Category Archives: Belgian

Belgian Golden Strong eBIAB v1_1

My homebrew club has an ongoing barrel project where we have refilled an old oak barrel numerous times.  This time we did a funky belgian golden strong and we needed some blending beer so I brewed this up.  Turned out really good but I didn’t get to drink much since I needed it all for the barrel.  The recipe came from the club.

BrewDesign

Recipe Info

Beer Name: belgian_golden_strong_ebiab1_1
Style: Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Date: 5-2-16

Style

Original Gravity: 1.079
Final Gravity: 1.011
Color: 3.9
Alcohol: 8.9 %
Bitterness: 26.4 IBUs

Brewery

Efficiency: 70
Attenuation: 86

Mash

Mash Fermentable Weight: 20.5 Pounds
Mash Thickness: 1.5 Quarts per Pound
Grain Temp: 72 F
Strike Water Qty: 9.69 Gallons
Mash Volume: 11.33 Gallons
Strike Water Temp: 159.8 F
Mash Temp: 149 F

Boil

Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.069
Predicted Mash Run-off Volume: 7.8425
Target Starting Boil Volume: 9.75
Boil Duration: 60 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 8.5

Fermentables

Weight (Lbs) % by Weight Name Yield SRM
19 80.9 Castle Pilsner; Belgian 80.0 1.6
1.5 6.4 Rahr Wheat Malt; White 88.0 2.8
3 12.8 Sugar 100.0 0.0

Hops

Weight (ozs) Name AAU Time (mins) Use IBUs / Addition
3 Saaz 4.0 60 Boil 22.6
1 Saaz 4.0 15 Boil 3.7

Yeast and Friends

Amount (Milliters) Name
1 pouch White Labs WLP530 Trappist Ale

Misc

Amount Name Time
1 Whirlfloc Tablet 15
.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10

Notes

mash 150F for 60 mins
raise to 168F for 10 mins
Liquid Yeast Pitch – Stirplate Starter
First Starter
Quantity of Yeast: 1 vials / pouches (100B cells per)
Quantity of DME: 344 grams
Starter Size: 3.4 liters
Salt and Acid adjustments:
Mash Salts:
Gypsum: 6.0 gram
Calcium Chloride: 6.0 gram
Mash Acid:
Lactic Acid: 8.0 ml @ 88 %
Sparge/Boil Salts:
Predicted Mash pH of: 5.43
Mash Ions (ppm):
Ca: 78.2 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 79.0 So: 102.6
Boil Ions (ppm):
Ca: 75.2 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 76.1 So: 99.2
cool to 64F to target a pitch @ 66F and just let it ferment out at room temp.
Notes:
5/3/16 made 2.5L starter with 250g of DME and 1 pouch of WLP530 on a stirplate
5/4/16 normal brew day.  no issues.  pitched at ~1pm and big kreusen at 8pm.  pitched entire starter.
5/5/16 huge kreusen w/ blow off.  VERY violent fermentation.
5/6/16 very slow bubbling in morning then i moved the fermenter and fermentation kicked off again.
5/7/16 settled down to slow bubbling.
5/8/16 ~18 seconds apart
5/9/16 moved to bubbler.  slow steady bubbling
5/10/16 ~13 sec apart
5/11/16 ”
5/17/16 ~15 sec
5/18/16 ”
5/21/16 racked beer to keg .  FG 1.010. pH 4.13.  a little bit boozy and green with some phenolic notes -> pepper and a low level of tire/rubber.  nice orange esters.  not bad for a very young, flat golden strong. no off flavors.

Flanders Red eBIAB v1b1

Now that my NHC beers are all done, time to try something new!  I haven’t made any Belgian-style sours so since I have extra beer on draft it seems like a good time to brew some stuff that will take a long time to be bottle up and drunk.  I’ve been a big Rodenbach fan since the first time I tried one many years ago and often “reward” myself with a Grand Cru.  After looking at different recipes, it looks like most of the NHC winners have been modeled around Jamil’s 2-time winning recipe so it seemed like a good place to start.  My grain bill pretty much matches but I did tweak a few things around the hopping as well as the bugs/yeast.  I want to make sure it gets sour enough so I did a starter of Swanson Lacto Plantarum that I pitched a the same time as the Roselare blend.  I also lowered the IBUs to ~4 to try and limit inhibit the lacto.  My plan is to let if ferment for a couple weeks at 70F and then just move it to a closet in my basement that stays at 70F year round and just let it sit for about 6 months and then bottle it assuming it is tasting good.  I also plan to add wood cubes at about 3 months.

BrewDesign

Recipe Info

Beer Name: flanders_red_eBIAB_1
Style: Flanders Red Ale
 

Style

Original Gravity: 1.052
Final Gravity: 1.010
Color: 11.5
Alcohol: 5.5 %
Bitterness: 3.6 IBUs

Brewery

Efficiency: 70
Attenuation: 80

Mash

Mash Fermentable Weight: 14.25 Pounds
Mash Thickness: 2.1 Quarts per Pound
Grain Temp: 72 F
Strike Water Qty: 9.48 Gallons
Mash Volume: 10.62 Gallons
Strike Water Temp: 165.1 F
Mash Temp: 156 F

Boil

Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.044
Predicted Mash Run-off Volume: 8.19875
Target Starting Boil Volume: 8.25
Boil Duration: 60 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 7

Fermentables

Weight (Lbs) % by Weight Name Yield SRM
6 42.1 Best Malz Pilsner; German 80.0 1.8
5 35.1 Best Malz Vienna Malt 79.0 3.4
1 7.0 Best Malz Munich Type I 78.0 6.0
.5 3.5 Weyermann Melanoidin 78.5 27.0
.5 3.5 Castle Special B 76.0 114.0
.5 3.5 Weyermann Caramunich III 73.0 56.8
.75 5.3 canadian malting Wheat Malt; White 88.0 2.8

Hops

Weight (ozs) Name AAU Time (mins) Use IBUs / Addition
.5 Hallertauer Pellets 2.5 60 Boil 3.6

Yeast and Friends

Amount (Milliters) Name
2 pouches Wyeast Labs 3763 Roselare Belgian Blend
1 pill per gallon swansons lacto

Misc

Amount Name Time
1 tablet Whirlfloc Tablet 15
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10
1 oz Oak; French Medium Toast Cubes in fermenter

Notes

3 capsules of swansons lacto plantarum in 1L starter non-agitated and left for 3 days.  capsules opened but all the lacto didn’t get out.  not ideal but clearly some lacto got built up.  tasted the remains after pitching and tasted clear and just a little sour.
pitch lacto starter with roselare blend @ 68F and raise over 24 hours to 70F.  ferment for 2 weeks at 70F then move to to long term storage at house ambient for ~6 months.  kept in primary and moved from blow-off to silicon bung with flap that acts as an airlock.
Salt and Acid adjustments:
Mash Salts:
Gypsum: 5.0 gram
Calcium Chloride: 10.0 gram
Mash Acid:
Sparge/Boil Salts:
Predicted Mash pH of: 5.41
Mash Ions (ppm):
Ca: 115.2 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 145.1 So: 101.5
4-22-16 made 1L lacto starter w/ 100g of DME and qty 3 swanson lacto plantarum bills.  they opened but did not dissolve.  not ideal.
4-25-16 regular brew day.  1st time using new oxygen tank.  did 1L setting for 1 min w/ 0.5 micron stone
– pitched most of 1L starter but tried to leave behind the pill shells.  tasted what was left and it tasted clean and sweet but a little sour on the backend.
-also pitched 1 pouch of roselare blend
-oxygenated at 1L for 60 sec
-raised from 68F -> 70F over 24 hours and held for 2 weeks
-used a 5 gallon better bottle and it was pretty full but not all the way up to the neck.
4-26-16 @ 8am no activity
@10pm kreusen and bubbling
4-27-16 1/2″ kreusen and solid bubbling
4-28-16 kreusen is dropping and bubbling is slowing
4-29-16 bubbling much slower and starting to drop clear
4-30-16 ~12 secs apart
5-1-16 no bubbling
5-9-16 moved to closet which stays about 72F with silicon venting bung for long term storage.  will check after 6 months.
8-12-16 nice thin pellicle.  boiled 1 oz of french med oak cubes for 5 mins and cooled.  poured off water and added to fermenter.
11-15-16 bottled 4 gallons to 2.5 volumes using 102 g of table sugar an reyeasted with half a sachet of lavlin ec1118.  36 bottles.  FG 1.014 pH 3.61
promising.  good level of sour.  assertive but not over the top.  fruity ester take the lead in the nose but there is a lot going on.  acetic.  wood.  lactic.  bready maltiness.  nothing overpowering but all noticeable.  a bit thin but flat so maybe with carb it will be good.  very clear.

Santa's Saison

I recently moved to a new neighborhood and I figured a good way to make nice with the neighbors is to supply them with tasty alcohol!  Strangely my wife was opposed to the idea but it all worked out well in the end and it would seem the neighbors wave a bit more than in the past.  I’ll mark that up as a win.  I wanted to brew a fairly quick turn around beer that I could bottle condition in nice 750ml champagne bottles (fancy!!!) and that is fairly accessible and hopefully liked by non-beer drinkers.  So, I figured a nice saison with its fun fruity, peppery notes and low bitterness would fit the bill.  Of course its a holiday beer so I tuned everything up a bit.  Higher alcohol, a bit maltier, a nice lively carbonation and a weeee bit hoppier.  One novel thing is I did a 50/50 pitch of the dupont strain and french saison.  I really like the dupont strain and would normally do just that but I wanted to make sure it fermented out quickly and completely so I mixed in the wyeast 3711 to do just that.  Here is what I came up with:

BrewDesign

Recipe Info

Beer Name: santa’s saison
Style: Saison
 

Style

Original Gravity: 1.065
Final Gravity: 1.010
Color: 5.6
Alcohol: 7.2 %
Bitterness: 33 IBUs

Brewery

Efficiency: 70
Attenuation: 85

Mash

Mash Fermentable Weight: 15 Pounds
Mash Thickness: 1.70 Quarts per Pound
Grain Temp: 72 F
Strike Water Qty: 8.38 Gallons
Mash Volume: 9.58 Gallons
Strike Water Temp: 156.4 F
Mash Temp: 147 F

Boil

Kettle Gravity (start of boil): 1.049
Starting Boil Volume: 7.875
Boil Duration: 90 Minutes
Evaporation Rate: 1.25 Gallons per Hour
Final Boil Volume: 6

Fermentables

Weight (Lbs) % by Weight Name Yield SRM
12 80.0 Pilsner; Franco-Belge 80.0 1.7
2 13.3 Munich – Best Malz 78.0 8.7
1 6.7 Wheat Malt; White 88.0 2.8

Hops

Weight (ozs) Name AAU Time (mins) Use IBUs / Addition
1 Liberty Pellets 5.2 60 Boil 16.6
1 Liberty Pellets 5.2 15 Boil 8.2
1 Liberty Pellets 5.2 15 Whirlpool 4.1

Yeast and Friends

Amount (Milliters) Name
1 vial White Labs WLP565 Belgian Saison I Ale
1 pouch Wyeast Labs 3711 French Saison

Misc

Amount Name Time
1 tablet Whirlfloc Tablet 15
1 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Wyeast) 10

Notes

step mash
45 min 147F
30 min 155F
10 min 168F
Liquid Yeast Pitch – Stirplate Starter
First Starter
Quantity of Yeast: 1 vials / pouches (100B cells per)
Quantity of DME: 75 grams
Starter Size: 0.8 liters
Do 2 x 1L starters. Pitch 0.5L of Dupont 565 and 0.3L French Saison. (double check these numbers)
Salt and Acid adjustments:
Mash Salts:
Gypsum: 10.0 gram (I forgot to add this!!!!  Duh!!!!)
Mash Acid:
Lactic Acid: 4.0 ml @ 88 %
Sparge/Boil Salts:
Predicted Mash pH of: 5.45
Mash Ions (ppm):
Ca: 80.4 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 11.0 So: 199.8
Boil Ions (ppm):
Ca: 72.6 Mg: 3.0 Na: 21.0 Cl: 11.0 So: 181.1
Ferment at 80F for 2 weeks then bottle.
Bottle Carbonation
Temperature at Bottling: 80 F
Volumes of CO2: 2.8
Amount of Beer: 3.5 Gallons
Amount of tableSugar to add: 109.2 grams or 3.8 ounces
11-24-15 i made a starter the night before.  not ideal but it is what it is.  1 did 1 smackpack each of WY3724 (DuPont) and WY3711(French Saison) in a 1.2L Starter w/ 120g of DME
11-25-15 normal brewday except I FORGOT GYPSUM!!!  Booooo!  I pitched 800mL of the starter to get a standard ale pitching rate.  60 sec of oxygen.  Pitched at 64F and set johnson controller on heater wrap to 66F @ 1pm.  @8pm it was already bubbling and kreusen forming.
11-26-15 nice 1″ kreusen and steady bubbling.  set controller to 72F.
11-29-15 ~5sec apart for bubbling.  kreusen gone.  temp raised to 80F.
11-30-15 ~8sec bubbling.  room WREAKS of banana bread.    starting to drop clear.
12-1-15 took sample.  1.006.  pH 4.27.  strong pepper notes and some banana but not bad.  a bit hot but promising but still very young.
12-2-15 ~20 sec bubbling
12-7-15 bottled
FG 1.006
3.6 Gallons at 80F and targetting 3.25 volumes.  136g of table sugar boiled 10 mins w/ 3/4cup of filtered water.  16 x 750ml bottles filled.
1-8-16 aroma: orange, pepper, light alcohol, bready malt
flavor: similar to aroma.  a bit too much alcohol heat but not bad.
mouthfeel: nice and dry but not bone dry.  good carb level.  effervescent but not overdone.
appearance: amber.  has cleared nicely in the bottle.
overall:  very, very good.  only change would be a bit less munich malt and focus on fermentation to reduce alcohol heat.  on a side note – the banana note really subsided with aging in the bottle.  not sure if the yeast took it up or it just aged out but it was barely noticeable.

Belgian Dark Strong 1

I’ve been brewing for going on three years now and I decided early on that I wanted to brew all 80 BJCP styles.  I’m about half way there and with this brew I’m knocking another one off the list.  I had also won some D-180 at a homebrew competition which I needed to get out of the refrigerator and this seemed like the best candidate 🙂  I definitely gravitate towards hoppy beers and big Belgian beers and I’ve been a fan of this category since I had my first St. Bernardus 12.  Some of the versions I’m not a huge fan of (Chimay Blue) but others I absolutely love (St. B 12, Gulden Draak).
To put this recipe together, I looked at my normal sources (Brewing Classic Styles, BYO, Zymurgy, Gordon Strong’s Books, NHC recipes) but none of these really struck a chord.  Most have very complex grain bills and did not take advantage of the great Belgian Dark Candi Sugar we can now easily get.  So, I re-read Brew like a Monk and took a lot of inspiration from the Dark Strong write up as well as the insight into how St. Bernardus brews the 12 and how Westmalle ferments their yeast in their Dubbel and Tripel.  Since I had the D-180, I also looked at their website which has a pretty good looking St Bernardus 12 and Westvleteren 12 clone recipe.  Lastly, I brewed a Tripel I was very happy with (and my first 1st place beer) in which I used Westmalle Yeast (Wyeast 3787) and 20% sugar.  So I took all this together and came up with my Belgian Dark recipe.  The brunt is Castle Pilsner malt but I wanted a nice malty aroma and flavor so I used 9% Castle Chateau Aromatique (basically super charged munich malt at 35L).  I also wanted it to dry out nicely so I mashed low (ended up at 149 rather than planned 150) and used 4% D-180 (1Lbs) and 9% table sugar (2Lbs).  Pretty basic hop bill, middle of the style range and just enough to offset some of the sweetness but not be particularly noticeable.  For the ferment, the one issue with my Tripel was it was a bit too low on phenolics and esters so I ramped the ferment faster.  I started at 64 and ramped it to 76 over three days whereas with the Tripel I did it over 5 days.
Belgian Dark Strong 1
18-E Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Size: 7.0 gal
Efficiency: 70%
Attenuation: 80%
Original Gravity: 1.090 (1.075 – 1.110) – ended up at 1.088 since boil evaporation rate was only 1G/hr                                                                                                     rather than expected 1.25G/hr
Terminal Gravity: 1.018 (1.010 – 1.024) – Tripel with same yeast finished at 1.006 so this is probably                                                                                                 high
Color: 19.13 (12.0 – 22.0)
Alcohol: 9.52% (8.0% – 11.0%)
Bitterness: 31.7 (20.0 – 35.0)
Ingredients:
18 lb (78.3%) Pilsen 2RS Malt – added during mash
2 lb (8.7%) Aroma 100 EBC Malt – added during mash
1 lb (4.3%) Candi Sugar Dark D-180 – added during mash
2 lb (8.7%) White Table Sugar (Sucrose) – added during mash
1 oz (50.0%) Northern Brewer (10.3%) – added during boil, boiled 60 m
1 oz (50.0%) Styrian Goldings (3.2%) – added during boil, boiled 15 m
1 tsp Whirlfloc Tablets (Irish moss) – added during boil, boiled 10 m
1 ea WYeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity™
Notes
mash salts:
2.2g Gypsum
3.3g CC
sparge salts:
4g Gypsum
6g CC
acidify sparge to below 5.8 (~12ml of 10% phosphoric in 10G of water)
should give mash pH of 5.4 – was actually 5.6 so i acidified the boil to get it down to 5.3
20 lb of grain
1.4 qt/lb = 28 quarts = 7 gallons
mash @ 150 – was 149
mash in water temp 160.9 so ~161 into mash tun
pitch @ 64 and ramp to 76 over 3 days then hold ~21 days.  rack to keg, drop to 45F at 5F a day and then force carb to 3.
1-18-14 : made 3.4L starter with 1 yeast pack per Mr Malty
1-20-14 : pretty normal brew day.  kettle gravity was higher than expected but then boil rate was less so ended up not having to adjust at all but came in at 1.088 rather than 1.090.  the wort was brown out of the MLT but the D-180 adds a lot of color.  maybe it will be 19 SRM but seemed darker than that.  time will tell 🙂  6.5G into the fermenter and decanted started down to 2L so total of 7G in 6.5G glass carboy.  hopefully blowoff won’t be a huge issue.  only area of concern was pH.  Mash Ph came in at 5.6 rather than calculated 5.4.  In looking further into this, I realized in Bru’n Water that I had marked the Aromatic as Roasted malt rather than Base Malt which then made the proper calculation.  I addressed it by acidifying the boil kettle with 5ml of 10% phosphoric acid which brought it down to 5.4 which dropped to 5.3 by end of the boil and is inline with the Braukaisers recommendations.
a thin krausen had formed at 4 hours with a small amount of bubbling.
1-21-14 major fermentation.  huge kreusen that has blown off some but not too bad.
1-22-14 temp up to low 70s.  fermentation slowed but still steady
1-23-14 fermentation slowed to bubbling every 2 sec
1-26-14 still bubbling every two seconds but yeast seems to be starting to drop
1-27-14 bubbling every 4-5 sec
1-28-14 bubbling every 5-6 sec
1-30-14 bubbling every 8 sec.  moved to bubble and took sample.  1.012!  wow.  nice peppery note along with dark fruit (plum, fig).  no fusels.  very clean for 10+%!  definitely not infected.
1-31-14 bubbling has greatly slowed to about 15sec.
2-1-14 almost no bubbling (> 30sec) and has started to clear
2-3-14 kegged and slow dropped to 45 @ 5 degrees a day.  measured at 1.010.
2-9-14 racked to clean keg and force carbed @ 20 psi @ 44 F
2-17-14 carbonation seems a bit low especially compared to “high carbonation” in style guide so increased to 24 psi @ 44F
2-19-14 carbonation is better although a hair lower than st bernardus 12.  bottled of some for competitions.