CS Brett Expirement

>> Saturday, May 16, 2015

I've been on a brewing drought lately because I've been busy with a variety of projects. A buddy of mine moved to Denver earlier this year and was in town for my daughter's wedding (one of the things that kept me busy) and he brought me a vial of Brett Barrel III yeast from Inland Island. He got it at his LHBS in Denver and they indicated this is a brettanomyces strain from Crooked Stave.  Needless to say, I'm excited to brew a batch and give this yeast a try.

I'm a huge fan of all the CS beers I've been able to try, but I especially like some of the darker wild/sour beers (e.g. Nightmare on Brett Street, Motif Reserva, etc.), so I decided to go with a darker base beer for this experiment. Brett alone won't really sour a beer, so I'll probably pitch some dregs from one of my other sours once primary is done.

Here's the recipe as I made it:

6.0 # German Munich
3.0 # German Pilsner
1.0 # Chit Malt
0.5 # Flaked Oats
0.5. # Special B
0.5 # Carafa II
0.25 # Pale Chocolate Malt
28g Aged Hops (60 min)
INISBC-913 Brett Barrel III
Wyeast Nutrient
1.0 # D-180 Candi Syrup (rack onto syrup in secondary when pitching sour bugs)

Mash at 156F for 60 min. Ferment at room temp. I'll be saving this blend to use in other beers, so I'll rack to secondary, save the primary cake, then pitch some lactobacillus and pedio in the secondary.

Update 6/28/2015
I racked this beer to secondary yesterday. It has some really nice brett character, lots of stone fruit flavors in there. I added some yeast cake from my first Oud Bruin plus some from Chitty Bang Bang Oud Bruin. I also added two French Oak Medium+ cubes.

Update 7/22/2015
I recently picked up a pH meter that I plan to use for tracking progress of my sours as well checking mash pH. I decided to pull a sample and see where the pH was at after almost a month on the souring bugs. 

pH as of today is measuring 3.51. The beer is noticeably sour, but not quite as sour as most of my sours. Oak character from the cubes is subtle. Body is medium. I really like the direction this beer seems to be heading.

Update 10/27/2015
Pulled a sample today and this beer is delicious. It has a subtle oak character with just a hint of smokiness. Acidity is very nice, measured at 3.18 today. I think it's ready for kegging/packaging. I'm toying with the idea of treating it with potassium metabisulfite to halt the souring process because I really don't want the pH to drop any more.

Update 11/21/2015
This beer went into the keg yesterday.