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11/20/08 12:08 AM  
Bottling With Brett ?s
I brewed a pumpkin saison and it had a OG of 1.060 and when I racked to secondary it was down to 1.010 (that was two weeks ago). I have about 4 gallons right now and would like to bottle 2 plain and 2 with Brett. Does anyone have any suggestions on bottling with brett? Is my FG low enough to not create bottle bombs? How much will I need for the 2 gallons? Which strain will give me the most sour funk with the lowest horse blanket funk?

Thanks for the info

11/20/08 10:34 AM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
Understanding I would defer to Al here...

IMO Brett C should not be a candidate. Great yeast up front - my well established favorite - but little or no impact when added late. My guess is its too much of a wimp for good bottle conditioning. Lowest horse blanket would knock Bruxellensis out of the running.

I'd spike it with Lambicus. Leave it in a carboy for at least 3 months, confirm there is not a meaningful gravity drop. When you feel sure its stable prime and bottle.

11/20/08 10:57 AM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
I have also heard I can add the dregs of a bottle conditioned beer to the mix. Wold this work? I wouldn't mind waiting for it to mature in the bottle but I am running out of carboy space as I make all these sour funky beers! Does one strain work well over longer periods in the bottle?
11/20/08 11:00 AM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
I would add the dregs from two bottles of Orval. Be sure to bottle with champagne bottles because it will develop high pressure. When it gets to a pressure you like then move it all to storage at around 36F.
Al B
11/20/08 11:15 AM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
For Lowest horseblanket I would not use Orval, WY bruxellensis, or WL lambicus.

First choice WY lambicus, second choice B. clausenii.

Do use thick bottles. If using a primer for bottling, best to use simple corn sugar.

11/20/08 12:13 PM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
I don't find Orval's brett all that hoarsey and I like what it contributes.

As far as priming sugar - use half of what you would normally use because the brett will easily take care of the rest.

Al B
11/20/08 12:32 PM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
If its not horsey, then goaty. Although nothing like the latest Signature ale w/ Allagash - it's like a slice of goat cheese.
11/20/08 02:21 PM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
In some experiments with adding various brett strains to the same beer at bottling, blind taste tests, etc, I've noticed some interesting things that might be helpful.

1. None of 3 bretts (WY lambicus, WLP claussenii, and a brux that might be WY) had noticably more carbonation than a no-brett control bottle, after ~6 months at room temp. Apparently the WY3787 used for primary doesn't leave a lot for the brett. (Obviously this doesn't mean you can't make bottle bombs with brett in other situations, and I still use heavy bottles for this kind of thing.)

2. Our experience with claussenii is different from Steve's... or maybe not. Oddly, in blind taste tests some folks get a huge barnyard aroma, while others get no barnyard at all *from the exact same bottle*. I'm one who didn't (maybe Steve would be too) even though I notice barnyard in many other bretty beers. To me it was a bit sweeter/fresher than a no-brett control, and anyway it was generally liked.

3. Only the brux strain made a significant contribution in 2 months (really good, classic, moderate Orval-like horsey wildness). A few months later it was a bit more intense but not overly so, still good.

4. The lambicus a dud in blind tasting. This surprised me because I like it in some other situations--but in this beer it was a bit dry, solventy, sharp, without adding much else. Not terrible but I don't think any of 5 tasters preferred it to the control. I remember just a bit more "standard brettiness" when we dosed it in a different beer, but still subdued and also slightly medicinal.

So, take that for what it's worth. If you've got multiple bretts (or Orval or Avery 15 or something) lying around, why not dose different bottles with different bretts and let us know how it goes? Something like 1/2 mL of undecanted brett starter per bottle is a decent place to start.

11/20/08 02:52 PM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
So I have to add priming sugar when I add the brett? I think I may add either the dregs of 2 Orvals or I can easily get my hands on WL Lambicus. Also, If I do use the WL Lambicus how much would I need for the two gallons? And should I add the dregs/lambicus to bottle or carboy? Thanks for all the info so far!
11/21/08 06:39 AM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
Baums, your experiment may have been missing one important component - a placebo. I have totally experienced that many people will taste what they expect to taste. I have also observed people tasting things they were talked into detecting. One sample to evaluate the tasters is often a good thing to have.
Al B
11/21/08 09:23 AM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s

There's no one way to add brett. You can add it at any point, and you don't need a specified amount. Heck, you can prime the batch, then add a few mL of different bretts to several bottles and compare.

Just prep a starter for best results.

Al bruxellensis

11/21/08 11:37 AM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
Jeff: Like Al said, you can either add the priming sugar to the batch or to the bottle--likewise with the brett. Personally I wouldn't worry too much about the amount, for Wyeast slurry I'd try maybe a drop or two per bottle and for Orval, I agree with Al make a starter and add an mL to each bottle. Obviously multiply these accordingly if you're adding to the whole batch at once.


Steve: Those observations are actually from (double) blind taste tests, where one beer in the flight was *not* dosed with any brett at bottling (what I call the control). Is that what you mean by a placebo?

I agree it's way too easy to fool yourself, or others, into tasting something you expect. Another key to avoiding that is if people write down what they think before anyone talks about it.

11/21/08 02:03 PM  
Re: Bottling With Brett ?s
Yes, placebo or control sample. Though untainted recording of comments is also a great method.
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