I am not a fan of cold weather (I honestly think I could sip Berliner Weisse at the beach everyday). So my latest brew session I was thinking Springtime for 2 reasons: I needed something dry/crisp on tap to enjoy outside when the weather warms up and I needed to brew something wild or funky to serve during the East Nashville Beer Fest in late March.
With approximately 90 days until I needed to serve I didn’t feel like I could turn a good quality funky bacteria beer. So brettanomyces was up to bat. With the news that WLP670 American Farmhouse was now a fulltime offering a Brett Saison was just too perfect. My LHBS just got in a fresh batch of the WLP670 a few days before so I was good to go for part of the batch.
OK admittedly I am a yeast klepto. I love stealing “dregs” from bottles of commercial beers. Some have been really active and produced great beers for me (Great ones: Orval, Cantillon and Kellerwies [no bugs in it]) while some have been fair. A friend of mine (Thanks Ryan!) sent me a bottle of The Bruery’s Saison de Lente so I decided to step up the dregs to pitch. This was my first time stepping up dregs from The Bruery, but they seemed to become active again fairly quickly. I did my typical step up: 100ml of .020 wort for 2 days, stepped up to 1000ml of .020 wort, stepped to 2000ml of .035 wort on the stirplate. One carboy got the Bruery stepped up yeasts and one carboy got the WLP670 (no starter).
I changed up the recipe some from the last Saison I brewed basically to get a lower starting gravity since I’m on a deadline and to simplify the flavors so the Brett could shine through.
OG-1.050, IBU 13.1, 60 Minute boil, 25 gallon batch size
- 60% – Pale Ale Malt
- 15.3%- White Wheat
- 12.3%- Light Munich
- 12.3%- Demerara Sugar
- 13.1 IBUS Magnum @ 50 minutes
- 2 oz Styrian Goldings @ 0 Minutes
- 1.5oz Calypso @ 0 Minutes
This time I pitched the WLP670 and the Bruery Dregs at 62F. The Buery Dregs were the first ones to take off. That carboy had a nice tight half inch krausen formed in about 10 hours. The WLP670 was about half that. The below pics were taken approximately 36 hours after pitching with temps up to 65F now.
The carboy on the left is WLP670 American Farmhouse. The one on the right is the Bruery Dregs pitched carboy. Notice the different wort/beer colors and the different krausens. I’ll begin warming these up into the upper 70’s in about 36-48 hours. I’ll see what the gravities tell me and if they have reached 40% attenuation yet. I’ll update the progress of these beers sometime in late February or early March. Right now I’m thinking these might end up as a blend for the beer fest, but I’ll make that decision closer to packaging time.
It’s the perfect time to brew a Brett Saison for your springtime lawnmower beer. One thing to remember is Saison strains and Saison recipes are designed for high attenuation. Add in the Brett and some could ferment down to 1.000. When building your recipe for a Brett Saison it’s not like a grain bill for let’s say an APA. A typical APA recipe with an OG of 1.050 with a normal attenuation of 75% produces a 5% ABV beer. A Saison with an OG of 1.050 with attenuation of 85-90% would produce a beer around 6%. Just remember to take into account the significantly different attenuation and consider lowering the grain bill so you don’t end up with a beer bigger than you planned. Cheers!
The beers have been packaged up. I’m happy with the way they tasted (WLP670 was kegged for the East Nashville Beer Festival and the Saison de Lente I C&C in 750ml bottles).