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10/16/13 05:35 PM  
ABV tolerance of Brett?
I've got 2 barrels of lambic that I added dates to. Ignorant to the sugar content of dates, I added 100lbs to each barrel. I've been looking at the numbers and I am sitting at around 11.5% abv with a 1.020 reading. If it ferments dry, I'm looking at 14.2%! Anyone have experience fermenting with brett at this range?
10/16/13 10:10 PM  
Re: ABV tolerance of Brett?
No experience here. It is found in wine sometimes, so I'd imagine there are strains that can survive some higher abv levels, though not sure if they added their character earlier in fermentation when the abv was lower or towards the end.

Also, doesn't Courage Russian Imperial stout have a brett strain in it?
10/17/13 12:49 PM  
Re: ABV tolerance of Brett?
While I have no experience with brett in this range, I was thinking the wine issues with brett suggest it does alright. I'm pretty sure that character develops with age as primary wold go too fast.

Deschutes had issues in 2009 with Brett in Mirror Mirror and the Abyss, both 11%, and probably with some residual sugar. So that isn't far off of your situation.
10/17/13 10:49 PM  
Re: ABV tolerance of Brett?
I've isolated some wild local Brett strains. I've tested alcohol tolerance, and they were fairly happy at 12%. I didn't go above that in the experiment, but I think you'll be OK. These were strains that have probably not seen these alcohol levels before.
10/18/13 10:02 AM  
Re: ABV tolerance of Brett?
Thanks for the feedback. I'll be checking in on it again in a month to see if it continues to drop.
Gabe H
10/18/13 08:40 PM  
Re: ABV tolerance of Brett?
I've got a biere de noel sitting around 12% and 1.030 right now that I'm adding ECY04 to as soon as I can clear out a 5 gallon fermentor. Hopefully it will drop at least another 10 points. I will report back as well.
10/18/13 11:17 PM  
Re: ABV tolerance of Brett?
I've been fermenting imperial stout with WY9097 for the last three years. I've been brewing 1.120ish stouts and using a healthy pitch of dry SO4 supplemented with 9097 to take up the rear. Each of the three years that I've done this my gravity trend was from 1.120ish to about 1.040-1.050 then it would take about 8 months to get down to ~1.025ish. I mashed high at like 158F with decoction temp raises and insane percentages of black malt to achieve these levels of residual sugar. This still puts the beer near 13%-14% in certain years of my attempts so I think you should be okay.

I actually just took my first taste from a waxed 15 gal barrel of an 1.095ish imperial stout with 20ibus and ECY02 culture added to a T58 primary. It's sour with out a doubt at this point already. This barrel previously held my last year's brew of brett imperial stout. So this beer is likely in the 10% range already and the souring bacteria are working nicely.

In both cases alcohol doesn't seem to be an issue for brett. I remember reading somewhere that in a lab environment with pure ethanol that brett survived up to like 12% v/v or 13% v/v but in wines naturally it was found alive at near 18% v/v in some instances....
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