Friday, April 2, 2010

Belgian Table Beer (Homebrew)

I brewed this one up about 2 weeks ago now, and somehow I'm just getting around to writing it up. I guess the great spring weather around here has made me too lazy, all I do is lay around soaking up the sun.

Since it was awhile ago that I brewed this I forgot some of the small nuances of why I brewed it like I did, but I have a fairly good idea what and why I did it. A recent pattern to my brewing is lower gravity refreshing beers that will quench your thirst on a hot summer day, and this beer is no exception. A problem I have with a lot of commercial Belgian beers is that they tend to be a bit higher alcohol, and I don't really wanna headache on a hot day. This is kind of an unfortunate trend with homebrewed Belgians as well. This was something I really wanted to avoid at all costs.

A lot of lower OG beers tend to be a bit lighter on the flavor as well as the alcohol, by using a Belgian yeast Im hoping to make something that not only is packed with flavor but will really accentuate all the BBQ food Ill be eating in the next couple months. When dreaming up the recipe I really liked the idea of a light bodied, but very earthy bready beer with a nice amount of Belgian phenolics and esters mid-palate. I didn't however, want it to be anything like a witbier, I wanted something with its own identity. To be honest I had never had anything that I would consider a Belgian Table Beer before today (2wk after brewing) and what I'm drinking as I type is a decent beer but a bit different that I hope to make. (BTW I'm drinking Avril from Dupont) I don't think the beer is bready enough, and it reminds me far too much of a Saison Dupont on a diet, which isn't a bad thing, just not what I want in my beer.

I decided to keep the malt bill simple (as usual) but wanted to add a bit of unmalted wheat to lighten the graininess of a pils base. I wasn't sure what yeast to use, so I went with a strain that I hadn't yet used (Ardennes) it wasn't until a bit of convincing though from some BA'ers that this would be a strain that would work well in the beer. Lastly I threw a lot of late additions of Fuggles and plan to dry hop with them as well to really drive home the earthy flavors.

Belgian Table Beer 
Malt Bill
Amt (lbs)Type
1.5Flaked Wheat
Amt (oz)TypeTime
0.85Mt Rainier (6.8%)60
1.0Fuggles (4.7%)10
1.0Fuggles (4.7%)KO<170F
- --
Mash Schedule
170F1.9qt/lb15min - vorlauf
YeastArdennes WY3522
85% effIBU26
7gal BoilFG-

Review - 6/19/10


brett said...

Thiis sounds greatI've had excellent results with lower gravity Belgians. Recently did a sesion rye that came out wondefrul. Full of flavor, yet very refreshing. My friend and fellow brewer also made an awesome <a href="> Belgian mild </a> that was like a low-ABV abbey ale. Good stuff.

Fermento said...

I like this Ardennes yeast. I made a similar beer with 8 lb biscuit and 1 lb white wheat - I really like the spicy tones the yeast provides.

Ryan said...

Fermento - I agree I really like 3522, its a great yeast

8# of biscuit malt!! thats a ton, how did the final beer taste?

Toddgreen.d said...

I plan on brewing this. I'm a bit confused about your last hop addition. I assume these are added while chilling the wort and added when temp is below170, then left in the kettle. Is that right?

Also plan on using willamette in place of fuggle at same ibu.

Ryan said...

Todd - You got it, I chill the wort and then add the hops, I generally have what most homebrewers would consider a long cooling time, but its not out of line for what craft brewers are doing, this extended cooling time also helps extract more flavor/aroma from this late addition

Good luck with the beer, let me know how it turns out!

Anonymous said...

Finally got this bad boy on tap. This is going to be a great spring/summer beer. Used willamettes in place of fuggle. I wanna say they may add a bit of citrus/american hop flavor to the mix. either way its very good. Refreshing and crisp! Great beer!

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