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Dave I
01/09/08 11:28 AM  
Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
My friend's younger brother is interested in brewing and has shown a propensity for Belgian beers and high-gravity beers. He wants to start with extract, but this summer we are thinking of brewing together so he can see and participate in an all-grain batch, see what he (dis)likes about my setup & procedure, and just see if he likes it or not.

I am on a bit of a sour ale kick and was thinking of making something along the lines of Orval, just a basic Tripel with maybe some Brett or something else interesting in the secondary that would taste nice young (which from my limited knowledge/reading will count out some of the wild yeasts/bacteria that can smell or taste like a soiled baby diaper when young) but also age and develop over time.

So two questions:

1) Any ideas for a recipe? Tripels are pretty simple, but any spices that would work well in this or just Pilsen Malt & table sugar? Any alternative recipes/styles I should consider? What is the gravity range I should shoot for? It does not have to be an Orval clone, but if it is that would be fine as well.

2) What should I infect this with? What are my best option(s)? My default would be Orval dregs since I like Orval, but if there is anything else promising, or if I just cannot get fresh Orval this summer, what might I consider?

-Cheers

Mike T
01/09/08 12:05 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
I have my first sour beer with spices aging now, sadly it just went into secondary a few weeks ago so I won’t really know how it turned out for awhile…

For 6 gallons in primary it had:

2 g Sweet dried orange peel

1 g Black pepper

.5 g Dried ginger

.5 g Grains of paradise

All beaten up in a coffee grinder and added with 7 minutes left in the boil.

The wort tasted great when I added the bugs, but only time will tell if those spices play well with funk. I added Russian River bugs, which is pretty much everything funky under the sun. Since you are looking for shorter aging, Orval dregs or a commercial Brett B would probably be your best choices. To decrease the aging time make sure to get the beer nice and dry before you pitch the Brett, otherwise it will take quite awhile for the gravity to stabilize.

Dave I
01/09/08 12:56 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
<<Since you are looking for shorter aging, Orval dregs or a commercial Brett B would probably be your best choices.>>

Thanks Mike. Just to clarify, I want it to taste good young, basically avoid any ugly duckling stage, but I am willing to age most of it as long as possible if it keeps getting better. I just do not want to have my friend brew this great beer, wait a month or two after bottling, then have to discover he really cannot drink and enjoy it for a year or two. That seems kind of mean. ;) However, if it tastes good but develops more of a Brett (or whatever) character over time, that seems kind of cool for him, might teach him the importance of patience in brewing/aging, and it is something interesting for me at this stage as well.

Besides, between my plans on splitting batches between the Roeselare Blend and Al's Bugfarm Wood Cubes, I may end up with literally 30 gallons of sour ale aging in my basement for the next two years. I need SOMETHING to drink (relatively) young and age gracefully.

Out of curiosity, what primary yeast did you use, or would be recommended for this? Reculture Orval yeast (which would obviously have Sacch. and Brett.), or something else?

-Cheers

Mike T
01/09/08 01:51 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
Mine was a ridiculous blended beer consisting of three separate brews (Based on Lost Abbey’s Cable Car). The spices were in a portion fermented with Wyeasts Saison yeast, and finished off with US-05 to boost attenuation. A lager yeast was used at two different temperatures for the other two threads.

My go to yeast for most Belgians is 3787/530 (Westmalle), I think it has a good balanced character without much banana. I would suggest picking a strain and getting to know it over time, and seeing how it reacts to different times/temps/pitching rates/worts.

The Brett will certainly continue to evolve over time, but I am concerned about bottling it early. I know Orval bottles after just a few weeks with the Brett but they have lots of experience and very thick bottles. I have always let my Brett beers go for a few months in secondary before I bottle.

Does your friend’s brother like Orval andfunk? You might be better off splitting the batch, giving him his half “clean” and then funking your portion for later bottling/consumption.

Ryan
01/09/08 02:08 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
DaveI and Mike

I have a pale ale to which I added Orval dregs, dregs from Ommegedon and signature ale and after two months it tastes great. The gravity went from 1056 down to 1009 last I checked.

It primaried on 1056 and I'll bottle it soon.

r

Dave I
01/09/08 02:48 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Secondary Infected Tripel?
<<Does your friend’s brother like Orval andfunk? You might be better off splitting the batch, giving him his half “clean” and then funking your portion for later bottling/consumption.>>

I doubt he's ever had Orval, but I am planning on letting him try it first. Given the Belgians he HAS liked, and his preference of Guinness Extra Stout (in the non-widget bottles, allegedly Brett'd) I think he should. However, if he likes fresh Orval, giving him a "clean" batch and funking my own half is probably a nice idea. If he hates Orval, maybe I will try Westmalle yeast (which I know he liked in the Dubbel I gave him, and he is trying a Westmalle Tripel soon).

<< I have always let my Brett beers go for a few months in secondary before I bottle. >>

That would be the plan here. But a few months is a lot shorter than a year, which is what I usually plan before drinking something like a Barleywine or other strong ale or lager (his OTHER preference). I have endless patience with my homebrew, but think something that he can drink after a few months and watch develop over time, while he learns about other commercial brews, might be nice. And he can brew something small with extract that can be drank in its entirety young (Pale Ale, Stout, etc.) in the meanwhile.

<<I have a pale ale to which I added Orval dregs, dregs from Ommegedon and signature ale and after two months it tastes great. The gravity went from 1056 down to 1009 last I checked.>>

Hey Ryan, thanks for the info. I want to primary with a Belgian simply because, when young I want to be able to appreciate the beer as a Belgian Tripel (or Dubbel, Quad, Strong Golden Ale, or whatever), and then have anywhere from a hint to noticeable funky presence to complement the original yeast. Of course, I plan on making more of these, so the more successful ideas I can get the better.

Never heard of, seen, or much less drank Ommegedon. Is that just a Brett-infected Ommegang brew? Never tried (or heard of) Selection Ale either. My go-to microbrew shop has kind of gone downhill in the selection of Belgian style/influenced beer as of late, so that is not too surprising, but a bit unfortunate.

Anyway, it looks like Brett is the way to go for infecting this sort of beer?

-Cheers

Mike T
01/09/08 03:35 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
Just making sure, Brett can be pretty objectionable to some people, but it sounds like he has a pretty open pallet.

I don’t believe the regular Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (“Brewed at St. James Gate”) has Brett, but some variants of the Foreign Export Stout (not sold in America) are supposed to have/had it. I had a bottle of the Jamaican brewed Foreign Export that my buddy hauled back from his vacation, and it was really tasty, but I didn’t pick up any Brett.

Ommegeddon is essentially a Brett B spiked, dry hopped version of Hennepin. They added Brett at bottling and I have heard after 6 months it is just starting to get funky. I loved the beer the first time I had it on tap at a fest a few years back, but wasn’t wild about it when I had the most recent batch on tap (I have two bottles but I am waiting for them to get their funk on).

Good luck.

Ryan
01/09/08 03:42 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
"Never heard of, seen, or much less drank Ommegedon. Is that just a Brett-infected Ommegang brew? Never tried (or heard of) Selection Ale either. My go-to microbrew shop has kind of gone downhill in the selection of Belgian style/influenced beer as of late, so that is not too surprising, but a bit unfortunate.

Anyway, it looks like Brett is the way to go for infecting this sort of beer?"

I mean Signature Ale actually (thinking about other stuff...anyway if you haven't heard of this its the Collaborative sour by Tomme Arthur and whosywhatsit).

Ommegeddon...yes brett Ommegang tripple. Not impressed but it wasn't in the bottle long when I drank it either so it may not have funked much. I had two...both were so so.

Dave I
01/09/08 03:47 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
<<Just making sure, Brett can be pretty objectionable to some people, but it sounds like he has a pretty open pallet.>>

Yeah, he is just 21, but he has been exposed to a lot of fairly exotic brews due to his brother's tastes, and some of the beers I have given him. He seems primarily interested in beer that is "interesting" and is really open to anything. I gave him the two most interesting lambics I could find at the local beer shop, and he liked them but they were the pasteurized/sweetened variety (unfortunately) and he seemed game to try funkier, more sour stuff.

<<I don’t believe the regular Guinness Foreign Extra Stout (“Brewed at St. James Gate”) has Brett, but some variants of the Foreign Export Stout (not sold in America) are supposed to have/had it. I had a bottle of the Jamaican brewed Foreign Export that my buddy hauled back from his vacation, and it was really tasty, but I didn’t pick up any Brett.>>

I thought it was the other way around. The Guinness Foreign Extra Stout has a bit more of a bite to it, to me at least, than the widget cans/bottles/draft varieties I have had. The FES just seem like bigger and sweeter Tropical versions of Guinness. I got several big bottles when I was in London and they did not taste bretty at all to me. Of course, I could be totally wrong.

-Cheers

Mike T
01/09/08 04:00 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
I’m certainly not sure, so I did a quick google search and pulled up several places that claim that Brett helps to ferment the famous “sour 3%” that Guinness blends into its beer.

The BJCP style guide claims that “A rather broad class of stouts, these can be either fruity and sweet, dry and bitter, or even tinged with Brettanomyces (e.g., Guinness Foreign Extra Stout; this type of beer is best entered as a Specialty or Experimental beer).”

Wiki:

(Foreign Extra Stout) Formerly it was blended with beer that soured naturally as a result of fermenting in ancient oak tuns with a Brettanomyces population (see e.g. Protz,R., The Ale Trail, Eric Dobby Publishing, Kent, 1995. pp174-6.), now with pasteurised beer that has been soured bacterially. (See e.g. rec.food.drink.beer: Brettanomyces and Guinness)

Sounds like just about every Guinness falls into the same category that it way have and may still be partially fermented with Brett, but I have yet to really taste it in any of their beers.

Baums
01/09/08 04:02 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
I think I mentioned most of this in another thread but I can't find it. Anyway...

In my experience, 3 mL of "brett starter" per liter of beer added at bottling will give a nice, slowly increasing brett character that is imperceptible for at least a month but should becomes obvious within 3-4. In my case the brett starter was made with 10P Munton's DME and Wyeast nutrient, innoculated from agar with a colony of Wyeast b. lambicus.

My best guess (but still very much a guess) is that the slurry in the wyeast lambicus pack is 3-4 times more concentrated than the starter I used--but on the other hand maybe it's not as viable. So, if you wanted to just pitch wyeast slurry into beer just before bottling, maybe 1-3 mL per liter is a good place to start? By the way JB from Boulevard suggested not pitching much brett for a secondary ferment, rather than trying to rush it with more cells.

Personally (and based on this experience, with a US-05 primary) I would not worry about bottle bombs as long as the tripel was totally fermented out, the brett is pitched at this low rate, and I drank a bottle once every 2-3 weeks to check on the carbonation.

Dave I
01/09/08 04:52 PM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?

<<So, if you wanted to just pitch wyeast slurry into beer just before bottling, maybe 1-3 mL per liter is a good place to start? By the way JB from Boulevard suggested not pitching much brett for a secondary ferment, rather than trying to rush it with more cells.>>

Thanks Baums. I can live with that advice.

I am thinking Brettanymyces Bruxellensis (that is what is in Orval, correct?) or my default of a few bottles of Orval dregs. But I am wide open, plus I would like ideas to store away for future batches (presuming this one turns out o.k.).

How did you like Brett L. compared to Brett B.? What style(s) of beer did you infect, and what flavors developed?

-Cheers

Baums
01/10/08 10:35 AM  
Re: Any Ideas for Seconary Infected Tripel?
I have only done the brett-at-bottling thing with a pseudo-pils, pretty high FG on that one really (maybe 1.011), and WY b. lambicus. Brett flavor was the kind of cherry-leather many people describe with that strain.

I'd be leery of equating commercial strains labelled "b. brux" with Orval because there are many b. brux strains out there, and besides we don't know how the commercial guys are deciding what to call their strains.

Like I said I've had success with WY b. lambicus. I also like the direction an old ale with b. claussenii secondary is currently going. Others (Sean maybe?) have had good success with WY b. anomalous in secondary. So maybe one of those, or else some Orval dregs which people have also had success with.

 
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