Brewed: Brett Backspin Belgian Pale Ale

Bad grain crush due to putting the drill in reverse.

Bad grain crush due to putting the drill in reverse.

After having the last bottle of the first batch of Brett Backspin Belgian Pale Ale about 45 days ago, I kept kicking myself in the rear for not brewing again before batch one was no more. I didn’t think that far ahead. Time to brew round two but how to make it better?

For the aforementioned 45 days before the brew day I ran scenarios through my head on to make this round a bit different but not stray too far away from the original. One simple solution: add Brettanomyces lambicus to the Brettanomyces claussenii that I used last time.

I created two 1 liter starters for each of the Brett strains. For the first time I tried using a flask for one of the starters. Once I started to chill the starter it became apparent that the flask wasn’t go to cool off as easy as my typical kitchen pot. I don’t use thermometers for starters as I have always been a good gauge of temperature. The flask changed everything. I don’t think I ever got the temperature down and the yeast never took off. I decided to forgo the Brett lambicus on brew day. At least I should have another good Brett beer to last me.


I milled the grains in a hurry. Chuck was over and wanted the mill back. I grabbed the mill, weighed the grains and brought it all outside with the drill. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the drill was in reverse. I figured it still rotated, didn’t check the grain, assuming that it should have been cracked. About 50% of the grain was milled in this fashion. Dumb ass. On brew day, as I poured the grain into the mash tun, I noticed that half of the grain kernels weren’t cracked. Crap. I kept with the schedule, doing everything as planned. The aroma was great but the efficiency, as expected suffered (see below).

I only have a couple of months to wait to see if this beer turns out. I think it will but when I rack to secondary I am going to grab some of the yeast and brew again. I should write a book: Brew Like A Moron. I have an enormous repertoire and skills in the subject matter. Enjoy!

General Information:
Brew Date: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Brettanomyces classenii
Yeast Starter: 1 liter
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.00
Original Gravity: 1.039
IBU: 25.3
Color: 7.0 SRM
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Brewhouse Efficiency: HORRIBLE
Alcohol by Volume: 4.0%
Primary Fermentation: 28 days @68*F
Secondary Fermentation: 120 days @68*F

Grain Bill:
9.50# Pilsner
1.00# Munich
0.25# Caramunch
0.25# Aromatic

Saccharification Rest @ 153.3*F for 60 minutes.

Hop Bill:
1.50 ounces Fuggles (4.5%) @90 minutes
0.50 ounces Fuggles (4.5%) @15 minutes

1.0 tsp Irish Moss @ 15 min.
1.0 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 min.

Useless Fact: American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served in first-class.

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