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Brettanomyces Brewing
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Author Replies
10/03/07 10:11 PM  
Brettanomyces Lambicus?
Does anyone have any experience brewing using "Brett L" for 100% of the fermentation? I think I've read all the brett/sour/wild posts here and it seems most use "Brett C" for their all Brett beers. I know the characteristics of both, is using "Brett L" on its own undesireable?
10/03/07 10:27 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
IMO its too much on its own, although Al worked wonders with it. Were doing a swap right now, my beer was a brett C. finished with brett L.

10/03/07 11:30 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
Thanks for the reply. I had a feeling that was the reason. I have ordered both strains and am trying to decide what to do with them. I know, "make beer of course." I am definitely going to try Sebastian's saison with Brett C, but I have not decided what to do with Brett L. It will be nice to have the pure Brett strains to experiment with. Until now I have used Roeselare, Wyeast Lambic Blend, and cultures from various bottles. Until hearing "Mike T" on basicbrewingradio.com I had no idea using 100% Brett could yeild a drinkable wild beer in a "normal" yeast timeframe. The prospect has made me really excited.
Al B
10/04/07 07:28 AM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
I made a 100% B. lambicus (Wyeast) brew. The "silence of the Lambicus" had a subtle cherry-stone flavor, moderate tartness, very little horse-blanket. I'll be doing a second batch this Winter.

B. clausenii for me went overboard on pine-apple and sourness, but I had tasted some from others that were not. Steve's combo was quite nice.

10/04/07 10:31 AM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
This weekend I will be brewing a 100% brett with L & C. I plan to start fermentation with L and add C when fermentation is 1/2-2/3 complete. As you probably know, make a starter and pitch a lager-sized slurry.
10/04/07 04:03 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
What was the secret of your success Al B?


That sounds like a good way to do it ewanzel. And yes, I realize I need to make a larger starter. I hope you post how the beer turns out and details of the brew.


10/04/07 05:10 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
Actually I think recipe has proportionately very little to do with it. That's the tough part about brett brewing, the rules you have gotten comfortable with don't apply as you would expect. The starter needs to be large, and really fresh and strong. I know Al works on his daily (or so) until they get pitched. He's given me very large, very healthy slurries that have fermented like a great white shark. But just so you know, its more than just pitching the poutch into a liter starter for a week or two.
10/04/07 07:38 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
Thanks SteveG. I realize that brewing with Brett can be a bit of a crap shoot starting out. I realize the need to step up the starter, but could you elaborate on the techniques to grow a healthy Brett starter, or at least point me to where I can read up the process?
Al B
10/04/07 08:01 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
A starter for Brett can be done as with other yeast starters - nutrients + oxygen (aeration + agitation works best). Oxygen is key for cell sterol production.

Stepping up with constant feeding or promptly store fresh cells in refrige while growing more until a large slurry is obtained. If the pH falls to around 3, I recommend adding 1% CaCO3 to buffer. Low pH is OK for survival, but for growth I think a more neutral pH is less stressful.

Recipe wise is anything you like, but I would tend to go light on bitterness as Bretts produce acidity at some amount.

Al B lambicus

10/04/07 08:10 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
basically what I have done is to use the yeast calc on mr malty as if I were doing a lager with the same og to figure out the amount of yeast slurry I will need. then using 1.036 wort I step up the culture following the x10 rule of thumb for yeast culturing (according to approx. yeast count and est. viability). the one thing that I did a bit differetly (i also do this with lagers) was to split the vial of brett. in 1/2 and due X2 of everything due to the limitations of my equip. I gave each starter O2 via a stirplate and have been feeding them every couple days to keep them active until I use them. this is what I do but I am in no way an expert just sharing my procedure. for my project i'm pitching equal parts L & C...just at different times....hope that helps
10/04/07 09:39 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
I think I heard in an interview with Peter Bouckaert(New Belgium)on an episode of basicbrewingradio that he used sugar to grow Brett/wild yeast. I have always used DME to make my starters.

What are you guys using for starters?

What do you think of making a starter of DME and incremental feeding with sugar?

Al B, when you say 'nutrients' are you speaking of yeast nutrient?

Thanks for the input again.

10/05/07 01:23 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
I made a 100% sour ale using a blend of brettlamb and brettbrux. The stir plate starter was made over a month of time with one of them added after the other had a week of head start. Multiple additions and decants/settlings were made.

the base beer was a pils and wheat with maybe 25 ibu of hops.

fermentation time to FG was normal beer length of about a week or 10 days. It had a regular kraesen during this time. I did let it sit for a few months (maybe 4ish) to further sour. fermentation was done in glass for primary and secondary. FG was somehting like 1.010ish.

its nicely sour but not Cantillion-grade sour.

Its my version of one of VinnieC's beers. I'm doing another later this fall.

cheers pete

Al B
10/09/07 08:04 AM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?

Yes, Yeast nutrients. If sugar is used, and thats perfectly fine, you must supplement with yeast nutrients for a source of amino acids, minerals, etc. etc.

Oxygen, sugar(s), amino acids, some trace amounts of minerals (including zinc) are necessary for healthy growth. DME basically supplies this, but adding yeast nutrients will benefit.

Al Bruxellensis

12/04/07 06:02 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?

did you ever do this 100% B. lambicus?

Inspired, I pitched about 3 weeks ago and am curious to know what sort of attentuation you got if you did it.

I started at 1.08 and am currently around 1.03

12/04/07 10:18 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?

did you ever do this 100% B. lambicus?>>

I did brew it, its actually my first beer into my little barrels. I didn't check the gravity when it went in, but I tasted it and it was pretty dry, I'd guess right around 1.010, maybe a couple points high or lower. I'll be curious to see how yours turns out. Mine is pretty mild so far, what temp are you fermenting at and how well did you oxygenate?

12/05/07 06:35 AM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
I have been fermenting cool (like mid to upper 50's) but since I checked the gravity I moved it into a warmer area where it is in the low 60's during the day (still cool at night).

I hit it with pure 02 for about 30sec. as I recall.

The starter was big too...I had fed it for two weeks with constant aeration on a stir plate.

What were your temps and 02 like?

12/05/07 01:12 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
<<What were your temps and 02 like?>>

Very similar to yours, but my starter was not that big. It started up very quickly though. What was your recipe? I did a Flanders Red.

12/05/07 01:31 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
I brewed 5 gallons of Olde Ale from the sugar swap.

Do you think the difference in change of gravity is because of the difference in OG?

I'm concerned that after 3.5 weeks I'm still at 1.032 (though it is still bubbling about thrice per minute).

13.5# Pilsner

.75# Simpsons Dark Cystal (80L)

.25# Special B

1# sugar (blonde)

1.5 oz Bullion or Challenger 60 minutes

1 oz Goldings 5 minutes

Brett lambicus

Mash 154 dF

12/05/07 09:32 PM  
Re: Brettanomyces Lambicus?
<<Do you think the difference in change of gravity is because of the difference in OG?>>

I am not sure, this was my second ever all Brett brew. But if its still going I wouldn't be worried.

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