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04/23/10 09:56 AM  
Successive generations of all-brett beers
I've been doing a bunch of all-brett beers lately. I got a pack of Brett C when it came out in Spring 2009 and have re-pitched it in 5 (I think) batches. The flavors on first generation was a little subdued, but the second batch onward all had great flavor, aromatics, etc. By the fourth re-pitch (January 2010, approx. 9-10 months after original pitch) the speed of fermentation began to slow drastically. But it eventually finished and was a very delicious beer. The fifth generation, pitched in February 2010, is just now getting near the expected final gravity, and is extremely dusty. Even with cold crashing I'm having a difficult time getting the brett to floc out.

In addition to my Brett C beers, I've also done a couple of Brett Ls. Fermentation on those has been much more sluggish, although I attribute that to an old smack pack initially.

Hope this helps for anyone considering getting a pack of Brett C from the 2010 release. I'd also love to learn if any of your experiences match or differ from mine.

tom sawyer
04/23/10 10:53 AM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
What kind of attenuation are you getting with those yeasts? And how like a lambic are the results?
04/23/10 01:29 PM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
<<What kind of attenuation are you getting with those yeasts? And how like a lambic are the results?>>

In my, and others' 100% brett C experiments, the attenuation has usually been on par with normal sacch fermented beers. And the character was nothing like a lambic. Brett C has been known as the most sacch-like of the brett strains when used as a primary fermenter. No super attenuation, no real funk. Usually lots of fruit.

tom sawyer
04/23/10 03:15 PM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
Thanks, thats what I'd read in Wild Brews but I thought I'd see if people were getting different results these days.
Mike T
04/23/10 03:59 PM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
I've never gone that long (either in time or generations) but your results aren't suprising. Those are the same sorts of things (slower attenuation, poor flocculation etc...) that are usually reported from repitching the same Sacch strain over and over again. It is a result of the mutations that occur over time.
04/23/10 05:50 PM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
do you use yeast nutrient? Just like Mike T said, when used like a normal sacch strain, it acts more like a normal sacch strain. Probably just getting tired...
04/23/10 06:56 PM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
I've used yeast nutrient, maybe not every time though. I'd have to check. My numbers for the brett c batches were:

1.048 to 1.018 (63%)

1.050 to 1.012 (76%)

1.074 to 1.012 (84%)

1.047 to 1.010 (79%)

1.063 to 1.013 (79%)(but took over 2 months to get there)

For the ones that lasted long enough, I noticed that they were good soon after reaching FG, then at about 4 months or so they developed a slight "sickness" flavor. Not undrinkable, just less enjoyable. But then that went away and they got quite good again. All batches had a strong fruity aroma at first, but it diminished over time, especially when compared side by side with a newer batch.

04/24/10 02:26 AM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
When using the White Labs Brett C for all brett beers, I've noticed the the bretty character start to appear around 4 months, coming in nicely by 6 months. Assuming we're talking about the same flavors, I really enjoy the added complexity after they get a few months on them (and it really is much more present in my beers in the flavor, whereas the aroma stays similarly fruity to when they are younger.)

I haven't tried the Wyeast Brett C strain yet, but just picked up 3 packs of it today to get some things started this month!

tom sawyer
04/24/10 08:27 AM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
I see, so this is a shortcut to a beer with cherry/horsey character then? That would be interesting.
04/24/10 09:35 AM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
Interesting jaymo. I've never used the White Labs, but it seems to me that comments I've read from WL users suggest that some traditional brett characteristics develop over time, whereas I don't always see those comments from Wyeast users. In my experience, I've gotten very little of the traditional cherry/horsey flavors from the Wyeast brett C. Maybe a little after the "sickness" phase passes, but certainly not significant.

I'll add that I also did a batch where I pitched both Brett L and Brett C (only). During fermentation it had a very strong brett L/cherry aroma, but it disappeared by the time fermentation ended, and the fruity/tropical aromas of brett C took over. Flavor-wise, I tasted almost all Brett C and very little Brett L. But then again, it was with my sluggish pack of Brett L.

I also find it interesting that your aroma doesn't seem to fade. Mine did, significantly. Mine were all kegged, with only a few bottled for competitions, parties, etc.

04/26/10 11:43 AM  
Re: Successive generations of all-brett beers
I never really got much in the way of "traditional" brett character in my all brett C beers (white labs FWIW). But then again few of mine lasted more than a couple months. Although I do have a few bottles squirreled away of my blond that I made. Perhaps I should crack one out and see how it is.
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