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Recipe: Brett Saison

I collected and stepped up some brett dregs a while ago. This brew was was a bit of a spontaneous (!!) user-upper of some of my ingredients. The idea was to create a very drinkable funky wild pale ale and I tried to take on board some tips I received from an Oersoep brewer during a tap takeover.

I had some bad luck with all brett beers in the past so I pitched some Belle Saison and the brett at the same time. This was one of the tips I received. I started with some left over Sorachi Ace hops (16 grams) which I married up to some Columbus hops that I also had left from a previous batch – this explains the slightly odd hop weights. I decided to aim just south of 30 IBU. For my dry-hop I use Hallertau Blanc which I heard from the brewer work really well with brett. Malts wise I finished my Spelt left-overs. I wanted to build some more body for the brett to chew through so I also added some CaraRed and flaked oats.

Stats
Batch 22 liter
OG 1.056
FG 1.007
IBU 28
SRM 5
ABV 6.4%

Fermentables
4000.0 g Pilsner (DE) 3 °L
620.0 g Spelt Malt (DE) 2 °L
400.0 g Flaked Oats 2 °L
250.0 g CaraRed (DE) 20 °L

Hops
22.0 g Columbus (US) 20 min Boil Pellet 14.9%
16.7 g Sorachi Ace (JP) 10 min Boil Pellet 12.3%
80.0 g Hallertau Blanc (DE) 5 days dry-hop Pellet 9.0%

Yeasts
Belle Saison Danstar 82.5%
Brett stepped up from dregs found in Bruery Terreux Batch No. 1731 (100 percent brett pale ale) 87.5%

Other
0.5 tbsp Irish Moss 10 minutes Boil
4.0 g yeast nutrient

Mash
Step Step Temperature Step Time
Mash-in 38.0 C
Mash 67.0 C 60 min
Mash-out 78.0 C

Fermentation:
I noticed blow-off tube activity the morning after brewing, and really active fermentation when I got home from work. The temperatures crept up to 23 degrees in a relatively cool room – and were kept at 22 degrees. In the days after I stepped the temperature up to 25 C.

Update fermentation
After 4 weeks fermenting I noticed a pretty pellicle formed on the beer. I was a bit impatient so I dry-hopped it still. After 5 days I cooled it down for 3 days and kegged it.

Sampling
I’m really pleased how this turned out. The balance is just right in terms of body, funk, and bitterness. The combination of French Saison yeast and brett result in a dry, but strange funky fruity flavour. Hallertau Blanc was a great match for the yeast profile – I’m very impressed with the fruity (gooseberries!) profile.  The addition of caramalt/spelt/oats made sure that the beer did not taste thin, but the brett managed to chew through a lot of the body. The bitterness was kept in check, so the late hop additions seem successful. Over the course of weeks the profile of the beer seemed to change slightly. I have the feeling that the beer thinned out a bit and increased in acidity. This is definitely one of my favourite brews and I will revisit this recipe in the future.

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