giovedì 27 novembre 2014


All homebrewers that like Orval, sooner or later will wonder how to reproduce it at home. Brettanomices are very hungry microrganisms, and very persistant: it's better to use dedicated tanks, and spend more time in the sanfication of bottles, fermentors etc after use.

Here my experience with recovery of Orval brettanomices:
After drinking the beer, I filled the Orval bottle with few centiliters of wort, after few days the foam started to form, so I checked yeast activity, then I transferred the bretta in half liter starter.
After three more days, brettanomices were sparkling and ready to be inoculated in wort.
First experiment was a total-Bretta fementation: two liters of easy E+G,  20 IBU, 1045 OG. Fermentation at 20-22°C with starter from a single Orval bottle: 7 days primary, 10 days lagering, bottling.
After twenty days I tried the beer. A strong solvent smell came out, fortunately vanishing quickly. The 'beer' has the tipical goût d'Orval, more stronger than the original one (at the Abbey they just use brettanomyces for secondary fermentation).

And it's using the Brett for the secondary fermentation that you can get very interesting beers: I did a bretted Tripel, OG 1079, fermented 5 giorni with T-58. Then I splitted the beer: then liter inoculated with Orval starter (see the procedure above), ten liter went on normalfermentation.
T-58 needed longer time to reach FG, that was higher than the FG reached by the Bretta: they are hungry and ferment all sugard in the wort.
After a couple of months the Tripel is really dry, and with the tipical goût d'Orval!

Few months later, I decided to CLONE the Orval:

OrvalClone, liters 20,5 (preboil 22,5)
efficiency  73%, 60 min. boiling
OG 1,055; IBU: 35,0; EBC: 20;
Malts (mash 65°C for70 minutes):
  4000 gr German 2-row Pils, 1,038;
  250 gr Crystal 105L, 1,033;
  400 gr Candi sugar (clear), 1,046;
  25 gr Chocolate Malt, 1,034;
  32 gr Spalter, 5,9 %a.a., 60 min;
  28 gr Styrian Goldings, 4,7 %a.a., 25 min;
  17 gr hersbrucher, 3,7 %a.a., 5 min;
  6 gr spalter, 5,9 %a.a., 25 min;
  10 gr Saaz, 4,0 %a.a., 60 min;

Primary fermentation with Trappist high gravity (5gg) then secondary with Orval starter. Here the bottles:

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