Two days ago I woke up from a pleasant hang over due to a lot of great malt beverages. I really felt I was worth the small headache and slothiness (pictures of sloths can be found here).
Anyway, the thing that made me actually get out of bed was the planned brew day at my friend Rogers place. I’ve mentioned him before in my posts as the guy who works at my local homebrew shop. But he is more than that, he is the guy that give you those reassuring tips that will help you brew new stuff without worrying about all the things that can go wrong. He has been helpful since the first day I walked into my LHBS and I’m very grateful!
Roger likes the wild stuff, that is why a brew fermented with 100% brettanomyces was on the schedule. This wasn’t his first 100% brett beer and I don’t think it will be his last. I got to taste one of his earlier batches, one with another brett strain, and it was superb. You may think – isn’t a brett beer really funky, sour and a bit to much with a hangover? But I will tell you – Fuck no! This beer was clean, fruity and very refreshing! There is a slight sour/acidic flavor somewhere in there but not at all the kind that will throw your face into a reconstructed painting of jesus christ (don’t understand? click here).
You may wonder why anyone would start playing around with brett instead of using fruity hops since brett is a bit risky (but is it really?) due to easy contamination. I think it’s a myth since it just a yeast as is saccharomyces. The difference is that brett will impart flavor at lower levels and can survive over longer periods of time (source: themadfermentationist.com). The thing I’ve noticed is that the brett gives you all those flavors without the bitterness or vegetal/grassy flavors.
The brettanomyces strain for this batch was Brettanomyces Claussenii which is suppose to give the beer a fruity pineapple aroma. The strain is also described to be pretty subtle in its flavor. Roger had made a four liter starter two weeks earlier without a stir plate. Brett takes a bit longer to grow and to reach the same activity regular brewers yeast have after 24 hours it took three days.
The grain bill and hopping was simple. For a 20 liter (a bit more than five gallon) batch we used:
4.0 kg – premium pilsner malt (weyermann)
0.4 kg – pale wheat malt (weyermann)
0.2 kg – acid malt (weyermann)
Mash 65 degrees c, mash in the upper 70’s.
Efficiency around 75%
Boil 90 min
18 gr magnum @ 60
20 gr saaz @ 10
Ferment at 17 deg. C.
The acid malt is just for pH-adjustment since all the light malts won’t supply any acidity. The malt is sprayed with lactic acid and made from barley, more info here: weyermann product table
I will report back when the beer is finished and tasted. The idea is to make one myself with a different strain but with the same recipe and see how the yeast differs.
The brew day also included pizza, tasting a couple of different brews, some youtubing, guitar playing, cat cuddling etc.
Here’s some pictures from the brewday: