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Old 08-02-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
acidrain23
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Default Black Pepper Belgian Rye

My buddy wants to brew a Belgian with black pepper- thought it would be nice with rye to reinforce the spicy quality, and some citrus notes. What do you guys think of this?

For 5.5 Gallons (partial mash):

4 lbs Light DME
2 lbs Rye Malt
2 lbs Rye Flakes
2 lbs American 2-row/6-row

.5 oz Pacific Jade @ 20M
1 tablespoon black pepper corns, 2 tsp grains of Paradise, crushed @ 10M
1 oz Pacific Jade @ 5M
Zest of two lemons @ Flameout

Yeast: Wyeast 3522, Belgian Ardennes

Target ABV: 5.5%
Target IBU's: 20

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Old 08-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #2
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"Rye" flavor is most accurately described when eating traditional German pumperknickel bread, which is basically four ingredients: rye flour, rye berries, water and salt. I don't get the whole "spicy" concept with rye. It's more earthy and robust. Maybe spicy = robust for some people? Anyway, for that reason, a reinforcement of those flavors would result from ingredients like earthy European hops, a yeast that accentuates malt, dark malts and other rich-deep flavored cara malts... not black pepper and citrus.

Regarding the above malt bill,

I would do 30-50% pils DME, 20-30% pils, vienna (something other than 2 row), 10-15% rye malt, 0-5% flaked rye

Add some cara malts and anything else you deem necessary like biscuit malt, dark character malts, or whatever.

The hop bill needs a lot of work, though I'm not particularly good with the Belgian styles. Would use an earthy "spicy" low alpha European hop for this.

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Old 08-02-2012, 05:50 PM   #3
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Styrian Goldings maybe?

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:13 PM   #4
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Ding Ding Ding

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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So yeah, the black pepper and yeast I think are the main feature of this future brew. The rye mainly for a little more depth/complexity and "robustness" like you mentioned. I think the spicy descriptor is misleading as well, but it difficult to describe all of the flavors that make up beer! But I will consider elminating the citrus zest and I think maybe you are right about Pacific Jade being wrong for this brew (though it is described as having black pepper notes).

How about the spices? I dont want to whack you on the head with them, but I do think they should be detectable.

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:45 PM   #6
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I'd say you have a bit too much Rye in there for depth/complexity. If that is what you are going for I'd say 10%. I just did a brew with almost 30% and it is super prominent.

Honestly, if I were trying this I would prefer to do a test batch without the spices to make sure I've got the recipe right and then brew it again and add stuff in. This would be especially useful if you have trouble identifying flavors in a beer.

Or maybe you could split the batch, drain off half into a carboy and then add spices to the other. Or just go with it... Just a few things to think about.

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Old 08-02-2012, 07:12 PM   #7
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Its not that I have trouble identifying the flavors, its just that descriptors like "spicy" can be misleading I think.
With the spices I may just throw caution to the wind, so long as a tablespoon of black pepper and a couple of teaspoons or paradise grains seem like a reasonable amount. Anyone who has experimented with these spices care to weigh in?

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Old 08-03-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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Here's my stab at reformulating...

4 lbs Light DME/Pilsner DME
4 lbs Belgian Pils
1 lb Vienna (or Munich even maybe)
1 lb Rye Malt (or flaked rye, not sure yet)

(note, trying to keep the grain bill simple)

20M: .5 oz Styrian Goldings
10M: .5 oz Styrian Goldings + Spices
5M: 1 oz Styrian Goldings

Same Yeast.

Better?

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Hey there- I'm brewing this tonight! Having second thoughts on the yeast though. Suggestions???

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Well, here is my final recipe. You can see its a bit different from where I started. Unfortunately I decided to rely on my memory when I picked up the ingredients instead of my notes, bit of a kid in the candy store situation. So, guess we'll see what happens! I swear going forward I am going to try some vastly simpler recipes!

For 5.5 Gallons:

6 lbs Pils DME (50%)
2 lbs Belgian Pale Malt (17%)
1 lb Belgian Munich (8%)
1 lb Belgian Aromatic (8%)
1 lb CaraBelge (8%)
1 lb Flaked Rye (8%)

20M 1 oz Styrian Goldings
10M .5 oz Styrian Goldings
5M .5 oz Styrian Goldings

5M 1 oz coarsely cracked black peppercorns; 4 grams cracked grains of paradise

Yeast: Wyeast Trappist Blend (3789-PC)

Predicted OG: 1.078
Predicted FG: 1.019
Predicted ABV: 7.9%
Predicted IBU's: 14
Predicted SRM: 9

The brew itself went well though I did make the gaff of forgetting the hydrometer reading, doh! Too many homebrews. Fermentation is already kicked into highdrive though.

I did have a question regarding the yeast if anyone has used it. This is my first time using anything with Brett- how will this effect conditioning time? Am I going to have to wait a year before this is ready?

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