100 %* Brett * IPA, Check Out The Big Brain on Brett!

To be up front, I got busy around the house and while my brewing hasn’t really slowed, my blogging obviously has. This brew day was done on November 25th. It is a pseudo clone of Michael Tonsmeire’s 100% Brett Trois IPA, with a different hop schedule due to a lack of Citra and a lack of a hopback. Of course, the big news that happened while I was fermenting this is that WLP644 may not be Brettanomyces at all. You can read all about that here, here, and just about anywhere else homebrewing is discussed.  Bottom line is that this is still an awesome yeast to use, and a change of classification doesn’t change it’s properties or flavour contribution to an awesome tropical IPA.

I started with a stepped starter way back on November 5, pitching into 350 ml on the stire plate and letting it go for 5 days before stepping up to 1.5 litres, for another week. I reserved 500ml of this for future use, but I think I should have done an additional step as will be revealed later, as I did not pitch enough cells.

The hops for this were Chinook, Centennial and a huge amount of Mosaic in a 20 minute steep for a target of 90 IBUs. I also added aciduated malt to the mash because according to Tonsmeire it aids the Brett in creating fruity esters, specifically ethyl lactate. Due to some small astringency/tanic issues in Don Juan IPA I think that my mash PH is getting north of good as well. Recipe after the break.

Beersmith Recipe

Target OG: 1.064

Target IBU: 90

Target Colour: 12-13 EBC, 6-6.5 SRM

Grain Bill

  • 81.5% Maris Otter
  • 10% Malted Wheat
  • 5% Carared
  • 3.5% Acid Malt

Mash at 153 for 75 minutes.

Hop Schedule

  • 28 IBU Magnum @60 
  • 20 minute steep with 28 IBUs Mosaic, 17 IBUs Centennial and 21 IBUs Chinook
  • Dry hop with 25g Mosaic, 20g Simcoe and 15g Grams Chinook for 5 days.


Pitched 1 litre of WLP644 Starter, after 12 days gravity had stalled at 1.019, probably a combination of higher mash temp and too small a pitch. I had a Vermont Ale Yeast starter spinning on the stirplate, so I dumped about 250ml directly in, strapped ona  heating belt and let sit for 5 more days, dropping the gravity to 1.012. I racked to secondary,, dry hopped with a weighted bag and managed to drop the gravity a further 2 points to 1.010. Not ideal, but fine. Bottled for 2.5 vols of CO2

I tasted the final hydrometer sample before adding priming sugar. It’s all there pineapple, mango, and the awesome hop combo melding togther. The massive calculated bitterness is really smooth, it’s going to be great. Furthermore, the acid malt seems to have solved the astringency issue, the beer was super smooth. Too bad it won’t be drinkable until the end of January.


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