Author Topic: Belgian Blonde  (Read 1900 times)

Offline GolfBum

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Belgian Blonde
« on: May 11, 2012, 01:41:01 PM »
So I am trying to make a recipe for a belgian blonde with my dad in a few weeks. It's a extract batch with specialty grains. Let me know what you guys think about it and any changes you think I should make and why. Any feedback would be great.

7.00 lbs Pilsner DME
1.00 lb Light Candi Sugar
0.50 lb Biscuit Malt
0.50 Vienna Malt
0.25 lb Crystal 10L

1.00 oz Northern Brewer @ 60 mins.
Yeast - WLP 550

I am going to steep the grains at 150 for 30 minutes then add the DME and sugar after I get the wort boiling.

With the program I used to make the recipe it gave me:
IBUs - 26
SRM - 6.4
OG - 1.064
FG - 1.016

I have a couple weeks to think about it so it could change.

Offline GolfBum

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 01:44:38 PM »
Forgot to add that I am going to be doing a 90 minute boil.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 01:48:49 PM »
first 2 things I noticed:

1. I wouldn't use light candi sugar, just use cane sugar or invert sugar. There really is no difference in my experience. If you want some flavor contribution, use something darker, like demerara or piloncillo.
2. Vienna malt needs to be mashed. Steeping it is probably going to dilute the small amount of enzymes to where it won't convert in 30 minutes. I would up the biscuit a bit, or just cut out the vienna malt.

Other than that, looks good. Maybe a bit of styrian goldings at 15 minutes?
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline GolfBum

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 02:15:52 PM »
I read that about Vienna malt but wanted to get a second opinion. So I am going to take that out and bump up the biscuit (up to 0.750lbs) and the crystal to 0.333 lbs.

I really just want to get more fermentables out of the sugar. So I suppose any sugar would work. Is there any pros or cons to using different types of sugar?

Offline hoser

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 02:23:25 PM »
I would ditch the crystal malt, IMHO. Belgian pale beers are generally fairly simple: Pilsner and Sugar.  Maybe steep 4-8 oz of biscuit and/or aromatic malt for some malt complexity.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2012, 02:34:56 PM »
I really just want to get more fermentables out of the sugar. So I suppose any sugar would work. Is there any pros or cons to using different types of sugar?

The only difference is if you are adding a sugar with some flavor. I know that in Radical brewing, Randy Mosher recommends Pioncillo for his Belgian Pale Ale. If you are simply going for the fermentables, use table sugar, its cheaper.

Regarding crystal, crystal 10 probably isn't going to do much for you. If you want a bit more complexity, maybe like 2oz of crystal 40? or you could easily just drop the crystal, and steep 3/4 lb of biscuit.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline GolfBum

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2012, 02:42:26 PM »
I was thinking of scrapping the crystal as well but saw it in a different thread and figured it wouldn't hurt in small doses. It's still up in the air. If I were to get rid of it would using biscuit with aromatic work or do those kind of clash?

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2012, 02:46:34 PM »
I was thinking aromatic as well, but I don't have any experience with that malt, and I thought I read somewhere that some malts labeled aromatic require mashing. So I will let others with more experience speak on that note.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline GolfBum

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 03:04:21 PM »
I was thinking aromatic as well, but I don't have any experience with that malt, and I thought I read somewhere that some malts labeled aromatic require mashing. So I will let others with more experience speak on that note.

You are correct about it requiring mashing. I just looked it up. So it appears I will be doing this blonde with the Pilsner DME or just Light DME Pilsner Malt and Biscuit Malt. Would I get more flavor using light DME and getting Pilsner malt or just going the pilsner DME road? Seems like a stupid question but I thought I would ask.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2012, 03:41:10 PM »
do you have a small (2 gallon or so) cooler?  If you do, you can do a mini-mash with some pilsner, and use the biscuit and vienna malt, and then use pilsner dme to top up to your gravity. If I were to do this, my rough guess of a recipe would be:

4.50 lbs Pilsner DME
1.00 lb Cane Sugar (or character sugar)
0.50 lb Biscuit Malt
0.50 lb Vienna Malt
4.00 lb Pilsner Malt

Mash in (2.25 gallons) at about 152-153, and hold it for 45-60 minutes, drain off, add a couple gallons more water at 170 to sparge.

You should have about 3.5 gallons of wort at this point in time. Take a sample of your mixed (1st and 2nd) runnings and cool it down to take a gravity sample. At this time, add the water to bring it up to your standard boil volume.

So, I am just throwing this number out there. you have 3.5 gallons of beer at 1.040.

You want 5 gallons of beer at 1.064

3.5 X 40 = 140 points of gravity
5 X 64 = 320 points of gravity

so you need 320-140 = 180 points from extract.

IIRC, DME provides 42 p/lb/g, so you need 180/42 = 4lb 5oz of DME.

There is your basic partial mash, and you can use mashable grains, such as vienna or aromatic malt, and its a good step towards all-grain.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison

Offline hoser

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2012, 06:26:09 PM »
Aromatic malt can be steeped.  But, has better utilization when mashed.

Offline GolfBum

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 09:37:24 AM »
Garc_Mall, I might havea 5 gallon cooler my dad can bring with him when we brew, would that work or be too big? Also this would be my first attempt at mashing grains but think it would be fun to do with my dad to give him a truer experience to brewing. i just have a few questions about the mash process that has me stumped. I must be over thinking it.

1.) When you mash at 152 degrees is that what you want to heat the water up to? Or should I go a little hotter so while it is mashing the temp will fall a bit?

2.) I only have a 6 gallon brew pot that will probably boil over if I try to brew a five gallon batch on it. I normally just top it off in the fermenter. Would this work with the mash process? I plan on taking OG right before I pitch.

These might be stupid questions but sometimes I tend to overthink things. But I want to make the best beer possible with my dad here.

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 09:54:31 AM »
Chris, you really dont even need a cooler! A lot of folks are doing the brew in a bag thing. So just take a couple pounds of pilsener malt and your other grains and put them in a fine muslin bag right in your brew pot.

For a blonde, Id mash at 149, so heat up your strike water to around 152 or so drop your grain bag in cover and keep the temp steady. Youll want to mash for an hour, so you may have to turn the heat on every 15 minutes or so. If you do, just make sure the bag isnt sitting on the bottom of the kettle or it may scorch.

Lift the bag up when you're done, and begin to bring to a boil, add your extract, and proceed as normal!


EDIT: Hell you can even do the beer completely all grain if you have 2 pots...
Jason
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Belgian Blonde
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 11:36:43 AM »
Garc_Mall, I might havea 5 gallon cooler my dad can bring with him when we brew, would that work or be too big? Also this would be my first attempt at mashing grains but think it would be fun to do with my dad to give him a truer experience to brewing. i just have a few questions about the mash process that has me stumped. I must be over thinking it.

1.) When you mash at 152 degrees is that what you want to heat the water up to? Or should I go a little hotter so while it is mashing the temp will fall a bit?

2.) I only have a 6 gallon brew pot that will probably boil over if I try to brew a five gallon batch on it. I normally just top it off in the fermenter. Would this work with the mash process? I plan on taking OG right before I pitch.

These might be stupid questions but sometimes I tend to overthink things. But I want to make the best beer possible with my dad here.

First, you could use the 5 gallon cooler easily. If you can get a cooler conversion kit to convert the cooler to a mash/lauter tun, awesome. If not, just use a grain bag like you would use for steeping to line the cooler. Then you can use the water draining outlet on the cooler to lauter. Or you can do the brew in a bag like Jason recommended.

on to the other questions

1.) I meant to have the mash at 152. You can find strike water temp calculators on the internet (I have one on my phone) where you put the amount of grain and water, and it will tell you the strike temperature. if you are using a cooler, heat the water about 3-5 degrees warmer than what it says to preheat the cooler, then add the grains when the temperature of the water reaches the strike temperature stated. Don't worry overmuch about the exact temperature. If you are within a couple degrees, you will be fine. Jason recommends mashing at 149. That will give you an extremely dry beer, and I like my beers a bit less dry, so I mash a bit higher. Its totally up to you, and there really isn't that much difference between 149 and 152.

2. Topping off will be fine. You still do the calculations the same. I would shoot for a post boil volume of 4 gallons, and add that to a gallon of cooled water in the fermenter.
In a Keg: Flanders Red Ale, Rye Altbier, Cascade/Topaz Pale
Fermenting: Flanders Red, Saison