After spending some time on the Burgundian Babblebelt homebrewing forums, I delved into the world of all-brett beers late this past year with a clone recipe from a magazine for Tomme Arthur (of Pizza Port/Lost Abbey)'s Mo' Betta Bretta. Considering the wide range of reported results people have been getting using Brettanomyces as a primary yeast, I didn't really expect the recipe to turn out the same as MBB, but it seemed as good a starting place as any. Seeing as I followed someone else's recipe for that one, I won't go into brewing details on it.
My second all-Brett beer followed closely on its heels. I started with a grain bill inspired by Jeff Sparrow's wonderful Wild Brews book. Having tried Brett C, I moved on to 2 vials of White labs 653 Brett Lambicus for this one.
Once it had finished it's initial fermentation, rather than bottle it, I added 4 pounds of slightly sweetened dried sour cherries. It was tougher than I expected to find decent unsweetened, preservative-free dried cherries. In the end, I settled for a batch from one of the local health food stores which was slightly sweetened with natural sugar. A little extra sugar in a beer like this never hurt anybody!
The cherries were rehydrated in a bottle of Pinot Noir before adding, followed shortly after by a vial of White Labs 650 Brett bruxellensis. When I brewed this, I intended it to be a straight single strain fermentation with no fruit or anything, but I tasted it while moving it to the secondary and it was almost begging for more something. This is not to say it was a bad beer at that point, but I saw potential for something with even more depth.
Anyway, here's the recipe:
All-brett #2 (until I come up with an appropriate name for this one, anyway)
9 lbs Pilsener malt
1 lb Wheat malt
8 oz Acidulated malt
25 IBUs Styrian Goldings @ 60 minutes
2 vials of WLP 653 Brett L.
fermented at 70-72 degrees F.
After primary fermentation:
4 lbs dried sour cherries, rehydrated in a bottle of Pinot Noir
1 vial WLP 650 Brett B.
age @ 66F
3/26/10 - added dregs of 'Saison Rue' from The Bruery
3/29/10 - SG @ 1.005. Racked off cherries & purged carboy w/ CO2. Acidity is quite pronouced, but not too strong. (Slightly less than La Folie, I think.)
4/20/10 - Moved to basement (62F)
5/18- SG @ 1.004 - Nice bold acidity, nose similar to a Flanders (acid & fruit?), fruit comes through, several layers to the flavor.
8/22/10 - SG 1.003 - nose: honey. Flavor: sour, cherries. Warming w/ full wine-like body
Since this was brewed in the midst of moving into a new house and Christmas travels, I didn't get an OG reading on this one. (Thus my need for a place to keep records like this page. . .)