Bam a lam


I had a dream a while ago about making an imperial black bretted beer with blackcurrants called “Black Bretty”. This sounds like an awesome thing to do, Dali painted his dreams so why can’t I brew them? It’s at this point I’d like to point out I have also dreamt of making a steak stout that got served in a pastry pint. Sometimes dreams are best kept where they are, as dreams.

I’ve looked into sourcing blackcurrant puree and it is expensive, I’m assuming as most of the UK’s blackcurrants are shipped off to Ribena, so I had shelved this for a while until I came across a powdered fruit concentrate version in a shop in Borough Market. Apparently one of these small tubs is the equivalent of 3kg of fruit, bonza.  A quick google shows an American brewery has been using something similar with good results so I buy a couple of tubs and off I go.

I did some research into making a bretted imperial stout, mainly to see if there were any issues with the strength.  Although there were no issues in this regard I did come across a potential issue with making a stout. Brett accentuates the roasted notes of roasted malts so making a stout can be tricky, leaving the beer tasting very astringent and acrid. I read a few interviews with Chad Yakobson from Crooked Stave about this as Nightmare on Brett is one of my favourite beers and probably the inspiration for this dream and subsequent recipe. I followed his advice and used de-husked malts such as Carafa and Special B to make the beer dark, brett is very good at bringing out creamy chocolate and fruit notes from Carafa.

I’ve decided to add the powdered fruit 5 minutes from the end of the boil, I’m only adding one tub and will see if I need the other at a later stage.


4kg Pale malt
200g aromatic malt
150g special B
120g Carafa II
400g dark Candi sugar
30g Fuggles at 60 mins






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