Author Topic: Belgian blonde recipe help  (Read 2208 times)

Offline IMperry9

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Belgian blonde recipe help
« on: December 18, 2015, 08:34:53 PM »
Hey everybody I apologize for the all the post I have been on a brewing frenzy lately. I have been experimenting with recipes I already have and diving into German and Belgian Styles now. This is my second Belgian beer I will be brewing and I am not totally sure on the recipe, here is what I have.
Grains/Fermentables:
- 12lbs Pilsner Malt-Any suggestions, not sure what the store will have available.
-.5lbs Weyermann Belgian Style Abbey malt- is this appropriate for this beer?
-.75lbs White Table sugar- to dry it out

I am not sure on the yeast or hops. For hops would Willamette be suitable or not? I am aiming for the lower end of the spectrum at around 15-20 IBU's.
For yeast I was thinking WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast because it seemed to be a reliable yeast and fits this style. Any Feedback is appreciated. Prost!
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2015, 09:19:44 PM »
How many gallons?  That seems like a big malt bill for a 5 gallon blonde.

I've never been 100% happy with the Belgian blondes I've brewed, but WY3787 was my preferred yeast when I ran a few side by sides.

I'm not sure what Abbey Malt is, but I've used a small amount of aromatic in my recipes.

For hops, I typically finish with Styrian Goldings.  Bitter with whatever bittering hop you prefer. I've been using Magnum lately.
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RPIScotty

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Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2015, 10:29:49 PM »
How many gallons?  That seems like a big malt bill for a 5 gallon blonde.

12 lbs of Pilsner conservatively at say 29 ppg would net ~1.070? That's a Tripel not a Blond!

I've never been 100% happy with the Belgian blondes I've brewed, but WY3787 was my preferred yeast when I ran a few side by sides.

+1

I'm not sure what Abbey Malt is, but I've used a small amount of aromatic in my recipes.

I think the Abbey is Weyermanns Aromatic Joe.

For hops, I typically finish with Styrian Goldings.  Bitter with whatever bittering hop you prefer. I've been using Magnum lately.

Saaz and Hallertau would very likely be a candidate as well. You shouldn't need any sugar in a beer like a blonde. I would maybe suggest subbing some Pilsner for Pale for a bit of complexity.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 10:38:01 PM by RPIScotty »

Offline GS

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2015, 11:03:14 PM »
Assuming you are making 5 gallons, that is a big malt bill for a Belgian Pale, but only if sticking to the style guidelines is important to you! If not, keep calm and brew on.

I don't think that the maltster of your pilsner malt is going to make that much of a difference, so whatever pilsner malt your store has will do just fine.

Abbey malt is just another kind of toasted malt; some contribute a bready flavor, others are more like a honey malt. Depends on the maltster. Is it appropriate for the style? Absolutely. If your store doesn't have any abbey malt, simply substitute aromatic or biscuit malt. You could even use Victory malt if you wanted to.

Willamette hops should work just fine. And like Joe Sr just said, Styrian Goldings works too.

I would stick with the WLP550, and here's why: it is appropriate to style, is reliable, and this is only your second batch of belgian pale. You know that  yeast can have a huge effect on the flavor of the beer, and if you are constantly changing malts and yeasts from recipe to recipe, you'll have a hard time figuring out exactly what works best for you. From my own experience, yeast is the last thing I change when I'm trying to get a recipe "just right."

RPIScotty

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Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2015, 11:54:11 PM »
Assuming you are making 5 gallons, that is a big malt bill for a Belgian Pale, but only if sticking to the style guidelines is important to you! If not, keep calm and brew on.

I don't think that the maltster of your pilsner malt is going to make that much of a difference, so whatever pilsner malt your store has will do just fine.

Abbey malt is just another kind of toasted malt; some contribute a bready flavor, others are more like a honey malt. Depends on the maltster. Is it appropriate for the style? Absolutely. If your store doesn't have any abbey malt, simply substitute aromatic or biscuit malt. You could even use Victory malt if you wanted to.

Willamette hops should work just fine. And like Joe Sr just said, Styrian Goldings works too.

I would stick with the WLP550, and here's why: it is appropriate to style, is reliable, and this is only your second batch of belgian pale. You know that  yeast can have a huge effect on the flavor of the beer, and if you are constantly changing malts and yeasts from recipe to recipe, you'll have a hard time figuring out exactly what works best for you. From my own experience, yeast is the last thing I change when I'm trying to get a recipe "just right."

I agree with about 50% of what you said. Pilsner malt will matter (i.e. don't use, say, Briess Pilsen) and subbing Aromatic for biscuit or victory wouldn't be something I'd do.

[EDIT] I'd also venture to say that the yeast would be the #1 thing I'd want to get right from the get go. This is especially true for Belgian beers. The yeast rules. Malt, sugar and hops are all things to be tinkered with once you find a strain you like. For Belgian styles the absolute most important ingredient is the yeast. After all, a Dubbel, for instance, is just a brown ale without the right yeast strain.

Try the CSI database for some nice examples.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 01:43:28 AM by RPIScotty »

Offline jeffy

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2015, 12:22:41 AM »
Assuming you are making 5 gallons, that is a big malt bill for a Belgian Pale, but only if sticking to the style guidelines is important to you! If not, keep calm and brew on.

I don't think that the maltster of your pilsner malt is going to make that much of a difference, so whatever pilsner malt your store has will do just fine.

Abbey malt is just another kind of toasted malt; some contribute a bready flavor, others are more like a honey malt. Depends on the maltster. Is it appropriate for the style? Absolutely. If your store doesn't have any abbey malt, simply substitute aromatic or biscuit malt. You could even use Victory malt if you wanted to.

Willamette hops should work just fine. And like Joe Sr just said, Styrian Goldings works too.

I would stick with the WLP550, and here's why: it is appropriate to style, is reliable, and this is only your second batch of belgian pale. You know that  yeast can have a huge effect on the flavor of the beer, and if you are constantly changing malts and yeasts from recipe to recipe, you'll have a hard time figuring out exactly what works best for you. From my own experience, yeast is the last thing I change when I'm trying to get a recipe "just right."
Very nice first post.  Welcome to the forum.
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Offline IMperry9

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2015, 03:30:56 AM »
Thanks for the advice everybody really appreciated. I guess looking at the BJCP 2015 guidelines I did hit the high end for the Belgian Blonde Ale 25A. At 70% Efficiency if I lowered the pilsner to 11lbs, my OG should be 1.064 and my ABV should be around 6.6%. which seems to fit the style. I will probably stick with the Willamette unless my store has Saaz and Hallertau then I will use those. I think the yeast is really the only thing I am undecided on it really depends what I have available to me. I have always used white labs because that's what my store carries. `I think I will use the Abbey malt because it sounds like what I want in this beer.
A fine beer may be judged with only one sip, but it's better to be thoroughly sure.
Kegged/Bottled: N/A
Coming up:
SMaSH Rye Pale Ale
Chocolate Rye Stout
Milk Stout

RPIScotty

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Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2015, 04:35:52 AM »
I apologize for any confusion as I believe I have confused the  Trappist Single with the Belgian blonde. My comment on the sugar should be disregarded either way. It was a brainfart

I will say that even as a voracious fan of Belgian beer, I have never tasted a non-Trappist single or blond beer I liked.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 04:45:49 AM by RPIScotty »

Offline GS

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2015, 05:13:17 AM »
Its going to be a great beer no matter what you decide.

RPIScotty

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2015, 10:54:09 AM »
After looking over the recipes over at CSI, WLP550/WY3522 seems like a good pick on your part.

Offline jtoots

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2015, 04:31:22 PM »
I'd toss WLP570 in the ring as a potential.  Great yeast.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2015, 05:28:37 PM »
After looking over the recipes over at CSI, WLP550/WY3522 seems like a good pick on your part.

3522 is one of my favorites.  I believe it to be outstanding in lighter SRM Belgian styles.

Not so much for darker ones, though.  But that's just my preference.

I have a tripel/golden strong going with it right now.
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RPIScotty

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2015, 05:57:14 PM »

3522 is one of my favorites.  I believe it to be outstanding in lighter SRM Belgian styles.

Not so much for darker ones, though.  But that's just my preference.

Very well stated.

RPIScotty

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2015, 09:39:31 PM »
On the topic of Pilsner malt, I really like Dingemans and its is cheap and readily available (local shop) where I'm at.

Interestingly though you can see a trend as far as Pilsner malt is concerned (and base malts in general) with a bunch of the Brewers here from one of my other posts:

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https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=25283

Offline beersk

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Re: Belgian blonde recipe help
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2015, 01:47:04 AM »
I don't know what you guys are talking about with that being a big grain bill. Belgian blond is to be between 6 and 7.5% abv.  I guess since you have the sugar in there maybe cut back on the base malt by a tad. Otherwise, leave the sugar out and mash low and long.
And I was going to say that 3522 Belgian Ardennes is a fantastic yeast. Joe Sr. beat me to it.
My recent Belgian blond had a pound of cane sugar in it. I'd probably omit that next time. It finished at 1.007, which was maybe just a tad too dry, but was still fantastic.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 01:50:52 AM by beersk »
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