Derek Jones has been working with the funk for a while and now it's time to start sharing the knowledge and experience he's accumulated with a discussion of his award winning Peach Brett Beer.

 

This particular experiment started with some inspiration gained from a beer called Peche ‘n Brett made by the fine folks at Logsdon Farmhouse Ales out of Oregon. This beer is, as you probably could have guessed, made with Bretta as well as local organic peaches.

 

Before going any further, I want to make the disclaimer that working with Brettanomyces is not something most beginning or even experienced home brewers should attempt with any intent on using their “clean” cold side equipment. With proper cleaning and sanitation you can mitigate risks of cross contamination but the best practice is to buy separate cold side equipment before getting your funk on! Don’t fret though, txbrewing.com has you covered for your entire range of home brewing needs.

 

With that out of the way, I wanted to try my hand at creating something special using my local ingredients as sort of an homage to what Logsdon has done as well as past memories of my own. Enter the Parker County peaches. Growing up, I spent a lot of my time out in Weatherford, Texas. My family owns land out there and growing up, I remember eating peach pies, peach ice cream, peach everything. The point here is that Weatherford is known throughout North Texas as a place you go if you want the best peaches. My train of thought at this point in my life is not eating the best peach but more, “How the hell can I infuse these memories into my passion of brewing”?

 

I set off first with simplicity at the forefront of this experiment. I was not trying to recreate or “Clone” Logsdon’s beer. I wanted to highlight my local flora and to do this I went with a simple recipe: 70% Pils, 15% White Wheat, 15% Red Wheat, 15 IBU with a mash temp of 148. For the fermentation, I knew I was going to use 100% Bretta but as a kicker I was doing 3 separate strains so that I could knock out a separate experiment at the same time. More on that at a later date!

 

With fermentation done, I was able to select the beer with the best fermentation characteristics that I felt would marry well with my intended fruit addition. I won't give out what strain that was in this particular blog but check back because I will be writing on my aforementioned experiment with various Brett strains, the characteristics I got from them all, as well as what I did with all that beer, so stay tuned!

 

With primary fermentation completed, I was now ready to get down to business. It was at this point the height of harvest so I took a trip with my wife and our son to spend the day out in Weatherford with pure intentions on finding the best peaches for this beer. Three milkshakes, two restroom breaks, a hamburger or two later, and we were right smack down in the farm where it all goes down. Scarlet Prince Peaches were the ticket this day. We walked away with a bushel worth and hit the road back to Fort Worth.

 Tales of the Brett: Peach Brett Beer

When I got home I got to slicing and dicing these little dudes up and began liberally adding peach quarters to a carboy. I did not take measurements as to how many pounds I put in there but its safe to say at least six (6) for about three (3) gallons of beer. After transferring the base beer on top of the peaches, I put an airlock on and let the re-fermentation ensue. This quickly resulted in removal of said airlock and a replacement in the form of a blow off tube due to all the sugar!

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Nine weeks later I felt that the beer was ready. The gravity had been stable for 6 weeks at 1.002. So, with much anticipation, I bottled the beer. For presentation sake, I used Morning bottles (sold at Texas Brewing Inc in 500 ml and 330 ml format) for the bulk of the beer and used some stubby 12 oz bottles for competition entries.  Final results: This beer turned out fantastic! And as a bonus, it even placed well in a recent Master Championship of Amateur Brewing (MCAB) competition.

 

But most importantly for this article, the beer captured the essence of the peaches without overtaking the Brett characteristics. The resulting beer is without a doubt one of my most cherished since it has such a good story and set of memories to go with it. I would encourage any brewers out there with similar thoughts or memories to try and capture them in the beers they brew. Sure it offers up a challenge, but the rewards are or could be great!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

-Derek Jones

Derek Jones Bluebonnet Win

Derek is an accomplished homebrewer who won the San Diego State Fair homebrew competition with his American Double IPA Horseshoe Bender and more recently came in 2nd place as Bluebonnet Brew Off Homebrewer of the Year due to his wins in multiple categories, including American Wild Ale. He loves to brew and has been especially focused on wild ales.