Monday, June 2, 2014

My first Commercial Brew day with Epic Brewing and The Lauter-day Brewers

A few months back my home brew club got an invitation to do a collaboration beer with Salt Lake Citys Epic Brewing for their gastro pub The Annex. The club decided to turn the collab into a competition.  With close to 40 members it would be difficult to come to any consensus so we randomly created 5 groups. Each group was tasked with coming up with 2 beers to submit to a testing panel made up of Epic brewers. The rules were to use ingredients from their inventory, keep it at 4% or under (Utah draft beer law). and turn it all around in just over 30 days.

It was a really fun event and my group ended up brewing 7 beers in a single day! We brewed 3 different variations of a wit and 2 variations of white IPA.  We also did two all brett pale ales. The wits turned out being too experimental and needing some refinement. The white IPAs were both pretty good. One of the brett beers was not good, and one was excellent. My group ended up presenting a white IPA and an all brett pale ale with Citra and Amarillo.

Epic narrowed it down to two beers, the brett pale with citra and amarillo and a hibiscus wheat from another team. Epic's head brewer, Kevin Crompton, liked the hibiscus beer a little more, but due to the non-beer ingredient the beer would need approvals and that would have pushed out the brew date too far. So the brett pale ale is what was brewed.

It seems to me that this beer will have much more appeal and will give many people their first taste of an all brett beer like this. Most of the time when people think of an all brett beer they think of funk, barn, dryness, and other things that are present in beers that have used brett in some portion of the fermentation or conditioning of a beer. This type of beer is not like that at all. When Trois is handled just like it's sacch yeast, it produces a beer that has almost none of the flavor traditionally associated with brett. Instead there is a flood of ripe tropical fruit flavors and aromas.

About the beer

I have done a number of all brett beers using the super tropical brux trois. This is probably my favorite beer I brew,  but I have never done one at 4% and I normally put little to no hops in the boil. For this one we went for a more traditional pale ale. The grain bill we used is from another non-brett 4% pale I have brewed The only change was made because of the low ABV and brett's inability to produce much if any glycol. We we added 10% rye malt to help with the perception of body. In my other brett pales I use white wheat which also really works well. Water was adjusted slightly to increase bitterness and we mashed at 157-8 to create our own dextrins.

For our brew day at the annex we followed the recipe very closely. The big difference was the use of 25% RO water, and no other mineral additions. A 45 minute mash instead of 60, and the use of BSI Brux Drie instead of the white labs Brux Trois.

The beer should be getting dry hopped right now and will be ready to be served at the annex in a week or two.

Here is a link to the original recipe

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