Brettanomyces Custersianus Best Bitter

Here we go with an impromptue tasting of a happy accident.

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Colour: murky golden orange with heaps of yeast in suspension. Creamy mousse like head that drops quite quickly but lasts and clings.

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Aroma: huge hoppy mixture herbal mint,pepper,floral,marmalade,orange,lemon peel,pineapple,peach mix of chewy juicy fruit with slight Brettiness.
There are no off flavours despite starting the fermentation at 16c and letting it free raise to 29.5c.

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Taste: slight herbal mint mix from Northern Brewer with a hint of spice I am attributing to the Brett.
The bitterness is beautiful with a slight clinging bite with the after swallow inbreath. It clings to the palate for the duration.
Thick cut marmalade with lemon peel,pineapple,mango and peach.
Malty biscuity backbone just there like a backing band to a famous solo artist.

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I cannot say enough about the big chewy juicy sweet fruity sensation that seems to drip down the inside of my mouth and form a protective layer. It is a wonderful thing that comes from great hop profile(Styrian Goldings C late in the boil) and Brett fermentations.

There is even a slight,fleeting hint of mushroom.

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I am now kicking myself for not fermenting the whole bloody batch with Brett Custers.
For an afterthought to propogate some more Brett with extra wort,this was a great surprise.
At drinking,the beer is two weeks old,with one week in the bottle already.
Downside: only 2.5 ltr of it,all of which now gone.

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Blackman Saison with A4

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I was re-listening to The Sour Hour whilst on my way to physio during my “summer holiday” this April when I started like a bulldog sitting on a hornet.
I heard very brief mention about a company supplying dried yeast/Lacto/Pedio blends in The States.

Well,I had to find out about this ASAP,and started to obsess,as I am want to do.

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Barrett runs this operation,hell he IS this operation,and a multi award winning homebrewer from Texas!
I managed to make contact with him through Facebook and was redirected to his website.

I ordered a pack each of A4 and B4 to split with Mr Styles and kept on bugging Barrett for info along the way. Lucky for me he is a great bloke who was forthcoming with answers to all my questions.

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Following Barrett’s recipe advice I threw together a “Saison-esque” recipe for an eight litre batch.

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Shooting for an OG of 1.050 (which I hit on the head);
Pilsner malt 26%
Vienna malt 54%
Wheat malt 14%
Oats(fine cut) 6%
Hops; 18 IBUs of Herkules,15@60 minutes and 3@ 20 minutes.

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I brewed at night,removed the hops and let the wort cool overnight. The following morning I used an ice bath to cool the wort down to 18c ,pitched and set the FVs in my fermentation fridge set at 21c.
It sat thus for one week.
In Barrett’s original advice I had been told to primary for a week and then bring up to room temperature for a couple of weeks for “acid production”.
At the one week mark I took both FVs out and let raise to ambient temperatures in my house-29.5c for two weeks.

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I then cocked up by forgetting to tske FG readings and bottled in 630ml bottles with 3.6gr of table sugar per bottle.

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Initial tastings were a let down to say the least. But,I do tend to get into my beer early on,so one or two weeks in the bottle may not have been enough.
It tasted like a cross over between P.J Fruh and hefeweizen. No tartness to be found.

A week later I gave a few bottles to my in-laws. They loved it. They picked up tartness where I did not.
I may have suffered from a lactic acid perception shift.

I had the last bottle last weekend and it was coming along nicely. The carbonation was way up. The tartness was there,yet to me very subdued.

I will rebrew and pitch the slurry,this time taking the primary temps up and giving it longer to bulk age.

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Bkackman Saison tasting notes

Colour; pale golden with absolute clarity,not unlike a lager.

Aroma; clean malt/cereal with hints of sweetness and a mix of Witbier(changed a little) and PJ Fruh.
Hint of banana,a la Hefeweizen.

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Flavour; sweet yet dry and quenching with clear taste of Vienna/Pils malt.
Great carbonation washes over the palate,bringing with it just a hint of tartness,banana,clove,breakfast cereal and maice.
Non of the flavours linger for long,leaving the sweet malt alone at last.

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Sour Viennese Cabin Blend 1 tasting

All hail the return of crappy dark pictures!

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The second tasting from my S.V. wort.
Colour; deep sunny orange,pale copper with hints of amber. Poured with a beautiful frothy three finger head,which fell quicker than a let down souffle,leaving a sparse covering,yet more than CB2.

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Aroma; musty sherbert,old cheese,stale re-heated bread,hay,over-ripe pears and under-ripe peaches.
Has a cherry pie/tinned blueberry cheesecake filling thing going on.
Hint of mouthwash and acidity.
This is to Funk,what CB2 was to sour! The cow hath been milked dry of the funk!

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Taste; mild(he said!) acidity that is just enough to pleasing,yet not brash. This is followed by a big Brett C and Brett B profile.

Dried pear and apricot,boiled sweets like the “Herbals” I bought as a child in Shropshire.

A hint of both Cider and Shiraz mixed with a little pink/white pepper and a touch of dried out old ham sandwich(yummy!).

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The acidity is just enough to linger and keep the palate alive and coated with a wonderful “Orval-esque” Brett flavour that also has an almost forgotten whisper of Cantillon.
This baby is Bretty,oh she is going to change her name to Brettina the Funk Princess!

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I get a hint of Rose Keemun/Earl Grey tea as she warms.
What a beauty of a beer she is. No way could she be accused of being one dimensional.
I may well throw the dregs of a few of these into a starter and pitch into my Lent Saison,to be put down over the three months of Buddhist Lent.

Again,thank you very much Ethan for making this pissible.

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