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Old 02-22-2006, 09:22 PM   #1
drengel
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Default belgian blonde ale

i haven't foud a good recipe for this. anyone have one. i'm thinking belgain pilsner malt or belgian pale malt as the base, then some vienna, special b, aromatic, not sure what else, probably cara-vienne. then noble hops of course. i'll be using 2nd generation white labs belgian ale yeast. although i'm thinking about maybe using american ale in the primary, then adding candi sugar and the belgian yeast in the secondary. just to give it a cleaner profile and because ive never combined yeast and it seems fun.

edit- probably need some wheat in there too.

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next: saison, wit, american wheat, hefe, kolsch, blonde

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Old 02-22-2006, 09:30 PM   #2
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Arent Special-B and cara-vienna too dark for a blonde?

Sorry, I've never brewed that style. What are the characteristics?

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Old 02-22-2006, 10:39 PM   #3
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janx- i meant biscuit malt, not special b. youre right special b would be too dark. the cara-vienne from my hbs is 20L i think, which doesnt seem too dark. i'm tempted by cara-munich, but at 45L (i think), it might be too dark.

heres the bjcp guidelines:

18A. Belgian Blond Ale

Aroma: Light earthy or spicy hop nose, along with a lightly sweet pils malt character. Shows a subtle yeast character that may include spicy phenolics, perfumy or honey-like alcohol, or yeasty, fruity esters (commonly orange-like or lemony). Light sweetness that may have a candi sugar-like character. Subtle yet complex.

Appearance: Light to deep gold color. Generally very clear. Large, dense, and creamy white to off-white head. Good head retention with Belgian lace.

Flavor: Smooth, light to moderate pils malt sweetness initially, but finishes medium-dry to dry with some smooth alcohol becoming evident in the aftertaste. Medium hop and alcohol bitterness to balance. Light hop flavor, can be spicy or earthy. Very soft yeast character (esters and alcohols, which are sometimes perfumy or orange/lemon-like). Light spicy phenolics optional. Some candi sugar or honey-like sweetness on palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high to high carbonation, can give mouth-filling bubbly sensation. Medium body. Light to moderate alcohol warmth, but smooth. Can be somewhat creamy.

Overall Impression: A moderate-strength golden ale that has a subtle Belgian complexity, slightly sweet flavor, and dry finish.

History: Relatively recent development to further appeal to European Pils drinkers, becoming more popular as it is widely marketed and distributed.

Comments: Similar strength as a dubbel, similar character as a Belgian Strong Golden Ale or Tripel, although a bit sweeter and not as bitter. Often has an almost lager-like character, which gives it a cleaner profile in comparison to the other styles. Flemish use the term "Blond," while the French spell it "Blonde."

Ingredients: Belgian pils malt, aromatic malts, candi sugar or sucrose, Belgian yeast strains that produce complex alcohol, phenolics and perfumy esters, noble, Styrian Goldings or East Kent Goldings hops. No spices are traditionally used, although the ingredients and fermentation by-products may give an impression of spicing (often reminiscent of oranges or lemons).
Vital Statistics:
OG FG IBUs SRM ABV
1.062 - 1.075 1.008 - 1.016 20 - 30 4 - 6 6 - 7.5%
An ABV of 6.5 — 7.0% is most typical.

Commercial Examples: Leffe Blond, Affligem Blond, La Trappe (Koningshoeven) Blond, Grimbergen Blond, Val-Dieu Blond, Straffe Hendrik Blonde, Pater Lieven Blond Abbey Ale

it looks like i'll go with belgian pils malt for sure. beyond that...

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drinking: mocha java porter, belgian pumpkin ale, Gary's oatmeal stout clone, AHS nut brown, catamount porter clone, double nut brown, rye pale ale, my oatmeal stout

conditioning: nut brown

next: saison, wit, american wheat, hefe, kolsch, blonde

gone: too damn many

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Old 02-23-2006, 06:57 PM   #4
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the recipe i came up with is posted under the 'leffe' thread.

some input is still needed...honey or candi sugar? candi sugar is traditional, but i think honey would be nice. 3/4 oz. perle or 1 oz. styrian goldings for bittering (styrian goldings are most widely used)? i definitely want saaz for flavor hops (i want spicy, earthy hop flavor in this). am i using too much white wheat?

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drinking: mocha java porter, belgian pumpkin ale, Gary's oatmeal stout clone, AHS nut brown, catamount porter clone, double nut brown, rye pale ale, my oatmeal stout

conditioning: nut brown

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Old 02-23-2006, 07:04 PM   #5
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Candi sugar (which is just table sugar, BTW) or invert sugar. Honey contributes some distinctive flavors not suitible to any Belgian beer I've had. Why do you favor honey?

Goldings hops for bittering.

It doesn't mention wheat in the style guidelines you posted...

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Old 02-23-2006, 07:24 PM   #6
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i just like the flavor honey gives a beer. this ale should have some honey like sweetness in it, but i think the yeast will do that for me, so i think honey is overdoing it. i'm probably gonna go with the clear candi sugar. in fact i guess i'll just go mostly traditional with it and use the goldings you suggest. in the guidelines it mentions goldings, i just have a fondness for the perle/saaz combo. the wheat is for head retention, and cause i like the flavor/body it gives. for me a good bottle conditioned belgium needs that amazing huge foamy head on it. maybe i should use flaked wheat though...and not so much...whats your opinion?

thanks janx

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drinking: mocha java porter, belgian pumpkin ale, Gary's oatmeal stout clone, AHS nut brown, catamount porter clone, double nut brown, rye pale ale, my oatmeal stout

conditioning: nut brown

next: saison, wit, american wheat, hefe, kolsch, blonde

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Old 02-23-2006, 07:38 PM   #7
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I guess I'd leave out the wheat since it isn't in the style guidelines. It may cloud it up too. But I don't have a problem with head retention in any of my beers, so I don't know. I totally agree about the big rock and roll head it should have. If your head retention is typically a bit on the low side, some wheat may be in order. Malted wheat may end up the least cloudy form.

I think the honey would ferment out pretty dry anyway with that Belgian Yeast. Your residual sweetness will come from the Cara-pils. If you want some sweetness to remain, make sure you have the Cara malts to your liking because that Belgian yeast will go really dry I bet.

You can save some money on expensive candi sugar by using table sugar.

And as I mentioned in the other thread, I'd put the sugar in the kettle so the yeast has as much time as possible to work on it. Yeast first needs to split sucrose into simple sugars which it can then ferment. You can make it easier on the yeast by making invert sugar, which ferments very clean, but in Belgians, the stress of the yeast fermenting sucrose creates weird esters that may be desirable. You just don't want to get a stuck ferment by adding the sugar when the beer is already acidic and alcoholic and the yeast is getting sluggish.

Cheers

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Old 02-23-2006, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
I You can make it easier on the yeast by making invert sugar, which ferments very clean, but in Belgians, the stress of the yeast fermenting sucrose creates weird esters that may be desirable.

Cheers
but don't so many belgians use candi sugar? it seems like the yeast would be adept at fermenting it by now. candi sugar is table sugar? how do you make invert sugar?
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drinking: mocha java porter, belgian pumpkin ale, Gary's oatmeal stout clone, AHS nut brown, catamount porter clone, double nut brown, rye pale ale, my oatmeal stout

conditioning: nut brown

next: saison, wit, american wheat, hefe, kolsch, blonde

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Old 02-23-2006, 08:04 PM   #9
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Candi sugar is just table sugar and you'll save a whole lot of money using it instead of candi sugar from your brewstore.

There's a thread of mine on here where I explain how to make invert sugar
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=592

Read all the way...there's confusing stuff out there and I had it wrong at first...I thought invert and candi were the same...not so.

As far as yeast being adapted to it...any ale yeast, be it Belgian or California, is the same species Saccaromyces Cervisae. They are different strains, but the Belgian yeast, just like the Calfornia yeast, will have to split the sucrose into simpler sugars before it can consume it. And that takes time and energy on the part of the yeast.

Making invert sugar accomplishes the split in advance so it ferments much more quickly and cleanly.

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Old 02-23-2006, 08:16 PM   #10
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i also thought candi sugar and invert sugar were the same. i'll read that thread, i remember it from before and was planning on looking it up after hearing your suugestions.

thanks janx

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drinking: mocha java porter, belgian pumpkin ale, Gary's oatmeal stout clone, AHS nut brown, catamount porter clone, double nut brown, rye pale ale, my oatmeal stout

conditioning: nut brown

next: saison, wit, american wheat, hefe, kolsch, blonde

gone: too damn many

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