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!
100% Brett Porter V0.0
- Calcium: 100 ppm
- Magnesium: 5 ppm
- Sodium: 35 ppm
- Chloride: 60 ppm
- Sulfate: 50 ppm
Mash pH: 5.3
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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.
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.
Low carbonation that just barely tickles the tongue. Medium creamy body. Coats the tongue. Slightly warming alcohol note.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh yeah. That feels nice to finally have in my hand. This past summer I harvested some wild yeast off of some berries in the bush. Wild Yeast Isolated covers the back story. The beer came out quite pleasant. Notes of honey dew melon, poached pears, banana, green peppercorns, clove, cardamon, sage and light citrus. Finishes dry with a white wine/dry mead like quality.
First fermentation had an apparent attenuation of 96%. Flocculation was medium/medium low. Alcohol tolerance so far is happy at 7 ABV upper limits to be tested still. Ferments happily from 66-77 more ranges to be tested. This weekend is going to be brew 2 with this yeast.
This batch will be a Belgian pilsner base with some Munich and Melanoidin. Bittering with German Magnum. This time around because of the honey dew flavours I am going to use some German Huell Melon hops at flame out and dry hop time. Ale will be named Melon Head Gildemeester.
The barley wine in chugging along just fine right now and will be oaked this weekend. The black NEIPA hybrid recieved it’s final dry hop addition and will be packaged this weekend while the Melon Head Gildemeester is being brewed.
Aside from the brewing schedule there are 2 up coming competitions I will be entering. first is a small group competition called the “Winter Warmer” happening early February. I am mainly just looking for feed back here on 3 brews in this one. I have already entered them as 16A, 21B (Black Imperial) and 25B (Standard Pale). The second competition is a Great Lakes Brewery and Short Finger Brewing Co. collaboration called “SFBC X GLB HOP SHOP IPA CHALLENGE”. As from the name you can guess its only a competition for IPAs. Again I have 3 submissions all that are yet to be brewed. 21A with a NEIPA build, 21B (revised Black Imperial) and 28A (21A NEIPA build fermented with a unique Brett courtesy of Escarpment Labs.). After that it is back to regularly brewing.
02/13/17: Beer won 3rd place in a local competition under saison category!
Well by those hops you may have guessed it was an IPA! You’d be correct. Went for a NEIPA mashed up with a Black IPA. Style Nazis be damned as I will call it whatever I’d like. Pretty smooth brew day. Over shot efficiency and boil off rate leaving me with 1/4 gal less than I was hoping for and 0.005 higher than anticipated OG. I thought of diluting with water but decided to head home instead and rest.
Barley Wine is chugging away at 57% attenuation its 11.3 ABV in just 1 week! Next weeks brew is a toss up as my yeast starter isn’t err… starting. Will need to assess the yeast this evening and decide from there. That being said, next week is going to be a mixed fermentation from bottle dregs OR if that fails a Kviek.
New year new brew. Enjoyed a night of 100% mixed fermentation ales ranging from local brew pub ales to the great Cantillon ales. Unfortunately due to legal issues my dregs jar was confiscated and those lovely critters are gone down the drain. Next time I will have to be more discrete.
Anyhow prior to NYE I brewed up a barley wine. That BW has been named Treacherous. The drive to brew day was a blizzard with quite a bit of traffic due to a semi-truck crash. Here are the original anticipated Targets
- OG 1.125
- FG 1.030
- IBU 80
- SRM 15
- ABV 12.5
- Final volume ~3.5 gal
Here are the actuals
- OG 1.143
- FG N/A
- IBU 80
- SRM 17-18
- ABV N/A
- Final (fermentor) volume: 3.75 gal
Call me Mr. Efficient. It’s a good thing my yeast starter was overbuilt! I will ferment this out and then sit on some oak for a few months before bottling for next winters enjoyment.
This coming weekend is my first attempt at a “Black NEIPA” ish beer.
- 81.5% Thomas Fawcett Pearl
- 10% OiO Toasted Flaked Oats
- 8.5% Weyermann Carafa Special III
- Thickness of 1.5
- Mash in at 149F and hold for 60 min
- Raise temp via induction to 168F and hold for 10 min
- Fly sparge with water at 168F
- Collect 6.5 gal of wort
- 30 min total
- 15 min 1 whirlfloc
- 15 min yeast nutrient
- 5 min 1 oz Citra 12.2% AA
- Chill to 185
- Whirlpool at 185 for 15 min 1 oz Citra 12.2% AA
- Whirlpool at 185 for 15 min 1 oz Galaxy 14.9% AA
- Whirlpool at 185 for 15 min 1 oz Amarillo 7.8% AA
- Chill to 155
- Whirlpool at 155 for 15 min 1 oz Citra 12.2% AA
- Whirlpool at 155 for 15 min 1 oz Galaxy 14.4% AA (different crop)
- Whirlpool at 155 for 15 min 1 oz Amarillo 7.8% AA
- Chill to 68
Pitch Vermont Ale Yeast at a rate of 1 000 000 cells/mp/P
- 7 days prior to packaging 1 oz Citra 12.2% AA
- 7 days prior to packaging 1 oz Galaxy 14.4% AA (different crop)
- 7 days prior to packaging 1/2 oz Amarillo 7.8% AA
- 3 days prior to packaging 1 oz Citra 12.2% AA
- 3 days prior to packaging 1 oz Galaxy 14.4% AA (different crop)
- 3 days prior to packaging 1/2 oz Amarillo 7.8% AA
- Cold crash and gelatin 36 hours before Packaging
Hope you all enjoyed the update
With just a few days left in the year I have 1 brew left to do. The yeast starter is burping away as we speak, the grain bill/hop schedule is already written out and set in stone, the water profile has been determined and I have a strong idea of where this brew will take me. The 2016 barley wine is on its way.
This time last year I did not have much under my belt. About 20 brews of which none used a yeast starter, water chemistry, actual hop AA, or anything other than “Well this sounds good”. This year my brewing knowledge and experience grew exponentially. My beers went from hit and miss decent brews to near bulls-eye awesome brews. A few earlier in the year were off their mark but, every brew gets closer and closer to what I want my brews to be. I have begun to dabble in sours. I have started to care for my water. I have began to manage my yeast. I have really started to focus on why I use certain grains/hops.
There is still so much to work on though. I have set a few goals for my “Brew Years Resolutions”.
- 25% of my beers are going to be mixed/non sacc fermentations
- I will build 2 temp controlled fermentation chambers with remote access.
- Enter over 12 beers into competitions
- Start kegging
- More water care
- Grow my own ingredients
- Blog every brew + updates
- Share even more of my creations
I really hope to achieve my brew year goals. With the recent gift of all 4 brewing element (thanks to my supportive sister and parents) I hope to grasp more of the science behind the brews I am creating.
To get a head start on one goal here is the next brew recipe.
2016 Barley Wine
- 85 Calcium
- 26 Magnesium (water isn’t that great)
- 14 Sodium
- 75 Chlorine
- 90 Sulfate
- 1 Bicarbonate
- Mash pH 5.4
- Thicknes of 1.1 qt/lbs
- 97% Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter
- 3% Thomas Fawcett Crystal 45
- 1 oz Thomas Fawcett Roasted barley as a colour adjustment
- Mash in and rest at 100F for 30 min (Acid rest A)
- Raise via induction to 113 for 15 min (Acid rest B)
- Raise via induction to 130 for 20 min (Protien rest)
- Raise via induction to 145 for 45 min (Saccharification Beta)
- Raise via induction to 156 for 30 min (Saccharification Alpha)
- Raise via induction to 168 for 5 min (Mashout)
- Sparge with 168F and collect 7 gal or less if runnings drop below 1.020
Once the runnings have been collected the wort will be boiled down to about 4 gallons with a target OG of 1.120-1.130
When the volume is around 4.75 gal the 60 min boil addition schedule will begin
- 60 min 1 oz Phoenix 13.35% AA
- 15 min 1 whirlfloc tab
- 15 min 1 oz Phoenix 13.35% AA
Ferment with WLP007 at a pitch rate of 1.25 millions cells/ml/P
Ferment ambient at ~70F
- OG 1.125
- FG 1.030
- IBU 80
- SRM 15
- ABV 12.5
- Final volume ~3.5 gal
Next week I will post how brew day went and the next planned brew. This one is for a competition!
This past summer I collected some berries and plopped them into a small sample of wort. One sample was filled with wild raspberries and the other had black berries. After a few days the samples began to ferment. I took these samples to a local yeast lab (Escarpment Labs) and had them isolated. In all two strains of Saccharomyces as well as what is thought to be Hanseniaspora uvarum were discovered. One of the Saccharomyces was able to ferment a wort of 1.052 down to 1.000 in just 7 days! I will soon be picking up some test samples and fermenting with them. I plan to brew an “All Ontario” Saison with the powerhouse Saccharomyces. Yeast had an apparent attention of Over 95%! The yeast has been unofficially named Gildemeester ale yeast.
All Ontario Farm Ale
- 8 Lbs. Barn Owl Lager Malt
- 2 Lbs. Barn Owl Munich Malt
- Mash in with a thickness of 1.6
- pH of 5.35
- SO42-/Cl– of 2.0
Starting mash temp 113 and ramp up to 148 over 45 min.
Rest for additional 40 min before raising temp to 168 for 10 min
Fly sparge at 168 with 4.5 gal of distilled water.
- 60 min add 2 oz Ontario Crystal 3.21% AA
- 15 min 1 whirlfloc tablet
- 15 min add add 1 oz Ontario Crystal 3.21% AA
Chill to 68 and collect 6 gal of wort.
Pitch MWY001 (Blackberry Saccharomyces) at a rate of 750000 cells/ml/P.
Leave in primary for 21 days.
7 days before packaging dry hop with 1 oz Ontario Crystal 3.21% AA
Package and carbonate with 3 vols.
- OG 1.048
- FG 1.001
- ABV 6.2
- SRM 5.75
- IBU 28
Brewing of this ale will happen mid-late December and, will be enjoyed in the new years.
After this Saturday I will have finished brewing the first version of my house stout, IPA and Belgian golden ale. The BSDA on Brett is slowly fermenting away. RIS is coming out of the barrel, lambic is going in this Saturday. I plan to brew 3 batches next month instead of the standard 4-5.