Sunday, October 13, 2013

Empirical Anomaly (Brett Trois IPA)

Not everything can be explained by theory and scientific testing.  Alchemy still exists to an extent when it comes to homebrewing.  This afternoon I figured I'd try to brew up a batch where Brettanomyces no longer remained a member of the supporting cast.  It was time for it to be featured in a staring role.

I've been reading the last couple of months about a variety of exciting Brett-only beers, so I figured it was time to give it a try.  I've used Brett quite a bit in the past to help add funkiness once primary fermentation is complete.  This beer uses Brett as the primary fermenter.  These Brett-only beers ferment somewhat fast and have a nice flavor profile full of mango and tropical fruit, which sounds really awesome.  I added some wheat to in order to keep the body light.  Additionally, I added acid malt to the mash in order to give the Brett some lactic acid to grab on to.  The hop profile is pretty much 50/50 Centennial (my love affair continues) and Citra (the new girl in town).  I threw in a little Chinook since I already had an ounce around the house and have been trying to find a use for it.

                                                                        Empirical Anomaly
Style: Unassigned
Type:Calories: 212
Rating: 0.0Boil Size: 6.87 Gal
IBU's: 64.09Batch Size: 6.00 Gal
Color:   10.3 SRM  Boil Time: 75 minutes
Preboil OG: 1.062

Brew Date:-10/13/2013
ABV:7.34 %6.55 %
Efficiency:70 %64 %
Serve Date:11/09/2013/ /

Fermentation Steps
NameDays / TempEstimatedActual
Primary28 days @ 68.0°F10/13/201310/13/2013
Grains & Adjuncts
13.00 lbs76.47 %Pale Malt (2 Row) US60 mins1.036
4.00 ozs1.47 %Briess 2-Row Caramel 40L60 mins1.034
3.00 lbs17.65 %Rahr Red Wheat60 mins1.037
8.00 ozs2.94 %Acid Malt60 mins1.027
4.00 ozs1.47 %Fawcett Pale Chocolate60 mins1.030
AmountIBU'sNameTimeAA %
2.00 ozs51.71Centennial60 mins10.00
1.00 ozs12.38Citra10 mins13.20
1.00 ozs0.00Citra0 mins13.20
1.00 ozs0.00Centennial0 mins10.00
1.00 ozs0.00Chinook0 mins13.00
1.00 ozsCentennial7 days10.00
1.00 ozsCitra7 days13.20
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgBrettanomyces Bruxellensis TroisWhite Labs 0644
Mash Profile

Full Body Infusion In45 min @ 158.0°F
 Add 21.25 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 170.0°F

 Sparge 17.07 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins

Batch Updates:

10/26/13 : Gravity reading today indicated a specific gravity of 1.017, which is roughly where I hoped it would be after two weeks.  I'd ultimately like this one to finished around 1.010 - 1.012 then bottle it.  I'l probably check it  again next weekend.

The taste was both citrusy and fruity.  I hope the citrusy Centennial flavor sticks around for a bit, however, the fruity Brett Trois characteristics may dominate.  Most people brewing with Trois report that the hop flavors are subsumed by the fruity brett characteristic.

Keeping it wild (yeast),


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Celebration Day

I was itching to brew this weekend, but was ambivalent to the style, so I asked Mrs. HolzBrew what style she is craving.  Back story, she is 8 months pregnant and this beer will be ready to drink right around the time she can drink beer again!  We currently have a dubbel, hoppy red and porter on draft, so she wanted something light, malty, and fruity.  We decided upon a saison.

Saison is such a fun style to brew due to the incredible amount of latitude with-in the style, and I have brewed several.  Almost any sort of spice or fruit is fair game in a saison, or instead, you can keep it clean and go without excessive additives.  Saisons can be funky, sour, hoppy, or floral.  Also, I note people have been brewing black saisons lately, which is a cool innovation.  Basically, saison is defined as almost any wort fermented with a saison yeast strain.  Within the yeast selection there are several belgian and french strains.  I really like the Wyeast french saison varietal, unfortunately, it was not available at the local HBS yesterday when I stopped by.  Consequently, I ended up with White Labs 585.  I've never used this strain before, but it looked just right.  Both tart and fruity.

It was a rainy day, but things went pretty well.  No major set backs.  I used a mix of 2 row, unmalted red winter wheat, and oatmeal for the fermentables.  I would have loved to have added some belgian pilsner, but I've got a ton of 2 row around the house and I couldn't justify buying pilsner malt on my grad student budget.  I also probably would have liked to have used malted wheat, but I had the the red wheat around the house.  The hop profile is 100% Saaz, simple and beautiful.  The color turned out really light and clear as can be seen below:

If I can swing it, I may try to brew up a Brett Trois IPA next week.  I'd read a lot of great things about these all brett beers lately and I figure I might try my hand at it.  Below is the recipe from today's foray into familiar Belgian territory.

Celebration Day

Style: Saison
Type:Calories: 206
Rating: 0.0Boil Size: 5.83 Gal
IBU's: 32.71Batch Size: 5.00 Gal
Color:    5.2 SRM  Boil Time: 60 minutes
Preboil OG: 1.061

Brew Date:-10/06/2013
ABV:7.07 %5.89 %
Efficiency:70 %59 %
Serve Date:10/06/2013/ /

Grains & Adjuncts
9.75 lbs69.64 %Pale Malt (2 Row) US60 mins1.036
3.00 lbs21.43 %Rahr Red Wheat60 mins1.037
1.00 lbs7.14 %Oats, Flaked60 mins1.037
4.00 ozs1.79 %Acid Malt60 mins1.027
AmountIBU'sNameTimeAA %
2.00 ozs25.10Saaz60 mins4.00
1.00 ozs7.60Saaz20 mins4.00
2.00 ozs0.00Saaz0 mins4.00
AmountNameLaboratory / ID
1.0 pkgBelgian SaisonWhite Labs 585
1.00 tspBlack Pepper15 minsBoil
0.40 ozCoriander Seed15 minsBoil
1.00 ozWhirlfloc Tablet15 minsBoil
Mash Profile

Light Body Infusion75 min @ 150.0°F
 Add 17.50 qt ( 1.25 qt/lb ) water @ 166.3°F

 Sparge 15.10 qt of 170.0°F water over 60 mins

Keep the tanks bubbling!