recipe

Brett IPA brew

It’s amazing how web forums have become an amazing resource for everything from food and drink to tech and knitting. Homebrewtalk.com has an epic thread on WLP644 Sacc trois (formerly Brett trois) currently standing at 105 pages long, starting in 2011 up to present. I mean, where to begin? At the start, I guess. The posters – including Mike Tonsemire of Madfermentationist and Jeffrey Crane also an active blogger – discuss recipes and experience brewing with the yeast. I gave up on the post around 60 pages in when the posters weren’t adding too much information about the yeast and just chatting. This can tend to happen. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to have an abridged version of these epic posts? The information is all experiential so in a way, it’s proper crowd-sourcing data. You can’t always rely on it to be perfect. The posters may have neglected to talk about or weren’t aware of variables that changed the results of their beer.

I’ve made one all brett beer so far with the Yeastbay Beersel blend. I was hungover when I made the recipe and chucked in too much chocolate malt. I’ve ended up with some sort of tangy American brown ale – due to the fact that I put 200g of acidulated malt in there. I’ve had a bunch of beers sour on me these last 6 months as I’ve been brewing sour beers and haven’t paid enough attention to sanitation, so I though that this happened in this case, but I think that the drying out and 200g of acidulated malt probably contributed to the flavour. Brett can add some acetic character to a beer if it’s well oxygenated, so one has to be a little careful about that if this isn’t desired.

Jacques Sacc Trois Yeast Starter

A fellow brewer friend of mine Jacques came to visit recently and brought a bunch of bretty style beers with him. I’ve cultured a few of them up now, including the above one – a Sacc Trois black IPA. He wasn’t too impressed with the final beer, but the starter I made had some lovely typical ripe pineapple aromas coming off it. Hence, the trawl through HBT before brewday to get some info on what to expect from this yeast. Here’s a few things I learnt from reading through the post:

  • It goes really well as a primary strain in all brett style beers. Actually, it’s been classed as a sacc yeast but in behaviour it’s pretty much the same as a brett yeast.
  • It doesn’t really add much as a secondary strain to beers.
  • In primary it puts off lots of tropical fruit flavours – sometimes even almost a little too overripe fruit flavours.
  • Aerated it can produce some acetic character (another typical brett aerobic fermentation trait). It will produce a tang if aerated but not a bite, just a small tangy character.
  • Fermentation is done at typical English ale temps – 18-21C. I’ve not read of any people fermenting hot, and apparently below 18C is tough for the yeast to work at.
  • Heavily hopped beers can have a positive effect on this yeast – Kiwi hops being particularly complimentary to the ripe fruit flavours it produces.
  • Unmalted grains can help give the beer some body which it may lack due to high attenuation of brett. The high attenuation of brett in primary is a little disputed though. Someone presented a chart of all their homebrew club’s experiments with the trois and the average FG over around 20 beers was 1.010. The lower end being 1.006 to 1.008, with some reporting stalled fermentations.
  • Acidulated malt (or adding lactic acid) is said to (in Chad Jacobsen’s research) improve attenuation but most people seemed to be getting 80% without it. They may however, increase expression of fruity aromas. This isn’t verified though and could be due to other factors.
  • Anaerobic environments are said to improve “funky” aromas from the brett-type yeast.

With all that in mind, phew (!), I put together a recipe. Motueka and Nelson Sauvin hops were used, with the former as bittering and both as aroma hops. Pale malt was used for the base, but other malts (wheat, vienna, munich, rye and carapils) were used to add body and I threw in some aromatic malt to add a little complexity on the nose.

crooked stave, beer, dregs, brett, brettanomyces,

On brewday, I remembered that I had some cultured up Crooked Stave dregs and decided to split the batch between the trois and the CS brett blend (12 different strains!). This also worked out as I was concerned about underpitching the cultured up dregs. Half the volume of wort to ferment effectively doubled my cell count.

Update 23/4/16 (brewday +2 days)

brett IPA fermentation

Lag time on the Crooked Stave dreg culture was an amazing 3-4 hours to get started. It was powering away very quickly. Sacc trois took a little longer to get going but was up and running after about 18hrs.

Update 28/4/16 (brewday + 7 days)

Gravity is standing at 1.010 for the CS culture and 1.020 for the Sacc. trois. Samples are both smelling delicious but very different. 5 days in, trois was smelling as reported – of ripe pineapple and that smell hasn’t abated. It’s still here after a week and likely to get stronger as the gravity drops down further. The CS sample I took 5 days in smelt vinous – like a white wine. Perhaps that was still some of the Nelson Sauvin hop oils present in the aroma, 7 days in that’s still there but has died down a little and been replaced by a fruitier aroma reminiscent of passion fruit and fresh figs. Can’t wait to see how it develops. Will keep updating here.

Update 1/5/16 (brewday + 11 days)

Decided to chuck on the heat to the trois for a week or so. Stepped up from 23-25c over a couple of days. Fermentation seemed to have restarted a little bit judging by the airlock activity.  Tasting very good. Lots of ripe pineapple. CS more vinous with a slightly tart note now. 

Update 10/5/16 (brewday + 20 days

Took a gravity reading on the trois a few days ago and it looks good. Down to 1.011 from 1.020. Didn’t take one from the CS version as I was concerned about acetic production from O2 ingress. As I had a little O2 come in, a nice little pellicle formed on the Trois. Don’t worry kids, it’s all under control!


Without further ado here’s the recipe – please ignore the grains of paradise I didn’t chuck them in – (and the first American brown brett thing below it):

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
19 L 60 min 27.581562 5.814925 1.051 1.012 5.117967
Actuals 0 0

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Brett Beer 28 A 0 - 0 0.75 - 0.75 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
UK Pale Ale Malt 3 kg 50
UK Wheat Malt 1.2 kg 20
UK Vienna Malt 720 g 12
UK Rye Malt 500 g 8.33
UK Munich Malt 380 g 6.33
German Carapils (Weyermann) 100 g 1.67
Belgian Aromatic Malt 100 g 1.67

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
NZ Motueka 20 g 60 min Boil Leaf 10.5
NZ Motueka 20 g 5 min Boil Leaf 10.5
NZ Nelson Sauvin 20 g 5 min Boil Leaf 12.5
NZ Nelson Sauvin 20 g 0 min Boil Leaf 12.5
NZ Motueka 20 g 0 min Boil Leaf 7

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Grains of Paradise 2 g 60 min Boil Other

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Sacc Trois 75% 0°C - 0°C

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Rest at 68°C 60 min
Raise to and Mash out at 0°C 0 min

Fermentation

Step Time Temperature
Aging 0 days 0°C

Notes

Soo.... it?s recommended that I use some galaxy or motueka hops here as apparently they go very nicely with the sacc trois flavours. Could use willamette and nelson sauvin as well. Mosaic too!

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
19 L 60 min 14.198061 11.112302 1.055 1.012 5.640267
Actuals 0 0

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Brett Beer 28 A 0 - 0 0.75 - 0.75 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Belgian Pilsen Malt 4 kg 68.55
UK Crystal Rye Malt 500 g 8.57
Belgian CaraPilsner Malt 300 g 5.14
UK Munich Malt 500 g 8.57
UK Flaked Oats 300 g 5.14
German Sauer(Acid) Malt 235 g 4.03

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
US Northern Brewer 20 g 60 min Boil Leaf 7.1

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
White Labs WLP645 Brettanomyces Claussenii 77% 0°C - 0°C

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Rest at 66°C 60 min

Fermentation

Step Time Temperature
Aging 0 days 0°C

Notes

Based on the Mo Betta Bretta inspired beer in ASB. Difference being the NB hops and the crystal rye malt.

For Autumnal version (split batch?) add 32ml/l pinot noir + 0.3kg/l dried sour cherries.