I have been sampling the beer I brewed in April periodically since I bottled in April. With two bottles left of each, it seemed like a good time to write an actual review.
This beer started as a 1.040 pilsner extract wort, hopped lightly with Hallertau only at 60 minutes. Both finished at 1.004, an apparent attenuation of 90%. Consequently, both are a bit thin in the flavor department. But beyond that, they differ quite markedly. The results were quite a surprise.
- Appearance: Very clear, with a pale gold color. The bottle released a lot of CO2 after uncapping. Pouring slowly straight down the middle, it developed a thick, foamy head that dissipated fairly quickly.
- Smell: Classic Brett funk and phenolic smell. Very lambic-like. A faint background note of fruit, especially strong while pouring. I believe this is the “cherry pie” many have described from Brett beers.
- Taste: Quite tart. Not a sour beer by any means, but it is noticeably acidic, especially compared side-by-side with the DCY03 beer. Taste is straightforwardly Bretty, hard to find much unique beyond that.
- Mouthfeel: Surprisingly full, given the high attenuation and low OG. Prickly carbonation.
- Overall: Not a great beer by any means, but definitely enjoyable. This could be a great yeast for lambic fermentations for sure, and with a more interesting wort could be a good sole fermenter.
- Appearance: Same as DCY02, perhaps a bit hazier for some reason. That is probably sediment from the bottle, not suspended yeast. Poured with large bubbles at first, but eventually developed a thin head.
- Smell: A bit stronger phenolic note, almost Band-aid-like. Minimal funk, though that may be the other smell masking it.
- Taste: Bland. Slightly spicy, with a bit of peach in there somewhere. A little tartness, but nothing compared to DCY02’s.
- Mouthfeel: Quite thin. Due to the sluggish refermentation this may be due to different levels of carbonation compared with the DCY02 beer. The difference is very evident.
- Overall: A major disappointment, given how nice this yeast smelled in the starter. None of the fruit notes from that stage are present, and the stronger Band-aid note is distracting. It struggled as a refermenter, apparently, as carbonation never fully developed even after months in the bottle. It could be useful as a secondary fermenter (though not as a bottle conditioning yeast) or in conjunction with another Brett strain for primary. I would definitely use a bottling yeast if using DCY03 solo.
I still have one more bottle of each that I will revisit in a few months. Until then, this gives a pretty good indication of what each yeast does.