Batch 50: Woodstock 2019

Brew Date: December 30, 2018

More or less an annual tradition, I’ve made Woodstock for three of the past four years. The idea is that it is a dark old ale, primary fermented with English ale yeast and aged with brettanomyces. The first iteration was 90% Maris Otter, 6.5% C40, 3.5% C120, and 1.5% Chocolate malt. I’ve varied the recipe each time based on specific ideas for that vintage and haven’t concerned myself with any semblance of consistency from year to year other than that it is dark-ish and aged with brett.

This batch of Woodstock is loosely based on historic porter, with all Thomas Fawcett malts. The plan is to primary ferment it for about 5 months, then bottle without sugar and allow slow attenuation to build slight carbonation over time. I’ve gone a bit lighter on gravity than previous vintages (which typically finish around 12% ABV). I suspect I’ll go the other way next year.

OG: 1.076
IBU: 63

Batch size: 10L (into the fermentor)

Mash: 155F for 75 minutes; mash out 170F
Water adjustments:
– 5g Calcium Carbonate (chalk)
– 3g Gypsum
– 1g table salt

15L mash water in Grainfather
4.5L sparge (all water adjustments made in mash water)

Boil: 150 minutes


85% Golden Promise (3.40 kg)
12.5% Brown malt (0.50 kg)
2.5% Pale Chocolate malt (0.10 kg)


63 AAU Nugget at 75 minutes (20g)
50g medium toast boiled American oak cubes added at pitching


30 seconds pure O2 added to fermentor
Safale S-04 + Yeast Bay ‘All the Bretts’ slurry
Pitch temp 61F, held at 68F for the first 48h, then let rise to 71F.

Notes: Activity picked up around the 12 hour mark. Despite decent head space, blow off started at 24h and continued for another 36h. Kept temp using water bath with ice blocks; thus temp ranged from 67F to 70F during significant fermentation. Once fermentation slowed, allowed to free rise to ambient of ~71F.

[Feb 12, 2019] Gravity sample from primary; 1.021 SG. Aroma is caramel and oak, taste includes some dark fruit as well. This brett blend has exhibited a lot of cherry pie and leather and I’m seeing that build here.