observations on some 100% brett ferments
i brewed 11g of not-too-hoppy 13P pale ale a few weeks ago and fermented 5g with brett b and 5g with brett l. both were wyeast, but the brux was produced march 2011 and the lambicus was produced december 2010.
for the brett i made 1cup starters for each smack pack and shook them up every hour or so over the course of the day (couldn't find my brett beer o2 stone). after a week i stepped them up by a quart and a half. i shook those up intermittently for 2 or 3 days then let them go for a week. 3 days before brew day i put them in the fridge so i could decant* before pitching.
once the pale ale was knocked out and the beers were pitched (@ 70F), i shook the buckets a lot and did so roughly every hour for a day as i had neglected to find my brett beer o2 stone or buy a new one. fermentation took a little bit to get started as most 100% brett ferments have done for me before but when they did they seemed to be working quite well with decent sized krausens. they were kept at 65F ambient for the first 3 days and once they appeared to be at peak fermentation (~8 days) i moved them to a warmer ambient (~75f) for a week. fermentation calmed down and i moved them back to a colder ambient for a week and that brings us to today when i am bottling them.
the brett brux came in at 1.007 and tasted quite dry. hops were quite present. malt character was extremely low as was any brett derived flavors/esters.
the brett lambicus finished at 1.003. it had big nose of fruit (cherry, apricot, something else) as well as some biscuity/cookie-like malt. taste is low on hops but full of brett flavor though more fruity/leathery than and not so much barnyard at all. this beer actually had more body than the brux beer.
sorry for the long post.
*i decanted both starters into 5g of belgian blonde. letting them do their business for a month or three...