Wild/Sour/Brett American-Style Farmhouse Rye

Discussion in 'Homebrew Recipes' started by Lukass, Apr 20, 2016.

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  1. Lukass

    Lukass Meyvn (1,009) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    Batch Size: 5.5 gal

    Estimated OG: 1.056
    Estimated FG: 1.004

    ABV: 6.5%

    IBUs ~40

    Water profile:
    Used tap water, with 1/2 tsp gypsum added to total water volume.
    1/2 Campden tablet added to total water volume.

    9 lbs Belgian Pilsner
    3 lbs Flaked Rye
    1 lb rice hulls

    1 vial of WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii - 2L starter with 1.036 OG wort on stir plate
    1 vial of WLP4637 - Yeast Bay Amalgamation blend. 2L starter of 1.036 OG wort on stir plate

    Protein Rest: 122º F for 20 min (3.75 gal heated to 130º F)
    Beta Sacch Rest: 148º F for 30 min (1.5 gal at boiling)
    Alpha Sacch Rest: 158 ºF for 30 min (1 gal at boiling)
    Sparge: 168-170 ºF for 10 min (3 gal heated to 176º F)

    60 min boil
    0.75 oz Amarillo (8-11% AA) @ 60 min
    1 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min
    1 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min
    1 oz Galaxy (11-16% AA) @ 2 min
    2 oz Amarillo (8-11% AA) @ 2 min

    Dry hop:
    1 oz Galaxy
    1 oz Amarillo

    * All hops were pellet
    * IBUs should total around 40, so adjust amount of hops based off alpha acids on packet.

    Cool wort to 75, and pitch chilled/decanted brett starters. Aerate well, and ferment in basement in the high 70s for 2-3 weeks. As fermentation begins to slow, dry hop with 1 oz each of Amarillo and Galaxy hops.

    At 2 weeks, gravity was all the way down to 1.004, so I went ahead and bottled with the typical amount of priming sugar to get 3 volumes CO2.

    Truly a great summer beer for brett lovers. Hazy, bright yellow with a pillowy white head. Crisp, dry, slightly tart and fruity. The funk is definitely there (more from the Amalgamation blend than the Brett C, IMO). Tons of pineapple flavors and hints of kombucha. Slight spiciness from the rye adds another flavor dimension. This beer was literally ready to drink in 3 weeks!

    #1 Lukass, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  2. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (11,866) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Thanks for sharing. I was wondering what to brew next, and thinking of a big brown ale but my brew partners feel that's out of season - this seems perfect!
    Lukass likes this.
  3. Lukass

    Lukass Meyvn (1,009) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    Cool, let me know if you end up brewing it!
  4. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Aspirant (294) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    I never realized that a sour could be ready to drink in three weeks! I always thought that it took months for sours to get that funky sour taste. Why three rests?
  5. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (729) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    It isn't a sour as he only used yeast and no bacteria, and the youngness of the Brett (as well as being used at 100%) will be much more fruit and much less funk. I turn my 100% Brett ferments around in 2-3 weeks consistently.
  6. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Aspirant (294) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    Thanks! I had improperly assumed that both bacteria and Brett took months to sour a beer. So I can assume that Brett works more or less like any yeast, in terms of general timing?
  7. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (729) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    If you pitch the right cell count (more like a hybrid or lager pitch rate) of Brett it will ferment in 2-3 weeks. Brett won't sour a beer no matter how long you let it age. If a Brett only beer gets sour it means that it had too much oxygen contact which caused it to secrete acetic acid, which means you made malt vinegar as opposed to a Brett beer. Hope that helps.
    Lukass likes this.
  8. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Aspirant (294) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    I guess I'm still confused and will have to do some research. According to this article:


    "Brettanomyces is a souring agent and will produce both lactic and acetic acids. It will normally only produce a relatively low level of acetic acid and even then only under aerobic (with oxygen) conditions".

    I also read that Brett can take one or two years to do its job.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,956) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    ^Old Article that reflects slowly dying misconceptions. Brett is only a "souring agent" if used improperly, or perhaps intentionally under very specific conditions. Loosely analogous to calling Sacch yeast a diacetyl agent.

    That depends on what job you want it to do. More time means more funk.
    #9 VikeMan, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
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  10. Lukass

    Lukass Meyvn (1,009) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    Yea, it can take 6+ months before bottling if you were to secondary with Brett. Or at least until you've reached a low, stable gravity. Brett is a high attenuator, and will eat up a lot of the phenols and by-products that normal sacch yeast creates, and transforms them into the 'funkier' flavors associated with Brett. This takes some time since Brett is a slower worker in secondary. However, if you treat Brett like a normal ale yeast, and pitch a big starter it will ferment out at pretty much the same rate as any sacch yeast would. Depending on the strain you will get clean, fruity flavors, with that wild, distinctive quality that you get from Brett. Minimal funk though. You can also ferment warm (upper 70s, even 80s) for some strains and you won't get any fusels which is nice.
  11. Lukass

    Lukass Meyvn (1,009) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    From what I've read, it creates a more fermentable wort. I've heard mixed opinions on it though, and you'd probably be fine just doing a single infusion mash around 148-150. Hope that helps!
  12. OldBrewer

    OldBrewer Aspirant (294) Jan 13, 2016 Canada (ON)

    Thanks for all the information! The more I learn, the less I know. Seems like there's a LOT of misconceptions out there. I wish someone would write a book about "Misconceptions Concerning Brewing". It would be an instant best-seller.
  13. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (729) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    And then it would be outdated before it hits the shelves. The rate at which we are learning new things (especially about Brett and souring bacterias) is advancing quickly.
  14. Lukass

    Lukass Meyvn (1,009) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    FWIW, here are the notes from this one after a homebrew comp hosted by The Party Source in northern Kentucky, with licensed BJCP judges. This variant of the farmhouse rye had 2.5 oz Saaz as the bittering charge (instead of the Amarillo) and there was no dry hopping. It scored a 33/50 which I was a little disappointed with. Anything I can do about the 'vegetal off-flavors' or 'Sulfur/DMS' that they mention? Here are the tasting notes:

    SULFUR - X
    DMS - X
    GRASSY - X
    MUSTY - X
    ESTERY - X
    YEASTY - X

    SCORE: 8/12

    SCORE: 2/3

    SCORE: 13/20

    SCORE: 3/5

    SCORE: 7/10

    TOTAL SCORE: 33/50

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  15. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Crusader (729) Aug 25, 2009 Oregon

    As the Brett ages and starts converting compounds towards more funk it can go through some stages of throwing sulfury notes. That might be what happened here, just give it time to clean that up. As far as the vegetal notes go, that could be from the hops. Depending on the Brett strain used it can tease out some vegetal notes from certain hops. I stopped using the bold American/NZ/Aussie hops in my 100% Brett Saisons due to getting some notes I didn't like.
    Lukass likes this.
  16. Lukass

    Lukass Meyvn (1,009) Dec 16, 2012 Ohio

    Just had another review of this beer from a BJCP judge at my homebrew store who loved it, so there's that. The one he tried was a few months older than the previous review, so it seems as if the complexity will improve over time. Smell was described as citrusy, barnyard funk. Some 'sewer gas' aromas when swirled which I'm guessing is still the damn DMS so I'm hoping that will fade. Flavor was bright citrus, tart, funky and very complex. Said he'd love to try this one down the road at another 6 months. I'll be sure to save the other case I have left until then :slight_smile:
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