Brett or not to Brett?

Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk - Winemaking Forum:

Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
5,254
Reaction score
7,323
Location
O'Fallon, MO - Just NorthWest of St. Louis, MO
Brettanomyces is generally considered a fault in wine-making, so my guess is you won't find many willing to try this. If you do introduce it, be ready to take the carboy you use out of your normal use, as it spreads like wildfire, from what I understand. I once heard that the way to get Brett out of a winery is to destroy all the equipment, burn the building down and move operations 30 miles away.
 

pgentile

Still learning
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
1,113
Reaction score
937
I'm of the same beliefs and have read the same things, but I'm curious if there is anyone here who does both wild and commercial yeast fermentation's? If so, is Brett that invasive?
 
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Messages
5,254
Reaction score
7,323
Location
O'Fallon, MO - Just NorthWest of St. Louis, MO
Well, I do native yeast ferments on Norton and Chambourcin grapes and have allowed juice buckets to ferment to dry using whatever is in them, even when the distributors say they did not add yeast. For kits and all fruits I add yeast. The Norton and Chambourcin both come from the Hermann, MO area, so they probably aren't "wild" yeasts, but the yeasts that have been used in that area, although both vineyards I have gotten grapes from are off the beaten path. I think they come out pretty durn good for being native yeast, better than folks who have added yeast to the same grapes?? Hard to say. I haven't noticed any barnyard funk or anything I would attribute to Brett, so I'm not sure how invasive Brett is, but as I indicated, I have heard it is really hard to get rid of once it gets into a winery.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2015
Messages
5,322
Reaction score
6,197
Location
Southern PA
I'm of the same beliefs and have read the same things, but I'm curious if there is anyone here who does both wild and commercial yeast fermentation's? If so, is Brett that invasive?
I have a co-worker that uses brett in some of his home brewing adventures. He uses separate equipment (carboys/brew pots/racking canes/bottles/kegs) in a separate room, yes, it's that invasive. Easier for me to buy a brett beer than go through all the hoops to make sure I don't infect my brewery/winery with the stuff.

I've seen a product for barrels called "No Brett", I think, so their must be some way to eradicate it.

http://www.scottlab.com/products-129.aspx
 
Last edited:

BernardSmith

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Messages
3,699
Reaction score
2,182
Location
Saratoga Springs
I have experimented with using brett in meads. I think the idea is that if you were not intending to inoculate with brett then having it invade might be a problem but if you are looking for some of the flavors that brett can provide then one man's (or woman's) disaster might be another's treasure. :f1
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
16,044
Reaction score
22,185
Location
DC Suburbs
I have a co-worker that uses brett in some of his home brewing adventures. He uses separate equipment (carboys/brew pots/racking canes/bottles/kegs) in a separate room, yes, it's that invasive. Easier for me to buy a brett beer than go through all the hoops to make sure I don't infect my brewery/winery with the stuff.

I've seen a product for barrels called "No Brett", I think, so their must be some way to eradicate it.

http://www.scottlab.com/products-129.aspx

Huh, made with Chitosan.
 

SouthernChemist

Professor
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
738
Reaction score
103
Brettanomyces is not some super organism that will take over you fermentation equipment (contaminated barrels and wood aside). It is a yeast, like saccharomyces cerevisiae, and it can be killed off just like any other yeast. It generally is known to give 'barnyard' or 'funky' flavors/aromas when used in conjunction with regular brewing yeast (100% Brettanomyces fermentations can give drastically different results). As always, proper cleaning and sanitation would avoid any serious contamination issues.
 

Johny99

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
969
Reaction score
639
“But while some winemakers, like Chris Howell of Cain Vineyard & Winery in the Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain District, are becoming more open-minded about the potential positive effects of Brett, it still causes a knee-jerk reaction for most wine pros. “

I have a bottle of Cain wine set aside for Christmas. I knew he was into the natural terror thing, but not about the Brett. We’ll see.
 

Boatboy24

No longer a newbie, but still clueless.
Joined
Mar 18, 2012
Messages
16,044
Reaction score
22,185
Location
DC Suburbs
“But while some winemakers, like Chris Howell of Cain Vineyard & Winery in the Napa Valley’s Spring Mountain District, are becoming more open-minded about the potential positive effects of Brett, it still causes a knee-jerk reaction for most wine pros. “

I have a bottle of Cain wine set aside for Christmas. I knew he was into the natural terror thing, but not about the Brett. We’ll see.

I've got some Cain down in the wine fridge, but its my Dad's - been storing it while they're' in between houses. He often breaks some out for Christmas, and I don't ever recall noticing anything 'Brett-y'.
 

Johny99

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
969
Reaction score
639
Had a bottle of Cain 2014 Zin. I’ve never been exposed to Brett, and known it. However, definitely a bit of an earthy nose I’d say light barnyard, but that is what I was looking for so hard to be objective on that. Definitely less fruit than I’d expect from a 2014.
 
Top