Batch Size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
11 lb (4.9 kg) German Pilsner malt
1.5 lb (680 g) Vienna malt
4 oz (113 g) Carafoam
0.6 oz (17 g) Nugget [15% AA] at 60 minutes
2 oz (57 g) Hull Melon at whirlpool
2 lb (907 g) orange-blossom honey at whirlpool
1.25 oz (35 g) medium toast American oak cubes soaked in tequila, in secondary
White Labs WLP400 (Belgian Wit Ale Yeast) or Wyeast 3944 (Belgian Witbier) East Coast Yeast ECY 34 (Dirty Dozen Blend) or any mix of your favorite Brett strains.
Mill the grains and mix with 4 gallons (15.1 l) of 163°F (73°C) strike water to reach a mash temperature of 151°F (66°C). Hold this temperature for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until your runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge the grains with 3.3 gallons (12.4 l) of water and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 l) of wort. Boil for 90 minutes, following the hops and additions schedule.
After the boil, add the late hops and honey and whirlpool for 15 minutes (ensure that the honey has fully dissolved). Then, chill the wort to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 65°F (18°C). Aerate the wort with pure oxygen or filtered air and pitch the clean yeast.
Ferment at 66°F (19°C) for 5 days, then let the temperature rise to 72°F (22°C) until primary fermentation is complete. Transfer into a secondary fermentor and add Brett mix and oak cubes, along with part of the oak-soaking tequila. Let the beer rest until a noticeable funk develops, then bottle or keg the beer and carbonate to approximately 3 volumes.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
GABF gold medal–winner and Two Rivers’ Head Brewer Josh Bushey recommends using less oak and tequila than you think will be necessary. The recipe here gives you a modest start. “You can always add more later,” he notes. Their third anniversary beer (upon which this recipe is based) featured moderate oak tannins, light agave/tequila flavor, and good complementary tropical-fruit esters and funk from the Brett. My homebrew club, the Stoney Creek Homebrewers, coincidentally produced a similar tequila barrel–aged tripel at around the same time, and I can concur that the style is very receptive to the added barrel flavors!