Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Great Unknown (Modern Times Beer Neverwhere)

As I had mentioned in previous posts, I did a bit of a bulk yeast buy from The Yeast Bay outside San Francisco.  I've been itching to do a straight, 100% Brettanomyces-fermented IPA for a long time now.  The combination of super fruity, citrusy American hops along with the slight hint of barnyard funk, but also complementary fruitiness, of a brett primary fermentation has always seemed so interesting to me -- at least in theory.  As widespread brewing with brettanomyces is a relatively new endeavor in the North American craft brewing scene, 100% Brett IPAs are somewhat difficult to find in a commercial offering.

In a 100% Brett-fermented beer, the typical "horse blanket" funk of brett strains is relatively restrained.  Instead, the finished beer is similar to a clean fermented beer with just a slight touch of funk which grows as the beer is aged.  Obviously, in a beer like this, the yeast is pretty important.

The Yeast Bay recently released a blend of Brett, called Amalgamation, described thusly:

Amalgamation is the union of our six favorite Brettanomyces isolates from our microbe library.  Each isolate produces a unique bouquet of bright and fruity flavors and aromas, and the combination of all of them into one blend results in the coalescence of these unique flavors and aromas into something truly special.

Expect this blend to create a dry beer with a bright and complex fruit-forward flavor and aroma, accompanied by some funk on the palate.

Umm, fuck yeah, that sounds awesome.

Since this is my first foray into this style, I chose to go along with a recipe that has been proven for Brett IPAs -- that of Modern Times Beer Neverwhere, as taken from The Mad Fermentationist's blog. This recipe is INCREDIBLY high in its hop-driven fruitiness, so it'll be interesting to see how this is complemented by the sole Brettanomyces fermentation.

The Great Unknown (Modern Times Beer Neverwhere)
5.5 gallon batch -- 75 minute boil
Est OG: 1.064
Est FG: 1.012
Est ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 100
SRM: 4

11.25lb Pale Malt
3.75lb Wheat Malt
0.625lb Carapils

1.50oz Centennial @ FWH (50 IBU)
0.75oz Magnum @ FWH (35 IBU)
2.00oz Centennial @ Steep 5 min (6 IBU)
2.00oz Citra @ Steep 5 min (7 IBU)
1.00oz Chinook @ Steep 5 min (4 IBU)
2.00oz Citra @ Dry Hop 4 Days
1.50oz Centennial @ Dry Hop 4 Days
1.00oz Chinook @ Dry Hop 4 Days

1400ml starter of Yeast Bay Amalgamation (stepped up to 500 billion cells)

Mash @ 153f for 60 minutes

10/26/2014 -- Brewed.  Brew day went incredibly normal.  Mash efficiency came in slightly low so I ended up adding a quarter pound of DME to compensate.  No big deal.  Gathered 5.5gal of 1.064 wort and pitched an incredibly active brett starter.  Set the fermentation chamber for 65.

11/7/2014 -- Dry hopped.

11/10/2014 -- Cold crashed.

11/11/2014 -- Bottled with 4oz of corn sugar to prime to 2.4vol CO2.  FG came in at 1.012,  Taste samples were really fruity, almost mango/melon.

12/9/2014 -- Tasting notes.  This is a really nice beer, but I'd make some changes around next time.


Post a Comment