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JLem
07/03/12 01:53 PM  
WLP644
I recently brewed up my first 100% Brett beer with this strain (wlp644; Brett b. Trois). It's only been in the primary for a week, but it smells and tastes fantastic.

Anyone have experience with this strain? Since this is my first 100% Brett beer, I'm looking for advice/info on how things will proceed from here - fermentation times, attentuation rates, bottling issues, flavor changes over time, etc.

Mike T
07/03/12 02:27 PM  
Re: WLP644
How much Brett did you pitch? With a big (lager-size by volume) my 100% Brett beers tend to finish out in about 2-3 weeks. Iíve had some in bottles for over five years now without issue.

I brewed my first with WLP644 last Sunday, an IPA with loads of citrusy hops. About 12 hours after pitching the 1.5 L stir-plate starter it was rocking at 65 F ambient. I added a bit of acid malt to the mash to drop the pH closer to Brettís preferred range, and to convince it to make some ethyl lactate.

Almighty
07/03/12 07:26 PM  
Re: WLP644
I have been brewing with this strain for about a year and a half. The back story is that one of my homebrew friends cultured this from a bottle of Avery 15. The yeast is referred to as the Brett Drie strain. If you have read through Chad Y's paper and website he discovered that there are actually 2 strains present (Chad still uses these strains at Crooked Stave in addition to others he has isolated). They were each used in his thesis experiment and the fermentation is well documented.

My friend gave me a vial and Neva at White Labs one. It took WL quite a while to come out with this yeast and not sure how well it relates to what I have been using. If they isolated one strain or did any manipulation.

I do know that I get the flavors and attenuation that others have reported. After my first time using this Brett I was hooked. The tropical fruit notes were great.

http://jeffreycrane.blogspot.com/2011/01/dreg-series-avery-15-or-drie-brett.html

I have tried it in several different styles of wort since and consider it my house Brett strain. I mostly use it in Primary as in the examples below. (I have also used it at bottling in some Saisons and not all that impressed with the results - mostly some light traditional Brett funk flavors.)

Old Ale wort (one of my favorite beers I've ever made or tasted) - http://jeffreycrane.blogspot.com/2011/02/dreg-series-old-ale-with-avery-15-brett.html

Hoppy Bitter - fermentation fruit notes played really well with tropical fruit notes of the Nelson hops.

http://jeffreycrane.blogspot.com/2012/05/brett-series-extra-special-bretter.html

Table Saison - done fermenting, going to dry-hop half with HBC 342 hops - http://jeffreycrane.blogspot.com/2012/06/great-saison-experiment-8-strains-part_27.html

I get a very quick fermentation from this yeast, but I'm making large starters (1/4 - 1/2 gal final step, 7 days between steps). The majority of the activity seems to be done in a few days and then I get some residual for another couple weeks. Nothing to worry about if you are kegging, but for bottling I have been waiting about 3 -4 weeks. The stability in the bottle is great.

The beer starts very clean (no noticeable acidity if you don't intentionally aerate) with huge tropical fruit flavors. I refer to the flavor as POG (Passion Orange Guava). After a month or so that flavor starts going toward over ripe fruit with a bit of funk. And long term the beer has gotten progressively more sour (I may not have a pure culture), but not more than a mild tartness. And the tropical fruit flavors remain and are mixed with more traditional Brett funk notes.

This is my experience and I hope it helps.

JLem
07/04/12 08:53 AM  
Re: WLP644
Mike - I pitched a 1 liter starter into 3.5 gallons of 1.045 wort. I had great activity in the starter, but could only give it 2.5 days. Activity in the starter had waned, but I realize now that this is pretty typical and that ideally I should still have given it 7 days or so to get the Brett culture to the appropriate levels. Still, fermentation started in under 12 hours. However, after 5 days my gravity was only down to 1.020. I know 5 days isn't long enough, but I thought it would be lower still and I am worried now that I'm going to have to let this crawl its way slowly down to FG. I have been concerned too that I made an overly dextrinous wort since I way overshot my mash temp when I added the cereal mash to the main mash. I manage to fix it relatively quickly, but I wonder how much damage was done in those few minutes.

Jeffrey - thanks for the info and the links. I think I've looked at those before but not sure that I knew it was maybe the same strain as wlp644. The POG description is spot on - I can't get over how much tropical fruit I'm getting from this strain. After 5 days I was at 1.020. I will check it again at the end of the weekend, which will be 14 days. I'll look again at those recipes you posted.

Almighty
07/05/12 12:21 PM  
Re: WLP644
Jim,

I've found that the lag phase for Brett is actually pretty quick and very close to that of Sacc (depending on yeast health). It is just the growth phase that seems to be so much different.

About your mash temp. There has been a lot of talk about this recently in our homebrew club. Supposedly a very large brewery here in San Diego routinely only does a 7 min mash. Most members agreed that a 60 min mash was outdated information, so they do a 30 min mash and some even 15 min. This is assuming you are using a low amount of adjuncts and highly modified base malt - so mostly IPA style grists. I personally have switched to a 30 min mash with no change in efficiency. I bring this up because I never thought about how critical a few minutes could be when setting your mash temp, but maybe it is.

As for your 1.020 gravity I'd give it some time, but I doubt it will drop too much more. How does it taste? You probably have enough flavor development from the Brett, you could always rack and pitch a clean lager yeast to help dry it out.

Keep us updated.

JLem
07/07/12 07:31 AM  
Re: WLP644
Well, I hope it drops lower than 1.020. I can't imagine bottling a Brett beer at that high a gravity! At least not without a year of aging to convince myself it wasn't going to keep going.

I'll check the gravity again tomorrow or Monday. That will be 13/14 days since pitching.

JLem
07/09/12 10:01 PM  
Re: WLP644
Checked the gravity today - 14 days post pitch - and it was down to 1.012. I'm hoping it drops even lower still. I'll let it go another week and see where it is then.
Adrian
07/12/12 11:10 AM  
Re: WLP644
My experience with this strain is that it will attenuate above 90% if you give it time. With my setup, Brett beers are somewhat of a pain to work with so I usually leave the beer in primary for 4-10 months simply because I don't make time to bottle and then I forget about it. By that time almost all the sugar is gone and the beer takes on a semi-tart character.

I've also found it to be an extremely tenacious strain in that I can leave a slurry in the fridge for 8 months, and then prop up a starter in a week or two. Rather impressive.

Mike T
07/12/12 02:04 PM  
Re: WLP644
Down to 1.010 as of last night, 85% AA. Krausen is just about gone. Not bad for a 1.065 all-malt 153 F mashed beer. Flavor was super-fruity, big pineapple/guava/orange from the hops and the Brett.
JLem
07/16/12 11:46 PM  
Re: WLP644
Gravity is still at 1.012 - hasn't moved in a week. I'm thinking it's not going any lower any time soon. Methinks it''s time to dry hop and then bottle.
Smokinghole
07/17/12 11:47 AM  
Re: WLP644
If you want it to go lower I'd throw some 3711 in there. It'll take it down the last few points I bet, unless you're against a mixed culture.
Patrick
07/17/12 12:37 PM  
Re: WLP644
FWIW, I've added 3711 to finish a stalled beer (1.020) and the 3711 flavor profile dominated. If you want to taste the WLP644, I'd not add 3711.
 
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