Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Belgian Single

This beer was inspired by Sarah. When we racked the first lambic we tried the freshly fermented beer. Despite being simple in recipe, it was wonderful. We really liked the flavors imparted by the yeast.

I wanted to use the third generation Ardennes yeast cake from my Belgian lambic primary fermentation. After considering my options I decided that I wanted to make a very simple recipe to showcase the yeast. I wanted a session-able beer that would be low in alcohol. I wanted a beer with low malt complexity and subtle hopping to showcase the yeast profile of this strain. I settled on a simple Belgian table beer. This style of beer is brewed by monastic monks to be the table beer served inside the monastery's walls. Very few commercial examples exist. Most of the recipes I looked at call for all pilsner malt, the exceptions mixed in carapils and aromatic. The most common selections of hops included saaz, tradition, and other typical belgian hops. The yeasts most commonly associated with this style were Trappist blends and abbey ale blends. I plan to use the Ardennes strain.

(more after the jump)

My Recipe (5 gallon):
6 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) 98.0 %
2.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) 2.0 %
0.50 oz Saaz [4.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min 8.5 IBUs
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins)
1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] - Boil 12.0 min 7.2 IBUs
1.0 pkg Belgian Ardennes (Wyeast Labs #3522) [124.21 ml]

Original Gravity: 1.032 SG
Final Gravity: 1.008 SG
Alcohol by Vol: 3.2 %
Bitterness: 15.7 IBUs
Est Color: 3.0 SRM

Mash Details:
Mash in 10 quarts @ 162
Mash out 4 quarts @ 210
Sparge 14 quarts @ 170

The brewing of this one was not easy. It started out great, but a stuck sparge and running out of propane during my heat up slowed me down. I also had trouble hitting my sparge temp, I'll just boil more water next time. I also ended up with a bit much OG, I ended up with around 83% efficency, which isn't bad, it just made the beer stronger than intended. I'll keg it in about 3 weeks and give it a proper review in due time

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