Friday, August 17, 2012

Re-education Series: Citra/Galaxy Wild Pale Ale

After only an hour the
klaussen was growing.
As a connoisseur of beer nothing else grates on me like untrue statements about beers. Some of my favorites are: "I don't like craft beer, it's bitter." "I don't like dark beers, they're so heavy.""All beer tastes the same why why are you buying that craft shit." "I like craft beer,...Corona is my favorite." "Are you too good for American Beer" says the guy drinking a Budweiser.

What is to be done? I'll tell you! The answer is Reeducation. A series of reeducation beers whose main goal is to offer an enhanced characteristic to your target audience. Find out what I started with after the break!

(please read more after the break.)

Myth #1: "Brettanomyces is an infection, and is undesirable."

This idea comes from several places. I've read pages of 'flame' posts about infected barrel aged beers which feature a secondary brett infection. I like this flavor, I think it dries the sweetness out a bit and often adds to the flavors already present in the beer. Low levels of lactobacillus and pediococcus can be okay as well. They may be unintended by the brewer but I don't find them to be necessarily terrible. Brettanomyces is also considered a fault in some wines. So wine connoisseurs might find the flavor objectionable in beer.

To reeducate my close friends I'll be brewing an enhanced pale ale with citra and galaxy hops. The target ibu for this beer will be around 40. My secret weapon in reeducating my friends will be Brettanomyces Clustersianus(the other Brett C). That strain of wonderful brett is said to have aromas of pine-apple, peach, and citrus. The combination of hop flavors and aromas with the yeast should be killer. I don't want to overpower the yeast so I am going to keep the IBU low and the late hopping reasonable. I love massive additions of hops at the end of the boil and dry hopping things like crazy, but I also want the yeast to be at least perceivable if not apparent.

The Flavors at play in this beer will be Brettanomyces Clustersianus which offers "this species of Brett displays a strong ester profile of mango, pine-apple, and peach esters with limited to no barnyard funk. Acidity is likely to increase over time." (Al Buck, ECY). I have profiled Citra Hops before. Galaxy hops on the other hand are relatively new to me, "it contributes a distinctive clean citrus and passionfruit character which is more striking and intense the later the addition." I feel as though that combination will play well with the brettanomyces. The underlying grain should be nearly neutral as I stuck to the 90-5-5 formula I use for IPAs.

Recipe Specifications:
Boil Size: 5.91 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 4.50 gal
Estimated OG: 1.045 SG
Estimated Color: 6.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 39.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Total Grain Weight: 7 lbs 13.0 oz

7 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) 89.6 %      
6.5 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) 5.2 %      
6.5 oz Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) (60.0 SRM) 5.2 %      
0.20 oz Citra [11.4 %] - Boil 60.0 min 9.6 IBUs  
0.70 oz Galaxy [12.0 %] - Boil 17.0 min 19.2 IBUs  
0.80 oz Galaxy [12.0 %] - Boil 7.0 min 12.7 IBUs  
0.50 oz Citra [11.4 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs    
0.50 oz Galaxy [12.0 %] - Boil 0.0 min 0.0 IBUs    
1.0 pkg ECY Brett Clustersianus          

Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Medium Body, Batch Sparge
Mash In: Add 10.76 qt of water at 162.6 for 152.0 for 60 min      
Sparge: Batch sparge with 1 steps (4.41gal) of 168.0 F water

Brew Day:
The Brewday went fine, things went quickly. I made all my times and finished up in about 6 hours.


  1. Hey Don,

    I just did an all-Brett C pale with Simcoe, Amarillo, Citra. Interested to hear what temperature you fermented at? I didn't have room in my fermentation fridge so it went off at ~75F. Hopefully it didn't throw off too much spice, etc., going to taste some today so we'll see.


  2. It is currently fermenting in a closet at room temp + fermentation free rise. In my experiance all brett primary fermentation doesn't kick off that much additional flavor. I did an initial one gallon batch with Brett L in a belgian pale ale and I was disapointed with the lack of funk. I decided to let my other 2 white labs experiments age for an additional few month to get as much from primary fermentation as possible.

    I'll be kegging and drinking this one in 3 weeks if fermentation is finished. Look for a review soon!