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01/13/10 10:33 AM  
Adding Orval dregs at bottling
Happy New Year everyone,

Long time lurker, first time poster to the homebrew section. I have been brewing Belgian style ales for 5 years now but have not ventured into the "funky side" so now is the time.

I am planning on blending a strong golden ale at 1.010 (cold conditioned for 5 months) with a farmhouse ale at 1.003 (coming directly from the conical fermenator after 2 months with WY3711) at a 50/50 ratio. This should give me an FG of 1.007-1.006.

I have done this blend before but just re-yeasted using US-05 and primed for 3 volumes CO@ in corked and caged 750mL bottles. This time I would like to add Orval dregs to the blending keg and then bottle.

So my questions to all of the brain trust here are:

First off ,will I end up with a pellicule in the bottles that will cause a problem down the line or should it work just like in the Orval bottling procedure?

Should I also re-yeast along with the dregs?

I would like about 3.5 volumes of CO2 in the final product, should I add priming sugar too?

Thanks to everyone in advance as this board has been a great resource to me for Belgian style brewing.



01/13/10 10:58 AM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
What I usually do is add 2 bottles of Orval dregs to a keg and let it ferment for several months before bottling so that it gets an even application throughout the beer. You could add the Orval dregs at bottling time but I don't think you'll get a good even application between all the bottles - some will have more brett than others. As far as adding priming sugar, my only recommendation is to add a little less than you normally do because the brett will continue to ferment in the bottle beyond what the normal carbonating yeast can do.
01/13/10 11:56 AM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling

Thank you for the sound advice, that will also give me a better handle on the FG at bottling time.

Do you put an airlock on the keg for brett ferment or do you just release pressure every"now and then"?

Looking forward to the final product.

01/13/10 01:06 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
I usually vent the keg every two weeks.
Rob B
01/13/10 01:56 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
At the gravity you will end up with, I doubt the brett will have anything to eat. As for the priming sugar that will be consumed by the original yeast long before brett eats it. I doubt you will develop any noticeable brett character.
01/13/10 03:31 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
Well, Rob, you're quite wrong about your assumption. I have done this trick for quite a few years and the beer continues to be slowly devoured by the brett and the brett character does get stronger over time. Try keeping some Orval at room temperature for a couple years and then go buy a fresh one and compare the brett character - quite a difference.
Rob B
01/13/10 08:17 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
I wasn't ASSUMING anything, I am talking from MY experience, you can talk from YOURS! I have never experienced brett eating a beer down below 1.006-1.007.
01/14/10 09:45 AM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
Sorry Rob, I didn't intend to insult you. The way your response was worded didn't imply to me that you had any experience with brett.
Rob B
01/14/10 12:06 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
NP, the one drawback of forums is there is no way to read emotion/inflection/intent/etc.

I have had both fresh Orval in Belgium and older samples here, and there is definitely a difference. I don't know exactly how they do it, I was under the impression that they introduced brett after initial primary, then again right before bottling. Have you added brett to a beer that was already less than 1.006 and had it go down further, because I haven't gotten beers at low terminal gravities to drop any further? And all of my brett beers that I added brett when the gravity was still much higher have only finished around 1.006 to 1.010.

01/14/10 01:16 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
When I was at the Orval brewery for a private tour several years ago they told us that the brett is introduced in the secondary lagering stage and allowed to sit for I believe up to 2 months if I remember correctly. They also dry hopped the beer at this stage.

Yes I have had low gravity beers creep ever so slightly lower after a year of sitting on brett. With brett you have to be very patient and basically ignore the beer for at least 6 months before the brett starts to gain a noticeable presence in the flavor profile. Then wait another six months before it is really blossomed into the beer. Far too often folks don't give it enough time because they expect results too quickly.

Rob B
01/14/10 02:20 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
I agree with you about patience. I always give my brett beers at least a year.

01/15/10 10:55 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
I added different bretts to the same batch at bottling. Each yeast was added individually to different bottles with a syringe.

The beer had been cold conditioned for 4 weeks at 34 and was clear as a filtered beer when transferred to the bottling keg. The FG was around 1.002, if I remember, 3711 is a sugar eating monster.

The brett flavor is quite strong for only adding to the bottle and such a low FG.

In fact I believe Al B got a bottle of this.

01/16/10 12:30 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
I used dregs from two bottles of Orval in my Orval clone several years back. I added the dregs at bottling time. The beer did very well and had a good brett character. My notes should the brett complexity was greatest around 10 weeks after bottling. The final gravity went from 1.009 at bottling to 1.006 a year later.
01/18/10 08:42 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling

I tried a Lamb conditioned 3711 Saison today.

It is really good!!! Heavy on the carbonation though. Next time I will have to chill it from the garage temp (55ish) to the cold fridge, before opening.

Really nice though!!


06/13/13 05:50 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
know this is a very old thread, but orval actually doesn't bottle with straight brett. it's brett with lager yeast grafted on it....
10/03/13 12:46 PM  
Re: Adding Orval dregs at bottling
Correct joeb. They bottle with a lager yeast. The brett has already been working the beer for two months prior.
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