Belgian Blonde Ale - December 2014
We brewed this five-gallon, all-grain batch during a group brew day that occurred on Sat, Dec 6, 2014. We celebrated the anniversary for the repeal of prohibition, which occurred on Dec 5, 1933.
This was our second Belgian Blonde, but it was different from our first one. This recipe was called "Bruxelles Blonde" in the Brooklyn Brew Shop's second book titled Make Some Beer.
Eight brewers participated in the group brew day. And as usual, we enjoyed a lot of good food, beer, and conversation. And help.
We had trouble with our mash tun clogging, so we sparged by using Bam's mash tun.
The ABV is suppose to be 6.0%.
- Belgian Pilsner malt
- Belgian Biscuit malt
- Caramel 15 malt
- Belgian Munich malt
- Torrified wheat
- Styrian Golding hops, divided into thirds
- Belgian candi sugar** (see below)
- Belgian ale yeast - Safale S-33
- Honey for bottling
- 60-minute mash
- 60-minute boil
- added one-third of the hops at the start of boil
- added another third of hops after 30 minutes of boiling
- added the final third of hops after 45 minutes of boiling
- ** we added approx 13 ounces of Belgian candi sugar at the end of boil, and this step was not listed in the book's recipe. this was our idea.
On Friday eve, Dec 5, 2014, we bought beer making ingredients at Titgemeier's, and while there, we met three other brewers who will be at the Dec 6 group beer day. We then shopped at The Anderson's for beers to bring to the brew day and for ingredients to make chili. Deb assembled the chili on Friday eve, Dec 5.
At the group brew day, we set mash water on burner at 10:40 am to warm up. I think that it's called strike water.
At 10:50 am, water at 160 degrees, and mash started at 10:52 am.
Our mash tun clogged. We unsuccessfully unclogged it, so we waited a bit and used Brian's mash tun for sparging.
Boil began at 1:30 p.m., and the first hops were added at this time.
60-minute boil. Then the wort was chilled.
Airlock applied around 3:00 to 3:15 pm.
We left the brew day spot around 7pm.
Some brewers activate the yeast a day or two before brew day. The concept is similar to a pre-ferment for bread baking.
Grain tasting. My favs were the 2-row, 6-row, biscuit, caramel 120L, and maybe the chocolate 330L, which had a burnt, roasty flavor. The caramel 60L was a milder version of 120L, which had a sweet, breakfast cereal flavor. Instead of munching on popcorn, we should snack on malted grains.
On Wed, Jan 14, 2015, we bottled 45 bottles. We tasted some leftover beer, and it tasted excellent. We're excited about this beer. Hopefully, it's not overly carbonated.
For the bottling sugar, we used only a half-cup of raw local honey. The recipe recommended one cup of honey.
We seemed to include a fair amount of sediment into the bottling process, so I doubt this will be a flat beer. With age, this beer should be carbonated fine.
Our process is to move the beer from the fermenter into a large pot, then add the bottling sugar, and then bottle.
I wish that we had bottled a handful of bottles before adding the honey to see how the bottles carbonated themselves over time.
We like our new single-bowl sink that was installed last week, Jan 7, 2015.
Our new bottle tree, purchased last month at Titgemeier's.
Bottle tree decorated.
On Thu, Jan 22, 2015, we tried our first bottle. Deb liked it. I thought it was okay. I guess that I was a little disappointed after having enjoyed the leftover beer so much on bottling day, and I thought that our first bottle would taste better.
The carbonation was just right, in my opinion. It was carbonated without being overly carbonated. Cutting back on the honey during bottling day helped. But this might carbonate up more over time as the beer ages.
Jan 29, 2015
We drank another bottle, and this time, I enjoyed it. Good beer. We then shared a bottle of Ommegang Belgian Blonde, and I liked ours better. I think the Ommegang was too hoppy for me.
Feb 4, 2015
I consumed another, and this is an excellent beer. I'm glad that we brewed this one in a five-gallon batch.
#belgian - #blonde - #5gal - #wheat - #photo