All Brett Everything: NEIPA

To continue along the same path as my previous post 100% Brett fermentation is back. Again I am working on developing recipes that are relatively quick to turn around for Reverence Barrel Works. A great brewer (thant I cannot remember the name of) once said, “If you hate money then do not brew hoppy beer”. So with that in mind I have set out over the last 12 months to develop a hoppy all Brett beer.

Conception: I wanted another beer that was trendy that would be approachable to all the hop heads out there. All brett ferments generally tend to be more ester forward. The idea of fruity brett mixed with the juiciness of the NEIPA is a combo I simply could get out of my head. After over a dozen iterations I am finally at a point where I will keep the recipe.

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100% Brett NEIPA V3.2

Water:

  • Calcium:  115 ppm
  • Magnesium:  15 ppm
  • Sodium: 15 ppm
  • Chloride: 150 ppm
  • Sulfate: 75 ppm

Mash pH: 5.3

Mash:

  • Mash in at 158F and hold for 60 min ( qt/lbs)
  • Raise via induction to 168F and hold for 10 min
  • Fly Sparge at 168F

Grist:

  • 75 % Thomas Fawcett Pearl
  • 17 % OiO Toasted Flaked Oats
  • 8 % Simpson Golden Naked oats

Hot side:

  • 60 min boil
  • 15 min add whirlfloc and Nutrient
  • Chill to 175F
  • Whirlpool for 30 min with 2 oz each of Citra, Azzaca and Mandrina Bavaria
  • Chill below 82F

Cold side:

  • Pitch Escarpment Labs Brett D (1L starter/5 gal wort) 6 days on stir plate.
  • Let ferment ambient (74F) for 3 weeks.
  • After 7-8 days dry hop with 2 oz each Citra, Azzaca and Mandrina Bavaria
  • 3 days before packaging dry hop with 1.5 oz each Citra, Azzaca and Mandrina Bavaria
  • Keg and force carbonate

All the Bretts from Omega (OLY218) is a great blend to use as well and is far easier to get a hold of. Really any IPA hops can work here. I like to switch things up and rotating my hop varieties.

Stats:

  • OG: 1.050
  • FG: 1.011
  • ABV: 5.1
  • IBU: Who knows?
  • BU/GU: N/A
  • BHE: 80%
  • Fermentor Volume: 6 gal
  • Packaged Volume: 5.5 gal
  • Carbonation: Kegged and force carbed to 2.2 Vols

This time I did 3 half batches and decided to ferment them all with a different brett variety. Escarpment Labs Brett D, Escarpment Labs Brett Q and Escarpment Labs  Brett Brussels were used.

Want to try this beer and will be in Toronto the weekend of March 23rd? Well come on out to the Grand Opening of Peoples Pint Brewing Co. and try our collaboration brett NEIPA! I will be joining them this Sunday to brew a batch. I bet you can guess what my next blog post after this one will be about.

Do you bottle condition? Are hoppy beers lack luster due to oxidation? Look no further! Brett is excellent at scavenging O2 (the destroyer of all things hoppy) and metabolizing it quickly. Brett NEIPAs keep fairly well for over 2 months when bottle conditioned! What does it metabolize O2 into? Acetic acid. However the amount introduced during bottle conditioning is next to nothing. No worries you beer will not turn to vinegar!

Appearance:

D: The haziest. Light orange that the camera struggles to capture. nice small tight 28417517_10155935619925336_1427555506_obubbles in the head. Head sticks around for a min before slowly fading to a film across the top. A little bit of lacing on the glass
Q: The least hazy but still opaque. Brilliant orange when backlit. Medium large CO2 bubbles in the head. Best head retention. eventually fade to patches after a few min.
Brussels: Middle road of the haze. Again orange but needs backlighting to see it. Head retention similar to D. Slightly larger bubbles in the head than D.

Aroma:

D: Apricot, “a bit too squishy” peach and pineapple dominate. Some fresh cut grass and a faint hint of honey in the background.
Q: Creamsicle topped with honey. More stone fruit than tropical fruit. Lightly toasted bread and a tease of farmyard.
Brussels: Guava, Mango and… goat cheese? Yeah fruity and goaty. Kinda like that tangy smell you get from goat cheese. Not like stale hop cheese. Really digging this.

Mouthfeel:

D: Silky and full. Low carb helps accentuate the juiciness. Feels like mango nectar on the tongue. Mild hop astringency.
Q: Silky medium mouthfeel. A tad thinner that D. Again low carb. Slight pleasing bitterness
Brussels: Silky and super full. Fullest of the 3. Almost feels like a fruit smoothie. Almost has a light acidity to it as well. Low carb again (obviously).

Flavour:

D: Huge tropical fruit smoothie. Mango and pineapple jump out. As refreshing as breathing in mountain air but without the pine.
Q: Classic “C” hop characteristics followed by a strong white peachy note. The lightest barn yard on the end of each sip.
Brussels: Pineapple, Mango and grapefruit. A bit of that goaty tang from the aroma. Fresh cut grass on the backend.

Overall Impression:

D: I could crush this all day long. Winter or Summer this beer is delicious.
Q: Prefered D but this still has a lot of potential. May be better with a different hop combo.
Brussels: Strangest of the 3 but it worked really well. Going to ahve to revisit this strain again!

Next Time:

Who knows? I hope to take this recipe and change it. This was more of pale ale strength. I’d like to go back to about 6.5 ABV, make an imperial version, sour brett NEIPA, hell even a black Brett NEIPA. Chocolate covered fruit and funk? Sign me up! Different hop combos as well.

Cheers,
MD

All Brett Everything: Porter

Apologies first and foremost for the lack of content I have been putting out recently. Getting a brewery off the ground apparently is time consuming. who would have guessed? Anyways I figured that it has been way too long since my last recipe post. It’s been especially long since my last post that uses ingredients that are very easy to find. So with the idea of beers appropriate for Reverence Barrel Works and winter weather beer I bring you the first iteration of my 100% brett fermented porter.

Conception: I wanted a quick turn around brett beer that was approachable for those who are use to only clean styles yet interesting enough to get wild beer fans geeking out a bit. Dark beers with Wyeast Brett Lambicus (5526) have always been a personal favourite of mine due to the fairly intense cherry flavour and aroma. Nothing like black forest cake in liquid form!

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100% Brett Porter V0.0

Water:

  • Calcium: 100 ppm
  • Magnesium: 5 ppm
  • Sodium: 35 ppm
  • Chloride: 60 ppm
  • Sulfate: 50 ppm

Mash pH: 5.3

Mash:

  • Mash in at 153F and hold for 60 min (1.5 qt/lbs)
  • Raise via induction to 168F and hold for 10 min
  • Fly Sparge at 168F

Grist:

  • 76.8% Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
  • 10.3% Thomas Fawcett Pale Chocolate
  • 5.2% Thomas Fawcett Crystal 45
  • 5.2% Thomas Fawcett Crystal 120
  • 2.5% Weyermann dehusked carafa III

Hot side:

  • 60 min boil
  • FWH EKG for 20 IBU
  • 15 min add whirlfloc and Nutrient
  • 10 min EGK for 4 IBU
  • 5 min add 1 lbs of lactose sugar
  • Chill below 82F

Cold side:

  • Pitch Wyeast 5526 starter (1L starter/5 gal wort) 6 days on stir plate.
  • Let ferment ambient (68F) for 6 weeks
  • Keg and force carbonate

Stats:

  • OG: 1.063
  • FG: 1.011
  • ABV: 6.8
  • IBU: 24
  • BU/GU: 0.37
  • BHE: 82%
  • Fermentor Volume: 4.5 gal
  • Packaged Volume: 4 gal
  • Carbonation: Kegged and force carbed to 2.1 Vols

Review:

Appearance:

Black. Pours a tan 1 finger thick head that sticks around. Head has some very large bubbles and some very tiny ones. After about 5 min it’s still an 1/8” thick. Laces the glass more than most beers. When held up to the lights it’s a very dark brown with a copper hue. Moderately clear as well. Head eventually fades to a halo and a few large patches.

Aroma:

Chocolate cake batter with extra chocolate chips. A generic dark fruit character with a black cherry accent. Hints of leather. For the most part it’s hard to tell this is brett fermented. Rather clean smelling.

Mouthfeel:

Low carbonation that just barely tickles the tongue. Medium creamy body. Coats the 27294905_10155855640000336_1189639510_ntongue. Slightly warming alcohol note.

Flavour:

Rich chocolate cake. Not the kind you get at a kids bday but a decadent cake that I probably couldn’t afford regularly. Similar to the aroma that there is a generic dark fruit flavour with a black cherry accent. The cherry become much more prominent as it warms. Very light floral alcohol. Leather is somewhat there but very mild. Light toffee/caramel on the back end.

Overall Impression:

For around 1 of a 100% brett Porter I am quite pleased. No huge complaints however, I think I would prefer this at a more sessionable ABV. Pretty surprised for how clean this is for a Brett beer and the head retention/lacing. This is a first for me. If I was not told there was brett in here I may not have been able to pick it up.

Next Time:

I plan to knock down the OG to target an ABV of 5.2-5.2. Increase the BU/GU by about 20% to give a little more character. Increase Chloride content to enhance the mouthfeel. Some red wine soaked oak and letting it age an additional 2 weeks to simulate a barrel. Also a bit of O2 in during the fermentation to encourage a slight amount of acetic acid to also make it taste more true to a barrel aged beer.

Cheers,
MD

Switching Careers: Building a Brewery

Well well well. A homebrewer who has a dream of opening their own brewery. What an original idea right? Lets face it if you are a homebrewer the idea has crossed your mind. “I make good beer that people seem to like. I am going to make it professionally and sell it!”. Then they tend to look into what actually goes on at a brewery and they learn that their dream of brewing beer as a career is actually 90% cleaning, 9% legal paperwork and 1% making beer. Not to mention running a business is completely different than a hobby. Also worth mentioning is the ever growing saturation of the market. By the time a new brewery opens they have to fight to get a line at a bar. They have to struggle to sell their IPA on a shelf with over 100 IPAs already.

So why am I going into it and what is “it” exactly? “It” is Reverence Barrel Works. If the name doesn’t already give it away Reverence Barrel Works will have barrels. Lots of them. If you have run into me in online communities or in person you know what my favourite beers are the funky and/or sours. Reverence Barrel Works is going to essentially be a mixed fermentation warehouse. Not a single beer will be made without Brett. Reverence Barrel Works will be in house sales with next to no distribution. So that is the “what” now here is the “why”. My day job is OK but I can’t see myself being here until I retire. My dads family is nearly entirely entrepreneurs. Great grandfather? Moved to Canada during WWII to start his own business and succeed. Grandmothers brother? Started his own business and retired a happy man. My father and his brother? Both run a business. My Mother? You guessed it business owner after retiring from a 30 year nursing career. Relatives still over in the Netherlands also for the most part were business owners prior to retiring. Way back in the 1500s an about 15 x Great grandfather owned and operated a small brewery in the Netherlands. Maybe it’s in my blood. Maybe it’s cause the Dutch are stubborn as mules and hate to work for other people. All I know is it has been a dream to be a business owner since I was very very young.

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How and why in the saturated beer industry? Small, in house and niche. I’ll be starting out by contracting a single brew as the brick and motor location is established and built. once the location is up and running it will be a ~3 bbl system with barrels upon barrels of funky and/or sour beer. The “big guys” (craft breweries in stores and in every bar around the area) can fight among themselves with distribution and all that stuff. With tapline “bribes”, hop contracts and the loathed LCBO I struggle to see how and why I would want to go big. Smaller means less employees and I can focus on small sales of higher end products than bulk sales of standard pale ales. Sure there will be a few specialty bars that focus on my kind of beer that I will try to be in, but for the most part this will be a brewery to customer transaction. With the availability of online sales with direct to doorstep shipping in my area I can supply sour and funky beer lovers with the beverages they love in the comfort of their own home.

There are a lot of people I want to thank for getting to this point. The fine folks on the homebrewing subreddit, the old homebrew ledgends like John Palmer for teaching me in the beginning, my local homebrew club GTA brews, Escarpment Labs, Blogs like Brulosophy, The Mad Fermentationist and The Sour beer Blog, everyone who has contributed to Milk the Funk, the IRC crew, my family/friends and last but not least my extremely supportive and loving SO. She tolerates quite a bit of my BS and understands what being a small business owner will do to our relationship.

I plan to still be actively involved in the homebrewing culture and to hopefully work with educational folks like Escarpment Labs to bring more knowledge to the beer industry and hobby. I also plan to continue sharing recipes and techniques. I wouldn’t be where I am without other sharing so I will pay it forward. Thanks to everyone for the support! It’s a slow and legal path to opening a brewery but I look forward to following in my family steps of becoming a small business owner.

If you want to follow along and watch the building of my brewery check out and follow Reverence Barrel Works on Facebook and Instagram.

Cheers,
MD

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