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This is my second attempt at a sessionable, malt-forward Belgian, this time with a different yeast strain. People tell me that beers with WLP500 are better after 2-3 months. I think this is alright now after two weeks in the bottle, but you can exercise discretion on when to drink it. ;-)    

Maastricht or Bust

16B-Belgian And French Ale-Belgian Pale Ale

Recipe Overview
Target Wort Volume Before Boil: 29.00 l Actual Wort Volume Before Boil: 29.00 l
Target Wort Volume After Boil: 24.00 l Actual Wort Volume After Boil: 24.00 l
Target Volume Transferred: 21.00 l Actual Volume Transferred: 21.00 l
Target Volume At Pitching: 21.00 l Actual Volume At Pitching: 21.00 l
Target Volume Of Finished Beer: 20.00 l Actual Volume Of Finished Beer: 20.00 l
Target Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG Actual Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.046 SG
Target OG: 1.056 SG Actual OG: 1.052 SG
Target FG: 1.012 SG Actual FG: 1.009 SG
Target Apparent Attenuation: 77.5 % Actual Apparent Attenuation: 81.2 %
Target ABV: 5.8 % Actual ABV: 5.7 %
Target ABW: 4.6 % Actual ABW: 4.5 %
Target IBU: (using Rager): 24.3 IBU Actual IBU: 24.3 IBU
Target Color: (using Morey): 19.5 EBC Actual Color: 19.5 EBC
Target Mash Efficiency: 80.0 % Actual Mash Efficiency: 79.1 %
Target Fermentation Temp: 18 ˚C Actual Fermentation Temp: 18 ˚C
Ingredient Amount % MCU When
German Pilsner Malt 4.296 kg 79.0 % 2.0 In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Aromatic Malt 298 g 5.5 % 2.0 In Mash/Steeped
CaraMunich II 275 g 5.1 % 4.3 In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Biscuit Malt 275 g 5.1 % 2.1 In Mash/Steeped
German Caramel Pils 193 g 3.5 % 0.1 In Mash/Steeped
Belgian Special B 103 g 1.9 % 5.3 In Mash/Steeped
Variety Alpha Amount IBU Form When
NZ B Saaz (Motueka) 7.0 % 25 g 22.5 Pellet Hops 60 Min From End
NZ B Saaz (Motueka) 7.0 % 7.65 g 1.8 Pellet Hops 15 Min From End

Yeast Nutrient 2.20 g In Boil
Koppafloc 0.60 g In Boil

Yeast Strain Amount Used
White Labs WLP500-Trappist Ale 250 ml

Water Profile
Target Profile: No Water Profile Chosen
Mash pH: 5.2
pH Adjusted with: Lactic Acid

Total Calcium (ppm): 55 Total Magnesium (ppm): 0
Total Sodium (ppm): 0 Total Sulfate (ppm): 0
Total Chloride (ppm): 95 Total Bicarbonate (ppm): 0
Mash Schedule
Step Type Temperature Duration
Rest at 55 ˚C 15
Rest at 64 ˚C 40
Rest at 68 ˚C 20
Rest at 72 ˚C 10
Mash Notes
Textbook step mash. Recirculation made a relatively cloudy wort quite clear.
Fermentation Notes
2 1/2 month-old pitch of yeast from Tom Innes. 1.030 after 5 days. 1.014 after 2 1/2 weeks. Think this was definitely under pitched. Tastes okay though.  
1.009 after 4 weeks. Yeast still in suspension. Would definitely have benefitted from racking to a secondary fermentation. 
Packaging Notes
Cold crashed to 10C for 4 days. Bottle conditioned at 2.7 volumes CO2. Cleared nicely in the bottle, but decent chill haze.

Views: 246

Replies to This Discussion

I really enjoyed your beer last night.

Appearance - nice clarity with a very slight haze. Nice amber colour with a slow fading head. Well carbed.

Aroma - funky Belgian yeast jumps straight out at me. Spicy and ripe fruit on the nose. Almost a pleasant alcohol-like note which I assume is the yeast.

Taste - nice clean malt comes through first followed by the yeast. Finishes dry with a lasting bitterness which marries well with the yeast. I get a warming feeling but not necessarily alcohol. The malts and yeast are well balanced and work great together.

Overall - My wife said "I could very well drink a lot of this" and I couldn't agree more. I'd happily pay for this at a pub. The malt bill and yeast work well together and it has been brewed well. Good job!

This is the Last beer I have in the Swap, it's a shame really, cos its been good.

Onto the evaluation: I had this one last night, and being a big fan of Belgians I was looking forwardto this one.

Appearance, Slightly Hazy,  Nice amber colour, good for style., The Head sat at around 5mm for the whole pint. Off whiet Head

Aroma, Funky Belgian Yeast, Nice Fruity esters,, which are i find are still relatively restrained. What sort of Temeprature did you ferment at Douglas?

Taste: Good Yeasty Belgian-ness, with a god strong Malt Profile, the step-Mashing Seems to be well worth the Extra effort for Head Retention, and for Malt Backbone. Perfectly carbed for style, which helps bring out some of the specialty flavours in the beer, in particular I almost get a raisin type flavour from the Special B, I know theres not alot there,

Overall, agree with Paul, If I bought this at a Pub, I'd be more than happy, Well Brewed, with good techniques used to get the head, and body. the malt and yeast work together well.

Bring on the next Swap, add a few additional people in.

Thanks Rob. Yeah, I'm quite happy with this beer overall.

I'm really enjoying the breadth of this swap, and it'll be interesting to see what people can knock up next time.

Fermentation? From memory I pitched around 17C, held there for a couple of days, then ramped a degree per day up to 22C. I held it there for about 4 weeks, but with a fresher pitch of yeast it shouldn't take as long. 

Maastricht or Bust

Appearance: Nice amber colour, nailed that, very little to no head. Good clarity.

Aroma: Banana bread, fruity esters..classic belgian yeast character. Slight booze.

Taste: Again banana cake, biscuity malt, nice balanced and sessionable, not too malty and booze is restrained.

Mouthfeel: Light and sessionable, doesn't have a bitter or hoppy note like some NZ belgian ambers. Lack of carbonation means it sits a little thin, but that fits with the session vibe. If it had a bit more spritz this would be perfect. 

Finish: Nice little dry finish that makes you want more, slight malt backbone.

Overall: A beautiful belgian, my pick of the bunch. Great yeast flavour and very sessionable, only thing that let it down was carbonation. 2.7 vol should have been plenty, so maybe the yeast hadn't fermented it all yet?

Colour: Copper/amber

Aroma: Spicy, orange, phenolic, bready

Flavour: biscuity malt base, tangy oranges

Getting a fair bit of malt sweetness through the middle that lingers a little bit before dropping off. I get a little chocolate in the finish with tangy sweet/orange that's quite desert-like. Very sessionable though (not cloying), I could have a pint with a nice desert.
Belgian yeast cuts through nicely and gives the beer that extra depth. Medium body, carries the beer nicely.

Head: big fluffy, dropped fairly quickly but stuck around for ages after that

Quite clear.

Amazing beer overall, love the label too.

Did you do any salt additions for this? And what was your starting water? I'm trying to get a feel for chloride/sulphate ratios, your recipe looks like it'll emphasize the malts (if my understanding is correct).

Just drinking this now...

Poured a nice Amber colour, although slightly hazy.

First aroma is Belgian yeastiness with spicy overtones, and a slight clementine oranginess.

To be honest, I thought the hop was an EKG style rather than Motueka, but I think that was down to the spiciness of the yeast coming through.

Taste, was so good. Smooth, malty, long lingering bitterness. I too got a bit of the raisin taste, and a slight honeylike aftertaste.

Overall a really good beer. I would certainly love to drink more of it!

Well done Douglas, and here is to more swaps!!

Nice belgian spicy aroma.

Appearance good. Nice and clear with a good head. Copper coloured.

Nice malt at the front with more malt and some dried fruit notes in the middle through to belgian yeast notes, some spiciness and a well balanced bitterness at the end.

Body seems about right.

Overall a lovely drinking beer. Nice to sit down to on a cold wintery evening like tonight!

Thanks Zane. Much appreciated.


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