Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Great Brett Experiment II, part 1 Brewday

So the starters I made in early November for the first round of the Great Brett Experiment II finally finished up, which means it is time for another round of starter sampling. And brewing—let’s not forget that. I was also able to take some initial gravity readings for the first four yeasts. EBY008 continues to struggle—I’ll keep hope alive and wish for a miraculous turn around in the next stage, but I’m not holding my breath. As I note below, this is either Dekkera or the yeast was compromised. I’m going with the former as there was much more activity in the initial starter of this one. But who knows. EBY009 continues to be the best of this grouping of four; now that I have moved these four yeasts along, I’ll start growing up the next four shortly.

Gravity readings from starters (with an OG of 1.030):
EBY002: 1.010
EBY005: 1.006
EBY008: 1.026
EBY009: 1.006

Second round of tasting notes: these are pretty similar to the first round, although EBY008 was more sugar water than beer.

EBY002: The nose is slight hints of citric acid and earthiness; flavors are cracker, biscuit, and fruit—grape specifically—so all in all quite similar to the last version, although possibly more subdued. This is the wateriest of the four, and second best in regards to overall quality, even though it is a bit drab.

EBY005: Candy and goat in the nose, along with dirty feet. Flavors have improved, but the lingering goat and dirty feet in the finish have increased—it tastes better in the first two thirds, and worse in the last third. There is also some lingering sweatiness that doesn’t mesh well with the malt flavors. Third best yeast of the four.

EBY008: I suspect that this yeast might be Dekkera instead of Brettanomyces; the mold in the last one was the tell I missed. Either that, or this yeast got compromised, died, or something, as the overall lack of activity. The nose was still cooked vegetables and baby diaper, although more subdued than last time, while it tasted like corn sugar water with a hint of gaminess, followed by oxidized paper in the finish, so at least it was a marked improvement over the last version. Still, worst of the lot.

EBY009: Still the best of the lot, and it has further improved: of the four, this is the only one I finished. The nose is a bit smoky with cereal and cracker, but the acidity has increased in the flavor: there is citric tartness in the front along with the tropical fruit and the finish has a more acidic bite. Less Fruity Pebbles now—it tastes more like Honeycomb with hints of bright pineapple acidity to cleanse the palate.  

165. The Great Brett Experiment II, part 1
8 lbs. MFB Pilsen
3 lbs. Breiss White Wheat 
2 lbs. Weyermann Light Munich
1 lb. Weyermann Acidulated

Mash @ 152° F for 90 minutes w/ 4 ¼ gallons RO water & 6 g. gypsum; collected 2 ¾ gallons @ 1.092
Batch sparge @ 165° F for 20 minutes w/ 4 gallons RO water & 6 g. gypsum; collected 4 gallons @ 1.032

Collected 6 ¾ gallons; topped off to 9 gallons, brought to a boil (90 minutes), & added:

w/60 to go: 1 oz. Styrian Golding pellets 3.2% AA 
½ oz. Czech Saaz leaf 2.4% AA

w/10 to go: 1 ½ oz. Czech Saaz leaf 2.4% AA
2 White Labs Servomyces capsules

Chilled, split into 4 three gallon carboys, and pitched EBY 002, 005, 008, and 009 starters

Primary: 12/28/2013 

OG: 1.050

Update (2/27/2016): This project got lost amongst others: half of 002 and 009 got blended into a Beer & Sweat Brett blend beer (2014); 005 and 008 got blended as a part of Old Beer Blending Party; and the remaining 002 and 009 became 224. Cleaning Up: they were blended together, added to 3 gallons of new wort, and pitched onto 2003. One Last Lambic Hurrah.


  1. Good to see your experiment progressing and bummer about 008. It seemed to work well for me, but I do remember it taking much longer than the others for some reason.

  2. It has picked up in the actual beer, doing a lot more work than it ever did in the starter, so we'll see what happens!