C + C Brett Factory

February 22, 2012

A few days ago I received a couple of emails asking what was going on in my home brewery and if I had brewed anything recently. Looking back I realized it’s been a bit over a month since I posted a brew session report and recipe. Well I have brewed since January and must say I’m really excited about this recipe!

Last week was my birthday so I took the day off to brew a 100% Brett C and 100% Citra hopped Pale Ale (get it? C+C)….yeah I know whomp whomp I’m a child of the 90’s! Anyway once I finally got my hands on another pound of Citra hops I knew these were destined for a wild ferment with Brett. The mango and pineapple flavor/aroma of Citra seemed like a perfect match for the similar and complimentary flavors Brett C produces. 5 days before the brew session I prepared a 2000ml starter of 1.040 wort and pitched 2 vials of WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii…. Stirplated the entire time. No decant or crash cooling.

*This batch was actually 23 gallons total, however  6 gallons got the Brett C pitch, the other 17 gallons got a slug of Boscos Brewing house yeast**

Sparge Run-Off

As with most of my recipes I don’t use many bittering hops, just enough to give some slight upfront hop bitterness but that’s all. I want the Brett and the perceived bitterness (much softer bitterness) that will come from the late additions to be the providers. Remember that you will still get added IBUs from late addition hops, plus depending on the amount of time it takes to cool your wort IBUs could be increasing. So here is the recipe I went with on this batch (I scaled it down to 5 gallons finished and packaged beer, apprx 5.5 gallons into the carboy):

  • 90% Eff., 152F Mash, 60 minute boil
  • OG-1.058, 6 SRM, 27 IBUs
  • Pale Belgian 2-Row (6.7lbs)
  • White Wheat (1.2lbs)
  • Munich (1.2lbs)
  • Cara-Pils Dextrine (.5lbs)
  • Chocolate Malt 500L (1oz used for color adjustment)
  • Citra .25oz @ 50 min (9 IBU)
  • Citra .50oz @ 20 min (8 IBU)
  • Citra 1.25oz @ 5 min (10 IBU)
  • Citra 1.50 oz @ 0 min
  • Citra  1oz Dry Hop

The entire starter of Brett C was pitched and as you can see in this picture visual signs of fermentation showed up about 72 hours later with ambient temps around 65F. The day after this picture was taken I bumped the temps up to 70F.

I will probably take a gravity reading next week on the 14 day mark. Like I said before, I am really excited about this batch! Citra + Claussenii and a fairly basic grain bill should make for a great summer beer. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of this beer and hopefully sharing bottles of this one near the end of May. Cheers!


***Update*** Bottled around the 90 day mark. Still has big hop flavor and aroma. I’ll probably shorten the “aging” next time and just let it develop more in the bottle if need be. Realistically you could turn this beer in a month and still get some wonderful Brett notes. I’m hoping to try this with BSI Drie or the Trois strain sometime.