Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mo Betta Bretta #2

A little over a year ago I brewed my first all-grain batch on my own. It also happened to be my first all-brett beer! I used a recipe based on Tomme Arthur's Mo Betta Bretta from Pizza Port out in CA. The beer was initally very fruity and a bit tart. After about 6 months in the bottle it bloomed into an amazing beer with all sorts of pie cherry and pineapple flavors, enough tartness to make your mouth water without being overly sour, and a brett complexity behind it all to support it and add wonderful depth.

I entered this beer in the Schooner homebrew competition here in Racine, WI in September and it ended up taking the gold for the Specialty Beer category out of 35 entries! While I didn't expect this, I have been happy to use the opportunity to promote all-brett brewing! Now I find myself donw to my last 5 bottles. I'd been running short for quite awhile and rationing these for several months to make them last. Alas, there comes a time to finish off the last bottle of every batch and that time is near. With that in mind, I set out to re-brew this beer. I can only hope that with a year's experience since then in both all-grain and brett beers I can manage to get a similar result! Who knows what silly beginner mistakes I may have made that turned out wonderful! Anyway, here's the recipe:

Mo Betta Bretta clone #2 - (All-brett C)

brewed on: 10/25/10
OG: 1.062
IBUs: 12 IBUs
mash temp: 150F

9 lbs 7 oz Pale malt
1 lb German Munich
1 lb Carapils
1 lb Flaked Oats

.27 oz US Magnum @ 14.4% - 60 minutes

starter - WLP 645 Brettanomyces Claussenii

WLP 645 also contains lactobacillus bacteria. Because of this, I don't want to hinder the bacteria growth with too much oxygen, so when I make this starter I simply grow it in a growler in the closet, swirling it once or twice a day for several days to introduce small amounts of oxygen each time.


  1. Hello - i am considering this recipe for my first all grain and my first brett as well! Could you say a little more about the steps you took with adding the brett?
    I see that you posted this years ago, so maybe you don't remember, or maybe you have some other tips...

    1. First off, be *very* careful if you're going to brew a beer with brett or any bacteria (lactobacillus, pediococcus, etc.)Any plastic you use that touches the beer once brett has been added has a good chance of being contaminated with it.

      That means any autosiphons, buckets, plastic carboys, tubing, airlocks, etc that you use for a beer like this should be set aside for use only hen brewing other sour beers. I keep a separate set of sour beer brewing gear on the opposite side of my basement from the rest so that I don't confuse the two.

      That said, I've brewed many brett beers since this one years ago. For a couple years between then and now I worked full-time at Norhtern Brewer and had the opportunity to brew side by side test batches w/ various brett strains, etc. This WLP brett C is still my favorite when it works right.

      I think one important step is to make a small starter. Keep it warm, in the mid 70s or more if possible. A day or 2 after pitching the yeast, step the starter up to at least 1-2 liters. Give it time. When I did my original brew of this beer I think I let it sit a week or more if I remember correctly. Usually I decant starters, but I added *all* of this large starter directly to the fermenter. It is a lot of starter liquid to add, but it gives the souring/brett process a head start which helps.

      Hope that helps!