Thursday, February 19, 2015

Le Diable Rouge (100% Brett Saison) -- Brew Day

Get ready for one of the nerdier statements I've ever written: we are living in a really exciting time for yeast experimentation. Meh, perhaps I've written nerdier.

But really,who gives a shit about hops now?  Year of the Yeast baby!

It seems like almost every month a new boutique yeast company springs up with a product lineup not only stocked with sacc (and usually really cool sacc strains) but also showcasing really interesting and sometime hyper-local brett and bacteria strains.  I've gone on such a spending spree with some of these new strains that I have no idea when the hell I'm going to be able to use all of them in a beer.

But alas, that was not the case today.

I've really loved the results of doing 100% primary fermentations with various strains of Brett, but thus far I've only done this in hoppy beers.  The more citrusy/fruity hops showcase beautifully alongside the complementary esters of a 100% brett fermentation -- so much so that Brett IPAs don't even really seem all that cool anymore.

For this batch, I was really interested in experimenting with an amber/red saison grist, a 100% Brett primary fermentation and a blend of berries post-fermentation.  I was inspired to do this brew after hearing about Yazoo Brewing's Lignage a Trois, a red 100% Brett beer aged on raspberries in red wine barrels.  I haven't been fortunate enough to try Lignage a Trois, but it sounds fucking delicious and almost a perfect combination of ingredients to play off of the Brett's primary fermentation character.

I decided to go ahead and use The Yeast Bay's Amalgamation Brett blend in this batch.  I used this previously in a 100% Brett IPA with interesting results.  In that beer, it initially came out wonderfully fruit and then began to change over time.  At around the two month mark, it got excessively funky and seemed to continue attenuation, so I set the bottles aside for a bit.  Then, at around the three month mark, it really turned into a beautiful beer melding the two stages together to create a fruit-forward, yet somewhat funky, IPA.

I plan to taste this one at around the 6 week mark and try to decide what sort of berries to age it on.  Right now, I'm thinking something along the lines of equal parts raspberries/blueberries/blackberries, but I haven't ruled out figs if the character from the Special B shines through.

Le Diable Rouge sitting next to my House Brett Saison

Le Diable Rouge (100% Brett Red Saison)
5.5 gallon batch -- 90 minute boil
Est OG: 1.066
Est FG: 1.006
Est ABV: 7.7%
IBU: 28
SRM: 14

42.1% Munich Malt
42.1% Vienna Malt
7.00% Flaked Oats
3.50% UK Crystal 70/80
1.80% Carared
1.80% Melanoiden Malt
1.80% Special B

0.30oz Magnum @ FWH (14 IBU)
1.00oz Hallertau Mittelfruh @ FWH (9 IBU)
2.00oz Hallertau Mittelfruh @ 10 min (5 IBU)

2000ml starter of The Yeast Bay Amalgamation Brett Blend

Mash @ 150F for 60 minutes

2/16/2014 -- Thank you former President's for giving me the day off to brew today.  Everything went of without a hitch.  Mash efficiency of 85%.  Gathered 5.5 gallons of 1.066 wort.  Huge Brett starter started fermenting the batch within 4 hours.  Bubbling away at 72F.