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Old 12-09-2011, 03:08 AM   #1
bigljd
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Default English Brown Porter with Brett?

I brewed something similar to Fullers London Brown Porter a while ago and really love the taste of it. Today I was reading the BJCP descriptions of Brown Porters and noticed that historically they may have used Brett:

From BJCP 12A:

"Comments: Differs from a robust porter in that it usually has softer, sweeter and more caramelly flavors, lower gravities, and usually less alcohol. More substance and roast than a brown ale. Higher in gravity than a dark mild. Some versions are fermented with lager yeast. Balance tends toward malt more than hops. Usually has an “English” character. Historical versions with Brettanomyces, sourness, or smokiness should be entered in the Specialty Beer category (23). "

Has anyone tried this style with Brett, and what Brett did you use? What flavors did you get, and did it get sour?

I'd like to try a 10 gal batch of the brown porter this winter and split them into 2 - 5 gal batches. I'd ferment them both with WLP002 (I love that yeast). Then I'd try making my first Brett beer by adding Brett to 1 of the batches and aging it for a while.

Is there any info out there on how brown porters were made historically, and how the Brett was used?


JAN 16 2012 EDIT:

To make it easier to find, here's the recipe I ended up using for this brew. I kegged 5 gal of it after fermentation was complete, and the other 5 gal is in a glass carboy with Brett C where it will remain there for a few more months. The actual SG for me was 1.061 and the FG was 1.017 (I got higher than expected efficiency). Considering the higher gravity and ABV I had and the roasty, coffee finish I'm tasting I think this probably would fall into the Robust porter class instead of a Brown porter.

11 gal 80% Eff.
OG 1.057
FG 1.014
IBUs 36
SRM 27

17 lbs Maris Otter (Muntons) (3.5 SRM) Grain 5 81.0 %
3 lbs Brown Malt - Home Oven Toasted maris otter (375 degrees in oven for 45 minutes) (65.0 SRM) Grain 6 14.3 %
1 lbs Black Patent(Muntons) (500.0 SRM) Grain 7 4.8 %
3.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.90 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 8 26.7 IBUs
2.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.90 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 9 8.8 IBUs
1.0 pkg London Ale III (Wyeast Labs #1318) [124.21 ml] Yeast 12 -
1.0 pkg Brettanomyces Claussenii (White Labs #WLP645) [50.28 ml] [Add to Secondary]

Mash temp 154
Ferment at 68
Add Brett to 5 gal in secondary

Here's what the brew looks like - it's a tasty one. The London Ale III yeast left a pleasant, full bodied brew with smooth and a slightly dry coffee finish comes from the black patent. I plan to enter into a March competition, so I'll report back on the results:

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Old 12-09-2011, 03:25 AM   #2
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I've never done a porter with brett, but considering how often I brew brown porters, this is definitely something I need to do ASAP.

There is surprisingly a good bit of info on historical porter recipes out there, thanks to ron (Shut up about Barclay Perkins) but I've haven't read much about how the brett interacted with the beer, if they wanted the brett character, how long it aged, and so forth. I would assume the brett of choice here would be Brett C, as it seems to have been the type found in aged English beers.

If you don't mind, I'll do some more research and post back here what I've found or how I'll approach this. This sounds like a fun project.

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Old 12-09-2011, 11:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bierhaus15 View Post
I've never done a porter with brett, but considering how often I brew brown porters, this is definitely something I need to do ASAP.

There is surprisingly a good bit of info on historical porter recipes out there, thanks to ron (Shut up about Barclay Perkins) but I've haven't read much about how the brett interacted with the beer, if they wanted the brett character, how long it aged, and so forth. I would assume the brett of choice here would be Brett C, as it seems to have been the type found in aged English beers.

If you don't mind, I'll do some more research and post back here what I've found or how I'll approach this. This sounds like a fun project.
Cool, thanks bh, and thanks for the barclayperkins link. Now I'll have something to read when I'm at work today
I'll do some more research too, and if I come up with anything I'll post it here. I almost posted this in KingBrians British yeast thread, but didn't want to derail it with Brett discussions. I definitely want to try this, and if I could brew it with some historical authenticity it would be even cooler.

EDIT: Which Wyeast or WL # would have Brett C? The descriptions don't really say?

EDIT2: Nevermind - looks like WLP645 is it

WLP645 Brettanomyces claussenii
Low intensity Brett character. Originally isolated from strong English stock beer, in the early 20th century. The Brett flavors produced are more subtle than WLP650 and WLP653. More aroma than flavor contribution. Fruity, pineapple like aroma. B. claussenii is closely related to B. anomalus.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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Ok, I'm pretty much going all in with this. I'll be to be making my own fire kilned brown malt this weekend - something I've wanted to do for a while now - and I've come across a few recipes that might be good for this type of thing. Something with Pale, brown, and black malt. Approaching the london-type vatted porters of the early/mid 1800's.

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Old 12-09-2011, 05:54 PM   #5
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This is what I made previously, but I'd like to replace the Briess malts with some true English crystal and chocolate malts for the next batch.

Let me know what recipe you go with - I may copy you when I try this.

5.5 gal
OG 1.052
FG 1.014
IBUs 33
SRM 28

7 lbs Pale Ale (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 5 72.3 %
1 lbs Brown Malt (Crisp) (65.0 SRM) Grain 6 10.3 %
14.0 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) (60.0 SRM) Grain 7 9.0 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Organic (Briess) (350.0 SRM) Grain 8 7.7 %
1.75 oz Fuggles [4.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 10 24.2 IBUs
1.25 oz Fuggles [4.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 11 8.6 IBUs
1.0 pkg English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) [1500.00 ml] Yeast

Mash at 148
Pitch at 64, raise to 68 until fermentation is done, drop to 64 for a few days and then cold crash and keg

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Old 12-09-2011, 07:23 PM   #6
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Very cool. I used a bunch more brown malt when I brewed a historic porter a few weeks back - sample tasted great. I didn't use any crystal (was told on this site it wasn't a big deal).

Subscribed to this thread to find out how it goes!

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Old 12-09-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyleobie View Post
Very cool. I used a bunch more brown malt when I brewed a historic porter a few weeks back - sample tasted great. I didn't use any crystal (was told on this site it wasn't a big deal).

Subscribed to this thread to find out how it goes!
That link was interesting - let us know how your batch turns out when its kegged/bottled.

I thinking of something like this for the next batch. I'd scale it up to 11 gal, and then add the Brett to half of it in secondary. I'd like the brew to have some hints of chocolate in it, but I'm not sure if I'd get that with the Crisp Chocolate since they kiln the crap out of it. But I think I'd like it more than black patent.

I think Pale, Brown, and Black Patent is more true to the historical recipe, so I guess I'm already off the rails if I want to stay authentic.

6 lbs Pale Ale (Crisp) (4.0 SRM) Grain 5 66.7 %
2 lbs Brown Malt (Crisp) (65.0 SRM) Grain 6 22.2 %
8.0 oz Chocolate (Crisp) (630.0 SRM) Grain 7 5.6 %
8.0 oz Crystal - 45L (Crisp) (45.0 SRM) Grain 8 5.6 %
1.25 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 9 20.2 IBUs
1.25 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 10 10.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg English Ale (White Labs #WLP002) [1500.00 ml] Yeast 13 -
1.0 pkg Brettanomyces Claussenii (White Labs #WLP645) [50.28 ml] [Add to Secondary]

My understanding with Brett is that it will eat more of the complex sugars, so I was thinking of mashing higher than normal (153 or 154) to give the Brett something to munch on after the 002 is done. Does that sound right?
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Old 12-10-2011, 03:31 AM   #8
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Recipes look good. I was thinking over the mash temps today and I still haven't settled on one or another. I like the idea of mashing high to leave some sugars for the brett, but I don't want to leave so much that the brett goes crazy and dries out the beer. In the 11-11-11 brew I'm pretty sure the brett we used was claussenii and it did take my FG of 1.018 down to 1.007 in the secondary. A bit too far for what I was looking for. I'd really like this beer to have some residual sweetness.

Also, I'll be going historical with my batch as I'd really like to try and make something that resembled the vatted porters of the time. The grist will look something like 80% pale (probably golden promise) 15-17% brown malt, and 3% black malt. I'll be kilning my brown malt over a hornbeam fire in a close approximation to how they made the malt back in the day. From what I have been reading, the brown malt around this time (1810-30's) was basically a somewhat smokey, charred malt that had a very unique flavor. Modern brown malt (which I love using) is supposedly just lightly roasted and quite different.

I've also been considering my yeast choices and I've narrowed it down to wy1968 and wy1318. I like the fullers strain, though I'm not to sure how the yeast will hold up with prolonged aging and how the esters will mix with the brett. I'm leaning more towards the 1318 as it is sufficiently malty and I think the natural yeast sweetness will hold up well to the brett character/acidity.

Looking forward to brewing this one!

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Old 12-10-2011, 04:02 AM   #9
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can you throw out a recipe for extract with grain for me please....

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Old 12-10-2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmm View Post
can you throw out a recipe for extract with grain for me please....
I'm not very experienced in converting recipes to extract, but you could probably take the first recipe I posted and swap out the Pale malt for around 7.5 pounds of pale liquid malt extract (Muntons or something like that). Use the same caramel and chocolate malt amounts, and maybe add in 1 oz of roast barley in place of the brown malt (Brewsmith suggests to do that). Steep the specialty grains and maybe bump the hop amounts up by 10 percent if you are doing a partial boil.
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