Tag Archive: brettanomyces

Berliner Weisse!

I’m starting to move away from the high-ABV beers for the summer, which seems to be starting early in Cincinnati. One thing I’ve liked in the summer has been a nice Berliner Weiss.  Since my first sour is souring, I want something quick.

Enter Home Brew All-Stars.  On page 156, there is a quick and simple recipe of a Berliner Weisse.  Since I want you to buy the book through that affiliate link, I’m not including it here 😛

The Plan

Mash, Pasteurize, Sour, Ferment, Funkify, Complete.

I’m going to do a normal mash and sparge at around 150ºF for 60 minutes to ultimately result in around 5.0 gal of wort.

I’m only going to bring this up to 210ºF to pasteurize. It’s not really required, but if there is anything on the malt, it won’t be there after that.  Post-boil, I am going to acidify down to pH 4.0 – 4.3 per recommendations on Milk The Funk Wiki, reduce the temp to 100, and drop into my new stainless fermenter.

Souring will be a through Lactobacillus Delbrueckii.  I’m going to keep this warm with a water bath with a piece of shit acquarium heater (it’s apparently a known fish boiler, so it should be perfect for lacto).

Fermentation will be S-04.  I’m not messing with liquid yeast for this, and my LHBS didn’t have S-05 that I could find.  And I’m hoping the English-style yeast might have some yeast character.  I’m going to give it 3-4 days to ferment.  Not sure if it will ferment out, but I don’t think that’s important.

Funkification will be with some Brettanomyces Lambicus.  I was hoping to find some Brettanomyces Claussenii, but neither my LHBS nor another LHBS had any. I’m going to let the brett ride until May.

Complete will be bottle conditioning utilizing that brett to hopefully add some funk.

Brew Day

Brew day was an accidental occurrence.  My wife wanted me to check the hot water heater, so I figured now’s as good a time as any to heat up water for mash.  I did miss my mash temp by a bit (I was about 148.7º, I was shooting for 154º).


2017-03-05: Brew day

2017-03-07: Found that the hot water method of keeping the keg warm was not good enough, so I surrounded the keg with a heating pad and some insulation.

2018-03-08: Checked temperature in the morning, 83°. Checked again in the evening and found the same temperature but was going to taste until I opened the keg and found krausen, so I didn’t mess with it.

2018-03-08: Found this page.  Cussed lots. Skipped the S-04 addition since something is in there.  Taste is clean, though.

2018-03-09: Received a Milwaukee MW102 temperature and pH meter.

2018-03-10: Calibrated and checked pH. 3.85.  Not sour enough.  SG 1.002.  Kinda plain.

2018-03-11: Decided to pitch brett.  Let it ride a week or so prior to bottle conditioning because at this point there isn’t much left for the brett to eat.

Coming up

Adding Lactic Acid in 5 ml increments to make this a little more sour. Yes, I realize that makes it a little one-dimensional, and I’m “cheating”, but the end result is more important than the feeling of sacrosanctness among people that are unlikely to ever taste this beer.


Next Time

Obviously, I am going to try a better Lacto culture, specifically Lacto Plantarum, Omega Lacto Blend, or The Yeast Bay Lacto Blend, or Good Belly (h/t to PricelessBrew on Reddit for that). The funny thing is, I was going to use Good Belly Mango, but since my wife didn’t find it at the store and I was stopping by my LHBS and another LHBS, I decided to use WLP677 because that’s all I could find.

Also, I’m going to hit my mash temp.

Tasting Notes

<<This part is in progress – a picture will be here>>

Appearance: turbid, but not the right turbid.

Aroma: <<placeholder>>

Taste: <<placeholder>>

Mouthfeel: <<placeholder>>

Overall: I understand why people hate on adding acid. I think it works if you use a good acid BLEND as opposed to the LD Carlson Lactic Acid (MadTree Brewing does this in their Shade Blackberry Blackberry Gose). I can taste the fakeness, and it does not taste good at all. This batch was dumped, particularly because I brewed a gose that came out much better.


Brettanomyces Saison using 50 West Dregs

A few months ago, I bought a pair of bottles of 50 West’s first (I think) bottle release, Brett is my Copilot.  I was fermenting a saison at the time, and pulled a gallon aside and pitched the bottle dregs in it.  Looks like this happened on April 8, because Twitter says I posted the pic below on April 9th at 7:47 AM… which was probably after I arrived at work the following morning.

The initial recipe is below:

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
4.5 gal 90 min 31.2 IBUs 8.0 SRM 1.058 1.004 7.1 %
Actuals 1.051 1.01 5.4 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Saison 16 C 1.048 - 1.065 1.002 - 1.012 20 - 35 5 - 14 2.3 - 2.9 5 - 7 %


Name Amount %
Pale Ale Malt 2-Row (Briess) 8.5 lbs 79.07
Wheat Malt, Pale (Weyermann) 12 oz 6.98
Caramunich Malt 8 oz 4.65
Sugar, Table (Sucrose) 1 lbs 9.3


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Tettnang 0.75 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 4.5
Tettnang 1 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 4.5
Amarillo 0.5 oz 15 min Boil Pellet 9.2


Name Amount Time Use Type
Irish Moss 0.25 tsp 15 min Boil Fining


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
French Saison (3711) Wyeast Labs 80% 65°F - 77°F


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 148°F 75 min

I essentially let it ferment out (it was about a 4 gallon batch after a little disaster).  I then racked a gallon to another carboy and swirled the dregs from the bottle and pitched it into the carboy.

It’s been a while (six weeks?) and I tried some.

Dat clarity!

Dat clarity!

It has some tartness and a lot more mouthfeel.  It’s getting bottled today and the yeast/brett mix will be saved for another.


Saison + Brett from a 50W Brett Is My Copilot Bottle

I like the idea of experimenting.

First, I saw this on Twitter:

Screenshot 2015-04-08 21.16.54

Some dude posted this on Twitter…


@CffmBeech is Country Fresh Farm Market on Beechmont Avenue.  It’s about 1/4 mile away from my LHBS, Paradise Brewing.  I needed to drop by Paradise for a hop rhizome.  And I’m a beer explorer, so I couldn’t resist wanting this.  So I dropped by CFFM and after finding the bottles.

I sought some help from a friend that is going to (or just graduated from) the Seibel Institute.  He was asking if I used brett for the Saison, since that’s the traditional fermentation ‘method’.

The other person's name has been removed since I didn't ask him if I could post this.

The other person’s name has been removed since I didn’t ask him if I could post this.

So I thought about something…

Oh look, what do we have here?

Oh look, what do we have here?

Note the 100% Brett fermented...

Note the 100% Brett fermented…

So while I was stopping by Paradise picking up that hop rhizome, I got a 1-gallon carboy to try this out.  My Saison was nearly done fermenting, but I racked about a gallon into the second carboy (which was washed and sterilized, of course!), sprayed sanitizer around the cap of Brett is my Copilot, and poured all but about 3/4″ of it into a glass, and swirled the rest and pitched it into the second carboy.

In secondary!

In secondary!

Within 5 minutes, the airlock was bubbling, but I don’t know if that was because of the Brett or if it was because of other reasons.  There is no pellicle yet (a few days after pitching), but there’s still time.  And I’m going to save the yeast/brett mix for my next Saison.

Oh, and this happened too:




PS: Brett Is My Copilot is a pretty good beer, too!  It’s tart and citrusy.  I can definitely see this as a beer to enjoy while sitting outside on a warm Cincinnati summer day.