One of the things I enjoy the most in homebrewing is experimenting with different yeasts and bacterias. I’ve said it before that when I was brewing a lot at home and entering competitions I felt like using blends of strains or the latest limited yeast release was key in my wins. Some brewers love getting that new hop variety everyone wants this year…others love trying new fermentable sugar, but for me it’s always been about the microbes.
I’ve been fortunate enough to take that love of microbes to the next level at Yazoo by continuing to procure interesting and unique strains to build the program around. Since last summer I’ve done single microbe fermentation test batches using close to 20 different wild yeasts and bacterias. It has given me a great appreciation for what each microbe can offer and if certain ones are even worth using. It takes a little longer to build a program this way, but I believe it’s the only way to create something fun and unique for people to drink. With so many breweries and homebrewers making good sour/wild beer with the usual suspects from the major yeast labs, I feel like testing many unique strains will translate into great beer.
We’ve released a few of these test beers throughout the year, but I’m really excited about the ones we will release this Sunday at Funk Fest. Back in January my buddy Dmitri (who I’ve known for a few years through homebrewing boards and runs this awesome website) sent me samples of Brettanomyces he had isolated from a bottle of Cantiilon Iris. He was able to identify 3 different Bretts in the 2007 Iris. In chatting with him they all sounded like familiar descriptions of the flavor layers I love in Cantillon, so I was more than excited to kick off batches with these Bretts!
Fast forward a little over 8 months later….the beers are finished and kegged up. These Cantillon single Brett isolated beers called: Breaking Brett C1, Breaking Brett C2 and Breaking Brett C3 will debut this Sunday at the Yazoo for our sold out Funk Fest. I wanted to make these available at the same time so people could taste the differences in the Brett side by side.
We are also releasing “The One Who Knocks” – A Brett Saison in Chardonnay Hungarian Oak aged on Golden Raisins and our summer seasonal “Lange Sommer” (translation: Long Summer) – our take on Berliner Weisse. I’m really happy with how lactic balanced and drinkable the Berliner Weisse is. It hit a good final ph of 3.7 so it has enough sour to let you know it’s there, but not so sour it turns your stomach after 2 glasses. What fun is a Berliner you can’t drink a gallon of when it’s 100 degrees outside?!?!!?
**Edit** Because some have asked: The Berliner Weisse used Lactobacillus Delbrueckii to sour. It was pitched into the conical first at around 100F where it sat for a few days then we pitched our fermenting microbes.
So 5 new sour/wild beers this weekend in Nashville! Please don’t wake me from this dream! haha
I’m planning to give out a little more data and descriptions to the attendees about C1, C2 and C3 during a short presentation at the release this weekend, so I’m going to hold off on posting it here until after then. But I will say all 3 variants achieved over 96% attenuation pitched into a 1.051 og wort consisting of wheat, pils, acid malt and 12 IBUs. All 3 taste and smell distinctly different with delicate character. It amazed me at how “smooth” and rounded these variants are compared to some of the other variants I’ve tested.
This weekend is shaping up to be a fun one beer wise and the return of what you guys know is my favorite show: Breaking Bad.
What funk have you guys brewed lately? Have you experimented with any new ingredients?