I started this blog a few months ago but I’ve been brewing for about 10 years. I wanted to start the blog so I could keep better track of what beers I’m making and to force me to try more experiments…push my abilities and contact other brewers to refine my technique. This post isn’t going to be like the other posts I’ve done for this blog because this is an old beer of mine, old meaning previously brewed.
I brewed this beer almost 4 years ago now and there are a few bottles left. I thought I might as well do a write up on it because it was part of a set of beers that I made around the same time and I was thinking about repeating that set. They were all 100% brett beers with basically no hops in them. I actually made them so they would be “starters” for future Brett beers…this beer has been in a bottle for several years but has held up surprisingly well. Might as well write about it, transfer my notes about the beer to the blog and move on with my life.
I’ve been discussing doing a panel of Brett beers with samples I’ve obtained from friends and commercial examples from various yeast deposits, but that is still at least two months away. Off to the beer.
5 Gallon Batch
ABV: 6.5% (estimated)
SRM: 4 L (estimated)
IBU: 25 (calculated)
80% Pilsner Malt
10% Acidulated Malt
First beer I ever brewed using acidulated malt. I would recommend it in general but do the math.
Grain was mashed for 90 minutes at 154 F in about 4 gallons of distilled water. Beer was sparged with 170 F water and about 8 gallons was collected in total. No water additions were added to the beer.
Wort was brought to a boil rather quickly. Total boil time of 70 minutes according to notes. Almost no additions to the boil but whirfloc was added at 10 minutes from flameout. Wort was chilled via immersion chiller for 40 minutes.
1 ounce of Czech Saaz 3.0% AA at 60 minutes
Beer was fermented at room temperature with Brett c. from a small starter. Beer was allowed to ferment for 3 months. After fermentation was done (all in primary), the final gravity was <1.005. Beer was primed to two volumes of CO2 (a little low but this is my standard “I don’t know how much to add” carbonation level plus long necks can’t really hold much if this continued to dry out).
This is somewhat of a forgotten beer for me but it serves its purpose. When I make some wort I want to be more Brett-y, I pop one or two of these open, drink the beer (which is good) and pour the dregs into the fermenter. It is simple and easily provides that bump in flavor I want from the yeast. There is nothing to note except that after years in the bottle there is minimal oxidation and the carbonation is low and under control, the beer did not continue to dry out in the bottle. If anything, the carbonation is on the low end.
Beer is yellow and clear…completely clear. Probably something about being in a bottle for years on this 1 x g centrifuge we all live on. Carbonation is a little low but steady and even, small bubbles, thin white head of small bubbles, decent retention.
Aroma is overripe pineapple and some sweetness, esters and mild musk, dank basement a little.
Beer is light in body and mildly dry on the backend. The beer is effervescent on the palate as well. The dominant flavors are a lead off of pineapple and musk. When it dries out there is a mild funky aftertaste but it is almost like overripe bananas or some other similar fruit. There is close to no oxidation in this beer that is pushing 3 years in the bottle (quite pleased about that). I’ve had a couple that have had issues but the last few have not.
Overall, I loved making this beer and having it around as “ministarters” or “Brett spikes” to add to existing fermentations. I’m looking forward to my upcoming Brett beers (described below) and rebrewing this one with a few different commercially available Brett species.
Part of the reason I’ve resurrected this beer for a post is that I’m planning to make a series of single Brett beers with all the known Brett strains currently in use. This will likely take the form of me brewing up a batch of wort and pitching vials of Brett into 5 – 10 different fermenters. I’m going to have to tap a few friends to help me with this effort but I have a few people near me that can help me out. This post wasn’t exactly like the usual post for this blog but I hope it was entertaining and a nice teaser for the upcoming Brettanomyces experiment and series of beer that focus on these flavors.
“Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer” — Henry Lawson
11 thoughts on “Brettanomyces clausseni Ale”
I can’t wait to read your write-ups on the brett beers. I’ve done only a couple (one 100% brett IPA, one sacc./brett barleywine still aging) and keep meaning to do more. It seems like its the future of home brewing in the post “look how many pounds of hops I can fit into my beer” era…
– Dennis, Life Fermented Blog
Going to be a big experiment. I have obtained 9 different species / strains. Some commercially available some not. Going to ferment them in growlers only a half gallon each (a starter basically) and see what happens. Should start at the end of the month (if I can finish the kitchen renovation).
From my limited experience with brett, the small batch size might skew your results. When I made a starter of the brett trois, it was fairly sour. But, when I pitched it to a 5 gal batch, it didn’t display any sour notes. This was probably a result of the extra oxygen in the starter though, so you might be able to avoid it.
– Dennis, Life Fermented Blog
This idea of brewing a batch to just have on hand for dosing other beers with dregs seems brilliant. I’ve never heard of anyone doing that before, and I’m quite tempted to do it myself. If I ever get a second fermenter so I have some wiggle room in my pipeline it’ll probably be one of my first projects.
Get a second fermenter. I’m thinking of getting a 7th.
I don’t have a good temperature control solution for two fermenters, and I live in New York City so space is at a premium, and I think if I spent more time brewing the rest of my life would run into trouble. I’ve talked myself out of it several times. But then again…
Use saison yeasts and Brett species for your second fermentation…no temp control required..you know your space limitations more than me obviously.
I regularly brew an all-Brett Claussenii beer – a Belgian Blonde base beer, 100% fermented with WLP645, with about 0.75lb/gallon of pureed apricots and some nice fruity finishing hops. (Mittelfrueh and Wai-iti) Never disappoints, the citrusy/tropical fruit from the hops, the pineapple (with some musty undertones) from the BrettC, and the apricot, but clearly at heart a blonde ale. One of my two favorites among all the beers I’ve ever tried brewing, which I credit mostly to the Brett. (I just prepare the canvas for the little masters, they do most of the work)