Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

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Crooked Stave Taproom
3350 Brighton Blvd
Denver, CO. 80216

Yakobson Brett Tips

These tips are exerts based on a seminar by Chad Yakobson of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project

  • Brett does not produce flavor compounds that are as complex as single strain Saccharomyces, so blends are appropriate. Use multiple (3 or more) Brettanomyces strains for a better Brett character.
  • Brettanomyces is NOT a souring organism, though it does produce some acetic acid. Brett needs oxygen and will produce acetic acid (slight tartness) when well oxygenated early in primary fermentation.
  • Making a Brett yeast starter takes longer than a Saccharomyces starter, about 1 week.
  • Primary fermentation when making a pure Brett beer is recommended at 70F for one week.
  • A sour wort gives Brettanomyces better attenuation and a more complex, horsey, flavor (with less Brett pineapple and fruit contributions) in a Brett-only fermentation.
  • For a sour mash, do not oxygenate. Don't allow mash to drop below 120 F until pH is below 4.5 to decrease risk of spoilage.
  • In a highly phenolic wort, Brett will reduce the (banana) phenolics and cause medicinal characteristics.
  • Brett cells are smaller than Sacc cells, so they are harder to clean up. They can be killed by temperatures over 100 F.
  • Brett beers can have a thin mouthfeel because of high attenuation and Brett's lack of glycerol production. Brewer can adjust recipe (add oats/wheat 5%) and increase mash temperature to compensate.
  • Vienna and Munich work well in Brett beers because their flavor contributions will balance Brett's less complex flavor characteristics.
  • Brett will add bready aroma and/or flavor, so might need to decrease biscuity and bready malts in Brett beers.
  • Brett also can add astringency, so might need to adjust recipe for this.

See Also