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Temp range for all Brett IPA ferment?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by celeriac, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. So I am trying to figure out how to brew some sort of IPA or hoppy pale in spite of the fact that my basement is about 68 F and I don't have a fermentation fridge (or much ability to mess with ice packs/swamp coolers etc). I've hit upon the idea of brewing a 100% brett IPA (possibly based on the Mad Fermentationist/Old Sock Brett IPA -- http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2012/07/100-brett-trois-ipa-recipe.html). For anyone with experience doing 100% brett brews, do you think I will do alright starting around 68 and allowing it to free-rise? Or is it likely to yield unpleasant results? The only Brett experience I have is to finish some Belgian brews, so I'm not sure how it performs at those higher temps.

    Thanks for any info you can share!
  2. jamescain

    jamescain Advocate (720) Texas Jul 14, 2009 Verified Subscriber

  3. I personally make it a practice to ferment in the middle part of the yeast vendor’s recommended range.

    For example:

    · Wyeast 5112 (Brett B) states: “Temperature Range: 60-75° F (15-24° C)” I would shoot for a fermentation temperature like 68-70°F

    · Wyeast 5526 (Brett L) states: “Temperature Range: 60-75° F (15-24° C)” I would shoot for a fermentation temperature like 68-70°F


    P.S. I am assuming that you will make a yeast starter?
  4. od_sf

    od_sf Savant (430) California Nov 2, 2010

    In my experience, brett will love ± 68° F
  5. psnydez86

    psnydez86 Savant (445) Pennsylvania Jan 4, 2012 Verified

    My buddy brought over a sample last night of a mosaic/Citra ipa experiment. One fermented with pacman, one with his house yeast, and one with Brett C. Both fermented at ambient temp 68-70f. The Brett C version had some nice tropical fruitiness with a background slight Brett funk/spicy character. The pacman let the hops come thru more but wasn't nearly as interesting or complex as the Brett C version. He said when checking his Brett C gravity after about 6 or 7 days his whole basement smelled like overly ripe pineapple/mango, but it seems that the intense fruit character is mellowing out now. The beers are only a couple weeks old and the Brett version is noticeably drier than the others which makes sense.
  6. Our first batch of Modern Times Neverwhere (aka my 100% Brett IPA) climbed up to 74 F by the end. Granted tall fermentors tend to supress ester formation, but I bet you'll be fine. Just make sure to build up plenty of yeast, and pitch a little on the cold side if you can.

    Edit: I should say, that some Brett strains are better than others hot. I had great luck with WL Brett C around 80, but at the same temperatures Wyeast's old Brett A was a rubber-band-bomb.
  7. Thanks guys! I will do my own research, but any tips on building a Brett Starter vs a typical starter?
  8. If you are using White Labs Brett, they start with far fewer cells than the brewer's yeast. So start small. Brett growers slower too, so wait at least a week in between steps.
  9. Michael, if one were to do a single stage starter using Wyeast Brett yeast; how long would that starter take (I typically go 18 – 24 hours with ‘regular’ yeast starters)?

  10. Wyeast packs have many more cells so a one stage starter is fine. One week is the standard time to reach maximum cell density with Brett (per the experiments Chad Yakobson did). You could probably get away with less, but a 24 hour Brett starter would produce far fewer cells than one with brewer's yeast.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  11. So, if I were to go with a Wyeast strain (to avoid the need for lengthy starter building), do you think the standard Bret Brux would turn out well for an IPA? I'm just learning about the strains and I understand it's a bit different from the Trois strain, but the Trois is only available to me via Whitelabs for now.

    Thanks for all your help.
  12. I've never tried the Wyeast Brux in an IPA, but without the big fruity character of the Trois, I don't think it is as good of a match.
  13. OK, that's sort of what I was guessing, but you can't blame me for searching for a shortcut!

    Better swing by the HBS to pick up my ingredients ASAP. Thanks for all the help.
  14. Just to report back on this for posterity -- I popped my first bottle of this last night and holy crap, Brett Trois and Citra are a match made in heaven. The recipe was somewhat similar to OldSock's Neverwhere/Brett IPA recipe -- similar grain bill and but 100% Citra with heavy late/dry hops. I wanted more of a summer/session IPA, so I dialed the OG back to 1.054 and landed at 5% abv.

    I fermented with a nice healthy Brett Trois starter at an ambient temp of 70, which climbed up to 76-78 during a quick ferment. After 10 days on dry hops and a week of conditioning, this brew smells like a tropical fruit salad, with reasonably firm bitterness and a nice, dry finish. The crazy part is that I would NEVER peg this as a brett beer. Combining the fruity yeast strain with fruity hops yields, just as OldSock said on his website, a seamlessly fruity aroma. I'm kind of interested in entering this in competition as an American IPA just to see if the judges could pick it out.

    So there you go, hope that's a helpful data point for folks working on Brett fermentations.
    barfdiggs, OldSock and psnydez86 like this.
  15. tuckerlikesbeer

    tuckerlikesbeer Savant (325) Minnesota Jun 9, 2010 Verified

    I planned to brew a 100% Brett trois ipa next Tuesday but I have not made a starter. Would I be ok if just pitch two or three vials of WL Brett trois or do I need to make a starter? And if I need a starter any chance I could have it ready by Tuesday (5 days of I pick up and make tomorrow)?
  16. I brewed your Neverwhere recipe on Sunday. When you return from San Diego, I would love to send a bottle or two your way. You don't live all that far from me...

    Thanks for the recipe! Hope you're enjoying 'living the dream' over on the west coast!
    OldSock likes this.
  17. It'd take at least 60 vials to get the right pitching rate... If you make a starter ASAP with a few vials, you'll be OK, but Brett is pretty slow growing.
  18. jamescain

    jamescain Advocate (720) Texas Jul 14, 2009 Verified Subscriber

    What OldStock said. You might be better off brewing later if you can. With Brett there is a chance it can produce some unappealing off flavors and aromas if it is stressed. I usually give my Brett starters at least two weeks and two steps.
  19. tuckerlikesbeer

    tuckerlikesbeer Savant (325) Minnesota Jun 9, 2010 Verified

    If I buy 4 vials and do two separate starters with four pints and a cup of dme. Will I be okay by Tuesday or am I just trying to push too quick?
  20. tuckerlikesbeer

    tuckerlikesbeer Savant (325) Minnesota Jun 9, 2010 Verified

    I stopped at the homebrew shop and they told me they were out of the Trois. They said they have been trying to get it back in stock for awhile now unsuccessfully. I guess I will have to do my IPA with a regular old sacc. Hopefully they will get it back in stock sometime soon because I really want to try it! Maybe for the best so I don't rush the brett or under pitch.