January 16, 2023

Fermentis SafBrew™ BR-8

Bring “funky notes” to your beer with SafBrew™ BR-8, the first dry Brett for your bottle and/or cask conditioning!

About the genus Brettanomyces and the new SafBrew™ BR-8

The wild yeast Brettanomyces has made a comeback in the global beer industry in recent years. In response to its newfound popularity, Fermentis is offering the first Brett in a dry, microgranular format. SafBrew™ BR-8 offers brewers all the flavorful benefits of the “wild” yeast Brettanomyces, but with more control and reliability. Selected specifically for secondary fermentation in bottles and/or casks, SafBrew™ BR-8 is characterized by production of the phenolic compounds, such as 4-Ethylguaiacol and 4-Ethylphenol, responsible for many of the funkier flavor descriptors like horse blanket, leather, and barnyard aromatics at the end of fermentation.

SafBrew™ BR-8 assimilates mono-, di- and tri-saccharides (glucose, maltose, maltotriose) but not all sugars, like some wild Brett. It offers more control compared to a wild Brett and a greater reliability for the user, as there is no risk of over-saturation or gushing after bottling. Its significant consumption of sugars will allow fewer residual sugars and thus better drinkability.

Brettanomyces is a slowly fermenting microorganism, so the beer requires a period of maturation. The development of the desired flavors evolves. There is no “perfect” period of maturation; it all depends on what you’re looking for in terms of the aromatic profile for your beer. That being said, a minimum period of maturation of one month is recommended by Fermentis to really observe a “Brett footprint” on your beer.

Feel free to let the beer mature for a longer period of time and let its aromatic profile evolve -- three months, six months and beyond. As a general rule,  the longer you wait, the stronger the “funky notes” will be. You can observe this aromatic profile evolution on the data provided by Fermentis below.

 Analytical & sensory data after 1 & 3 months

All samples refermented with SafBrew™ BR-8 show a concentration in 4-EP and 4-EG >> threshold

From an analytical perspective, we can see that the beer refermented with SafBrew™ BR-8 shows a concentration in 4-EP and 4-EG (the aromatic compounds responsible for the funky notes) much more superior at the threshold.

What is the odor unit? Odor detection threshold is the lowest odorant concentration necessary for detection by a certain percentage of the population, normally 50%. This concentration is defined as 1 odor unit.  

All samples refermented with SafBrew™ BR-8 show a concentration in 4-EP and 4-EG >> threshold

From a sensory analysis perspective, we see that 77% of the panelists who tasted the beer after one month were able to detect the Brett character. This number climbs to 95% after three months of maturation supporting the hypothesis that longer the beer matures, the stronger the Brett footprint will be.

How to use the SafBrew™ BR-8 during your brewing session?

Most of Fermentis products are certified E2U™ (Easy-To-Use), when it comes to yeast, E2U™ certification means you can choose to pitch directly into the wort, or proceed to rehydration. It makes no difference, it’s up to you. Fermentis guarantees you exactly the same results, the scientific study behind the certification is explained here on Fermentis website.

With SafBrew™ BR-8 being especially selected for secondary fermentation, the story is a bit different for this yeast. Indeed, the SafBrew™ BR-8 will arrive after the primary fermentation and so the wort will already have a high level of alcohol. This alcohol could be problematic for the development of the yeast, so specifically for the SafBrew™ BR-8, Fermentis recommends you rehydrate the product before pitching it. You’ll find below how to proceed the best way with this product.

Note: In order to use the SafBrew™ BR-8 for your secondary fermentation, you must perform your primary fermentation with a maltotriose positive yeast (yeast strain able to assimilate the maltotriose); otherwise, the level of residual amount of maltotriose would be too high at the end of the primary fermentation.

Rehydration of dry yeast Rehydration
  • Sprinkle the yeast in minimum 10 times its weight of sterile water at a temperature of 77°F to 84.2°F. Note that the dosage recommendation for the SafBrew™ BR-8 is 5 to 10 g/hL of beer produced.
  • Leave to rest 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Gently stir until obtaining a yeast cream before pitching in wort.

Bottle Fermentation Icon Bottle fermentation

  • Add 5 to 10g/L of sugars to obtain an additional saturation of 2.5 to 5.0 g/L of CO2.
  • Add your yeast cream previously prepared to your wort.
  • Bottle and let your beer mature for at least one month at an optimal fermentation temperature (59-77°F). At the end of refermentation, the beer can be cooled down and will gain in roundness after 2 to 3 weeks.

In conclusion, SafBrew™ BR-8 gives brewers a reliable tool for attaining a slightly funky, specific phenolic character in their beers – as well as beers that are drier, more highly attenuated, fruitier, lighter in body, and slightly funkier as they age. 

We know that homebrewers will likely explore traditional European styles such as Red Flanders Ale or Lambic with this yeast, we also hope that, with their characteristic creativity, homebrewers will explore new horizons. It’s one of the objectives behind this very innovative product.