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12/14/11 11:36 PM  
Beer fermented only with Brett L
I've tried twice now to ferment using only Brett L. On both attempts, fermentation was sluggish. Really sluggish. On the first batch, I pitched a starter and it went from 1.048 to 1.044 in 3 weeks. After 6 weeks it was only down to 1.033. At that point I pitched some brett C and it finished at 1.009.

Recently, I tried it again. I pitched a starter of brett L into a batch of 1.059. After 10 days I'm still at 1.054.

I'm starting to wonder if brett L doesn't do well by itself. Has anybody had any luck with an all brett L beer? It's either that, or I've just had two instances of bad luck with it.

And yes, I made starters and pitched at the right temperatures and all that stuff. I've made 5 batches of all brett C and 2 batches of mixed brett C/brett L and they all did fine. I've only had problems when I've tried to ferment solely with brett L. If anyone has done an all brett L beer successfully, I'd love to hear about it.

12/15/11 12:35 AM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
How long did you let the starter go?
12/15/11 08:56 AM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
This last time, about a week. It definite grew, and smelled like brett L, but I didn't taste it before pitching.
12/15/11 09:40 AM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
Most "bugs" do better as a secondary or finishing fermenter rather than a primary fermenter with the exception of Brett Cl.
12/15/11 02:03 PM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
What was your starter size? What brand did you use?

I usually pitch something like 4L starter made from a tube of White Labs brett L into 5 gallons of 1.060sh wort, and fermentation takes maybe 3 weeks to drop to 1.008sh.

12/16/11 11:24 AM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
This last time I did a 2L starter on plate for a day, then switched to larger container and added +/- 1L, shaking occasionally for several more days.

It was Wyeast. I'm glad to hear that you have had success with brett L only beers. Hope I can figure out my issues.

12/16/11 01:14 PM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
Weird. Were the packs fresh? What temp were you fermenting at? For reference, I pitch in the mid 60s, keep it there for 2 or 3 days, then just let it do what it's going to do.
12/16/11 06:38 PM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
I just noticed that you only let the starter go for a day. That really could be the issue. I make a 2L starter and let it go for a week, then decant and pitch the slurry into another 2L and let it go for another week.
12/17/11 10:28 AM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
Well, it was only on a stir plate for a day, but I took it off the plate, added more wort, and let all of it go for 8 days total. Maybe it was too short. My brett C starters were ready in about that amount of time, but maybe brett L works a little slower. But nothing else, you've assured me that a brett L only beer can work, I just need to try again.
12/18/11 07:29 PM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
Are you adding any oxygen at pitching time to the primary?
12/18/11 09:34 PM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
Yes. This last time I hit it with my stir stick and drill. Don't remember what I did with the first batch.
12/29/11 12:43 AM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
Just to add another data point, I just did my first all brett beer. I got 85% attenuation from a mix of Brett B and Brett L. I pitched a White Labs vial of each into a 2-L starter for about 6 days, then into another 2 L for about 3-4 days. Both were on a stir plate. My best guess is that I had enough yeast to achieve a standard ale pitching rate.

I pitched both into the primary, with no aeration at all. Spent a few days at 65 F, then raised the temp up to 75-78. Gravity dropped from 1.053 to 1.008 in two weeks.

01/04/12 12:00 PM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
On your all-brett batches, do you have issues with the body in your beer?
01/04/12 09:21 PM  
Re: Beer fermented only with Brett L
I've gotten good head retention in my brett beers, except on those occasions when I've used oats. I know some people advocate using oats in brett beers, but I haven't liked the results. When I leave it out, the head retention is fine. As for body, they can feel a little thin, but not too bad. I've really liked using crystal wheat in my recipes, which I think helps with body and mouthfeel.
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