Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mo' Betta Bretta Batch #1 Final Tasting

After doing a tasting of my second attempt at cloning Mo' Betta Bretta, I thought it was time to do a tasting of my first attempt (the recipe was the first post on this blog). The first and second batches were very similar, the only major changes were the strain of Brett (Brett C for batch #1, and Brett A for batch #2), and the way the acid/sauer malt was added (to the main mash at the start of the sparge for batch #1, separately for batch #2).

After how oxidized the second batch tasting was I didn't have high hopes for this one, but it pulled through. One of the two recipe changes (or another uncontrolled process variable) was the flap of the butterfly's wings that sent these two batches in completely different directions over their two years in the bottle. There is always a bit of luck involved in brewing, particularly in 100% Brett beers, and this is just one of those times when things worked out.

Sadly I don't have any of the first batch's dried cherry Pinot noir portion left to sample (most of it was sent out for the BBB 100% Brett swap).

Mo' Betta Bretta Clone Batch #1 - Tasting 8/21/09

Appearance - Brilliantly clear golden with a thin white head. The carbonation keeps the head inflated, but it is not as voluminous as it was in the beer's youth. It took some time to clear, but this is a beautiful beer now.

Aroma - Terrific stone fruit aroma (peaches and apricot in particular). This would make a great base for a fruit beer with one of those. Luckily no sign of the oxidation that plagued the considerably younger bottle of Batch #2 I had a few weeks back. There is some musty/barnyard funk that this batch has always had, but it is just a subtle complexity compared to what it was when the beer only had a couple months in the bottle.

Taste - The flavor is very nice, lightly tart and crisp. The apricot carries over from the nose and is joined by some cherry. The flavor is just a bit sweeter than I recall, by now basically all of the bitterness has faded. A well rounded flavor that gets funkier as it warms (but never unpleasantly so). No malt character and just a slight breadiness from the malt.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation gives it some lightness, but the beer still has a medium body (probably from the oats). I remember it feeling a bit lighter in the past, but it is fine as is.

Drinkability/Notes - It was no chore to down the entire bomber on a warm evening. The combination of complexity and drinkability makes this an excellent beer. Maybe a bit past its prime, but still in very good shape considering that it is a pale, moderate gravity beer that was brewed 30 months ago. I had forgotten how good these 100% Brett beers can be, I'll have to do another run of them sometime soon.


wakingupdrunk said...

i made a couple of 100% brett beers last fall and i only have a few bottles of 1 batch left. it as done with brett b and while its not even close to 30 months old, it still tastes very fresh. it was also my favorite of the bunch (brett c, b, l) and recently i've been wanting to brew up some more too. where did you get brett a? i've never seen it around.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Wyeast used to sell Brett A, sadly they discontinued it right around the time I brewed my second Mo Betta Bretta Clone (spring 2007).

Glad to hear the Brett B worked well, not sure if I will try it or Brett L next.

Tim said...

I brewed a Brett L beer last December and I can't say I would use it again. While it's technically fine and has interesting aroma and flavor, it just isn't a good drinking beer. The best use I've found for it is blending in the glass to funk up a saison, barleywine, or even stout.

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

Did you use the Brett L from Wyeast or White Labs? I have heard that the White Labs version is much funkier while the Wyeast tends towards cherry pie. Dan (City Brewer) did an excellent 100% Wyeast Brett L stout.

Jeff said...

I did an all brett c beer and it came out great! I used wyeast brett c, two of my buddies used white labs brett c and their beers are still finishing up so we will be doing a side-by-side tasting. Mine is somewhat tart, with great apricot-like flavors and aromas, I also used all amarillo hops so that may have something to do with it as well.

I hope they release brett a again soon.

Tim said...

I used the Wyeast strain. I hoped for that big cherry pie flavor but is more thick and lambic-like without any acidity. I just remembered somebody on the BBB (probably Al B) saying you need a huge pitch rate for the cherry pie effect.

Details of the beer here:

Dan said...

Tim, I have varying levels of cherry pie in my stout, each bottle is different and ever evolving.
Mike seems to have had good results getting more acidity by adding Acidulated malt to the mash/sparge. You could also try hitting it with a pack of Lacto for 16-24hrs before pitching the Brett. FWIW, I made a .5 then 3L starter for mine.