BJCP Styles: 28A - Brett Beer, 24B - Belgian Pale Ale (base beer)
When I did the Belgian Pale Ale earlier in this project I had wanted to do a full on Orval clone, or as close as possible, but decided to put off the conditioned on brett part for a later brew. And at the same time knock out the "American Wild" section (even though it's a Belgian style and there's a damn good commercial example but whatever).
I did this as a double batch. One will go straight to the keezer as a standard Belgian pale ale, and the other will go in a keg with brett yeast for a couple of months.
I'm keeping the grain bill about the same as last time: pilsner base with a bit of Special B. Though this time I'm adding a touch of chocolate malt for color.
Then there's the Brettanomyces. For that I'm using White Labs WLP650 and in the description it says: A historic brewery in Belgium uses this yeast in secondary fermentation and bottling to produce the signature flavor of its beer. Wonder what that historic brewery is? I guess we'll never know.
- Brew day: 2021-11-9
- Malts: Rahr Premium Pilsner, Special B, Chocolate
- Hops: [Magnum] (Styrian Goldings)
- Yeasts: Lallemand Abbaye, WLP650 Brettanomyces bruxellensis
- OG: 12.2°P, FG: 2.8°P; ABV: 5% (base beer, pre-brett)
- 2021-11-13 (+4): transferred to keg secondary with brett (Batch 2)
- 2021-11-20 (+11): base beer to keezer (Batch 1)
- 2022-1-28 (+80): brett tapped
Floor Manager Steve: stop messing around in here I need DINNER
Recirculating wort in a full mash tun
Brew session beer and Mash Timer Cigar™
Yada-yada, boil/hops/chill and into the fermenter...
OG looking good at 12.2°P
Old packaging, same yeast (old pic). I used the packet for a Belgian Blond ale last week and the yeast cake got split for this double batch.
Away we go
After a week in primary one of the lucky batches will get to spend a couple of months in a keg with this stuff:
2021-11-13 (+4): Fermentation on these finished fast and final - actually started to get negative pressure in the airlock. FG came out to 1.011/2.8°P which puts the base beer at 5% ABV. Batch 2 was transferred to keg secondary with the brett.
Just going to park this here for a while...
2021-11-27 (+18): Base beer tapped a week ago (11/20) and is tasting good. It's surprisingly clean for trappist yeast. Still a bit cloudy but shaping up. Brett version is... doing things. It has had airlock activity the whole time. Batch 2/base beer:
2021-12-15 (+36): Non-brett version cleared up. Tasting clean with slight Belgiany yeast notes. The brett version is consistently bubbling away; there has been constant activity in there according to the airlock.
2022-1-27 (+79): Very little activity in the airlock so I reassembled the post and grabbed a sample. Big difference in FG: went from 2.8°P to 1.4°P taking the final ABV from 5 to 5.7%. Sample is tasting dry with a little brett character. It certainly has done things in there. With more time it could develop more character I believe but I'm liking where this is now and it's headed for the keezer and conditioning.
2022-2-8 (+91): Clear and carbed full pour. I have yet to get a bottle of Orval for comparison but it'll happen! This is everything I hoped it could be. The base beer is a great match for the brett "funk." It's very dry with a slight fruity finish and a great drinker. I have no problem doing a full pour - it's delicious!
2022-3-12 (+123): Pretty close to the last pour before the keg kicked.