Thursday, May 3, 2012

Brett Series: Extra Special "Brett"er

If you have followed me for any length of time you will have noticed that I'm not into naming beers. But I have finally named a beer and I think it was pretty creative, Extra Special "Brett"er.

I have not been so excited about a beer in a long time. This beer has been in my mind for a while and I just decided to brew it a few weeks ago. It is funny how stuff happens, as soon as I brewed this beer, then I started seeing others talk about Brett Only beers

It would be nice if these styles took off as I think they open up so many new flavor palates. For this particular beer I had a very focused flavor profile I was going for. From previous experience with Brett Drie in my Best Bitter (almost a 1.5 yr ago), I know it produces some huge fruit flavors when young. Especially tropical flavors like guava, mango, papaya (think the popular Hawaiian drink POG). To follow-up with this, there are two main ways you can go with flavor blending - contrasting or complementing. I decided to go for something that would re-enforce the tropical fruit flavors - Nelson Sauvin hops.  My first exposure to these hops was in Alpine Brewing's Nelson, which is wildly popular. My first time trying it, it took me by surprise because I was expecting a big citrus hop flavor typical of many West Coast IPAs and this beer has a soft fruit flavor. And at that point the "Sauvin" in the name started to make sense because of the relationship to white wine flavors.
I was not overly concerned about the malt bill for this beer because the hops and yeast flavors are going to be so dominant. The mouthfeel may be a bit lacking because of the way that Brett does not produce glycerol, but I'll wait to see how that affects the final beer.

This beer used the second runnings from my 2012 English Barleywine. I capped the mash with 1 lb of acid malt, which has been proven in Chad Y's research to help with Brett Only fermentations. I also added about a lb of Extra Special Roast on top to help with color and a little malt complexity (I'm not sure if it will make a difference).

Extra Special "Brett"er
100% Brett Drie / 100% Nelson Sauvin hops
O.G.-1.048  F.G.-1.007   IBU-19 
Size -5.0 gal    SRM-12   ABV - 5.5%   

Grain Bill :

2nd Runnings:
22 lb Golden Promise Malt (96%)
8 oz  Crystal 155L (2.4%)
8 oz Crystal 55L (2.4%) 

Mash Cap:
1 lb Acid Malt
1 lb Extra Special Roast Malt

.25 oz Nelson Sauvin, 12.5%, pellet, 60 min 14.4 IBU

.5 oz Nelson Sauvin, 12.5%, pellet, 15 min 7.7 IBU 
.1 oz Nelson Sauvin, 12.5%, pellet, Dry Hop - 2 weeks
Brett Drie 

4 oz -> 16 oz -> 32 oz 1.040 Starters each for 6 days
Brew Day:
Brewed: 4/15/12


50/50 Blend of San Diego tap water and Distilled

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.25 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 6.5 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 152F @ 60min
Sparge Volume: 2.5 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 6.5gal
Boil Time: 60min
Post Boil Volume: 5.0 gal

Ferment Details:
Ferment Temp: 68

If you want to try some please let me know. I plan to drink this beer while it is fresh and it should be done in a couple more weeks after I let the dry-hop finish.

04/29/12 - 1.007 
Added 1 oz of Nelson Sauvin hops. Took a sample and this beer is what I was hoping for. It has that same POG flavor I remember. The beer is still very cloudy and will need some cold crashing.


  1. Ummm...POG! I love that shit. I wonder if it's time for me to keg/bottle my Brett Drie Brown Ale? It's been 3 months in primary.

    1. Yeah, that is all I drink when we go on vacation there. I'm not sure why I never drink it when I'm home.

      And I'm sure your beer is fine to bottle. This beer will be bottled after about 4 weeks.

      I'm curious how your similar your flavor will be, make sure to post a tasting of that beer.

  2. Jeff, I'd love to try the beer. I could also bring over my BRETT!! Beer that used Brett c. And Amarillo. I think i still have a bottle.

    1. One more week. Maybe I'll get a mini CHUG gathering scheduled for next week.

    2. How is the beer fermenting out? I am taking a gravity sample tonight if I get a chance on mine. It is at 32 days today.

  3. It fermented out quickly. Most active fermentation done in 7 days than gradual the next week, finished at 1.007. I dry-hopped it 2 weeks ago and will rack it to a carbing keg tomorrow and I'll see if the gravity changed since 2 weeks ago. I have vented it every few days, but not sure if that is from the beer warming up (its at room temperature) or the hops making CO2 come out of solution or it is still fermenting.

  4. Possibly stupid question: I read your post about aerating/non aerating this yeast in terms of acid production. How does that affect how you make a starter (ie, for non aeration, are you just pouring the yeast on top of the starter wort sans stirbar or the likes?) Really keen on getting a fruit bomb out of my forthcoming IPA.

  5. Possibly dumb question: I read your post about wlp644 and the differences produced by aerating/not aerating. How does it affect the way you make your starters (ie, for non-aeration, are you just pouring the yeast over the wort starter and letting it sit sans stirbar/shaking?) Im keen on using this yeast for an ipa and am pushing for a acidless fruitbomb :)

    1. So WLP644 is not the yeast used in this beer. This beer used Brett Drie from BSI and the WLP644 is a similar strain, but found to be a Sacc strain. They did release a strain WLP647 that is likely the same Brett strain.

      With that being said, I'd aerate the starter for both strains as much as possible. However, for WLP644 I would aerate the wort on the beer, but probably wouldn't if using the Brett strain.


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