If you wanted to read the Tasting Notes for this please click here
I think I've lost my mind with thoughts of these "Wild" yeasts, but I might not be alone. Recently I brewed a Brett/Citra Pale Ale after listening to Chad on the The Brewing Network talk about Brettanomyces beers. After I put up the post, I saw that Jeff over at Bikes, Beer and Adventure brewed a Extra Special "Brett"er. I'm sure other homebrewers are also "playing around" with solid Brettanomyces fermentation's.
The traditional thought of using Brettanomyces during secondary fermentation only is slowing changing. Without a doubt, breweries like Crooked Stave, Russian River, Jolly Pumkin and New Belguim are leading the charge but homebrewers have better ability to play around with small test batches without the financial impact "For Profit" breweries would endure.
Which got me thinking about the beautiful flavor compounds associated with 100% Brett fermentations. The passion-fruit, tropical flavors and pineapple aroma of Brettanomyces Claussenii fermentation's should work well in a Mead playing off the honey Backbone.
|Nothing like a good starter, this has been going for 3 weeks|
My thought is a 100% clover honey mead with only a Brett-C fermentation. I have no idea on the fermentation time this will take.
For the honey, I have 5#'s from a group buy with Danny over at DeeperRoots Brewing
UPDATE #1: 1-28-2013 (Before Brewing)
If you have looked at the comments, some readers thought that the Brett would eat right through all the sugars, leaving the mead to dry and thin. (Pictures below) After doing some more research, I settled on adding Oats into a hot water bath. (at 170ish degrees) This would let the sugars inside the oats lock into unfermentable starches, blocking the simple sugars in the yeast from converting them. Essentially stopping the Brett's ability to convert (eat) them. By leaving these starches behind, they would
UPDATE #2: 2-08-13
I got around to brewing this Mead on Saturday after doing some testing on the theory above. The good news is, "It worked". The sugars in the oats are locked into starches. How this will effect the over all mouthfeel of the mead is still uncertain.
As you can see above, the iodine test shows that the sugars did not convert into something that the Brett-C can eat. This means they will stay in solution, hopefully giving the beer a greater mouthfeel addressing the comments below.
|Pioneer Series: Brett Mead|
|Open Category Mead|
|Type: All Grain||Date: 2/8/2013|
|Batch Size (fermenter): 2.50 gal||Brewer: Chris Lewis|
|Boil Size: 3.22 gal||Asst Brewer:|
|Boil Time: 60 min||Equipment: Lewys Tower|
|End of Boil Volume 2.60 gal||Brewhouse Efficiency: 100.00 %|
|Final Bottling Volume: 2.50 gal||Est Mash Efficiency 100.0 %|
|Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage||Taste Rating(out of 50): TBA|
|Taste Notes: No Tasting Notes are posted for this Recipe yet.|
|Est Original Gravity: 1.081 SG||Measured Original Gravity: 1.090 SG|
|Est Final Gravity: 0.988 SG||Measured Final Gravity: .997 SG|
|Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 12.3 %||Actual Alcohol by Vol: 12.4 %|
|Bitterness: 0.0 IBUs||Calories: 302 kcal/12oz|
|Est Color: 2.7 SRM|
|Mash Name: Temperature Mash, 1 Step, Full Body||Total Grain Weight: 5 lbs 12.8 oz|
|Sparge Water: 3.06 gal||Grain Temperature: 72.0 F|
|Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F||Tun Temperature: 72.0 F|
|Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE||Mash PH: 5.20|
|Sparge Step: Fly sparge with 3.06 gal water at 168.0 F|
Carbonation and Storage
|Carbonation Type: Bottle||Volumes of CO2: 2.3|
|Pressure/Weight: 1.96 oz||Carbonation Used: Bottle with 1.96 oz Corn Sugar|
|Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 F||Age for: 30.00 days|
|Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage||Storage Temperature: 65.0 F|
|Primary Fermentation: 65 degrees for 12 days, then free rising to 72 degrees.|
Created with BeerSmith
UPDATE #3: 2-14-13
The Brett-C has quickly started fermenting this Mead. The smell of wort has seeped out of the chamber. its a mix of pineapple, mango and peach that's soaking into the garage area. The smell this yeast creates at the start of fermentation is amazing. I will get a gravity reading this weekend so see how its going.
UPDATE #4: 2-26-13
The beer is stalled at 1.030 right now. The smell has changed to a dirty, more earthy smell. Not quite barnyard, more rustic, metal shop smell. The flavor is still a punch in your face tropical rainbow of tastes.
This is normal in the other Brett-C beers I've done in primary. The smell changes first followed by the taste. Once the Mead gets down into the 1.0"Teens" I expect the Mead to rough'n up a little.
I am going to move the carboy out of the controlled fermentation fridge (I have another beer going in and I need it to be down in the low 60's) and on to the top of my chamber. The ambient air temp is going between 50 and 75 degrees (night vs day) I am going to wrap the carboy with a couple towels and see what happens to the gravity over the next week.
I took the beer of temp control and out of the fermentation chamber on 3-09-13, not on 2-26 like I stated above, I forgot about moving it until a week later. Since then it has gone from very clear to milky/cloudy looking. The fermentation has increased again, it is rapidly fermenting. I think the Brett-C is really liking the warm conditions of the garage (San Diego).
UPDATE #6: 3-25-13 (Bottling Day)
Moving the Mead out of the temp controlled chamber really did wonders to this Mead. Taking a gravity reading today, I had to wipe my eyes and double check the hydrometer again. It's at .997 FG. The mead once again cleared up the milky appearance that it had back in mid February. I wouldn't say it is brilliantly clear, but the Mead has a clear appearance. Almost like a small case of chill haze is keeping it from looking like a Pilsner.
Finishing at .997 makes this Mead around 12.4% ABV. Its no slouch, that's for sure. The aroma is still developing into more of a dirty mineral sweetness. The metallic notes I got before are gone, but it still has an almost mint quality to it. As I expected the tropical mango and papaya flavors are gone. I really would like them to come back in the bottle, but we will have to see about that down the road.
For the very low finishing gravity, I am floored that this beer has a solid body to it. Hinting that my starching the wort, (or really it was just water) worked. Now you know this is a mead, hands down, but the flavor is so complex compared to the other Meads I've had. The flavors that I got yesterday before bottling go from a sweetness to a minty pear flavor. I really wanted to do a "Before, Tasting Session" with this beer but I was to excited to bottle all of it.