#45 Brett in the house

Eureka, todays recipe is about an experiment I planned a while back ago. As soon as I heard that it is possible to ferment a beer only with Brettanomyces (no surprise here since Bretts are yeasts as well), I planned to try this myself: The following recipe is a beer that has been fermented with Brettanomyces only. I split the batch before fermentation and pitched Wyeast’s #5112 B. bruxellensis in one fermenter, and #5526 B. lambicus in the other one. To have some sort of starches left in the fermenter, I decreased the saccharification rest down to 30 minutes instead of the normal 60 minutes.

Recipe: Brett in the house
Numbers: Volume [L] 15 (4.0 gal)
Original gravity 12.5°P
Terminal gravity 1°P/1.2°P (see description below)
Color Around 4 EBC
ABV > 6%
Grains: Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 3.0 kg
Wheat malt (4 EBC) 0.8 kg
Acidified malt (5 EBC) 0.4 kg
Hops: East Kent Goldings (5% AA) 40 g and boil for 60 min
Yeast: #5112 Brettanomyces bruxellensis, #5526 Brettanomyces lambicus
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 11 L (2.9 gal), sparge: 13 L (3.4 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @66°C (151°F), 30 min @ 72°C (162°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 60 min
Fermentation: Primary 11 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a glass carboy
Secondary 7 weeks @ 15°C (59°F)
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2 vol
Maturation time 4 weeks @ 15°C (59°F)

03/03/2012: Brew day. All went according to the protocol above. The starch test was positive after resting for 30 minutes at 66°C. Therefore still some starches left in the wort. Then sparged and boiled for 60 min with the addition of the East Kent Goldings. Then transfered the hot wort into my whirlpool kettle and let the debris settle to the bottom and cooled the wort down to the pitching temperature of approximately 20°C (68°F).

I split the wort in half and filled two 10 L (2.6 gal) glass carboys with approximately 7.5 L of wort (2 gal). Then flooded the carboys with CO2 and pitched the Brettanomyces. So no aeration of the wort. The Wyeast packages of the Brettanomyces already smelled different. The B. lambicus had a very distinct cherry aroma and the B. bruxellensis a really funky smell.

No signs of fermentation after 24 h after inoculation:

B. lambicus fermenter 24 h after inoculation

B. bruxellensis 24 h after inoculation

03/04/2012: And the fermentation is fully active. A lot of bubbling and a nice kräusen on top of the fermenting liquid.

B. bruxellensis 48 h after inoculation

B. lambicus 48 h after inoculation

03/14/2012: Kräusen vanished. I transfered the glass carboys in my cellar to let the fermentation proceed at a lower temperature (@ 15°C (59°F)).

04/21/2012: Bottled the beers with the addition of table sugar to get a carbonation level of approximately 2.0 vol. The B. bruxellensis finished at 1.2°P, the B. lambicus at 1.0°P. I will leave the bottles at 20°C (68°F) for several weeks to carbonate and then store them in my cellar at 15°C (59°F). The first tasting will be in a few months. So stay tuned.