Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

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GCR
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Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

Post by GCR » Mon May 20, 2019 2:06 pm

Hello - I've got a saison that I am planning to add some Brett to (The Yeast Bay - Brettanomyces Bruxellensis - Strain TYB207), and I was wondering:

A) if I split the vial in two and made a starter, would that be a good idea?

B) Would the starter even be necessary/advisable (could I just pour half of it in and save the rest to funk up another batch)

C) Just pour the whole vial in as the whole thing would be needed.

It's a 6 gallon batch. OG was around 1.055, primary yeast is Safale BE-134. Gonna check gravity now (it was brewed on Tuesday).

Recipe/idea largely inspired by mumblecrunch from the advent calendar (thanks again for that great beer!) I'm also planning on adding a reishi mushroom tincture (in gin) at bottling.

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Naboo
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Re: Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

Post by Naboo » Tue May 21, 2019 2:39 pm

I'm no expert on the subject but can give you my experience if it helps. I did a Brett pale ale a while back adding the brett to the secondary. I added the whole vial and it worked a treat. I can't recall which Brett it was to be honest but I loved that beer.

I've just done a Brett saison, similar to yours using BE-134 but with Brett C from yeast bay added in secondary. The Brett yeast was well past its best before date so I stepped up a starter to bring it back to life. After advice from a far more experienced brewing friend I saved some of the yeast for future use, as the BE-134 typically finishes low leaving not much for the brett yeast to work on. He was right, the BE-134 finished at 1.008 so I only pitched a little over half of the starter. After a week there are lots of small bubbles on the surface of the wort which I hope turn into some funky pellicle porn.

Whether you need a starter would depend on the age of the yeast I guess but if your saison has finished low like mine then it might be a waste to use the whole vial. Just my two cents but I'm far from an expert on the subject. Good luck with the beer!

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Re: Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

Post by GCR » Tue May 21, 2019 2:50 pm

Sweet. I ended up doing a starter for it... going to pitch it soon as the BE-134 already brought it down to 1.010!

Mumblecrunch used some brett dregs on a BE-134 that was pretty low and it turned out lovely, so I am hoping half a vial will do the trick.

Thanks for the long and helpful response :)

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Re: Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

Post by mumblecrunch » Wed May 22, 2019 11:08 am

I wouldn't have bothered with a starter. You're pitching into beer that regular yeast has already gone to town on. So there's going to be a little bit of simple sugars left and some complex sugars as well. Brett will eat it all, just not nearly as quickly (especially with the complex sugars). You might get a quicker result with a small starter (more cells), but you might also get less brett character.

Also, I wouldn't count on much of a pellicle forming using brett in the secondary, especially at such a low starting gravity. I've gotten very thin pellicles with a few bubbles, but only after 3-4 weeks.

That all said, it's brett, so you're never quite sure what's going to happen!

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Re: Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

Post by GCR » Thu May 23, 2019 12:12 am

I added half of the Brett starter, and it is happily chewing away at whatever is left. What a tremendous smell just from the starter. I can already see/hear it bubbling away.

When do you recommend I dry hop? Maybe another week or so in the carboy to let Brett go to work and finish her off, then dry hop for another week before bottling?

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Re: Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

Post by mumblecrunch » Thu May 23, 2019 10:46 am

GCR wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 12:12 am
When do you recommend I dry hop? Maybe another week or so in the carboy to let Brett go to work and finish her off, then dry hop for another week before bottling?
I dry hop when the beer is where I want it to be: FG under 1.003 and brett is evident. Four to eight days later I bottle, usually after a couple days of cold crashing. In the three batches I've made I've left the brett going as short as 2 weeks and as long as 6. Just make sure that FG is low enough that any further brett development in the bottle isn't going to give you bottle bombs or that you've adjusted your bottling sugar to suit.

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Re: Using Brettanomyces Bruxellensis to funk things up

Post by GCR » Thu May 23, 2019 11:33 am

Great, thanks again for the advice. She's bubbling away this morning...with OG of 1.055, I reckon it will probably end up at around 7%.

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