Unleashing the Funk: Brewing a Show-Stopping Brett IPA

Hello, adventurous brewers and lovers of all things quirky in the world of beer! Today, we’re diving into the wild and wacky realm of Brett IPAs, a style that combines the hop-forward characteristics of an IPA with the funky, complex flavors introduced by Brettanomyces yeast. Get ready to brew something that not only tingles the taste buds but also tickles your curiosity.

What’s a Brett IPA?

Brett IPA is a delicious twist on the traditional India Pale Ale, integrating the distinctive, often wild flavors of Brettanomyces. Commonly called “Brett,” this yeast strains beyond the usual by adding earthy, fruity, and sometimes slightly sour notes to your brew.

It’s like a jazz improvisation in the world of beer—unexpected, thrilling, and highly sophisticated.

A Brief History of Brett

Originally, Brettanomyces was seen as a contaminant in beers—unwanted and unruly. But as the craft beer movement embraced complexity and unique flavors, Brett became a star.

Used in Belgian Lambics and now celebrated in American wild ales, Brett is perfect for brewers who want to push boundaries.

Crafting the Perfect Brett IPA: A Recipe for the Brave

Let’s roll up our sleeves and get to brewing a 5-gallon batch of Brett IPA that’s sure to be a conversation starter at your next gathering.

Meet the Master Behind the Mash: Jake “The Funkmaster”.

This spectacular Brett IPA recipe comes to you courtesy of one of our avid readers Jake — or as he likes to be called, “The Funkmaster.”

Jake has been brewing his own beer for over a decade from his small but mighty home brewery in Asheville, North Carolina. A lover of all things funky and fermented, Jake enjoys pushing the boundaries of traditional brewing to create unique, flavor-packed beers.

When he’s not busy brewing or sampling the latest craft beer offerings, Jake can be found hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains with his two dogs, Brewski and Hops.

Beer Stats:

These values are approximate estimates and may vary based on individual brewing practices and conditions.

  • Original Gravity (OG): 1.065
  • Final Gravity (FG): 1.012
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 7.0%
  • International Bitterness Units (IBUs): 60


  • Malt Base:
    • 9 lbs Pale Malt (2-row) – The sturdy backbone.
    • 1 lb Munich Malt – Adds a touch of sweetness.
    • 0.5 lb Carapils – For body and head retention.
    • 0.5 lb Wheat Malt – Enhances the mouthfeel.
  • Hops (Let’s get hoppy with it!):
    • 1 oz Citra (60 mins – for a solid bitter base)
    • 1 oz Amarillo (30 mins – layers of citrusy flavor)
    • 1 oz Mosaic (10 mins – more fruity goodness)
    • 2 oz Citra (Dry hop on day 7 for aroma)
  • Yeast (The funky hero):
    • Brettanomyces bruxellensis – The star that will funk up your IPA!
  • Extras:
    • Irish Moss (1 tsp at 15 mins left in boil, for clarity)
    • 1 Whirlfloc Tablet (15 mins – helps clarify your IPA)

Brewing Instructions 
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1. Mashing: Start by heating your water to 165°F and mix in your grains. Maintain a temperature of 152°F for about 60 minutes. This process extracts the sugars from the malts and sets the stage for fermentation.

2. Boiling: Once you’ve lautered and sparged the grains, bring the wort to a boil and follow the hop schedule listed. Each addition of hops will layer on the complexity of the flavors and aromas.

3. Cooling & Pitching Yeast: After boiling, cool the wort rapidly to about 68°F, then pitch your funky Brett yeast. This little bugger will take its time, so patience is key!

4. Fermentation: Let the beer ferment for a week at room temperature, then add your dry hops. Allow another week or two, watching as Brett develops its unique profile.

5. Bottling: After fermentation, bottle your beer with priming sugar and let it carbonate for about two weeks.

Spotlight Your Recipe!

Inspired by Jake’s innovative brewing? We’d love to feature your homebrew recipes on our blog! If you have a recipe that’s close to your heart—or just one that you think is downright delicious—send it our way.

We’re excited to spotlight different readers, sharing your creations and stories with our brewing community.

Who knows? Your recipe might just be the next big hit among our readers!

FAQs: Funk Up Your Brewing Knowledge

Q: How does Brett affect the flavor of an IPA? A: Brett can add a range of flavors from earthy to fruity, and even barnyard or medicinal notes. It’s all about how and when you introduce it into your brew.

Q: Can Brett IPA be aged? A: Absolutely! Brett continues to evolve, meaning aging can bring out new flavors and depths. Think of it as a fine wine of the beer world.

Q: What’s the best temperature for fermenting a Brett IPA? A: Brett works well at a range of temperatures, but 68°F to 72°F is ideal for balancing its funky characteristics with the IPA’s hop profile.

Q: Is Brettanomyces safe to use at home? A: Yes, but be cautious about cross-contamination. Brett is a robust yeast that can take over your equipment if not properly cleaned after use.

So there you have it! A guide to brewing your very own Brett IPA, a beer that promises not just a taste experience but a journey into the depths of brewing adventure.

Whether you’re a seasoned brewer or a curious newbie, this recipe is your ticket to the wild side of hops and funk.

Get brewing, stay funky, and remember: in the world of Brett, the funkier, the better!

P.S. If you are into brewing your own beer be sure to take advantage of my limited-time offer to get your hands on the recipes to my top 5 best-selling beers from my brewpub. Sign up is on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on a smart device. Enjoy!

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