This is our third Belgian-style Blonde brew. We brewed this two-gallon batch on Tue evening, Mar 31, 2015. Deb created the recipe by using what we brewed in December and tweaking it within the BeerSmith app.
This is suppose to have an ABV of 6.0%.
- for mashing = 5 qts
- for sparging = 2 gal
- Belgian Pilsner malt 3.6 lbs
- Cara-pils malt 0.25 lbs - for foam retention
- Belgian Biscuit malt 0.4 lbs
- Caramel 15 malt 0.4 lbs
- Belgian Munich malt 0.2 lbs
- Sugar 0.3 lbs
- Styiran Golding hops 0.6 oz or 17 g, divided into thirds
- Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey
- "A widely used and alcohol tolerant Abbey yeast that is suitable for a variety of Belgian style ales. This strain produces a nice ester profile as well as slightly spicy alcohol notes. It can be slow to start; however, it attenuates well."
- We plan to use table sugar or corn sugar for bottling.
We did not have enough of the Belgian candi, so we supplemented with white table sugar. The same amount of either can be used. For future brews that call for sugar to be added to the boil, we will use white table sugar, since it's cheaper than Belgian candi.
- 60-minute mash
- 60-minute boil
- added one-third of the hops at the start of boil
- added another third of hops after 30 minutes of boiling
- added the final third of hops after 45 minutes of boiling
- chilled wort
- added wort to fermenter
- added yeast
- capped fermenter
- Warmed mash water to approx 165 degrees.
- Added grains, stirred slowly, cover pot with lid.
- Every 15 minutes we stirred the grains and took a temperature. The goal is keep the grains between 144 and 152 degrees.
- With about 20 minutes left in the mash, began warming the sparge water to 170 degrees.
- Mashed for 60 minutes.
- At the end of mash, warmed the grains to 170 degrees.
- With sparge water and the mash grains at 170, we dumped the grains into a very large mesh strainer that rested over another large pot.
- The collected wort was gently poured back through the grains that remained in the strainer.
- Then the 170-degree sparge water that was warmed in a separate pot was gently poured through the strainer that held the grains. Sparging.
- ?? after all the sparge water went through, we may have gently poured the wort back through the grains again. ??
- After sparging, the wort was brought to a boil.
- When boil began, the temp was turned down some to a slow, rolling boil, and the first third of the hops were added. 0-min mark or 60 minutes left to go.
- After 30 minutes of boiling, added the second third of the hops.
- After 45 minutes of boiling, added the final third of the hops.
- After 60 minutes of boiling, the heat was turned off, and the sugar was added, followed by some stirring to help dissolve the sugar, using a sanitized large spoon.
- The pot of wort was placed into the sink.
- Two large bags of ice were opened, and the ice was placed around the pot to help cool the wort faster.
- After the wort was cooled, a funnel with a mesh strainer was placed into the fermenter, and the wort was poured into the funnel. The strainer would catch the hops, so a sanitized spoon was used to remove the hops so that the wort could pass through the funnel.
- Once all the wort was poured into the fermenter, then the yeast was added. We wound up using TWO packets of the Wyeast.
- Using a sanitized hand to cover the opening of the fermenter, the fermenter was vigorously shaken to stir up the wort with the yeast.
- Finally, a cap and an airlock were added to the fermenter.
We finished brewing late at night, and by daybreak the next morning, the wort was actively fermenting. A nice layer of foam existed.
Active fermentation seemed to have died down by Fri morning, Apr 3, although it was still a bit foamy on top.
On Tue, May 19, 2015, we finally got around to bottling. Too busy and too lazy to bottle sooner. We bottled 11 large bottles (22 oz) and one small or regular-sized bottle.
But the beer smelled and tasted bad, so we'll probably have to dump this. I don't think that bad beer improves with age.
The beer smelled good up to about two weeks earlier, and then nothing. No smell.
Maybe the up-and-down temps fouled it. Indoor temps reached about 80 degrees in the first week of May. Then the weather cooled, so indoor temps dropped to around 60 degrees. Then back up to around 80 degrees this past weekend, and now back down to 60 degrees again due to unseasonably chilly outdoor weather.
I think that this would have been a good beer if we had bottled it a month earlier.
We never dumped this beer. We tried some in late May or early June, and we disliked it, but for some reason we didn't dump it right away.
Then in late June, we spoke to a homebrewer, and he advised that we let the beer age longer. He said that some off-flavors will subside with time.
I tried some October or November of 2015, and it was okay. It wasn't as good as it should have been, but it didn't taste like it did in June.
I tried a couple more bottles. Sometimes, it tastes okay, and at other times, it doesn't. If we needed the large bottles to bottle another beer, then I would probably dump it.
But I think we will keep this beer and use it to make our version of the "Dr. Reed" drink, which consists of:
- large, cold glass or mug that was stored in the freezer
- mug filled to the top with ice
- PBR beer
- Rose's Lime juice
- lime wedges
Instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon, we will use the above Belgian Blonde Ale. It should be okay to drink outside on a warm summer evening.
#Belgian - #blonde - #2gal