Looking for a bit of advice on the peat smoked porter extract kit. I’m planning to brew it in a couple weeks but want to up the abv and maybe use Brettanomyces for fermentation. Wondering if adding one (maybe two) pounds of light DME will mess it up too much. The calculator I used said the color won’t be affected too much so that’s good. How about the hops? I imagine I should adjust the amount there, right? Would the peat flavor be reduced from the extra malt? I’m planning to add a bit of scotch for flavor so maybe that would offset any loss of peat flavor/aroma?
As for the Brett fermentation, would you do primary fermentation or would the funk from secondary be welcome in this type of beer? Would it be better to avoid Brett altogether?
Thanks for looking and for any advice you can give me.
Holy funk fest!
First just let me say that I am not a fan of peat smoke at all, and I have only limited experience with Brett. However I do love to experiment with sour/wild ales of all kinds and I’ll try to help as best I can if you want to experiment with these things. If done right I do think it is a beer that could turn out tasty.
You can add the DME, it will make for a much stronger ale. If that’s what you want, then by all means, go for it. Stepping up the hops by about a half ounce (assuming 5 gallons of beer, which might not be correct?) would be a good idea to help maintain some balance.
Don’t worry about dilution of the peat smoke flavor! I can tell you right now that a quarter pound of smoked malt is WAY WAY WAY too much for 5 gallons!!! Literally you will have plenty of flavor if you just use 0.5 to 1.0 ounce in 5 gallons. I would absolutely go no more than 1 ounce!! It is very very strong. Don’t worry, even just 1 ounce will give you plenty of flavor. A half ounce will give you just the slightest hint of flavor. If you use a quarter pound, then your beer will taste like an electrical fire!! You have been warned!!!
I think primary with one of the Brett strains is a fantastic idea. Go for it! Fermentation will take a long time and the beer will evolve a lot over time. Also be aware that there are at least 3 or 4 different kinds of Brett available, and they all taste a bit different. Review the flavor descriptions very carefully when deciding which one you want to use.
Even while I am not very fond of peat smoke flavor, in very very small amounts I do find it interesting, and I do think this beer could turn out very well for you… especially if you listen to my advice of course! Other brewers out there will not agree with my advice, so you will have to carefully consider which advice to follow. I love to experiment, and I have experimented with peat and with Brett a little bit. I will say this: I’ve found that with any special ingredients, I feel it is always better to fail on the safe side than to use too much. Trust me on this. In fact it might even be better on your first shot if you primary with a regular yeast and hit it with Brett later. But, on the other hand, if it were me, I might just dive in and use the Brett up front, to guarantee some major funk!
I sincerely hope everything turns out well for you!
Thanks for the info. I probably should have included the strain I’m planning to use I. The original post: Brett B “Trois.” I originally ordered it for something else but thought this porter would be more interesting. I don’t think the flavor profile will work, though. Brett C might be a better choice for this one?
I think I might take your last suggestion and just use saccharomyces for fermentation.
Just FYI, there’s some recent evidence that WL’s Brett B Trois is actually a sacch yeast. This would be why not a lot of people get much Brett character when used in secondary. For a porter, I think brett C would be a good idea and possibly more historically accurate.