Monday, May 18, 2009

Single- Belgian Pale Ale

This beer is the first in my Gay Beers 2009 series. As I said in my last post, my plan is to do three successive beers on the same yeast, each getting stronger and bigger. It's a page out of Ted's book, and he brews some damn good beers, so I'm guessing it'll be a success. I'm not bothering with names for these, so this one is simply called the Single.

The Single-

Belgian Pilsner Malt- 6 pounds
Munich Malt- 2 pounds
Cara Pils- 8 ounces
Belgian Aromatic- 8 ounces

Fuggles- 1 ounce- 60 minutes
Simcoe- .875 ounces- 15 minutes

Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale- pitched straight from a smack pack

151/168- Hot water infusions

Gravity- Target/Actual/Final/ABV

I was so pumped to start brewing my Belgian beers this year. I love the spicy beery deliciousness they bring to my belly. I hadn't brewed this style before, so I turned to Michael Jackson (the other one) for most of my recipe notes. Pilsner Malt for most of the gravity. Munich for a little extra kick, sweetness and color. Cara Pils for some body, and Aromatic for...umm, I forget, but I'm sure it'll add something. My plan was to use Fuggles all the way through (more on that in a minute), but I'm interested to see what the Belgian yeast will do with the Simcoe's, which are really a classic western IPA hop. And of course, the lovely yeast. I am always so impressed with what flavors and aromas a Belgian yeast can squeeze out of what you throw in a carboy. I picked the Strong Ale yeast partly because I hadn't used it before, and partly because the successive beers I'll be making with it will be pretty high octane, especially the tripel. Lower pitching rates tend to add esters to a beer, so I deliberately pitched without a starter to maximize the effect.

Most of brewing at this point is a lot of waiting around, which is great, because there is loads of free beer, and that means there's plenty of time for drinking some while I'm watching the beer brew itself. Most of what needs to be done is in the last fifteen minutes. I had been waiting for a repair guy to show up at the house for several hours, and of course, he decided to pull up 18 minutes before the end of the boil. I was dry hopping an IPA, and had two varieties of hops on my table. Of course, instead of throwing 1 ounce of low alpha acid spicy Fuggles in at the fifteen minute mark, I threw in 7/8 of an ounce of high alpha acid fruity Simcoe. Needless to say, I was pretty upset for about an hour. Which is when I ran into Chris from Three Floyds. While our dogs sniffed each others backsides, we discussed the recipe, and my mistake. His response was that is exactly the sort of thing they would do at his brewery. Apparently, Fuggles and Simcoe go well together, and are complementary when blending. So there you go. Happy accidents.

Next up: The Dubble

1 comment:

Ted Danyluk said...

Sounds good. I like the low mash temp. It's not like accidentally pouring 5 ounces instead of 1. Simcoe should add some interest.

Say, I just started my Trappist high Gravity yeast today. Used up about a gallon of various final mash runnings, and a little extract to make a one gallon batch.

I need this one gallon yeast cake, cause next up will be the first time I'll try to duplicate a recipe as close as I can...the Belgian Tripel from last year.

Let me know when you want your beer/keg back. It's sitting untouched in the frig.