Brett beer at 50-55 Degrees?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:24 pm

I have a beer that's been sitting on Brett. B. for about 4 months. I haven't tasted it yet, as I believe it isn't ready until the pellicle falls in?.. Anyways, I live in Michigan and am going to be out of town for 2 weeks, and am setting my thermostat at 50. I am brewing two lagers this weekend because of this, but I am worried that my low temps will hurt my brett beer. The brett was primarily fermented with WL Belgian Ale yeast. Do I have anything to worry about, and if so, how can I keep the brett warm without purchasing a thermal wrap or something like that?

Thanks!
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Re: Brett beer at 50-55 Degrees?

Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:40 pm

It should be fine. Worst case it drops out (it probably has already) or goes dormant if its not done yet. Once it warms up the Brett will wake back up. Brett is very resilient, but any yeast would behave that way.

Also, the pellicle may never fall. It's doing its job of protecting the beer from oxygen and may persist until you rack or bottle.
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Re: Brett beer at 50-55 Degrees?

Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:47 pm

Some of my favorite brett in secondary beers were fermented at cooler than normal temps (50-60 F) the whole time they were in secondary. I enjoyed the more subtle flavors/aromas the brett produced at those temps rather than having the typical run-away with your beer brett flavors they can be known for (strain dependent of course... goaty, horsey, barnyard, sometimes even fecal or piss like). So much so, that when brewing beers with brett in secondary, I try to minimize the time the brett is on the beer and keep the temps cool to keep the characteristics more subtle. Just my preference, but thats what I have come to enjoy over the years.

So, you will be just fine. Have no worries! :D
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Re: Brett beer at 50-55 Degrees?

Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:21 am

Thats a great temp for aging brett beers. I personally would keg it and let it continue in an 02 free environment.
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Re: Brett beer at 50-55 Degrees?

Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:13 pm

BrewerJ wrote:Thats a great temp for aging brett beers. I personally would keg it and let it continue in an 02 free environment.


Right on! Minimizing oxygen seems to produce more desirable secondary brett characteristics in the finished product especially when the beer is a bit cooler than normal. Exactly what I have observed, or uh, tasted... :D
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Re: Brett beer at 50-55 Degrees?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:00 am

Exactly my results! If its a straight brett beer I prefer to keg when primary fermentation is complete. The beers I have had age long term in carboys havnt been the greatest. The brett gets overpowering and detracts from the beer instead of adding subtle complexities. Now if its a sour beer with all kinds of bugs i don't mind long term aging in carboys and in fact I think the extra o2 is beneficial.
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Re: Brett beer at 50-55 Degrees?

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:46 am

That tartness that some Brett strains produce (making some believe Brett can sour a beer) is from acetic acid production. If you're familiar with sour beers, you're aware that we still avoid acetic acid as it's not a nice sourness but more of a harsh flavor. Since Brett doesn't produce it in the same way as acetobactor, it's generally quite muted & not always caught as an off-flavor. From my research I've found that the few Brett strains capable of producing it only do so in the presence of oxygen. The whole purpose of organisms producing a pellicle is to create a barrier for just that reason - keeping O2 out.

I'll also give a +1 to just letting it ride cold. The Brett is going to be doing the same thing it normally does, only at a much slower rate. If you're looking for a nice strong funk, it'll take much longer than normal but it seems to produce a smoother/rounder funk in the end. The slower reactions also make it much easier to stop it at the point you're happy with the flavors. That 'sweet spot' can be easy to miss by less experienced Brett brewers at the higher temps because the chemical reactions are happening so much more quickly.
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