Thursday, February 12, 2015

Tasting Notes: NOT-Brett Trois Riverwards IPA

Various Riverwards wort fermenting in my very cool crawlspace.
As if 100% Brett fermented beers weren't already misunderstood enough it turns out WLP644 Brettanomyces Bruxellensis Trois is actually Saccharomyces and not a strain of Brettanomyces. This is not breaking news to a lot of folks, and the point of this post is not to go into the specifics, the DNA sequencing stuff goes over my head anyway. If you're looking for more you can read more in depth analysis Here, or Here

I was excited to bring home 20 gallons of Riverwards IPA wort to split off into unique fermentations. With five gallons of that wort being pitched with some 2nd generation Brett Trois, then only two days later rumors started to swirl on the Milk The Funk Facebook group of the misidentification. Like most folks I was skeptical at first, but as more in depth analysis was performed the original rumors would all but be confirmed. one of the most widely used Brett strains for primary fermentations was not Brett after at all but plain old Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. The question is, should we care?


There seems to be two reactions to the news, there is the "Who cares, it makes great beer" camp, of which I am a member, and the "Wow this changes everything" camp, oh yea I'm in that one to. I'm of the opinion that Trois is one of the best strains to use in hoppy beers, as good if not better than Conan, and I will continue to use it in that way as I have now for some time. It has the ability to throw off tons of unique fruity esters that pair very well with aggressive new age hops we all love to use these days. For that reason I will not only continue to use it as I have despite the taxonomy, but will encourage non Brett users to explore the strain now that its being reclassified.


On the other hand, the brewing community was making some serious progress on defining what 100% Brett beer can be and educating the consumer on those facts. I come across people often who note that a 100% Brett beer is missing the "barnyard aromas" classically associated with Brett. This stems from a misunderstanding of how versatile Brett can be, both in primary and as a secondary fermenter. I realize that there are many other strains of Brett that homebrewers and commercial brewers use in primary but this is one of the most popular. So when it comes to the exploration of 100% Brett beer, this is a major setback.


Enough of the Op-ed junk, the beer in question here is awesome, I said I love this strain didn't I? I changed this one up from the Conan base version of the beer, besides the Trois, and dry hopped with 3 ounces each of Mosaic and Citra. I guess that doesn't make for a great side by side comparison but I love getting multiple beers out of one brewday, and this one will eventually have 5 variations in the end.


Below is the hop schedule, from boil through dry hop, for the beer I tasted in this post.

Boil: 60min - 0.25 oz CTZ [17.00 %] - 16.1 IBUs
Boil: 15min - 1 Whirlfloc Tablet + 1 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
Boil:  5min - 1.25 oz Amarillo [8.90 %] - 7.7 IBUs
Boil:  5min - 1.25 oz Citra [14.50 %] - 12.5 BUs
45 Minute Whirlpool 185f - 1.50 oz Amarillo [8.90 %] - 1.7 IBUs
30 Minute Whirlpool 185f - 1.50 oz Citra [14.50 %] - 2.2 IBUs
Dry Hop: 5 days - 3.00 oz Mosaic [12.50 %] 

Dry Hop: 5 days - 3.00 oz Citra [12.00 %]

Brett Trois Riverwards IPA

Appearance: Hazy golden orange, honestly...same color as almost all of my beers. Thick fluffy head on top that just hangs around the whole time, intense lacing on the glass. Unsurprisingly looks no different than the Conan version.


Aroma: Intensely tropical, guava, papaya, pineapple, with a faint background dank note that is a bit more present as the glass warms. The aroma is sharp and assertive, no mistaking the Trois or the Mosaic in this beer they are both the stars here. It reminds me of the fruit smoothies from Jamba Juice all of the servers at a trendy martini bar I used to work at would drink, they lived on that shit.


Flavor: Light bitterness as is customary in how I like these beers, less bitter than the Conan version which I attribute to that beer being much drier (Conan= 1.007, Trois= 1.012FG). Nice creamy texture across the tongue, as it his the back of your mouth it hints at dryness then the creamy tropical juice character comes back. The finish is like a Orange/Pineapple juice mix, so drinkable.

Final Thoughts: I love Mosaic, and I love Trois paired with tons of hops so this is my jam. Its a good little change up from the base version with Conan, and actually fairly different. I shared a growler of this with John from 2nd Story he found it unique, and very juicy, to the point that he is considering playing with Trois, so long as he was sure its Saccharomyces.

Whats amazing to me about Trois, good or bad, is that despite all of the hops in this beer it is unmistakably a Brett Trois beer. Trois can dominate a beer if you don't support it with complimentary flavors, in this case tons of hops. But if you can pair it with aggressive hopping it can bring together a very complex hoppy beer.

Hopefully White Labs announces this strain is Saccharomyces soon so that brewers who would normally be hesitant to brew with Brett can start to explore this great strain. Those that normally brew with Brett and now are less interested in the strain might want to think again, Trois will always have a home in my hoppy beers.


19 comments:

  1. Great stuff, Ed. I'm solidly in the "who-gives-a-shit-just-make-beer" camp myself and definitely plan to pick up some Trois for some experimentation soon. Hopefully, White Labs starts packaging it with the typical sacch count of 100bil cells ;)

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    1. It will interesting to see White Labs data on the strain, should be very informative.

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  2. Nice post... I've never used it before, but coincidentally have a friend making an order online, so I had just decided to get one myself! Now, for a recipe...

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    1. Anything hop forward with Oats, Wheat, Rye etc and youre good. Cheers!

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    2. Hop forward? Yeah, I think I can manage that! Hope to do one soon, I'll let you know...

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  3. so does this strain take any longer than a normal yeast to ferment out?

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    1. It doesnt, it works as quick as most Sacchromyces strains out there. I normally do a 10-14 day primary.

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  4. Thanks for this post, great read. Has inspired me to brew later today with WLP644 with a view to go 100% Brett very soon. Just a quick question regarding recipe, I have the malt bill sorted as per your recipe (would it be beneficial to add a touch of rye?) but regarding the hops, I have about 3.5oz each of citra, mosaic & simcoe and some Columbus for bittering....is this right?
    1) Is the simcoe going to add a lot or is it worth leaving out and using some more Columbus later on for 'dank'ness?
    2) What kind of additions would I use? Just kinda confused from the original recipe and the one you used here, did you just add mosaic at dry-hop? Would some at flameout be good?

    many thanks

    Russ

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  5. Awesome, WLP644 is a great yeast, especially in hoppy beers. The Rye is up to you, it'll add some body and a spice note to the beer, personal preference. So this beer just had a change in the dry hops, the rest of the boil hops were the same as the original. Below is the hop schedule, from boil through dry hop, for the beer I tasted in this post.

    Boil: 60min - 0.25 oz CTZ [17.00 %] - 16.1 IBUs
    Boil: 15min - 1 Whirlfloc Tablet + 1 tsp Wyeast Yeast Nutrient
    Boil: 5min - 1.25 oz Amarillo [8.90 %] - 7.7 IBUs
    Boil: 5min - 1.25 oz Citra [14.50 %] - 12.5 BUs
    45 Minute Whirlpool 185f - 1.50 oz Amarillo [8.90 %] - 1.7 IBUs
    30 Minute Whirlpool 185f - 1.50 oz Citra [14.50 %] - 2.2 IBUs
    Dry Hop: 5 days - 3.00 oz Mosaic [12.50 %]
    Dry Hop: 5 days - 3.00 oz Citra [12.00 %]

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  6. I updated the post to reflect that.

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  7. Thanks Ed, that's great. I'm gonna do a hybrid of your recipe and the one on Lewybrewing's blog (as I have no Amarillo to hand mainly). Regarding the flaked oats, I noticed he only only adds to the kettle between 176 to 210 and removes....is this same as you would do?

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    1. I just mash the Oats as normal, his process is used to add body for 100% Brett beers since Brett cannot create glycerol.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. I am planning a Conan vs Trois split IPA. What temperature do you ferment the Trois to get the best tropical flavor?

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    1. Mid to high 70's always works well for me. Its a pretty resilient strain though.

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  10. Hi Ed, great blog first and foremost! Im using 644 for the first time on an IPA, im fermenting at a controlled 26C. My question is what temp do you dry hop at? I usually ferment my clean ale strains t 19C and dry hop at the same temp. Im thinking 26C maybe to warm to dry hop without causing interesting results?
    Cheers!

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    1. Hi Harley, I normally try to dry hop at 20-22C, I dont go any higher than that.

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