No visible fermentation from brettanomyces bruxellensis

So I had about 6 gallons of 1.10 OG braggot that I wanted to mess with (FG was about 1.011). Ended up freeze-distilling 2 gallons (may oak as well), oaking 2 gallons, and hitting another 2 gallons with brett brux. I understood that you typically want to pitch at lager-like rates for this yeast. So I figured 1 vial in 2 gallons was plenty/borderlined overpitched.

I pitched the yeast into this braggot (by my calc, about 11.8%abv) on thursday and haven’t seen much in the way of activity. Could it be as simple as the brett doesn’t have anything to eat!? It was pretty darned dry to taste (and to measurements) beforehand, but did have some upfront sweetness, so I have to believe that there are some sugars in there. I also understood that most strains of brett are able to metabolize sugars that sacc yeasts are not.

any ideas? I was thinking of dissolving, cooling, and adding another lb of honey and lightly aerating just to see if I could coax some activity out of it. Also, temp is steady @ about 68.

Brett pitched into fresh wort will act like a “regular” yeast but when pitched into a finished beer they’ll just work very slowly on whatever sugar is left. In your high-ABV beer, they’ll probably work even slower than usual, too. Give it a couple of months and check the gravity again, see if they’re working for you.

Nice, thanks Shade.

One other question: could I pull some of the cake (it seems to be settled on the bottom) and use it in a different beer if I wanted to give it some Brett character? If I were doing an ALL-BRETT beer, it probably makes sense to just buy a new vial, or at least grow up a serious multi-stage starter to get to a lager-like pitch rate.

I guess my question is, if I’m going to leave this for months and months, can I steal a small pitch of it out of that fermenter to do so, the other issue obviously being that this is a big, alcoholic beer (though not overly hoppy)

Worth a shot. I pitch dregs with good results, usually.