Poll

How would you treat the second half of a split batch?

Honey
5 (21.7%)
Fruit
6 (26.1%)
Spices
5 (21.7%)
No additions, no pants
3 (13%)
Other
4 (17.4%)

Total Members Voted: 16

Author Topic: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde  (Read 3072 times)

Offline a10t2

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How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« on: January 13, 2012, 12:04:43 AM »
I'm getting ready to do a split batch of a Belgian-style Blonde Ale for the new BBR-BYO experiment, and while I love the style, I'm not sure I want to have 10 gal of the base beer on tap. So what would you do with the second batch? I have a source of local wildflower honey, but I'm not opposed to a fruit beer - notwithstanding that nothing's in season. I'm also debating spicing it in one way or more.

What would you do?

FWIW, the base beer will probably be 78% pale malt, 17% Munich 1, 5% CaraVienna. Magnum at 60 min for ~20 IBU, and Wyeast 3787. Any additions will have to be made post-fermentation, to either the fermenter or the keg.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2012, 12:12:24 AM »
I think I would go with spices as you mentioned no fruit in season. a cherry blonde or blueberry would be really good. It's a shame it's not winter. I bet you could find some really cool local wildcrafted fruit to use. Perhaps you know someone who wildcrafts and freezes quantities of barberries or choke cherries. must be some good fruit growing in... CO right?
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Offline euge

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 12:27:45 AM »
I'm against spices. But that is in most beers. :) Anyway, pepper seems appropriate for some reason. Honey seems like a natural choice but then again I think it's overdone. Fruit is intriguing with 3787. And a blonde ale would showcase fruit well. Like the sound of cherry or maybe even raspberries. Blackberry? Of course then it wouldn't be a blonde ale anymore. Something light maybe peach or apricot.

You could do a braggot. Either add the honey during fermentation or blend in some mead. Just throwing some stuff out there. Brainstorming. You have a lot of options but I think it should stay at it's heart a blonde ale.

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Offline narvin

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012, 08:16:45 AM »
How about a partially refined sugar, or some Agave nectar?  I'm sorry, but a fruity or honey blonde just sounds lame  ;)
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2012, 08:27:37 AM »
I would throw in some D-45 Candi Syrup or one of the other darker ones just to get a comparison on the flavor impact.

I've recently stocked up on some of these and am planning (hoping) to do a similar split batch in the near future.

As far as I am concerned, you cannot have enough Belgian-style ale on tap.

Fruit?  Not my thing, but if you like it go for it.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2012, 08:44:09 AM »
I'm with Joe and will regularly add candi-syrup to my second batches to really change things up.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 09:54:06 AM »
I do like the idea of using some candi syrup. Do you guys think half a pound in a 5 gal batch would be noticeable? I don't want to bump up the gravity too much.

I also just remembered that I have some Citra, and I'm thinking that would make a terrific dry hop for something like this.

Decisions, decisions...
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 10:10:13 AM »
I can't say for sure, but I think 1/2 pound of would be noticeable.  Especially in a blonde.

I've not used any of it yet so I'm just guessing. 

I don't think the clear syrup will lend any more flavor than just using simple table sugar but perhaps it would.

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Offline jeffy

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 10:29:22 AM »
I do like the idea of using some candi syrup. Do you guys think half a pound in a 5 gal batch would be noticeable? I don't want to bump up the gravity too much.

I also just remembered that I have some Citra, and I'm thinking that would make a terrific dry hop for something like this.

Decisions, decisions...

I doubt a half pound of sugar would do much for color or flavor, but on the other hand I really like hoppy Belgian ales.  Go with the Citra.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 10:48:35 AM »
you could go a little crazy with it, add olives and olive juice and call it a dirty blonde
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Offline euge

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 10:53:34 AM »
you could go a little crazy with it, add olives and olive juice and call it a dirty blonde

 :P

I was thinking about the spices and the yeast being used. How about a small amount of cardamom?
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Offline narvin

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2012, 11:51:14 AM »
A half pound of the dark syrup would up the SRM by almost 4, so it would be noticeable in color at least.  I would be surprised if flavor didn't also come through.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2012, 12:11:47 PM »
In one of my Zymurgy articles I did a recipe split that I love to pieces.

1 10g batch of Saison Wheat base, full boil with a Magnum bittering charge.

Pull a small amount of wort, add bottle of dark candi to it and boil for 10 minutes while chilling into the carboy.

Stop the flow, add the boiled candi syrup wort and shake to incorporate.

In the kettle threw in 2 oz of Citra to the remain 5ish gallons, rewhirlpool and steep for 10 minutes.

Chill into a second carboy.

Two very different beers from the one batch.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2012, 12:22:45 PM »
Drew - have you used the clear syrup?

Does it add anything flavor-wise?

I'm tempted to give it a try but sugar is just sooooo much more cost effective.
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Offline dbeechum

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Re: How to Doctor a Belgian Blonde
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2012, 01:06:14 PM »
I don't notice any strong difference between the syrup and the sugar as long as I have healthy yeast in the mix.
Drew Beechum - Maltosefalcons.com
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