Wednesday, May 1, 2013

0 IBU 100% Brettanomyces fermented IPA

A Crooked Stave WWBG clone recipe

1-IMG_2643There are few things I enjoy more as a brewer and beer enthusiast than (1) randomly discovering a new brewery that makes excellent beer, and (2) being introduced to a new beer style or process that works out magically. My introduction to Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project gave me both.

I randomly stumbled across Crooked Stave while on vacation in Fort Collins in 2011, shortly after Chad Yakobson started gypsy brewing out of Funkwerks (another great brewery, if you don’t know about it). This was my first experience with 100% Brettanomyces fermented beers. The first two beers that I had from Crooked Stave were WWBR and Pure Guava Petite Sour. It was hard to believe – other than the fact that both were gushers - that they had gone from boil kettle to bottle in about 6 weeks time.

One of my favorite examples of this fast, 100% Brett fermented style is Wild Wild Brett Green (WWBG), a highly hopped, dank, tropical fruit bomb that when consumed fresh presents more like an IPA than anything else. I was intrigued and wanted to make something similar myself. Chad helped me design the recipe below. My recipe is almost entirely his recipe, except I substituted East Coast Yeast Brett blends for Chad’s proprietary Brett strains, and used Amarillo and Nelson hops instead of Galaxy due to the limited supply of Galaxy at that time.


WWBG (1.1) Amarillo
[Not so] American IPA


Type: All Grain

Date: 3/30/2012

Batch Size: 11.50 gal

Brewer: Luke
Boil Size: 14.73 gal Asst Brewer: Eric
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Blichmann 20 Gal brewing system
Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0 Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00


Amount Item Type % or IBU
23.18 lb Brewer's Malt, 2-Row, Premium (Great Western) (2.0 SRM) Grain 79.99 %
2.90 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 10.01 %
1.45 lb Carapils (Briess) (1.5 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
1.45 lb White Wheat Malt (2.4 SRM) Grain 5.00 %
2.25 oz Amarillo Gold [10.30 %] (0 min) (Boil) Hops -
7.75 oz Amarillo Gold [10.30 %] (15 min) (Aroma Hop-Steep) Hops -
7.75 oz Amarillo Gold [10.30 %] (Dry Hop 14 days) Hops -
5.47 oz Amarillo Gold [10.30 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
1.23 oz Nelson Sauvin [12.20 %] (Dry Hop 7 days) Hops -
1 Pkgs BRETT blend #1 (ECY) (East Coast Yeast #ECY04) Yeast-Ale  
1 Pkgs BRETT blend #9 (ECY) (East Coast Yeast #ECY05) Yeast-Ale  


Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.065 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.065 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.017 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.18 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.18 %
Bitterness: 0.0 IBU Calories: 290 cal/pint
Est Color: 5.7 SRM Color:

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Medium Body Total Grain Weight: 28.98 lb
Sparge Water: 4.82 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Single Infusion, Medium Body
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
60 min Mash In Add 36.24 qt of water at 162.8 F 152.0 F
10 min Mash Out Add 20.29 qt of water at 203.1 F 168.0 F

Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash with fly sparge.



0 minute hop addition was at flameout, Aroma steep addition was 15 minutes post flameout, and the hops soaked for 15 minutes before chilling to 67F.
Pitched one carboy with ECY04, and one with ECY05
Batch size of 11.5 gal yielded closer to 10.5 gal (5.25 gal into each fermentor) due to the large hop loss.

10 day gravity reading (with shitty, non-precise hydrometer):
ECY04: 1.014
ECY05: 1.025
Transferred to kegs for secondary/dry-hopping.
ECY04 dry hop: 35g Nelson Sauvin/60g Amarillo (waiting on ECY05 to come down in gravity before dry-hopping)

ECY04 removed dry hops and added 2nd dry hop (110g Amarillo). Put in keezer to dry hop at 39 degrees for 2-3 weeks. (check back on 5/3/12).
ECY05 - Added 1st dry hops (95g Amarillo). Gravity was still high. Will give it through 4/29/12 before switching out hops.

*Additional gravity readings were taken, but not recorded. I believe both versions eventually got down to about 1.007 before cold crashing. ECY05 was left to condition for an additional month before the 2nd dry hop addition was added.

1-2012-04-10 18.22.23

Tasting Notes and Thoughts:

ECY04 - Aromas were mostly tropical (papaya with some pineapple) and citrus, with slight traditional Brett earthiness in the background. The mouth feel was medium with some dryness from the hop compounds. After a couple of weeks on draft, the flavors became integrated and more complex. The Brett gained more fruit ester complexity over time at the expense of the "fresh fruit" aroma.

ECY05 - This version went to my friend Mark's house, so I was less familiar with it and am reporting based on memory. I remember more (but light) barnyard notes, with slightly less tropical flavors - more in the direction one would expect from a beer fermented with Brettanomyces.

While I would not call either version an outright “clone” of WWBG, I would say that both were cut from the same cloth as the beer that inspired them. The propriety strains that Chad used in the Crooked Stave version were specifically chosen for their clean, low ester profile, and their fast attenuation. Galaxy hops also have a distinct aroma and flavor that is difficult to achieve with other hops.

Both of these test versions were good, but I preferred the ECO4 to the ECY05 for this style. It's cleaner and the Brett doesn't compete with the hops. This could have been due to the faster fermentation and quicker consumption of the ECY04, but I would say it’s primarily due to the characteristics that ECY05 produces (barnyard, horse blanket, etc.). Even in the original WWBG version brewed by Crooked Stave, I noticed a big change in the character from when I had it fresh to when I had it a couple of months later. The hops faded and complex Brett notes began to develop. Even so, the next time that I try something similar I will use a more fruit-forward Brett strain (e.g., Trois, BKY C2/C3).