Tasting notes on Every Brett You Taste

I wrote about my first brett beer in January (link to post here – http://www.beernakedblog.com/brews/every-stingy-farmhouse-police-you-smell/).

Now it’s time to taste it.

Appearance: A golden to amber color with a dense white head of medium size. A lot of bubbles rising fast through the beer, may be due to the little to warm serving temperature.

Smell: Very malty with a hint of barn funk and ripe apples. Not too many components.

Flavor: Pretty sweet, way to sweet for a saison, this may be the priming sugar and will probably be consumed by the brettanomyces during a longer conditioning. There is also a bit of tartness that will go well with the drier result i’m hoping for in time.

Overall: It definitely needs more time in the bottle to be at it’s best. Next time I wont add any or a lot less munich malt, it takes to much space in the beer and won’t let the yeast show enough. I’m looking forward to see how this ages!

And here’s your picture!

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Bottling Brett Saison aka. Every Brett You Taste

Since I started using corny kegs bottling has become a rare occurrence and it’s both good and bad. Good on the note that I can transfer my Pale Ales straight from primary after three weeks and be drinking them the same day. The sad part is that I can’t just pick up a six pack and take it with me to a friends house.

The pros and cons are many but I think everyone who uses kegs also sometimes miss bottles.
I’m very new to brewing beer with brettanomyces and for now I’m choosing not to use my kegs for the brett due to the risk of contamination so I’m bottling instead. So yesterday I got to it and sanitized a bunch of bottles and read up on priming techniques, seriously – one forgets, and after about four hours I was done. I also transfered my Vienna Lager Style Mexican Stand Off into a keg during this time…but that took only 30 minutes.

The important thing to remember when bottling a beer with brettanomyces is that the brett will keep fermenting sugars saccharomyces wont. So be sure to bottle when the beer is somewhat stable. I’ve left this batch in the fermenter for about three months to make sure it has done most of it’s work. You probably don’t have to leave it that long but you have to take gravity readings regularly to make sure it doesn’t go bananas on you whilst in the bottle.

I used the same amount of priming sugar I would use for a beer fermented with saccharomyces since I’m using a simple sugar (beet) which is someting that both yeast species can consume. But I would not aim for the upper levels of carbonation since there’s still some more complex sugars left in the beer that the brett will slowly consume. (for calculating the amount of priming sugar I used the calculator at the following link – http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html)

Another thing to keep in mind is the thickness of your bottles. Since the possibility of very high carbonation levels is higher in brett beers, say that the brett is consuming more sugar than expected, you have to use bottles that can hold the pressure.

Belgian beer bottle. Image linked from Brouwland.

One way bottles are usually very thin and are not made for holding the high pressure of say belgian style beers The safest way to go is using champagne bottles or the belgian style bottles (as seen in the picture to the right. As with champagne bottles the belgian bottles are sealed with a cork. There are different verities of cork ranging from plastic, plastic based cork substitutes and real cork. After the champagne cork is put in place by hand force or a corker you use an agraffe to keep it there whilst the pressure builds.

If you’re not using champagne bottles or similar bottles you’re best of with a thick deposit/refund bottle. That is partly what I used since I only had a few champagne bottles.

Other than the carbonation the bottling process was no different. I used a bottling bucket with a sugar solution for priming and a bottling wand placed in a piece of tube. Nothing out of the ordinary.

The recipe for this beer can be seen in an earlier post at: http://www.beernakedblog.com/brews/every-stingy-farmhouse-police-you-smell/

I will come back with some tasting notes when the beer is carbonated along with a review on the carbonation procedure. The interesting thing about this batch is that the brettanomyces will keep on working in the bottles and create new flavors. And that will make for a couple of good blog posts.

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New(ish) gear – Better Bottle Fermenters

So I’ve been looking at new fermenters since I invested in a fridge and temp control. It feels like an air tight fermenter would be the next step in controlling my fermentation and conditioning further. The options available for a homebrewer are, unless you have some serious money, buckets, glass carboys and better bottle ”carboys”. The bucket is cheap but will let in oxygen, the carboys are hard to get (in sweden) and hard/risky to work with and the better bottles are expensive. There is tons of forum threads about this online if you are interested in peoples opinions.

Since better bottles are expensive and not a fun piece of equipment I haven’t gotten to it and invested. But when I saw an add at humlegårdens forum where a guy gave away 4 better bottles to the first one who came and picked them up I got my thumb out of my ass.

After almost three hours in the car I was putting my better bottles in the garage. Sometimes you score! Thank you guy who was kind enought to give them away, best of luck with your new plans.

Better Bottles

Suruga Bay – japanskt öl

(nr 11048)

Visited regeringsgatan passagen (systembolaget) yesterday and got myself some expensive beer. I bought a couple of imperial stouts and a bottle of lost abbey mayan apocalypse. But the most outlandish bottle was the japanese imperial IPA from Baird Beer.

I don’t think anyone is interested in a straight forward review of the beer, you got ratebeer/beer advocate for that… So I’m going to push this post to another issue – transporting and storing IPA. In sweden, since I work at our alcohol/beer monopoly I got full insight in how we do this, systembolaget gets the product in cases and puts the bottles on a lit shelf in room temperature. The bottles will be there until someone choses to buy one (or more, often just one bottle). The time from all the bottles from a case of IPA, say Sierra Nevada torpedo, goes up on the shelf until the last bottle is bought can be up to a week… And that is just the shelf time. Think of the transport time from where ever the beer is from. I’m ranting. But seriously, IPA is a fucking drag in Sweden. The only IPAs that taste really good is the ones in cans.

That’s how I feel when I drink this…and of course, I feel like I need to drink it in Japan.

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Imperial Dry Stout – Impulse Brew

So I got this window today between 12 and 19 and I just had to brew during this time. One of the brewing ideas that I have had floating around in my head this week is an imperial dry stout… It may not be that crazy and it’s probably nothing new to the beer world. The difference from an Russian imperial stout or something similar would be the exclusion of any other malts then you use in a dry stout recipe – pale malt, roasted barley and flaked barley.

I just mashed in 16 minutes ago and I’m going with a 45 min rest since I don’t have much more time, with adjuncts I would usually do an full hour mash or more. But I think the high mashtemp (around 68°c) will help with the conversion.

I didn’t use the full 10% of roasted barley in my grain bill since I think that would be close undrinkable without 2 years of conditioning. So i reduced that with 2%…yeah, 8% is still a lot in a 1.076 beer… But I want to push the limits. You can see the whole recipe in the bottom of the page. Now some pictures.

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Le Freak from Green Flash Brewing Co. just got released on systembolaget (art. 11078). It sure is a mix between american pale ale and a belgian trippel (I know they say IPA, but I wouldn’t say that). I’m not sure if I think they got the best of both worlds though.

 

Recipe Specifications
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Boil Size: 18.00 l
Post Boil Volume: 17.00 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 18.00 l   
Bottling Volume: 16.49 l
Estimated OG: 1.076 SG
Estimated Color: 77.4 EBC
Estimated IBU: 57.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.4 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
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Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
4.48 kg               Pale Malt, Maris Otter (Thomas Fawcett)  Grain         1        72.0 %        
1.24 kg               Barley, Flaked (Thomas Fawcett) (3.9 EBC Grain         2        20.0 %        
0.50 kg               Roasted Barley (1100.0 EBC)              Grain         3        8.0 %         
75.00 g               Sovereign [6.30 %] - Boil 60.0 min       Hop           4        57.1 IBUs     
2.0 pkg               Safale American  (DCL/Fermentis #US-05)  Yeast         5        -             

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body
Total Grain Weight: 6.22 kg
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Name                          Description                                       Step Temperat Step Time     
Mash In                       Add 16.23 l of water at 75.7 C                    68.9 C        45 min        
Mash Out                      Add 6.49 l of water at 94.7 C                     75.6 C