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09/19/08 01:41 PM  
Attenuation on Big Brett beers
I have a fairly big beer (1.091 if memory serves) that I primaried with Sacch and has been in secondary with WL Brett Brux and some Orval dregs for about 10.5 months now. In that time, the flavor of the beer has really developed into something wonderful.

However, I am not noticing much in additional attenuation in secondary. I racked early, and with a fairly high SG of 1.022 and then added the brett. I checked it last night (with a refractometer, corrected for alcohol) and it was only down to 1.018.

As mentioned, the beer tastes wonderful, with a really nice level of funk; and I had tentatively planned on bottling in about a month or so. However, since I was expecting more attenuation from the brett strains, I'm a little concerned bottling with a high(er) FG like this.

I guess my question is what kind of attenuation numbers are usually achieved when adding brett to secondary of bigger beers like this? I wasn't exactly expecting superattenuation, but was expecting a little more than 4 points. Is this a normal level of attenuation for something like this and would it be considered "safe" to bottle without fear of bottle bombs. (It will be bottled in 750 corked Belgian glass)


09/19/08 02:09 PM  
Re: Attenuation on Big Brett beers
The oud bruin/belgian brown bretty ale I bottled up a couple of months ago had a pretty high FG...

It was originally a beer brewed to about 1.090 OG, with pedio/lacto added in the primary. Several months later the beer tasted boring and quite hot, the gravity was around .02 or .022 or something similar to what you had. After talking to some people here on the board I decided to add some brett via a starter from fantome dregs, with the hopes that the brett would mellow some of the fusel alcohols and provide some more complex flavors. aftert six months or so I check the grav, and similar to your beer, it was only down to .018 or .016 (I don't remember the exact numbers), so a lot less attenuation than I expected. The beer had also formed a nice pellicle. Over the next couple of months I checked the gravity a few more times and things seemed to have stabilized, so I decided to go ahead and bottle. I primed with a bit of sugar and crossed my fingers. To this day the beer has showed no signs of over-carbing. A pellicle has formed in the bottles, but the beer has completely cleared, no yeast in suspension, and the carb level is just fine. I'm not too worried about it. It could just be the nature of the fantome beasts though, as I bottled a sour saison last summer using the same bugs, and while it took a long time for the beer to clear, it never came close to over carbing. In fact, I added less priming sugar to that 'cause I was worried and it's slightly less carbed up than I would have liked - this beer is over a year old in the bottle now.

I think if you check a couple more times over the next month or so and things haven't changed I would just go ahead and bottle.

That's my experience, FWIW

09/19/08 02:18 PM  
Re: Attenuation on Big Brett beers
Awesome. Just what I wanted to hear. Thanks Ben. In fact, I had checked the gravity several months back and if I recall, it was around the same as now. I'm guessing it'll be fine to bottle. Which is good, because I'm very anxious to try this carbonated and not at 75 degrees! Either way it was delicious! :-)
09/19/08 02:45 PM  
Re: Attenuation on Big Brett beers
Good luck, Tank (Pat, right?). Just to clarify - the sour saison is the one that's been bottled for a year, the oud bruine is only two months old or so in the bottle.

Mike T
09/19/08 03:07 PM  
Re: Attenuation on Big Brett beers
I've done a couple beers with Brett in secondary that started in the 1.080-1.100 range. Each of them has ended at 1.010 +/- .002, except for the RIS that I stabilized with Campden before adding fresh yeast and bottling at 1.020. That said all these batches were at their FGs within 9 months, so it may just be that your beer/bugs stopped higher than mine.
mark mott
09/19/08 03:26 PM  
Re: Attenuation on Big Brett beers
Great thread, I have a high gravity saison I did about 5 months ago using only brett and it has been at 1.010 from1.080 for the last few months. I have wondered if it would continue to drop or if it was good to go at this point.


09/19/08 03:55 PM  
Re: Attenuation on Big Brett beers
<<Good luck, Tank (Pat, right?).>>

Right. :-)

Thanks Mike. I remember reading your blog about those beers and that was part of what made me wonder. But, it seems that just like with Sacch beers, SG stability is the key. The SG has not dropped in a while (several months) so I think I'm going to be good.

Mark, if you primaried with Brett, my guess is that you're done.

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