Old Ale Blends

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DBhomebrew

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We've got two different Old Ale blends available to us this holiday season. Wyeast is releasing their 9097-PC and Bootleg Biology has a possibly one-time limited release of an Old Ale blend as well. Both blends are some sort of English Sacc with some sort of Brett.

As described by the manufacturers...

WY9097-PC
To bring in a bit of English brewing heritage we developed the “Old Ale” blend. It includes an attenuative ale strain along with a small amount of Brettanomyces. The blend will ferment well in dark worts, producing fruity beers with nice complexity. The Brettanomyces adds a pie cherry-like flavor and sourness during prolonged aging.

Bootleg Biology BBXOLD Old Ale *Beta*
There are few beer styles that show the perfect blending of time, malt and microbes like English Old Ale. Sometimes aged for years, this style is big, bold, malty, sweet and FUNKY.

This original blend of Ale and Brett cultures produces a mild leather and dried apricot funk that nicely compliments this malty and boozy rare English ale style.


These may be, no certainty...
WY9097-PC 1098/99 + Brett L
BBXOLD London III + Brett C

I'm not quite sure what I'll do with these, but I'm definitely picking up a pack of each. The HBT 11-11-11 Gunstock Ale will almost definitely be one of them, likely the WY as called for in the recipe. For the Bootleg? Probably some 19th century stock ale pulled from Pattinson's recipes.

Or maybe put the Bootleg in the Gunstock WY into a fresh batch Ron's 1914 Courage Imperial Stout.

What are you all going to do with your pack of Old Ale blend?
 

mashpaddled

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We see these released every few years but they never seem to sell very well because just like you said, nobody is really sure what they are supposed to do with it and there just aren't that many of us who enjoy brett beers. These blends are designed to recreate the classic English vatted or aged beers that are nearly extinct. That puts barleywine/strong ale, stout/porter, even english-style IPAs appropriate for the blend but you can do any style you might want to develop brett character in.
 

Argyll Gargoyle

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I found wy9097 on aih, if anybody else is looking for it.
Usually, I bank my yeasts, but I’ve never used mixtures, much less brett. Do you think you could bank these successfully?
 
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DBhomebrew

DBhomebrew

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In one of the 11-11-11 threads there was direct communication from Wyeast saying a starter is A-OK, the balance of sacc/brett would be fine.

To me, that seems like saving some overbuilt starter to be re-started in the near term wouldn't be a problem.
 
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DBhomebrew

DBhomebrew

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Well, there's at least some interest in these old ale blends. I ordered one of each from my LHBS as part of regular group buys. Wyeast had it in stock when ordered on Monday and were out of stock by Wednesday ship day. Oh, well. I didn't really want to tie up two fermenters for that long anyway.
 
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DBhomebrew

DBhomebrew

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Alrighty then. This year's cellar beer is on its long way to the glass.

89% Simpsons Best Pale Ale
4% Fawcett Amber
4% Fawcett Brown
3% Homemade Invert #4
Target 41 IBU @ FWH (figured as 20m)
Target 21 IBU @ 60m
EKG .25oz/post-boil gallon @ 0m

Mash 60m @ 156°F
120m boil
2qt 1st runnings reduced to 1pt

3.3 gallons into the fermenter
1.091 OG - 62 IBU
Pitched a 500ml SNS starter - Bootleg Old Ale

I'll rack to secondary in 3 or 4 weeks adding oak and EKG dry hop for the long brett sleep.

20220101_163327.jpg
 

Gus_13

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I've used the Wyeast Old Ale blend in the past. Two different brews. One was a 1.085ish OG and the other was a smaller 1.065ish. The 1.085 brew never really came around to being great. Honestly the brett in the blend chewed the beer so dry that it had fusel alcohol flavors and nothing I did aging wise fixed it. I did primary around 65 and it sat room temp (around 68-70) for a few months bulk aging. When it came time to package, it was plain offensive with alcohol notes and really dry around 1.002. I think I used too much crystal in the beer as well that didn't mix well with the brett character.

The smaller beer was great though. Still fermented pretty dry to 1.004 but I mashed it higher and packaged it sooner than the other one. It drank well for about 3 years until I ran out of bottles.

I have the Bootleg one in my cart while I'm deciding on other things to order from them. Old Ales (or stock ales) aren't a supremely popular style so I get why a lot of folks don't buy these. I like them but often like clean ones better than ones with brett. Still won't keep me from trying this one from Bootleg in a split batch though. I like my base recipe I have for my old ale now so since it's about time to brew it again for this year might as well try the blend.
 
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DBhomebrew

DBhomebrew

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Day 11 or so. Down to 1.034. Suspended particulate has slowed its churn. There's still a thin sticky looking layer of krausen. 1318 really does seem like a strong contender. Low to moderate fruity esters. Very malty, bready. Barest amount of roast, slightly smokey. Low to moderate hop bitterness.
 
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