brett secondary and all-brett amber tasting

although a round of weddings kept me from firing up the brew kettle these past few weeks, I got around to tapping both my belgian/brett and all-brett versions of my amber ale for a little side-by-side review.

  • to recap, I brewed one base beer (an amber ale) and fermented it three ways – five gallons with only WLP575 belgian blend, five gallons with WLP575 and WLP650 brett brux in secondary, and two gallons with only WLP650.  I dry-hopped all three with an ounce of fuggles for a week before kegging.  below are my reviews for the belgian/brett and all-brett versions.

 

    • belgian/brett amber (brett b in secondary)
    • appearance: dark copper color, effervescent with lasting head that drops but does not disappear
    • aroma: light estery belgian notes with a slight malt presence
    • taste: malt-forward with an estery belgian finish
    • overall: very drinkable but somewhat ordinary, could use more spicy/herbal hops earlier in the boil*

 

    • brett brux amber
    • appearance: dark copper, slightly turbid (from fresh carbed keg with hop residue), great creamy, fluffy head that sticks around
    • aroma: spicy/earthy hops with an earthy brett funk in the back
    • taste: creamy mouthfeel with a dry, slightly funky finish
    • overall: refreshing and easy to drink, but could use a little more kick – maybe sub in 10-20% rye and up the boil hops*?

 

  • *it should be noted that I believe the lack of substantial bitterness was the result of my use of an old steeping bag with mesh clogged with proteins and oils from enduring dozens of boils.  the use of a new bag should overcome this issue.
  • I was pleasantly surprised by the significant differences between the all-brett fermentation and the other two versions.  based on my results, I plan of further developing my all-brett amber with a small rye addition and better hop utilization (and maybe adding more earthy/spicy hops such as saaz, willamette, and cluster at 15 mins and flameout).

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