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05/03/10 04:15 PM  
Blond Ale with Brett Recipe and Process Check
My next brew will be my 50th and I'm planning something with Brett B., which will be the first time I've done anything w/ Brett. I'd like to do a Belgian Blond with Brett in the secondary. I really like the combination of hops and Brett in Orval and was thinking something along similar lines except in a pale beer.

Here's the recipe I've worked out for a 12 gallon batch:

OG: 1.060ish

IBU: 35ish

80% Pils

8% Munich

4% Wheat

4% Acidulated

4% Sugar


1oz EKG 15 min

1oz Saaz 15 min

1oz EKG 0 min

1oz Saaz 0 min

The fermentation will be split between the WYeast Bastogne/Ardennes (whatever it's called) and WLP 530 both with restrained fermentation temps. After that, I'll rack to kegs and add 1/2 pack of Wyeast Brett B. to each to secondary at around 60-65 for a few months.

I'd really appreciate any contributions from you all with more experience doing these beers than me. My main questions relate to the acid malt and the hops. Has anyone ever used something like this hop blend before? I'm trying for a Styrian Goldings (which I've never brewed with) type effect by other means based on what I have around. Some mix of spicy and earthy.

Do you think the acid malt will contribute anything positive to the beer? What about the quantity I'm using? It's not an issue of pH as I can control that by other means. However, I've seen a lot of recipes with that ingredient and reports of better ester formation in the presence of lactic acid. That being said, I don't really intend for this to be a super tart beer. The brewer at Ithaca told me that they use ~10% in Brute but that seems like a bit more than I'd like to use here.

I'd appreciate anyone's thoughts. Oh, has anyone ever split a batch between Orval dregs and Wyeast Brett B.? I was thinking of splitting each ferment into 2 kegs and doing that.

05/03/10 05:14 PM  
Re: Blond Ale with Brett Recipe and Process Check
Orval is dryhopped if Im not mistaken, so that may be a better route to get the hoppiness in a beer that will age for several months

I also brew up a brett b beer regularly its generally ~90% pils & 10% acid malt, it doesn't really end up tart though, I ferment with 1968 + Brett B, with both going into the primary, its funky and fruity and always seems to disappear far too fast

as it ages though it loses all of the esters from the 1968 and the brett dominates the flavor, so you might think about your yeast choices and how soon you plan to drink the beer

05/03/10 07:11 PM  
Re: Blond Ale with Brett Recipe and Process Check
I think your recipe looks good. I have a belgian blonde brewed with ale yeast in the primary and brett L. in secondary aging on oak for about 5 mos now. I do use about 1# of acid malt in my brett beers as I like a slight tartness that the malt gives to the brett finish. Depending on how much brett flavor/aroma you are looking for, you really did not give a mash temp. If you want a lot of brett flavor then you might want to mash the grains a few degrees higher than normal to provide the brett with residual sugars to work on during the secondary fermentation. If not, then mash at your standard temps for the style and see how dry it gets. Brett B. is the most vorocious eater in the brett world (as far as I have experienced) and will SLOWLY eat away at the remaining sugars the sacch. couldn't. Plan on the brett working in the secondary for a minimum of two months based on the degree of attenuation you mashed for. I have found that aging temps around the low 60's seem to give a good balance between flavor/aroma characteristics while still keeping the time frame plausible. If you do plan on dry hopping, this is done best right before you finally package the beer for good to maintain the fresh hop aroma.
05/03/10 08:40 PM  
Re: Blond Ale with Brett Recipe and Process Check
I plan to mash at 152. Normally I'd probably be at 149 for this type of beer. Also, I don't plan to raise the temperature very much above the ferment temp so I won't be driving the attenuation that way. Maybe I'll go from 66 to 68 F.

I did think about dry hopping the beer but I thought I'd wait to taste during the secondary aging before making a decision about that.

Re: acid malt. I tasted some of the acid malt the other day and it's pretty lactic. Reminds me very much of the time I accidentally got some lactic acid on my lips from a pipette. I generally adjust mash pH with RO water % and a little bit of calcium rather than lactic acid so I don't have a good sense of how much is too much.

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