Well, we are finally releasing our first Brett beer 🙂 After lots of experimenting and nothing to share with you, we have three batches in bottles. And with each batch of Farmhouse Houblon we tried something a little different. These are not beers that spent time aging in foudres or oak barrels. Here is a brief summary of the three batches:
Batch 1: Saison yeast and two strains of Brett. 7% ABV.
Batch 2: Saison yeast and three strains of Brett. 7% ABV.
Batch 3: Saison yeast and one strain of Brett. 6.3% ABV.
We will be printing the batch number on the labels so you know which one you are drinking. The dry-hop on each batch is identical, as are the types of malt used. The objective here was to create a Brett beer that did not require extensive aging in oak or stainless steel, and would have a similar price to our “standard” beers. Even though it’s not aged in oak, it’s not super-quick to produce as it requires months of re-fermentation in the bottle. We are not priming the beers with sugar and using brewer’s yeast to bottle condition – we are letting the Brett ferment the beers completely dry, so that there are essentially no residual sugars left in the bottle. This takes a little extra time to accomplish.
Bottle conditioning is new to us – everything we have produced up to now has been force carbonated. The temperature is usually kept quite low in the warehouse during the winter – too low for some Brett strains to do their job. So, we had to build a temporary warm-room to keep the beer at a suitable temperature for bottle conditioning. And having extra pallets of beer in the building is a challenge too – if you have been to the brewery, you know that we are completely out of space, so this something we need to work on.
Same thing with equipment. As much as we LOVE bottling Brett beers by hand, we are going to invest in a new bottling machine so that we can produce more Brett & sour beers, more efficiently. You basically need two sets of everything: fermenters, bottling tanks, pumps, hoses, valves, gaskets, bottling machines – if you want to produce “clean” and “wild” beers under the same roof without any cross-contamination. It’s a brewery within a brewery!
Hope you like the new beer – more to come in the near future 😉