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Old 05-15-2012, 03:02 AM   #1
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Default Belgian Blond Session

Hey all. I'm going to brew a three gallon Belgian blond to grow enough yeast for a serious Duvel clone. I want it to be dry with some depth of malt and character, but low gravity. Don't have a clue about hops, but I'm tired of EKG. I tend to prefer simple recipes, but I've heard more malts are necessary for a tasty session beer, so I'm going with three specialty malts.

Comments or ideas welcome:

Here's the base recipe as of now:

1.041 OG

4 lbs pilsner
4 oz CaraMunich
2 oz White Wheat
2 oz Biscuit Malt

Hops:

60 minute addition of "to be determined" (I have a couple oz of Mt. Hood pellets... thinking about just using these)
15 minute (small addition of maybe Mt. Hood again?)

Yeast WLP 570

Mash at 152 for 60 min, 90 min boil, etc. etc.

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Old 05-15-2012, 05:00 AM   #2
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I would consider putting in a few ounces of flaked wheat/oats maybe? Dunno if that would throw off the dryness you're going for though.

Also for my blonde I am personally fond of Willamette hops. They have a subtle spiciness that lends itself well to a blonde ale.

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Old 05-15-2012, 05:04 AM   #3
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I wouldn't necessarily say you have to have more malt but say you need a malt/hops balance that leans in the malt direction. You can achieve that by reducing hops as easily as you can by increasing malt. Especially when doing a session.

If it were mine, I'd probably go with a noble hops so you get a hop character that's mild and not overly resinous. Just my two cents. And I'd do a 30 min boil instead of a 60 without a late addition.

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Old 05-15-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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I have been working on a session Belgian Blonde recipe for a while. Reading Brew Like a Monk, there was a part where he talked about the monks brewing a low OG beer for them to drink, so that was my inspiration.

I am pretty close to what I am looking for. I use Pils, flaked wheat, and some sugar. In the last brew I used Fuggles. The flaked wheat really helps with the mouthfeel. It is still pretty dry but does not seem thin, which can happen with low OG brews.

Try not to get the bitterness too high. This will help the other flavors shine. The last batch I did I had a BU:GU ratio of .5. It is good but I think the bitterness could be reduced slightly. Next time I am going lower than that. I figure that I am getting close and by the next time I should have what I am looking for.

Good luck with your brew.

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Old 05-15-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input so far. I'll look into the flaked wheat and hops some more. Probably sub out the wheat malt for the flaked wheat.

Hop flavor and aroma are so subjective. I know this won't be a hop forward beer by any means, but even at the suggested 30 minute addition, I know they'll add some character.

Seems I have even more reason to read BLAM!

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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At thirty minutes you will boil off the large majority of flavor oils and you'll still get some bitterness without being overpowering.

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Old 09-28-2012, 04:22 PM   #7
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How time flies. Guess when I'm finally brewing this? Saturday. Completely blanked on the recipe by the time I got to the Homebrew Store, and the recipe is now:
6lbs pils
8 oz Special B
8 oz flaked wheat
1 oz Mt. Hood hops, 30 min addition
90 Minute Boil

Probably going to go for a lower mash temp now that fermentables have increased, probably 145-148.

Updates to come after Saturday.

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Old 09-29-2012, 03:11 PM   #8
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A lower mash temp will result in a more fermentable liquid and a thinner body. I'd keep it at 152 for the mash.

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Old 09-29-2012, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double_D
A lower mash temp will result in a more fermentable liquid and a thinner body. I'd keep it at 152 for the mash.
You generally want a thinner body on Belgian style ales - it's one the reasons you see sugar added the boil often - much more food friendly that way as well
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoreman View Post
You generally want a thinner body on Belgian style ales - it's one the reasons you see sugar added the boil often - much more food friendly that way as well
Agreed. The problem with that is it's a "belgian style" session beer he's going for. It's not to style and there's no adjunct sugar. And since he's using so little grain it's going to be thin anyway. Even with great efficiency the recipe will only start out at about 1.036.
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