Colapuy Defendue - collaboration brew with Mont Saleve

Francais

In the autumn of 2016 the endlessly creative Michael Novo from La Brasserie du Mont Saleve made the journey from the mountains of Haute Savoie to the lowlands of tropical Picardy (l'Oise) for a collaboration brew.

We wanted to try a 100% Brettanomyces fermentation which neither brewery had attempted before. I had kept alive the Orval-derived Brettanomyces Bruxellensis culture that had been used in the Time and Tide brew with Grand Paris and upon tasting a glass of beer that resulted from this propagation Michael had the idea of cutting up and adding freshly harvested Colapuy apples to the glass. This variety of small red apple originally from Crimea is well adapted to the Picardy orchards and can be used in cider production. It is less popular than before due to its small size and the unreliable annual harvest. The apples are however very juicy and aromatic.

We brewed a golden ale @ 1052 original gravity (13°Plato) with pale ale, light munich and acid malts and around 15% flaked oats; hopping was fairly discreet at around 25IBUs. The primary fermentation was very long and steady and a test of patience and even faith for a British brewer! After three weeks with the gravity near 1009 the beer was chilled to leave some fermentable sugars for a slow secondary fermentation is casks with the addition of apple juice.

Brew in motion

Brew in motion

Brettanomyces strain used for primary fermentation. Notice the Brett polymorphism (cells are all different shapes)

Brettanomyces strain used for primary fermentation. Notice the Brett polymorphism (cells are all different shapes)

Pulling a sample from a cask infused with the same strain

Pulling a sample from a cask infused with the same strain

About a month later a viisit to a Picardy Cidrerie to collect freshly pressed apple juice

About a month later a viisit to a Picardy Cidrerie to collect freshly pressed apple juice

Mashed colapuy apples left overnight before pressing to allow oxidation

Mashed colapuy apples left overnight before pressing to allow oxidation

About 75 litres of apple juice was collected and allowed to start fermenting for a few days before being split into 3 casks with the addition of the base beer. This contributed fermentable sugar as well as some indigenous microorganisms from the apples.

Some exotic looking microbes from the (unwashed / unpasteurised) Colapuy apple juice including Kloekera yeast and perhaps some non yeast entities?

Some exotic looking microbes from the (unwashed / unpasteurised) Colapuy apple juice including Kloekera yeast and perhaps some non yeast entities?

The fermentables from the apple juice and those left over from the brewery wort were consumed over the next couple of months before a period of inactivity during the winter.. With the arrival of spring the beer reawoke for a late flurry before going silent. A final gravity reading of just under 1°Plato was judged low enough to bottle the beer without too much fear of exploding bottles. Fresh yeast + sugar was added for bottle conditioning and the beer at last ready to taste at the end of May.

The final result presents an inviting golden ale with notes of fresh apple and farmhouse cider; the apple juice and barrel ageing have lent a certain roundness to the original beer. With a bit of time in the glass the initial cidery aromas give way to a more rustic / farmhouse character from the Brett. However as is apparently the case when using Brett in a primary fermentation the wild character is not overstated.  The finish is relatively dry with a dash of spices.

Initial tastings point to an obvious pairing with the classic French desert Tarte Tatin ideally served with Madagascar vanilla ice cream.

As for the label design this was a result of a coincidental visit to Plessier de Roye by two Australian descendants of the artist Raphaël Lardeurwho made the beautiful stained glass windows in the village church in the 1930's.

The beer will be available soon either directly at the two respective breweries or from the usual cave a bières / cavistes / restaurants etc.

Cheers / Santé from Craig & Michael

Colapuy Défendue – Brassin en collaboration avec la Brasserie du Mont Salève

Anglais

En automne 2016, le très créatif Michaël Novo de la Brasserie du Mont Salève a fait le voyage depuis ses montagnes de Haute Savoie jusqu’au plateau tropical Picard pour un brassin collaboratif.

Nous souhaitions expérimenter une fermentation 100% Brettanomyces qu'aucune de nos 2 brasseries n’avait encore tenté. J’avais conservé une culture de levures Brettanomyces Bruxellensis dérivé d’une bouteille d’Orval et qui avait été utilisé pour la Time and Tide (collaboration avec les Brasseurs du Grand Paris). Tout en dégustant une bière résultant de cette propagation, Michaël eu l’idée d’ajouter du jus de pommes picardes. Nous avons sélectionné un jus de pommes de variété Colapuy qui est originaire de Crimée. Elle se plait dans les vergers Picards et est utilisée dans la production de cidre. La Colapuy est aujourd’hui moins plantée car elle est de petit calibre et ne produit pas tous les ans. En revanche, elle est aromatique et juteuse.

Nous avons brassé une bière dorée à 1052 de densité (13°Plato) avec du Pale Ale, Light Munich et Acid malts plus 15% de flocons d’avoine. Le houblonnage fût plutôt discret autour de 25IBU.

La fermentation primaire était assez longue et stable; un test de patience et de foi pour un brasseur britannique!

Brassin en mouvement

Brassin en mouvement

Souche de Brettanomyces utilisée pour le brassin - a noter le phénomène de 'polymorphism' - les cellules sont toutes de formes differentes.

Souche de Brettanomyces utilisée pour le brassin - a noter le phénomène de 'polymorphism' - les cellules sont toutes de formes differentes.

Soutirage d'un échantillon de bière infusée avec la même souche

Soutirage d'un échantillon de bière infusée avec la même souche

Un mois plus tard une visite d'une cidrerie en Picardie pour prendre du jus de pomme fraichement pressé

Un mois plus tard une visite d'une cidrerie en Picardie pour prendre du jus de pomme fraichement pressé

Des pommes Colapuy broyées et laissées pendant une nuit avant d'être pressées pour permettre l'oxydation

Des pommes Colapuy broyées et laissées pendant une nuit avant d'être pressées pour permettre l'oxydation

Environ 75 litres de jus ont été laissé pour partir en fermentation durant quelques jours avant d’être divisé en 3 fûts bourguignons avec la bière de base. Cela à apporté des sucres fermenticibles ainsi que des micro-organismes indigènes des pommes.

Des microbes exotiques provenant de jus de pommes Colapuy (non lavé, non pasteurisé) y compris des levures Kloekera et peut-etre des élements non levuriformes?

Des microbes exotiques provenant de jus de pommes Colapuy (non lavé, non pasteurisé) y compris des levures Kloekera et peut-etre des élements non levuriformes?

Les sucres fermenticibles du jus de pomme et des sucres résiduels de bière de base ont été consommé durant plus de 2 mois avant une période d’inactivité totale l’hiver dernier. Avec l’arrivée du printemps la bière s’est réveillée pour un dernier soubressaut avant le repos complet. La densité finale était juste en dessous de 1° Plato que nous avons jugé suffisamment bas pour l’embouteillage sans frayeur de bouteilles explosives! Une liqueur de dosage (levures fraiches et sucres) a été ajouté pour le conditionnement en bouteilles nous offrant une bière prête à déguster fin Mai.

Le résultat final présente une belle bière de couleur dorée avec des notes de pommes fraiches et de cidre fermier; l’addition de jus de pomme et l’élevage en fût ont apporté une certaine rondeur à la bière. Après quelques minutes dans le verre, les arômes de cidre laissent place à un caractère plus rustique provenant des Brett. Ce côté qui peut être qualifié de plus sauvage/rustique n’apparait pas comme dominant. C’est un bel équilibre entre le malt, le fruit et les Brett. La finale est sèche avec une pointe d’épices.

Côté assemblage mets-bières, c’est une bière qui sera très appréciée en apéritif car elle préparera votre palais à la suite mais aussi en dessert sur une belle tarte Tatin accompagnée d’une boule de glace à la vanille de Madagascar.

Concernant l’étiquette, le jour du brassage, deux soeurs Australiennes sont venues visiter l’Eglise de Plessier-de-Roye sur les traces de leur ancêtre – Raphaël Lardeur – qui a créé les vitraux du choeur dans les années 1930. Nous avons souhaité rendre hommage à ces “two lovely ladies” et le maître verrier - céramiste.

Cette bière sera disponible très bientôt auprès des deux brasseries ou votre caviste / bar /restaurants.

Cheers / Santé de Craig & Michaël

Time and Tide - collaboration brew with Les Brasseurs du Grand Paris + Nick Malmquist

Francais

This beer was brewed in collaboration with Les Brasseurs du Grand Paris and the microbiologist Nick Malmquist. We brewed with a portion of dark crystal malt and roasted barley and aged hops to give a ruby colored ale with low bitterness and a fruity and nutty character from the malt and my British yeast blend. The mash included flaked oats and was conducted at a very high temperature (72°C) in order to yield a relatively difficult to ferment wort with a high finishing gravity after the primary fermentation, the idea being to leave residual sugars for the next stage - a long maturation in Burgundian red wine casks with an infusion of Brettanomyces yeast for the first few months and lactic acid bacteria for the last few. The Brett strain chosen was of the Bruxellensis species and was derived from a bottle of Orval, the famous Trappist beer that develops notes of cherries and a rustic character after several months of bottle conditioning. We thought that the aromas of red fruit from the Pinot Noir casks would blend well with the wild yeast notes and dark malt flavors. 

 

This was my first foray into 'wild' beers and it has been interesting to taste throughout the process with the additional layers of complexity added at each stage before bottling.

Most beers take a few weeks to make - this one required a bit more patience..

Here's a photographic timeline -

 November 2015 - Voyage to Burgundy to visit old friends and 

 November 2015 - Voyage to Burgundy to visit old friends and 

pick up a few casks prevouisly used for Chassagne Montrachet rouge

pick up a few casks prevouisly used for Chassagne Montrachet rouge

Merci à Mr. Yves Rodet 

Merci à Mr. Yves Rodet 

Burgundian vines in the autumn

Burgundian vines in the autumn

20th December 2015 - Anthony Baraff and Nick Malmquist during the brew inspecting some old hops (specifically chosen so as to deter the growth of undesirable bacteria but not inhibit lactic acid bacteria as a result of oxidation a alpha acids)

20th December 2015 - Anthony Baraff and Nick Malmquist during the brew inspecting some old hops (specifically chosen so as to deter the growth of undesirable bacteria but not inhibit lactic acid bacteria as a result of oxidation a alpha acids)

The thimble in place - British innovation at its finest

The thimble in place - British innovation at its finest

Adding a 'thimble' to the fermentation vessel before casting the wort much to Mr. Barraf's amusement

Adding a 'thimble' to the fermentation vessel before casting the wort much to Mr. Barraf's amusement

3 weeks later tasting the resulting beer after fermentation and conditioning.

3 weeks later tasting the resulting beer after fermentation and conditioning.

January 2016 - Anthony acquiring barrel rolling skills

January 2016 - Anthony acquiring barrel rolling skills

Nick rinsing the casks with hot water and checking for leaks..

Nick rinsing the casks with hot water and checking for leaks..

Casks filled in place with the addition of...

Casks filled in place with the addition of...

these funny looking beasties - Orval derived Brettanomyces Bruxellensis yeast isolated and cultured courtesy of Nick Malmquist in a professional lab (during his free time) - thanks Nick!    

these funny looking beasties - Orval derived Brettanomyces Bruxellensis yeast isolated and cultured courtesy of Nick Malmquist in a professional lab (during his free time) - thanks Nick!

 

 

End May - addition of Lactobacillus Brevis bacteria

End May - addition of Lactobacillus Brevis bacteria

November 2016 -  the beer was racked into a tank and bottled with the addition of fresh yeast and sugar. After a further 3 weeks  we could finally taste the carbonated beer.

November 2016 -  the beer was racked into a tank and bottled with the addition of fresh yeast and sugar. After a further 3 weeks  we could finally taste the carbonated beer.

 All that effort is worthy of a classy label!

 All that effort is worthy of a classy label!

The finished beer equates more or less with our initial vision of it -  red berry fruity notes from the Brett and the extraction of  pinot noir character and some subtle oak blend beautifully with the original clean ruby ale. One major difference  - we imagined the gravity drop in the cask would have been much more significant and given in a drier beer - in reality the Brettanomyces struggled to eat much of the very unfermentable liquid it was pitched into; perhaps another strain  would have faired better or maybe the mash temperature employed could have been lower to make the residual sugars slightly more digestible. However despite the difficulty in assimilating the remaining carbohydrates the Brett did manage to impart plenty of classic rustic and fruity character probably as a result of the metabolism of other components of the young beer. The acidity from the bacteria is present but relatively restrained in part due to the contrasting residual sweetness from the malt (the final gravity of the beer is around 3.5°Plato, higher than the 0.5° we anticipated).

Overall we're delighted with the outcome - at 4.8% ABV this is a relatively low alcohol beer full of flavor and subtle nuances. It will be interesting to see how it evolves in the bottle but is ready to drink now fresh so to speak! 

Regarding the name we chose Time and Tide from the expression 'Time and tide wait for no man', the meaning of which is that no man can slow down or prevent the passing of time or the rise and fall of the tide. We thought this was particularly apt for a beer that took this long to make and whose development was relatively difficult to control.

Look out for bottles at the usual specialty beer shops / restaurants / bars. Cheers!