Friday, November 30, 2012

First Tasting: 100% Brett C with Citra

So it’s been a really long time since I last posted, but a lot has happened since then. I got a new job and we bought a house. The house is mostly what caused the delay in posting/brewing. I didn’t want to brew anything knowing we were leaving soon. The good news is that in the two months that we’ve been living in the new house I’ve been able to brew twice. I’ll post the details on those adventures later. Right now I’m going to try to catch up on some tastings.

Last hurrah 100% Brett

You might remember this as my experimental beer. I brewed one batch using a slightly tweaked version of my saison recipe. Then I split the batch to lower the OG (which I forgot to read). One carboy I aerated and the other I didn’t. I had read that Brett in the presence of oxygen will create acidic acid, so I figured I would see if it was noticeable or not. There are some factors that might have ruined this experiment. For one I can’t control how much the beer is aerated, secondly both beers might have received enough oxygen to create acidic acid when I was racking them into the carboys and dryhopping them, third I’m not sure what the threshold for acidic acid productions is for Brett. The third part of this experiment involved me splitting a gallon off of one of the carboys and adding it to a pound of rhubarb in an attempt to make a quick sour/ tart beer. It’s been a while since I opened the first bottles so my reviews will be based over the time since the first bottle to now.

Aeration comparison

Appearance: Each beer is very clear, probably the clearest beers I have produced to date, and pale yellow. Brett will really clear up. There is a small amount of heat head, about a centimeter thick that leaves some lacing down the sides of the glass.

Aroma: At first the beer was a pineapple guava bomb with a touch of funk, but at this point there is a subtle fruity undertone with much more funk apparent. I honestly probably enjoy the beer more at this point then I did originally.

Taste: The taste can best be described as funky. I’m surprised how much brett is apparent in the flavor of this beer. It dried out a decent amount so there is not much left, only a little residual bready flavor. There was really no discernible difference in the aerated and non-aerated versions of the beer as far as acid production was concerned. They also both finished with around the same FG so I don’t think that was effected that much either.

Mouthfeel: In my opinion it’s slightly undercarbonated. It has become better as time has gone along but originally I was worried about bottle bombs so I didn’t use as much sugar as I should have. Looking back and after further research most people say to use the same priming sugar as you would with a clean yeast strain for 100% brett fermented beers. This was a correction I made for the rhubarb version.

Overall: I really enjoy this beer. This is one of my favorite beers that I have brewed to date. It’s a great summer session beer with a huge nose. I would say that it pretty much turned out exactly as I wanted. I was able to share a bottle with one of the brewers at Jester King Brewery recently and he also really enjoyed the beer, which made me happy (always nice to have approval from a professional). This is definitely a beer that I will brew again for next summer and I will continue to experiment with Brett. I’m thinking my next 100% brett will be a brett brux IPA. 

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