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Need some advice about brewing with bret

How do you people use Bret. The only Bret beer I’ve brewed was an ESB where I added the Bret clausini to my beer that had already attenuated down to .010 with ale yeast. Since the only sugar left was stuff the Sach didn’t want so I got a mild Bret flavor I was looking for. If I wanted sour I believe I would use Bret lambic and add it at primary.

Depending how you want to use it. If I’m doing a pure pitch of bret I will make a health large starter and massive over pitch of it. If I’m adding it after my primary fermentation I add to secondary and let it age in a place that 70 to 75 degrees.

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Thanks @damian_winter I know people pitch dregs with their primary yeast does that mimic pitching to secondary ?

So the timing is what makes a sour or just a hint of sour? Full ferment with Brett is a sour… If you ferment with your normal yeast, then add to “clean up” the batch is called??? Now, is it the same then for Lacto? Sneezles61

I’m doing the research now but I believe if you sour with lactose before your boil you can control it. Lactose and Bret are two different bugs. If you keep them separate you won’t necessarily get a sour. Their are different Brett strains and they have different characteristics like yeast. Brett lambic will give you a bit of sour but I believe most sours are brewed with a blend of lactose and Brett. I may be completely wrong but I’m trying to figure it out. It looks like @damian_winter knows more and I’m hoping he helps here. @porkchop may advise us on sours. Even if you don’t drink them @sneezles61 I think it is good to understand.

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There is a lot to understand with brewing brewing with these wild yeast and bacteria’s
Brettanomyces (aka “Brett”): A strain of yeast, not a bacteria. There are different strains of Brett, each of which produces its own flavors ranging from tropical pineapple and fruity peach cherry and sherry and lots more. It serves the same function as saccharomyces does fermenting beer. But Brett works more slowly, meaning a beer that could have fermented within days or weeks with saccharomyces will take weeks, months or even years to display its full character when Brett is used.

Lactobacillus (aka “lacto”): A bacteria, not a yeast. Lacto eats up the sugars in wort and, rather than converting them to alcohol, converts them to lactic acid. This lowers the liquid’s pH, making it sour. Lacto produces lactic acid, resulting in a clean, sour taste.

Pediococcus (aka “pedio”): A bacteria, not a yeast. Like lacto, pedio produces lactic acid and lowers pH. But all things being equal, many people find the resulting sourness from the introduction of pediococcus “harsher” than that of lactobacillus. While lacto produces a clean sourness, pedio can contribute other funky aromas and flavors to the mix. It gives Brett more fuel to work with, so they’re often used together. It’s the bacteria that sours beers like lambics and Flanders reds. Pedio produces lactic acid as well as other funky and sour flavors.

The following is a list of the cultures involved in true lambic fermentations and the sequence of activity:

Enteric bacteria (3 to 7 days)Kloeckera apiculata (3 to 7 days)Saccharomyces species (2 weeks)Lactic acid bacteria (3 to 4 months)Brettanomyces yeast 8 months)Oxidative yeasts (8 months)


There is two ways to control lactic acid bacteria. One being the sour mash or kettle sour by letting the bacteria sour before the boil. Then the boil to kill off the bacteria and get ready for your yeast. The other method is adding it after primary fermentation has finished.

You can also adjust the hopping rate to control lacto. More ibu’s make it hard for the lacto to work.

That is true to a point. You can kinda control it with your ibu’s. Berliner Weisse and Belgian sours general have low ibu’s 10 or below. If you go much higher than that lacto don’t like to grow

Your welcome brewcat and thank you for starting this thread. On the question on pitching dregs. Because Brett/lacto is slow growing by pitchimg your regular yeast allows it to do the bulk of fermentation and the Brett/lacto to slowly build up for when your regular yeast has tired out.

That is why I assumed it would mimic Bret in the secondary. I have brewed kettle sours but they seem one dimensional maybe some Bret. I made a sour saison that was nice but I’m thinking since it finished pretty dry does the Bret have anything left. I’m thinking maybe adding flaked grain.

Yes your Brett has plenty of life left. Some beers are aged 2 years before they have the complete desired flavor with Brett. These wild yeast and bacteria’s can live 18 months to 2 years alive and active. I kinda use the same calculator for a lagers for these over pitch and patience and age it more flavors will develop

I brewed an ESB after it reached .010 I transferred to a keg with the Bret. It went to .002 I’m drinking it now do you think after I carbonate it would it be safe to bottle of the keg.

Yeah I wouldn’t worry about bottling it with a final gravity that low and you carbed with co2. Now a word of caution if you bottle with corn sugar it don’t take near the amount as a regular yeast strain

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