Brett / Adding Orval bottle dregs

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Brett / Adding Orval bottle dregs

Unread postby niels » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:54 pm

Tonight I had a visit from a friend who fiercely helped to drink an Orval as I just racked my Orval-ish beer to secondary and added the dregs of 2 bottles of relatively fresh Orval to it.

I've put the carboy in a dark room where the temperature is about 16~17°C. After a week or so I plan to move it to the cellar where the temperature is about 13°C. I've read that Brett just keeps crunching on those sugars at these temperatures, so it seems like a good plan to me.

Would you suggest putting the carboy a bit warmer during that first week? How do I see that the Brett is working? Will it form a pellicle? Is a airlock necessary or can I simply put some aluminum foil (sterilised) over the top?

And yes, dinnerstick, I'm looking at you. I have a feeling you know a thing or two about using Brett :)

:cheers:
- Niels
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Re: Brett / Adding Orval bottle dregs

Unread postby dinnerstick » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:19 pm

true... but most of my experience is using brett as the primary fermenter, where it behaves quite differently. however, this much is certain. you don't want to give your beer any oxygen exposure. brett will make acetic acid in the presence of oxygen, you don't want that. so definitely airlock, not foil. a pellicle may or may not form, if there is really no oxygen then likely not, i have had them with and without. you are pitching such a small amount that any activity will be slow, so if there's no pellicle you may not know it's working other then by checking the gravity, and by taste.
other than that the plan sounds good. my one and only orval-ish beer did take a month or so at room temp to start tasting interesting, i recently bottled most of it and put it in the cellar.
on that note, some say that brett makes more funky flavors when it's in stressful conditions, ie not much to eat and high partial pressure of CO2 in the bottle, so you may want to bottle it in a month or two, once the gravity has dropped and is stable, and then age some more. i don't know if that's true or not, but have heard it said by others who seem to know what they are talking about... anyways you can taste it along the way and see how it develops, and report back! (and then we can trade bottles later in the year!)
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Re: Brett / Adding Orval bottle dregs

Unread postby niels » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:53 pm

Airlock it is. While racking there is of course a bit of air exposure, but I suspect that is minimal if done carefully.

I was planning on bottling in 2 months to avoid bottle bombs :)

OG was 1.064, FG is 1.012.

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Re: Brett / Adding Orval bottle dregs

Unread postby Nesto » Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:20 pm

niels wrote:Airlock it is. While racking there is of course a bit of air exposure, but I suspect that is minimal if done carefully.

I was planning on bottling in 2 months to avoid bottle bombs :)

OG was 1.064, FG is 1.012.

- Niels


Yeah, like dinnerstick said, keep oxygen out. In a carboy, you're likely to get a pellicle because you will certainly have at least a little oxygen and the pellicle does a nice job of protecting the beer from oxygen, so try to keep the pellicle intact if it forms. Resist the temptation to take too many samples and try to pierce the pellicle gently and as small area as possible. One study I read suggested that Brett around 15C will work very slowly, but acetic acid production will be nice and low. Brett is viable up to 32C BTW.

Will you bottle condition, or force carb? I have never bottle conditioned before, but I know you have to account for the extra fermentation capacity of Brett with a wild beer. Advice on bottling is make sure the beer is at 1.008 or lower before bottling. The flavors can still develop significantly after bottling.

For reading... Chad Yakobson did an interesting study on Brett that you can read here: http://www.brettanomycesproject.com/
Micheal Tonmeire is the Mad Fermentationist and he recently released a book too. This post is probably of specific interest to you: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/20 ... dregs.html.
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