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Jim D
02/19/08 05:23 PM  
Death to Brett!
Anyone have a good way to stop Brett from carrying out its magic beyond a desired outcome. I have added some Brett to a Sour Brown where I originally pitched Lacto and Pedio, but wasn't getting the acidity or funkiness I wanted. So, I want to let the Brett have its way for a bit but then end it. Would adding metabisulfite be the answer? And if I did that, how would I carbonate at bottling?


02/19/08 06:16 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
Mike T did his in a Courage RIS clone. It's on his blog: madfermentationist.blogspot.com/
02/19/08 08:19 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
I heated my all-brett barley wine to 150 for 15 or 20 minutes. Tough decision but it worked out great.
Mike T
02/21/08 01:58 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
It has seems to have worked for the Courage RIS. I racked to tertiary, and added one crushed campden tablet per gallon of wort. After giving the SO2 10 days to get out I bottled with some fresh yeast and priming sugar. It is now carbonated, and as of 3 months in the bottle the carbonation seems to be at a steady moderate level. Not sure how long I’ll have to wait to be “in the clear” but at this point it seems like a decent option.

I really enjoyed Steve’s beer, but the heat sanitation seemed like a lot of work and I’m a lazy guy.

Al B
02/21/08 02:51 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
Metabisulfites are more effective in an acidic environment as opposed to a more neutral one - which is good in the oud brune, you might be able to use less. Too much and the Saccharomycess used for bottling may not work well. I'll check on this more tonight. Its something I will try when I start blending. All of my sour stuff I haven't interupted before and pasteurizing does affect the aromatics/flavors a bit I think.

I would fine the brew and rack as Mike did to reduce the amount of "stuff" that may bind or block the sulfite treatment.

Mike T
02/21/08 03:44 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
I forgot to mention, before I racked I added gelatin and chilled the beer for a couple days, with the idea of getting as much of the “stuff” settled out. Didn’t appear to do much, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.
Al B
02/21/08 07:25 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
I think its definately a good thing to do (finings). Sulfites apparently have a strong affininty for proteins. Each Campden tab is about 12g of metabisulfite = 50ppm of free sulfite, I think. So thats a good place to start, enough to inhibit cell activity if not kill 'em.

Apparently, sulfites are more effective and can use less at a lower pH (3-3.5 for example as opposed to say 4-4.5). So you could even start at a half a tab and go from there seeing its a sour brew. Adding to much sulfite will also give off a bad odor, I understand.

02/21/08 08:02 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
I use gelatin in nearly all my brews in secondary (well, most brews).....just became habit. I have been pleased with the results though.

02/22/08 02:08 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
I brewed 3 gal of a pale ale-ish thing (OG 1.048 / 4.7% ABV) with 2nd runnings from an IPA last spring and fermented with repitched slurry from a previous Orval clone ( it was WY1763 primary, orval dregs starter secondary). After discussion here, decided to heat to 150 degrees for 20 min to try to kill the brett, then bottled half the batch straight. Blended the other half (1.5 gal) with about 4 gal of a dark spiced Belgian ale at about 8.5% ABV and bottled like that.

Interesting differences - in the blended beer the brett is subtly present as you might expect from the lower percentage of that beer in the blending. The brett component also doesn't seem to have developed at all over time, although the beer itself has mellowed and dried out a little.

The "straight" brett/sacch beer however, seems to be evolving in it's brettiness - fruity/peachy flavors, a faint cinnamon-like spiciness. This has become more pronounced over the 8 months or so of aging. Plus the carbonation has definitely ramped up to Orval-ish levels. I am actually really liking it right now.

The question I have is - why did one beer evolve brett character and not the other? Is it possible the 'straight' batch had a critical mass of brett that survived the pasteurizing, but not the smaller portion that went into the blended batch?

02/22/08 02:10 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
Whoops, read "WY1762" not 3 above for the prior beer. (Rochefort strain)
Al B
02/22/08 04:49 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
Erik -

Did you bottle w/ additional yeast of some sort?

At any rate, 20min. @ 150 is a basic pasteurization parameter, but not its not sterilization. So depending on the tolerance level of the specific strain and other factors (population, sediment) its possible that survivors of brett occurred and began to ferment again. I don't know if Steve bottled conditioned his barleywine or not.

Again, a typical pasteurization step normally reduces the overall populations (for example milk) and kill heat-sensitive bugs quickly, but after a period of time the milk will spoil. Except in your case, spoiling tastes pretty good, just be wary of bottle bombs (what was your FG?).


02/22/08 06:47 PM  
Re: Death to Brett!
Al -

I did not add any yeast at bottling. The blended batch I thought would have plenty of yeast from the 70% dark ale contribution (which, oddly enough, was fermented with WY1056). The 'pure' WY1762/Orval dregs beer that remained I bottled as an afterthought. See, I figured I would be blending 50/50 and use all of it, but taste-testing on the day made me think that was going to be too bretty so I backed off to 30%.

Result - left over beer. Discard? Blasphemy! Let's bottle it and see what happens. Given that I thought the Brett to be dead I thought maybe it would not carbonate at all, and hear it is now at like 5 vol and the blended (mostly non-pasteurized) beer maybe at 3.

As for FG, that was a big part of why I pasteurized in the first place. See the original discussion here:


So the FG for the unblended part would be 1.007. For the blended batch as "gravity points" (22*7)+(7*3)=175/10= 17.5, so FG 1.0175 approximately.

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