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Old 02-16-2013, 11:59 PM   #1
ttaylor2258
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Default Belgian Pale Ale?

Ok, so I'm 7 beers into my home brewing hobby, and I'm getting better. I've begun making my own recipes and so far, so good. My goal is to make a quick batch that will be ready by S Patricks Day. I had a bottle of Damnation a few weeks back and decided to try and cultivate the yeast. I made a small starter and mixed it with the bottom of the bottle. It took off like a normal starter, just smaller. When it finished, I stuck it in the fridge for a week. I then made another small starter batch, poured the top of the previous batch out and added the new starter wort. And it went off again. I'm not sure I have enough yeast yet to fully ferment a 5G batch though. I plan on brewing in the morning and will make another small starter tonight to use tomorrow. I figure if its not fermenting within a couple of days, I can just run out and grab a vial of WLP500.

Anyway, it'll be an extract brew with specialty grains.

1# Vienna Malt
.5# Caramunich
.5# Specialy Aromatic
6# Pale LME
.5 Clear Belgian Candi Sugar
Paradise Seeds

I'll use the late extract addition method and I plan on using nothing but Nelson hops. Not sure if it'll totally fit into the BPA style, but I think I should get something drinkable!

Thoughts, comments, concerns?

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Old 02-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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I think your grain bill looks pretty good. Very close to the Brewing Classic Styles version, although you add Vienna and use Specialty rather than Biscuit- but looks pretty standard.

If you wanted to be really true to style, a few suggestions. BPA doesn't need to be quite as dry as other Belgians, so sugar isn't typically used. You want some spice, but keep it under control- you could probably get enough spice if you keep fermentation temps in the mid to upper 60s throughout. De Koninck gets all of its spice from the yeast, so the paradise wouldn't strictly be necessary. Noble hops or EKG would be more typical for a BPA, but use what you have, and keep the IBUs restrained.

But you may not want a De Koninck clone, and I think you would end up with a pretty tasty beer with the recipe as is.

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Old 02-17-2013, 03:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice! I actually decided to drop the sugar because it brought the ABV way higher than a typical BPA. The reason I'm going with Nelson (beside it being an awesome hop!) is that I bought 4 ounces a couple months ago and need to use them. They've been sealed in their airtight packaging and frozen, so they should still be close to 100%.

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:07 AM   #4
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Don't panic about using up the hops. They will last a year in the freezer without issues. But; fresher is always better.

I would have kept the sugar in. Extract tends to finish high, and the sugar will help lower the FG.

I'm not sure what you will get from steeping Vienna and Aromatic. They need to be mashed to get any sugars from them. They might provide some flavor, but they will leave a lot of starch which could result in a cloudy beer. They do have enough enzymes to self convert, so you could do a mini mash and get the sugars from them. 2 lbs of grain in 2.5 quarts of water. heat water to 160-165 F, remove from heat, add grains (temp will drop to about 150 F), stir, and then cover as best as you can to keep heat in and leave for 30 minutes. Strain, rinse grains, and brew as normal.

If you steep those grains you might get about 10 gravity points (or affect the final beer gravity by .002 in 5 gallons). If you mash, you can get around 54 gravity points (or affect the final beer gravity by .010 in 5 gallons). The difference is equal to about 1.3 to 1.5 lbs of LME.

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Old 06-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Just a quick update. I entered this into a local competition and won! Now I get to brew my beer with a local brewer and have it on tap at a few local brewpubs, as well as have it entered into the GABF Pro-Am Category!

It's pretty awesome winning a competition with my first ever submission!

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Old 06-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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Good work! What did you end up doing for your recipe, if I may ask.

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Old 06-07-2013, 06:20 PM   #7
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It's close to the recipe I posted above.

Steeped the Vienna, Caramunic & specialty Aroma for 30 minutes.

Boiled 3.5LBS of extract for 60 minutes
Boiled 3.5LBS of extract for 15 minutes
.5oz (12% AA) Nelson for 60
.5oz (12% AA) Nelson for 10
1oz Seeds of Paradise for 10
1oz (12% AA) Nelson at flameout
Fresh Lemon Zest of 2 lemons at flameout (and a pinch of sweet orange peel)
Pitch WLP510 and let it rock and roll, then I dry hopped with 2 oz's of Nelson for 2 weeks before bottling.

It's sort of a west coast style Belgian Pale Ale.

Full bodied, lots of flavor, low ABV (5.3) and hoppy all around!

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