Monday, August 5, 2013

Bella Sky, C2 Brett Blonde

Last April I was lucky enough to get a vile of yeast from BKYeast.  It was his C2 release, sourced from a bottle of 2007 Cantillon Iris.  Dmitri, the man behind the BKYeast website has a home yeast ranch and blog which he explores all sorts of yeast used in brewing.  (Its a great homebrew resource  which I really recommend checking out.) I was lucky enough to receive was the C2 strain for testing.  In return I promised to give Dmitri my brewing notes concerning the yeast and attempt to send a bottle out his way thanking him for his efforts.

The sourced (C2) 2007 Cantillon Iris strain is said to be big on strawberry flavors.  So in constructing the recipe, I paired it with Belma Hops.  The propitiatory new hop from Hops Direct, which is said it have a general melon/strawberry flavor.  (Which I struggled to find in my Saison test batch) Before figuring out the malt,, I knew this beer had to be a Blonde Ale.  As simple a recipe as possible.  Sticking around 5% ABV.  My original though was to add tart cherries into the beer during secondary but that all changed when I tasted the flask holding the starter.

Dmitri grew 3 different strains from the bottle dregs he collected, C1, C2 and C3.  From his notes C2 was the funkiest of the group.  (It would of been awesome to compare all 3 side by side)  The flavor profile coming off the starter was almost worthy of posting a "Tasting Session" on.  I got a bouquet of stone fruit, including plum, cherry and peaches.  On the back end I was overwhelmed by the melon component of the sample.  I didn't get strawberry as others described, but I started to taste a hint of strawberry after sipping on the sample for a while.  I really wanted to taste strawberry in the sample, so I think it was somewhat mentally created. Dmitri stated, "The C2 is quite funky." on his blog, which could be due to a variety of factors.  The picture to the top left is a flask sample that was about 3 weeks old since the last step up.  On the top right is the vile that I received from BKYeast.  I have no idea on the sample original gravity or final gravity but in hindsight I should of taken a reading before pitching.  Normally I make starters in the 1.030 range but this tasted boozy and a little hot.  Not fusel or astringent, I could tell it was a bigger beer. 

In growing up this yeast, I started to increase the yeast cell count the day after I received the yeast in the mail.  Starting in a small 500ml flask.  Working up to a 1000ml flask of slurry.  In total I stepped the yeast up 4 times.  Which I think is needed for a all Brett fermentation.  I decanted the wort off after each step up.  The final sample flask had great clarity and color (picture above) which I hope continues into the final product.

As with other Brett primary fermentation's I added some Flaked Oats into the boil as it was heating, from 172 to 205 or so, adding some mouthfeel into the final product.  On the other Brett beers I've done the primary fermentation takes around 2 to 3 weeks, so I hope to have this beer done around Labor day and kegged quickly after that. 

Bella Sky
Blonde Ale, With C2 Cantillon Iris Brett Dregs
Type: All Grain Date: 8/3/2013
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal Brewer: Chris Lewis
Boil Size: 6.86 gal Asst Brewer:
Boil Time: 60 min Equipment: Lewys Tower
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 73.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 6.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 73.0 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): TBA
Taste Notes:  Please see my "Tasting Notes" on this recipe
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 85.7 %
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (Steeped in Boil 172-205 degrees) Grain 2 9.5 %
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 3 4.8 %
1.00 oz Belma [11.30 %] - First Wort 60.0 min Hop 4 42.7 IBUs
1.00 oz Belma [11.30 %] - Aroma Steep 5.0 min Hop 5 0.0 IBUs
0.50 oz Belma [11.30 %] - Aroma Steep 0.0 min Hop 6 0.0 IBUs
1.0 pkg Cantillon Iris Brettanomyces C2 (BKY Yeast #C2) Yeast 7 -

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.046 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.042 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.007 SG Measured Final Gravity: TBA SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.2 % Actual Alcohol by Vol:TBA %
Bitterness: 42.7 IBUs Calories: TBA kcal/12oz
Est Color: 4.4 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 10 lbs 8.0 oz
Sparge Water: 4.84 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 13.13 qt of water at 170.5 F 158.0 F 75 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.90gal, 2.94gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Pressure/Weight: 10.59 PSI Carbonation Used: Keg with 10.59 PSI
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 41.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
Fermentation Notes
Primary Fermentation: Pitched at 66 degrees, for 2 weeks.  The carboy was moved to the garage (ambient temps, we are in a heat wave.  I'm thinking its around 85 degrees on average)
Created with BeerSmith


  1. Wow, sounds delicious!
    I noticed that these strains give everyone a slightly different flavor profile. I guess that's because they haven't been maintained in continuous culture and are still somewhat "wild and feral."
    Side by side tasting notes would be interesting... Maybe I should send some yeast your way...

    1. Thanks for the comment. I will be sure to send you a bottle or 2 when they are done. Just keep doing what you are doing for the homebrew community.

  2. The beer I brewed with C2 is just about done and I'll be posting a review of it soon. It is definitely the funkiest beer I have ever brewed. The initial strawberry/peach aroma has made way for a funky cheese/ woody aroma. I'm interested to know if you aerated your wort at all? I planned on not aerating but did it as a reflex so I'm curious to see if you end up with a similar result if you did or what your result is if you didn't.

    1. James,

      Thanks for the comment. I am really excited about this batch. Since my starter was stepped up so many times I wonder if it will adapt as yours did? I didn't get any cheese or wood flavors in the flask sample.

      I did not aerate the wort at all. That is my normal procedure on Brett primary beers.

      I wonder if in the future Dmitri should send out yeast samples with a basic recipe to use, then we can see peoples independent results.

    2. I think brewing the same beer would be a good idea in the future for people using Dmitri's samples.

      As far as aromas go I didn't detect any cheese or wood until after it was kegged and was under pressure. Prior to kegging and during fermentation there was a lot of strawberry aroma.

    3. James, That's very interesting. What fermentation temp was it at? Do you have any of those notes?

      I need to edit mine above. I started at 64 for 4 days, its now at 65. I am taking it off temp control on (total) day 7 or Monday. The ambient in my garage is 74 - 80.

    4. Lewy, I was going to ask whether you aerated your batch. I'm curious how long it took for yours to start fermenting, but it sounds like you didn't experience much lag. I just posted notes to my blog ( on my test batch brewed (one with C2 and one with C1) and I've been kind of assuming my fermentation lag was due to lack of aeration. If other people didn't experience that, I'm not sure what might have happened. Sometimes yeast just seem to do whatever they want.

    5. Derek, No aeration on this batch. If you look at my instagram today (Aug 9th) I have a video of the active yeast at 64 degrees. They are rocking in huge clusters.


Thanks for Commenting, Prost!