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Old 04-15-2013, 07:03 AM   #381
MattHollingsworth
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I brewed my Brett Trois IPA yesterday.

Starter was done in three steps. Step 1 was ~400ml, fermented at 70F for 2 days, then Step 2 added ~650 ml, fermented 3 days, then Step 3 added 1150 ml and fermented for 3 days. 8 days total. Put in the fridge to chill for decanting for a full 3days (so, 11 days total, start to finish for those planning their starters), but when it came time to pitch, only about the top half of the starter was settled. Still milky in the bottom half. So, I decanted down from 2200 ml to about 900 ml, drank the sample and pitched the rest.

Oh, these were all on a stirplate turned up to high the entire time. The first step was pretty mild in its behavior. The second step was pretty active, lots of bubbles but no krauesen. Third step went crazy, but I used fermcap as I had about 2200 ml in a 2 liter flask, so it had no krauesen but it seemed like it might have if I hadn't used that. When it settled out on the bottom of the flask for decanting, it looked like a slightly smaller amount of yeast than when I make a 2 liter starter with my usual yeast, but as I said, it was milky in the bottom half, which I also pitched.

When the starter was fermenting, the smell coming off of it was incredible. To say it smelled of "overripe fruit" might be a bit forgiving. I would say it smelled more like rotting fruit. It was not entirely pleasant, but not entirely unpleasant. I think there's something built into the brain that tells you that that smell indicates that something is rotting and that you shouldn't eat it, like it's hard wired into us.

That said, I was very curious to see what it tasted like. I was disappointed to drink the leftover starter and see that that character wasn't in the beer. It was a lot cleaner than I expected. It was certainly nothing like the usual Belgian ale kind of fruitiness. The flavor of the grain reminded me of what one would get from Wyeast 1056. Overlaying that was a pleasant and soft fruitiness with a lemony tartness. That tartness was nice. I suppose this is that touch of acetic that people talk about. It's nice, but I don't know if I want it in the finished beer or not. In the starter, though, it was fine. Nothing huge, nothing horrible. The fruit character is hard to define. I'm not good at describing subtle nuances in yeast character, but it didn't remind me of the usual Belgian character at all. It was very nice, though. And totally unexpected that it didn't seem very different from just normal Saccharomyces.

This was pitched Sunday around 6PM at around 64. No oxygen was used this time, just shook the fermenter. I let it warm to 70 as I had wanted to pitch a touch warmer. The next morning, today, at 7AM, the fermenter is going crazy. This is a 27 liter batch, so what, over 7 gallons? It has a huge krauesen and is fermenting like crazy, giving off a mixed fruity hoppy aroma that I am sad is leaving the beer. Looks like a totally normal fermentation that had a good sized starter pitched.

I'll report back later on progress.

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Old 04-16-2013, 04:13 AM   #382
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Back in Nov of last year I used this yeast to make a tripel with mostly pilsner LME, a little wheat DME, palm sugar and thai basil. It's a really nice beer that I would like to enter into a competition coming up. There's the ongoing discussion of adding brett primaried beers to the BJCP style guidelines but it still hasn't happened yet. So where should I enter this? Under 23 Specialty Beer? If I need to move this to another or it's own thread, I can.

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Old 04-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #383
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If it tastes like a tripel that's how I'd enter it, if not you could enter it in belgian specialty. However if it's tough to classify I wouldn't enter it at all if you have hopes of doing well. You could have made a killer beer but if they don't know how to judge it then it won't do well. For this reason I stopped entering comps altogether.

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Old 04-16-2013, 12:57 PM   #384
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I agree (and I'm a bjcp judge). It sounds like it would be 16E, Belgian Specialty. However, if it's tough to describe/categorize in comparison to recognized beer styles then, I personally wouldn't enter it even if it's great.
I still enter comps but only with straightforward beers that fit nicely within a category or, if entering a specialty beer, a very definable derivative of an existing style. Stuff that's hard to categorize is hard to judge and, even if delicious, will probably only receive mediocre scores.

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Old 04-16-2013, 01:00 PM   #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTG View Post
Back in Nov of last year I used this yeast to make a tripel with mostly pilsner LME, a little wheat DME, palm sugar and thai basil. It's a really nice beer that I would like to enter into a competition coming up. There's the ongoing discussion of adding brett primaried beers to the BJCP style guidelines but it still hasn't happened yet. So where should I enter this? Under 23 Specialty Beer? If I need to move this to another or it's own thread, I can.
I've scored very well with two 100% brett beers (39 as a 100% Brett IPA in 23 and 37 (and 2nd place) as 100% brett blond in 16E), but I'm with smokinghole you're better off entering as a tripel if it tastes like a tripel. my 100% brett tripel they even said should've just been entered as a tripel cuz they couldnt tell. most judges don't know what it should be like and search for the more commonly known funk that's not there.

edit: missed the basil part, 16E regardless of whether u mention brett or not if it tastes like a tripel.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:23 PM   #386
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If it tastes like a tripel then enter it as a tripel. If it tastes like a tripel with Thai basil then enter it as Belg. Spec.

However, if its flavor is much more complicated than that to define then I stand behind my recommendation to skip the comp with this one.

When you describe it as a tripel then the judges are going to be looking for the characteristic flavors of a tripel, an awful lot of which are yeast-derived. If the B Trois didn't produce similar flavors then it's probably not going to score well being called a tripel (with or without basil) regardless of how good it is.
When you muddy the description it really is hard to judge. Saying something like, "it's kinda like a tripel only with a different yeast(brett) and resultant yeast-derived flavors and, oh yeah, I added Thai basil," in the description/special ingredient box probably isn't going to result in a super high score despite how tasty it might be.

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Old 04-21-2013, 04:29 AM   #387
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smokinghole, WilliamWS and dcp27 thanks for the feedback. I entered it as a 16 E. I think its a great beer and so does everyone else that's tried it. My friends aren't experts by any means but I have a good feeling for this beer placing well. I entered a peach saison with brett c and a galangal saison as well that I think might get good reviews as well. I'll report back with the results for the tripel after the competition.
Thanks,
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:15 PM   #388
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If anyone is interested I finally posted some tasting notes on my blog for the Brett Trois farmhouse ale I brewed (blog link in signature below). I think of most interest to folks here is that the beer has held up great after 10 months in the bottle. It has changed from the incredible fruit bomb when it was young to something much more subtle. Still delicious. And the brett continued to work on it over the months, really drying it out - glad i purposely under-primed the bottles! I have a couple more bottles still, but wish I had even more.

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Old 05-12-2013, 04:09 PM   #389
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I recently made a Witbier with WLP644....one of the best beer that I made recently. The esters from WLP644 nicely complemented the Curacao and coriander spices. Moreover, it appears that aging is improving the aroma and taste of witbier (I known that Wits should be drink younger, but Brett WLP644 is adding a new dimension to the beer....tropical taste, a malty backbone with a drier finish). I'm really impressed with WLP644. Lot's of potential for Belgian beer styles. I am thinking in to use WLP644 in a dunkelweizen now.

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Old 05-12-2013, 06:05 PM   #390
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The saison I made with 644 and wyeast 3726 is starting to age very well. I was less than impressed after the first month in bottles, like the 100% 644 beer I did... But after 2 months in bottles its getting better and better. Really soft fruit flavors, peach and mango. The styrian goldings worked really well to balance the fruitiness. I dont know what it is, but in my experience with the 644 in the 100% 644 beer I made, this saison, and my imperial brett porter, it seems to just needs time in the bottles under pressure to really shine. I need to stop drinking them and set them aside for a long while to see what they develop into.

The saison did alright in comp - scored a 33, but I can tell from the comments the judges were expecting a really funky farmhouse character because I mentioned brett. I just dont think this strain produces these flavors. At least under the conditions I have used it in.

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