all the factors are yet. But I think its really, really important to avoid going into this with a "if I use this yeast I'll get this flavor" mindset.

Sean White
07/18/07 10:49 PM  
Re: First all-brett beer
Yo SteveG, with all due respect to your sagely advice, I can quibble with some of your assertations.

I mean, brett is a yeast, it's not magic, and like other yeasts, it's flavors and compounds will vary according to a number of factors like O2, pitching rates, and temperature. But that's not to say that you can't make some general observations about the flavor profile of a given strain.

Also, I'm not attempting to relearn anything about my yeast cultivation practices. I will probably aerate in my normal way (shaking vigourously), keep it at a mid-level "Belgian" temperature range of the mid-70's, and make a decent sized starter. Both my aeration and starter size are probably less than ideal brewery levels, but they work fine for me.

Oh yeah, and I'm trying to get this together as part of our NYC homebrew club's own brett beer experiment. With a little luck we'll get a lot of people to brew up some interesting stuff and be tasting the results in January.

SteveG
07/19/07 06:36 AM  
Re: First all-brett beer
I don't have a huge amount of experience under my belt when it comes to brett, but I can say after making 3 batches and 2 swap sessions that the rules I've abided by during my years as a brewer seem only loosely applicable here. Brett isn't magic, but it does seem to perform in a manner that is very inconsistant with conventional yeast. Knowing what I know about making beer is inadequate to reliably predict what the stuff will do. Really, last swap one Clausennii beer was like big pineapple, another raisins and dates, another spiced apple pie and another like a super robust golden ale. If the tasters did not know better I am sure we would all have sworn that the same fermentation agent could not possibly be responsible for all 4 beers.

Sean, brett brewing may or may not ever take off with the homebrewing community. But I feel very comfortable saying that the only way it will is if brewers do not look upon it as just another yeast. Until the time that more info is documented on it performance I think every beer made with it, regardless of strain, should be treated like an experiment. So as far as what flavors you might expect, when 8 of us swapped we saw very little in the way of pattern (outside acid level).

Actually the one beer of 12 (8 swappers, I sent 2 and another sent 4) that was not very surprising was N8s bruxenellis beer. Over the last year it has changed in character tremendously. The first time I had it it was like a grainy pale lager with a rough edge. The second time it was way too funky for me, but this last time it had toned down and was generally pretty identifible as a brett brew. I don't have tasting notes handy, but it was the only brew that made us say "yep, that's a brett beer". No pattern there though, the only other bruxenellis beer (one guy broke his batch into 5, fermenting one with a "control" yeast and the other 4 with different brett strains) was mild and pretty clean tasting.

Al B
07/19/07 07:26 AM  
Re: First all-brett beer
Sean,

Yes, you can make some general observations (I do), BUT no -Bretts are not like other yeasts (i.e. Saccharomyces).

This will be apparent after your experiments.

It is true that B. clausennii behaves differently with its environment. I have a few sour pine-apple bombs, and I did taste some clausenii beers that virtually no tartness or pine-apple.

Sean White
07/19/07 10:21 AM  
Re: First all-brett beer
Well in any case thanks very much for the input, and of course the only way to learn is just to go for it!

Sean

Al B
07/19/07 10:32 AM  
Re: First all-brett beer
And don't forget to take notes !!!!

Good luck.

Sean White
08/06/07 09:08 PM  
Re: First all-brett beer
I finally got the Brett in the mail and did this batch up on Saturday. I should have made a starter but I didn't have time, and I figure it should be fine because I bought 2 packs of yeast for a 5 gallon batch (see below). I'm planning on recombining the wort in the secondary, but I wanted to get a good idea of the individual yeast flavors before doing so.

All-Brett Blonde:

Recipe is for 6.3 gallons post-boil

O.G. 1.058 IBU's 25

8 lb. Durst Pils malt

1 lb. sauer malt

1.25 lb. table sugar ant the beginning of the boil

22 gr. Perle pellets 7.7% 60 min

21 gr. Saaz pellets 3.2% 15 min

Irish moss 15 min

21 gr. Saaz pellets 3.2% 0 min

3.25 gallons H20 + 1 tsp. gypsum to 160.

Mash in to 150 for 65 min, fell to 145 over that time.

Add heat to reach 170 over 20 min. Left at 170 for 20 min

Sparge with 4.75 gallons at 170, recirc 2 qts, over 30 min.

Collected 6.1 gallons at 1.050 for an efficiency of 81%

Added table sugar and top-up water.

Boiled 70 minutes with hop additions as noted.

Chilled, whirlpooled,and aerated as normal. Split the batch into 2 carboys, about 2.75 gallons in each

pitched a tube of Clausseni into one, Bruxenellis into the other. Pitch temp: 80 degrees

 
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