Monday, May 21, 2012

Brett B Trois

White Labs came out with a new Platinum offering: Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois.  It contains three different strains (correction: two different strains; see Jeff's comment below-thanks, Jeff!) of Brett B in a single vial and is meant for 100% Brett fermentations.  Their timing was pretty much perfect for me.  Chad Yakobson wrote the title article in this month's Zymurgy about the potential of Brett as a primary fermenter and shared some recipes for 100% Brett beers modified for homebrewers from his own experiences as the mastermind behind Crooked Stave.  Chad's recipe for an all Brett Baltic Porter really caught my eye.  The best lager I've ever made was a Baltic Porter, and it has become one of my favorite homebrews.  So I decided to brew Chad's recipe with some small changes to make it my own.  I used Nelson Sauvin hops instead of Chad's recommendation of Glacier.  I figure the clean cold fruitiness that Nelson is known for has its place in a Baltic Porter fermented with Brett, especially since the Brett B Trois has a pretty similar flavor reputation.  Chad's recipe considers Brett's penchant for eating away almost any and every thing with an -ose suffix by incorporating flaked oats as mouthfeel compensation.  I added honey to provide some additional fermentables and flavor/aromatic complexity.  Here's my version of Chad's recipe:

9 hours after pitching the Brett B Trois starter.
I had the chance to listen to Chad speak at NHC 2011.  One of the most interesting things I learned from his lecture (and from his radio appearance on the BN and reading his writing online and in Zymurgy) is the way that combining different strains of Brett adds desirable complexity.  Brett B Trois makes this conveniently possible.  I also followed Chad's direction in the creation of a proper Brett starter, allowing it almost nine full days of fermentation before pitching it into the Baltic Porter wort.  The result was one of the most violent and rapid fermentations I've experienced as a homebrewer.

Pooling at the bottom of the fermentation chamber.
 On the day I brewed this beer, Lewy came by and brought me a taste of his 100% Brett C Pioneer Series Citra beer that was still fermenting (it's gravity was at 1.030).  It looked, smelled and tasted like doctored fruit juice.  There was distinct tropical fruit notes (heavy pineapple and over-ripe mango and papaya) in both the aroma and flavor.  It was about as far away from tasting like what I know to be beer as is possible, but I liked it, even though it was unfinished.  It's potential is one of the most exciting things about it.  I can only hope that my beer does something similarly revolutionary when it meets my palette.


  1. Where did you find that it is 3 strains? I'm pretty sure it is 2 strains (per Chad Y's paper) and the name Trois is referring to Drie Fonteinen, from which the strains were isolated.

    The beer sounds great. I made a similar beer last year, that is my favorite beer I've brewed. -

    I look forward to hearing about your results.

    1. When I bought the vial at Home Brew Mart, the employee I was purchasing ingredients from explained that it had three different Brett Brux yeast strains in a single vial. It sounds like you know more about it than they (or I) do.

      Just reread your post. Were you glad that you chose to add the oak to your Old Ale?

    2. Ok, they might know something I don't, that is why I was curious. I'll ask the girl I know from White Labs about it.

      I really enjoy oak in my beers and I thought it went very well with the beer. You could always split a batch, since these types of beers are very neat to try young and then every month as they will change considerably. I'm bummed I only made 8 total bottles of the Old Ale and now only 4 left. I'm going to re-brew it this Fall.

      Oh, I'm going to send you and Lewy an email about tasting beers on June 9th or 10th. Hopefully one of those days will work.

    3. I have a hunch that you're probably right. Do you have a link to the paper Chad wrote on the topic? I'd be excited to peruse it.

      I appreciate the insight on the oaking. Maybe I'll try something similar. It's a realm of brewing that I have limited experience with.

      Of course I'm interested in tasting some (any, every, many) beers. My last day of work is June 1. I'm sure I'll be able to work something out.

    4. Here is link to the paper -


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