Monday, January 17, 2011

Dreg Series: Avery 15 or Drie Brett Bitter

I received a vial of this Brett strain that a fellow QUAFFer Adrain built up from a bottle of Avery 15 (decent video about Avery 15). Actually, the Avery 15 dregs are the Brettanomyces from Drie Fonteinen gueuze. All I learned about this strain comes from Chad Yakonson (Descriptions about Avery 15 Dual Brettanomyces Strains, Avery 15 culturing of dregs) of the Brettanomyces Project and now his new Commercial Brettanomyces Brewery - Crooked Stave. He also sent me a pdf version of his Master's thesis, which includes some great background information and some great testing on 7 different strains used in Brett Only fermentations (email me and I'll send it).

I smelled the vial that Adrian gave me and it was just fantastic. It had a nice bit of tartness with a good amount of fruity and citrus. It smells very comparable to a pretty old gueze. I wanted to build these guys up a bit so I added them to a .5 gal of my Best Bitter. I figured it would be fun to see how the fruitiness of the Brett went with the floral English hops. Plus, the lower gravity of the Best Bitter seemed like a good starter.

The Brett took off, it was ferementing in less than 12 hours. And after a day it had a nice 1" krausen with very fine bubbles. It seemed like it feremented out in about 7 days and I decided to bottle this after 3 weeks (Brett acts very much like Saccharomyces when used by itself, so I am not too worried about bottle bombs). I bottled the .5 gal with .5 oz corn sugar which should give me around 2.5 Volumes of CO2. This is more than a Bitter, but less than a gueze. I figured it should be enough to give a nice head on the beer to produce a lot of aroma. F.G. - 1.010.
Spoiler alert: This beer smelled like tropical punch when it was being racked into the bottling bucket. The taste was not quite as fruity as the smell and it had hardly any noticeable tartness (yet).


  1. This is an inspiring blog. Please keep us updated.

  2. how did this turn out? I'm planning an upcoming brew with the A15/3F bretts. Chad Y gave me the two bretts seperately so I am going to do a split batch and see how the two work differently

  3. Without a doubt this is my favorite homebrew (not just sour). The smell of this beer is just outstanding, the tropical fruits that come from this are amazing and powerful. This is one of the most aromatic beers I have had. With enough time in the bottle it has started to produce some acidity, but had none to start with. From what I have read the initial sourness is controlled mostly be aeration (more O2 more sour). At first this beer was all fruit and no funk, but I have tasted one recently that is producing some nice Brett funk (nothing goaty or sweaty).The other nice thing about this yeast is that it is quick and a good attenuator. It doesn't finish too dry and leaves a nice mouthfeel. Active fermentation is done in about a week and I usually let it sit another couple months, but I don't see a change in gravity.

    My plan was to put a new gallon of wort on the yeast every 3 months. I did forgot about the Old Ale on this yeast until last week when I bottled it. The hydro sample was very interesting.

    For my last Saisons that finished dry I used an eyedropper and added some yeast at bottling.

    If I were to open a brewery this would be my house yeast.

    Maybe you should even do 3 batches: One each and then a 50/50 blend.

  4. Nice to hear! The beer I am planning is going to be a sort of sessionable Brown ale hopped with Pacific Gem and Nelson Sauvin. I haven't used Pacific Gem yet but the description sounds like it should play well with the brett, some malt, and the Nelson Sauvin. I plan on fermenting the two seperately but then I will indeed take a portion of the two and blend them. So I should get three unique beers from the single brew session.

    I am curious about the sourness that will develop with these bretts... or perhaps just with one of the bretts. Would you describe the sourness you are getting as acetic, citric, lactic or what?

  5. The sourness is mostly lactic, but I can detect maybe a bit of acetic. As of now the acetic is just rounding off the sourness. The sourness is pretty mild maybe at the level of a commercial Oud Bruin like Petrus.

  6. Can you send me a copy of the thesis?

  7. Please email your contact info @ and I would be happy to send it to you.


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