Posts Tagged ‘brett’

phantom carriage: barreling batch 4 and brewing batch 5

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013


stacking

over the past week a lot has been happening over at the phantom carriage.

  • first, a full batch of brett saison (french saison yeast with a brett trois/drie kicker in primary) crept below 1.01 in the conicals, so it was time to rack it into barrels.  the brett accentuated the saison yeast nicely and gave it a nice earthy tropical fruit kick.  hopefully three months in barrels will round out the beer even more (I got some baking spice, vanilla, and sweet vinous notes from the barrels as they were being filled).  I can also see some dry-hopping in the cards…
  • next, it was time to fill the void left by the saison with another wild creation.  this time, 14bbls of blonde ale based on my all-brett blonde experiment hit the stainless and was introduced to a sizable pitch of the brett trois strain (which I selected from the three trial strains due to its great aroma and flavor contributions as well as its strong and relatively rapid fermentation).  this batch was special – it will be the phantom carriage’s first release!  more info is imminent, so keep an eye out for updates!

trying out the sparge arm               churning away

the stack keeps growing...

brettanomyces project updates, mead bottling

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

I wrapped up a long weekend of turkey and football with an intense bottling session down in the basement.

  • I kegged and bottled each of the three versions of my all-brett blonde.  after three weeks in the fermentor, the WLP644 trois strain finished at 1.006, the WLP653 lambicus strain finished at 1.011, and I was surprised to find that the WLP650 brux strain finished highest at 1.012.  the brux batch finished high enough that I placed all the brux bottles in a cooler to carb up (these should get consumed pretty fast, but you can never be too safe!).  I’m planning on trying a bottle of each variety in a week for a comprehensive tasting/comparison.
  • I also bottled each of the bkyeast half-gallon test batches that had been fermenting for about a month.  each half-gallon batch yielded four 12oz bottles and about 10oz of slurry.  the C2 cantillon isolate finished at 1.010, the C3 cantillon isolate finished at 1.012, and the wyeast berliner isolate (which had a pretty impressive pellicle and was crystal clear) finished at 1.008.  each sample had a unique and exciting flavor profile that I will elaborate upon in a week or two once the bottles carb up and I can get a proper tasting in.

after bottling and kegging the cornucopia of brett variations, I tossed some corks in my bucket of sanitizer and jumped right into bottling the last iteration of my mead, which entered the fermentor sixteen months ago.

  • mead is great for the holidays – it can be substituted for white wine at the dinner table and it also makes a great gift that can be stashed away for decades.  after a long secondary in a keg, my mead turned out crystal clear and managed to finish at 0.997 for an abv of 13.59%.  my sample had an intense honey and wildflower aroma.  I think my next mead will be a melomel (fruit mead) – maybe I can make use of some of my persimmon stash

               

               

 

 

all brett blonde, LACBB summit at beachwood

Friday, November 9th, 2012

last weekend I kept rolling with the funk and put together an all-brett blonde split three ways.

  • I based my grain bill on various recipes for brett blondes (which all seemed pretty homogeneous), but kept to a 60 minute boil and mashed at 151F (in hindsight, I could have kicked it up to around 154 or 155F, since all-brett beers tend to finish a little thin).  my starting gravity was 1.055 and I kept the IBUs to around 27.
  • after cooling the wort to the mid-70s, I divided it up into three fermentors (two 5gal and on 2.5gal), aerated, and pitched a different isolated brett strain into each fermentor.  a vial of WLP653 went into five gallons, my ramped-up starter of WLP644 went into another five, and a vial of WLP650 was pitched into the smaller 2.5 gal better bottle.
  • the 644 took off vigorously within hours, while the slightly underpitched WLP650 took a day or so to get going.  I had read that the 653 was a notoriously slow starter, which rang true – it took three days to see visible activity, but by that time the airlock was churning and there was a healthy krausen.

after hosing down my brewstand, ML and I headed for beachwood BBQ long beach to meet up with the LACBB crew for our monthly summit.

  • julian shrago (brewer), gabe gordon (owner), and daniel drennon (writer) all spoke at the event, although I arrived late and was admittedly distracted by a killer brisket sandwich and tasty house IPA.  kip’s article over at bierkast summarizes the event nicely (and includes a pretty unflattering profile shot of me at the bar).  not a bad way to spend a sunday!

               

 

 

monkish brewing tour, brett amber kegging, white tasting notes

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

last weekend AP and I headed over to torrance to check out monkish brewing co’s tasting room and facility.

  • after sampling a few beers we toured the facility with none other than henry nguyen, who runs the place with his wife adriana.  henry also sourced and assembled every piece of the fifteen barrel brewery himself, and indulged me with some some details about his regular brewing practices.  the beers were great, the tour was fantastic, and the hospitality was unmatched.  thanks again!

I also finally got around to kegging the secondary-brett and all-brett versions of my amber ale after a couple months of exposure.

  • I dry-hopped each of the 5 gallons of secondary-brett and the 2.5 gallons of all-brett with 1 oz. of fuggles for five days, then racked them into 5 and 2.5 gallon corny kegs, respectively.  both beers finished at 1.009, which was the same FG for the non-brett control beer I kegged a month earlier (which may mean the brett needs more time in secondary, or just that the WLP575 is unusually attenuative, since according to my notes I mashed at 156F!).  the fuggles added a great earthy spiciness to the beer’s aroma, and samples of both were promising.  I’m planning on serving the all-brett version soon and giving the secondary-brett version a little more time to work its magic.

additionally, I cracked a bottle of white (blanc) last night for review (and to test for carbonation):

  • appearance: dark brown with reddish hue when held to light, bubbly white head that quickly fades to lacing, great carbonation
  • aroma: fantastic assertive brett, slight fruit
  • taste: intense but satisfying acidity, light oak and stone fruit elements that increase as beer warms, good body with lingering sourness
  • overall: I’m very satisfied with this beer’s interplay between brett and acidity.  the light oak and fruit from racking onto cabrillo’s dregs and cake could be increased for greater effect, especially the cherries, which could really shine here.  I’m thinking about racking onto a bunch of sour cherries during the next batch or serve this batch through a randall stuffed with cherries…

              

              

 

eagle rock brettanomyces event, project updates

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

yesterday AP and I finally made it up to eagle rock brewery to attend their latest beer education lecture on brettanomyces.

additionally, I made some headway on a couple of side projects this weekend.

  • since my last update, my hops have been growing aggressively, and when it came time to harvest my chinook variety I ended up with 2.5 oz of dry, dank cones that I vacuum sealed and tossed in the freezer for an upcoming batch.  there look to be around three times as many cones on my cascade plant, so I am looking forward to another picking session in a week or two once they mature a little more.
  • I also had an hour or two to kill on saturday and, thinking back to a thread on homebrewtalk, I ran over to home depot and picked up a hand pump sprayer and adapter which I turned into a pump line cleaner in about five minutes flat.  this $15 investment should pay for itself a million times over now that I don’t have to use CO2 to clean my draft lines or beer out dip tubes in my kegs…



weissbier, apricots, and a funk/sour tasting lineup

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

last week JF and I got around to kegging my trappist weiss.

  • due to an unfortunate slip-up (literally) during the brew, I was unable to grab the starting gravity of the brew, but the end result has the characteristic cloudiness and fruity/banana aroma of a classic weissbier.  it will be interesting to see what dimensions the trappist yeast strain adds to the mix.

additionally, after expressing interest in DP and PP’s apricot tree, they agreed to let me harvest some of this year’s crop for brewing purposes.

  • fifteen minutes and a six-foot ladder netted my a few pounds of ripe apricots that I vacuum-sealed froze for future use.  hopefully I can work them into one of my sours (maybe by brewing a few extra gallons of a low-gravity blonde and racking it on top of them in a three-gallon better bottle?)

also, CB took a trip down from SF this weekend, and brought some goodies along to share.

  • we tried his 100% brett brew, along with his saison bottled with white labs sour mix I and his two-year old flanders.  the brett ale was slightly tart, remarkably clean, and sessionable, while the saison was spicy with some earthy funk and some fruit on the nose (it was interesting to compare it to my version, which had pretty much the same malt bill but had bugs added much earlier).
  • the flanders was truly wild – our guess was wild yeast included with a homegrown cherry addition took over and dominated secondary fermentation.  the beer tasted and smelled strongly of roses/blossoming flowers, and completely dominated a jar of starter wort that we had been pitching dregs into (including heavy hitters like framboise de amorosa, upright’s six, and cigar city’s sea bass (which was my favorite of the night)).  thanks again for the tasty brews CB!

deschutes the dissident

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

up close pour of the dissident

last weekend I managed to crack open a bottle of deschutesthe dissident.

  • the dissident is a great example of an oud bruin, aka an east flanders brown ale.
  • east flanders brown ales are traditionally more malty and bitter than their west flanders red ale counterparts, and are fermented in stainless steel tanks using a mixed culture of yeast and bacteria (here, presumably brettanomyces) that gives them their sourness. thanks wild brews!
  • in the case of this beer, evidently some of it was aged in pinot noir and cabernet barrels, and washington cherries were added to secondary.
  • when this beer came out it was seriously hyped, both online and in local stores.  it lived up to it though by being a relatively sessionable brown with just the right amount of sourness.
  • I believe deschutes called this beer “the dissident” since it was their first brett beer and they isolated it from their main brewing equipment during aging and bottling.  their label is one of the best and most unique I have seen on a commercial beer.
  • this beer was on the shelves everywhere for a couple of months, but supplies went fast and pretty soon there was none to be found.  long after I had given up hope of cracking another bottle of this guy, AP, CB, TB and I rolled up to santa rosa for their beer fest.  while up there, we stopped by their friendly neighborhood beer store.  while we were kicking around the store looking for brews, I noticed that one of the cases of red chair on display looked a little different from the rest.  I looked a little closer and had an indiana jones moment – it was an unopened case of the dissident!

dissident artwork

dissident pour

dissident bottle