Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

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Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

Postby DaveS » Mon Sep 04, 2017 13:52

Hi!

I really like bretted beers, love the idea of brewing one myself, but I've got very limited space for kit (I'm still on the classic plastic bucket) and don't really want to get an extra fermenter just for brett conditioning. One idea that seems quite appealing is adding brett at bottling time, eg by pitching a vial into the bottling bucket (which is also my boiling pan, and hence self-sanitizing). I think Orval do (roughly) this, but they obviously have a well established and consistently reproducible recipe which they know won't produce bottle bombs. I don't!

So my plan is to run an experiment along the following lines:
* brew a saison - lightly hopped, very low FG
* bottle into swingtop bottles with a very small amount of priming sugar (maybe aiming for 1.2 volumes, mostly to help the saccharomyces chew through any extraneous oxygen) and a vial of brett added to the bottling bucket
* try a bottle every few weeks, if they start looking overcarbonated at any point then release the pressure by carefully flipping the caps
* repeat the experiment from time to time, tweaking the recipe to get something that reliably produces the right level of carbonation.

Any thoughts or suggestions? Is this a terrible idea? Should I just get a second fermenter like a normal person?

Cheers
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Re: Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

Postby rlemkin » Mon Sep 04, 2017 17:18

That sounds like an awful lot of work, that could end in an awful mess.

I would say to just get another fermenter, or use this method:- http://www.milkthefunk.com/wiki/Mixed_F ... n_3_Months

Personally I use a variation of that method and bought some big heavy Geuze bottles, so that even if I misjudge my final gravity I won't have exploding bottles..
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Re: Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

Postby DaveS » Tue Sep 05, 2017 00:13

Well, if the primary attenuates enough then it should be no extra work whatsoever! Brew, bottle, drink, job's a good 'un.

I do see your point, though. I might look in to whether we've got space for another fermenter somewhere.
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Re: Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

Postby HTH1975 » Tue Sep 05, 2017 08:19

You'd need to know how much more the Brett will attenuate down. You wouldn't want to bottle a 1.012 beer and find that the Brett chomps down to 1.002

2016: 330L brewed (72 gallons, over 8 firkins)
2017: 105L brewed (need to update this figure)
Drinking: Landlord clone
Conditioning: ciders from 2016, hedgerow barrolo, 1914 Courage RIS (10%).
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Re: Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

Postby Rolfster » Tue Sep 05, 2017 15:20

Also doesn't mixed brett fermentation take a few months to come good? So your regular tasters will still be horrible and the pressure will get dangerously high....

I'm not sure snout this but it's my initial thoughts.

However... if it works I'm gonna do it for sure!!
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Re: Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

Postby DaveS » Fri Sep 08, 2017 22:19

Hmmm, I've had a bit of a think about this and I'm just going to do it properly with a second fermenter and give it a chance to have a proper munch before bottling. The original motivation was saving space by having less kit, but thinking about it, a full set of bottles conditioning for months on end is going to take up more space than an extra carboy.

Also my partner's a lambic fiend so when I nervously broached the question of whether she thinks we've got enough space for an extra fermenter to condition bretty stuff in, her response was "yes, how soon can you get started?"
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Re: Bottling with brett plan - is this a terrible idea?

Postby rlemkin » Sat Sep 09, 2017 09:40

DaveS wrote:Hmmm, I've had a bit of a think about this and I'm just going to do it properly with a second fermenter and give it a chance to have a proper munch before bottling. The original motivation was saving space by having less kit, but thinking about it, a full set of bottles conditioning for months on end is going to take up more space than an extra carboy.

Also my partner's a lambic fiend so when I nervously broached the question of whether she thinks we've got enough space for an extra fermenter to condition bretty stuff in, her response was "yes, how soon can you get started?"


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