Has anyone aged or been aging Brux?

Discussion in 'Cellaring / Aging Beer' started by imduffman, Jan 11, 2013.

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  1. imduffman

    imduffman Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2012 Ohio

    I have a couple of bottles in the basement and was curious if anyone else had opened one recently.
    I plan on opening one this weekend, just curious how it has developed.
  2. Beerontwowheels

    Beerontwowheels Initiate (0) Nov 22, 2009 Maryland

    I'm in your boat. Go check a few reviews. Some are sure to be recent openings.
  3. RDMII

    RDMII Disciple (342) Apr 11, 2010 Georgia

    Anxious as well. It was way too young when fresh.
  4. walterfredo

    walterfredo Aspirant (257) Nov 22, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    I had one last night. Didn't really notice much change from when it was fresh.
    jtmartino likes this.
  5. Jfriz25

    Jfriz25 Initiate (0) Jun 8, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I was reading newer reviews and almost all mentioned a sour or at least tart component that doesn't seem to be the consensus in early reviews. I plan on forgetting about mine for another year or so.
  6. cmoody91

    cmoody91 Initiate (0) Mar 21, 2010 Illinois

    Opened one at the end of november and also had tastes of two bottles when fresh. Definitely starting to develop some sour qualities, but can only see it getting better over the next 6 months-year.
  7. WassailWilly

    WassailWilly Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2007 New York

    Got my bottle tucked away for at least another year !
    ElGallo and match1112 like this.
  8. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    Aging a couple on my local bottle shop shelves.

    Seriously though, pretty amazed its still on shelves around here. Thought it was great fresh (from a guy not really into sours)
    HuskyinPDX, jgluck, davey101 and 2 others like this.
  9. loony4lambic

    loony4lambic Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2012 California

    Had it Fresh. Awesome. After a few months. Awesome, a bit more funky. Have 1 more left cellaring. Going to wait at least another year
  10. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Just to be clear, it was 100% Brett beer so it's no surprise that it didn't show any funk or sourness.
    davey101, rrryanc, paulys55 and 2 others like this.
  11. jbeezification

    jbeezification Initiate (0) Jun 6, 2012 Texas

    I opened one last night, and its still immature. Give it at least 6 more months to a year. It is improved but not quite there.
    dogphishead likes this.
  12. rfbenavi80

    rfbenavi80 Initiate (0) Mar 15, 2010 Missouri

    I had one fresh and I've got one in the cellar. Looks like I'll be sitting on this one a while longer.
  13. DonDirkA

    DonDirkA Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2011 Arizona

    I have one put away that I plan on opening around July 4th this year. My dad has one too (he's not a cellar guy, the only other thing he's had was VE 07-12) so I'll see how it tastes when I open it and tell him how long to hold onto his. He opened one that he had when we did a VE tasting and I didn't notice any sour qualities at all. To be fair I had just finished a 6 beer VE tasting (ending with that clove bomb 12.12.12) so I may not have been able to pick it up.
  14. EyePeeAyBryan

    EyePeeAyBryan Champion (800) Dec 20, 2011 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Same (one week ago).
  15. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,070) Jul 7, 2005 Iowa
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    It did show funk. Lots of funk. Just not any sourness. Why? Because there's nothing in the beer that would sour it. Think Orval, not Sanctification.

    Frankly I'd be disappointed if the bottles I'm holding onto started going sour, the beer doesn't want/need it.
  16. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    Definitely isnt a sour beer.

    Had my second one last week and no discernible differences
  17. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Maybe since I had some of the earlier bottles but I didn't get any funk -horsey -wet blanket - cheesy (4‐ethylphenol,4‐ethylcatechol). I got more tropical fruit and pineapple (Ethyl caproate-Ethyl caprylate).

    I looked up Brux on RR website and apparently it's not 100% Brett. The website says it was primary w/Belgian yeast and bottled with Brett. I Googled the label and it of course confirms it. Orval doesn't pick up much Brett character at first either. It's said that Orval is best at six months, maybe I should open another bottle.
  18. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    No kidding, not a sour? Well, like I said I'm not focused on the style. I lump sour/wild/brett beers into the same category. Anything tart, I call a "sour"....thought that was fairly standard (maybe amongst the ignorant huh?) Brux was no where near puckering like some Gueuzes/Flanders reds etc. can be, but I drank it and thought "tame sour"...or "domesticated wild". Flipped through some reviews and the word sour seems common for Brux. Am I way out in left field calling all wild/Brett beers sour?
  19. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    It isn't 100% brett fermented. It was an ale fermented with Belgian yeast that was inoculated with brett during bottling, for a secondary, bottle fermentation.
  20. ncaudle

    ncaudle Defender (602) May 28, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    just because something is "wild" doesnt mean it has Brett.
    sourness comes from bacteria, not Brett.
    dogphishead and Centennial like this.
  21. Centennial

    Centennial Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2009 Vermont

    I do not think brux was either tart or sour, but rather mostly belgian yeast tasting with a slight hint of funk from the brett, but not even close to sour. It is my understanding that Brettanomyces needs lactic acid producing bacteria such as Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus in order to provide sourness to the beer. People that reviewed it and mention sour should just stop reviewing.
    gpawned likes this.
  22. ThirstyFace

    ThirstyFace Initiate (0) Jan 11, 2013 New York

    I'm no expert either, so feel free to ignore me, though I found no notable sour notes
  23. jegross2

    jegross2 Meyvn (1,210) Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    I have been
  24. itsthepleats

    itsthepleats Initiate (0) Mar 19, 2012 Ohio

    Yeah, so there's apparently a decent debate out there about the definition of "wild" and "sour" ale....again, my ignorance. From the 10 mins I spent googling it, I think non-connoisseurs will still just lump em together in one group (and I've always understood that Brett implies wild, as in wild strain...which I've always referred to as "sour" beers) I've got a better understanding now that Brett doesn't produce the sourness...but only used in many sours. I'm now more educated from this thread.

    But damn....no one else got some "domesticated" tart/sour notes from Brux? I may have to grab a bottle and give it another go, since now I'm really questioning my palate and/or memory.
    JEdmund likes this.
  25. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    I bought 4 initially and after drinking one fresh the rest are locked away indefinitely until credible BAs start speaking of it drinking well
    RobertColianni and davey101 like this.
  26. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Brett creates funk. Brett is acidogenic, meaning it creates acids. Which are sour.

    See above. Brett can make beer more sour. Anybody that says otherwise has no idea what they are talking about. A really simple Google search will verify.
  27. yinzer

    yinzer Initiate (0) Nov 24, 2006 Pennsylvania

    I said "Just to be clear, it was 100% Brett beer so it's no surprise that it didn't show any funk or sourness."

    Thanks for the comment.

    Just to be clear, when I mis-spoke I was was thinking that Brux was 100% Brett and it's not. I later re-canted and my apologies. But where I was coming from is that a 100% Brett beer can be produced and neither be funking (when young- there isn't mush history) or never be sour- ever. I base that on the ones that I've brewed. But I didn't mean that statement to be all inclusive for all strains under-all conditions.

    Question: does "acidogenic" mean that it will produce acids (I believe acidic and not lactic) or that it can? I know that it can but my understanding is that it depends on glucose and oxygen levels. I imagine that the glucose levels are set but the oxygen levels can be controlled. And Chad Y. claims that small amount can be pleasant and not sour. A common sour would be the cherry pie (Brett L).
  28. ncaudle

    ncaudle Defender (602) May 28, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I can agree with that statement. Brett is almost always found in sours.
    I don't think Brett in and of itself makes a sour beer, that requires bacteria.

    paging oldsock ...
  29. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    It will under the right conditions. It can at all times, unless it's dead/frozen/etc. Usually it produces acid, although not always enough to make the beer sour. Some of the "funky" aroma is from the production of acidic compounds other than acetic acid.

    Yes, Brett requires O2 to create Acetic Acid, and this is generally avoided in beermaking, but it cannot be avoided entirely. Sour is usually a byproduct of pediococcus or lactobacillus There are multiple different species of Brett used in beermaking that all impart different flavors/aromas.

    Bottom Line - Brett can, and does make beer sour. Good info here:

    yinzer likes this.
  30. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Wrong. Brett + Oxygen creates Acetic Acid. Acetic Acid lowers the pH of the beer, making it sour. It's usually avoided, but that's not the point here.

    Edit: sorry, not trying to sound like a dick. Just at work writing clinical protocols and I turn into robot mode.

    Yeah, many strains of Brett can make Acetic Acid, and make beer sour. But since most of us don't like vinegar in our beer, it's usually avoided.

    Regarding the OP, I was supremely disappointed by Brux. I'd rather pick up a Fantome or something equivalent any day. Same price, better taste, no question. Brux is supposed to get better over time, but I'm not willing to gamble with a $15+ bottle of beer that may or may not turn out well.
  31. errantnight

    errantnight Meyvn (1,070) Jul 7, 2005 Iowa
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Yes, entirely. For all the hyper-focus on shoving beers into specific categories regardless of whether or not it's warranted we are remarkably flippant about lumping all beers of a wild/sour nature together. We've somehow conflated sour as wild and pedio/lacto with brett so if any one of those buzzwords escapes we toss them into a sort of general sameness: American Wild Ale, everybody! Best known for Russian River's -tion series, which may have nothing to do with other "American Wild Ales!"

    If you go way back in the reviews for Celebration Ale from Sierra Nevada (maybe even today, I haven't looked in 5+ years) you'll find people talking about holiday spices they picked out of the beer because it was a winter seasonal and that means holiday spices.

    Similarly, you'll have people tasting, actually tasting, sour notes in this beer that has none because their perception is so strongly slanted towards an experience that the beer itself doesn't provide. Some others will just throw in words they see others using in reviews, but I would imagine that most of those are things people would honestly tell you they think they experienced.
    crushedvol likes this.
  32. ncaudle

    ncaudle Defender (602) May 28, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    jtmartino, I read through that link last night but it doesn't discuss Brett being a souring agent on its own, in fact, it mentions that they deliberately spike it with increasing levels of lactic acid. it does state that Brett creates acids but mainly higher fatty acids with only a very small amount of acids commonly known to be souring agents, depending on the strain of Brett.

    I'm not a bio-chemist so I'm obviously not up to speed on some of the finer details mentioned in that report. good report though with some valuable info to use in my further experimentation with Brett.
  33. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    There are many misconceptions in this thread as to what Brux is/will become. Brux was an homage to Orval. If you want an idea of what Brux may develop into, get your hands on some aged Orval (shouldn't be hard, most Orval languishes on shelves for years), and see if you like it.

    Brettanomyces ≠ sour
    davey101 likes this.
  34. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    That's because most brewers don't want their sour to come from acetic acid. Brett, in the presence of O2, makes acetic acid (and other acids) and lowers pH. There are numerous articles across the internet about this. Here's one (referring to winemaking, but the idea is the same):


    Even websites like Wyeast's indicate that Brett makes acetic acid, but it has to be an aerobic environment. Bottom line: it's not a "souring agent" because it makes the wrong kind of sour, but it can and will create sour flavors in your beer if given the chance. Period. And it does, regularly, as many Brett beers are tart without the addition of "souring agents."

    FWIW I have a biochemistry background and worked as a lab biologist for years. I've also had a discussion on this topic with someone at White Labs in SD.

    Not always - read above.
  35. ElGallo

    ElGallo Crusader (795) Sep 26, 2009 New Hampshire

    I was planning to sit on my bottle until this summer, but another year won't hurt. I'm thinking of doing the same with my Smuttynose Brett & I.
  36. ncaudle

    ncaudle Defender (602) May 28, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I think the issue (which has long since derailed the original question of this thread) is that although tart and sour both describe acidity, and are interchangeable per a dictionary, most people tend to think of them as different. see - http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/taste-terms-question-sour-versus-tart.31735/

    I'm paraphrasing but you use sour to describe all levels of acidity, not just the levels most would refer to as sour. most people seem to describe Brett as tart (low acidity) and sour as high acidity. I'm not saying you're wrong or I'm right, we're just using different terms to describe it.

    to most people, tart and sour taste quite different.
    dogphishead likes this.
  37. BigGene

    BigGene Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2010 Florida

    I do know that my local Total Wine is aging Brux, Every time i am there I see a shelf full. So they must be aging it!
  38. dc55110

    dc55110 Aspirant (282) Oct 24, 2010 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    So unless the is a bottling/handling issue, there will not be enough oxygen present to allow Brett to produce acetic acid.
    In anaerobic condition Brettanomyces yeasts did not result in high acetic acid production and a pure, even if slow, alcoholic fermentation occurred.
  39. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    You're right, but the universal sweeping statements that Brett beers aren't sour, or that Brett can't make a beer sour, are simply false. That's the only message I'm trying to convey, and hopefully people who read this thread will find it informative and will stop spreading misinformation.
  40. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    No. There's always enough dissolved oxygen in fermenting beer for Brett to make acetic acid (and other acids.) That's why after you pitch Brett, the pH drops. The same concept is behind Acetobacter contamination - it only makes acetic acid in the presence of O2, but there's always enough O2 in your beer for it to be contaminated by acetobacter (even fermenting in a tank or carboy.)

    And there has to be oxygen in the fermenting beer, or yeast in general won't be able to do its thing.

    Fundamentally, tart = sour. Tart beers are mildly sour beers. Many Brett-only beers are tart. That is not possible unless Brett had the ability to make acids.
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