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Old 08-27-2012, 01:44 PM   #241
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As robust as the Belgian strains all seem to be, definitely make starters for beers this big.

I did a side by side of my keg vs bottled at ~21 days. Both aren't there yet but unsurprisingly the keg that's been chilled and on gas has a lot farther to go. This batch isn't the best example due to blowing the mash temp and using 3787 at a higher ferm temp. It will be great, no question but I've decided to pull it out of my keggerator and let it condition longer at room temp.

Carbonation was almost there but not perfect so I'm considering priming to finish it up. Its hard to gusstimate a corn sugar addition but thinking 1.5-2 oz. This batch is a little thick due to the mash temp so overshooting the carbonation will probably be OK.

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Old 09-21-2012, 12:41 AM   #242
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As a fan of Leffe, I've been eyeing this recipe for quite some time. I've looked high and low and based on what I can tell, this recipe seems to be quite close, with one exception: the yeast.

For my taste, the flavors that dominate Leffe are Leche (bubblegum) and clove with some malty graininess in the background. I think the yeast is the key to nailing the flavors, so I've spent some time looking into it.

I've never actually brewed with WLP530, but literally everything I can find about it says that it is mild in both the fruit and the spice. I can't find anyone ever describing the taste of 530 as leche or bubblegum and the spice rarely seems to be that of clove. The more I thought about it, I realized I can't remember ever tasting Leche in a belgian strain at all. (Some say that WLP400 can give off bubblegum; and I'm sure there's a commercial example, but I've never had it.)

In my search for the right yeast, I stumbled across a few postings which said that Leffe was actually brewed with a German Weizen strain and that it was confirmed by an employee at Leffe. My first reaction was that's crazy, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. If you could remove the banana from a weizen I think the flavor would be spot on.

From what I can tell, WLP 351 fits the bill perfectly. It's supposed to have little to no banana and have lots of leche and clove. I'm proud to say that I picked up the last vial of 351 at my LHBS today and I'm going to brew it up next weekend. The vial is past the expiration date, so I'll have to step up a few starters. But before I put grain to water I wanted to test my theory. My LHBS owner (who is quite knowledgeable) that it might be crazy enough to be true. What do y'all think?

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:03 AM   #243
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FWIW I've heard Wyeast 3787 has a fair amount of bubble gum flavor if not done at cool temps. No first hand experience with it yet though.

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Old 09-21-2012, 01:43 AM   #244
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My recipe tastes pretty bubblegummy to me....

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Old 09-24-2012, 02:39 AM   #245
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Well, I think I'm wrong. I found a copy of Brew Like a Monk and there was (as expected) some info Belgian yeast and (to a lesser extent) info on Leffe.

Leffe is fermented for 5 days. Pitched at 64F and allowed to rise to 77F over 5 days. Lagered for two weeks and forced carbed. OG:1.064. I'm no expert, but I don't think temps that high would produce tasty results in a hefe. From my experience hefe yeast does much better <72F.

The book also had flavor profiles for various strains and it appears that 1214, 3522, 3787 & 3538 will all produce bubblegum (as well as other things) when fermented between 75-85. If Brew like a Monk is right it appears 3538 may be the closest choice. Unfortunately it has limited availability. 1214 may be the next best bet.

My 351 starter is kicking, but I think I should just use it on a hefe instead.

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:37 PM   #246
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Well, at 4 weeks in the bottle and my second attempt at this recipe and a side by side I must say this batch turned out fantastic! Thanks for the recipe Revvy! This one is going to be a regular rotation for sure

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Old 11-03-2012, 12:04 AM   #247
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I've finally had the opportunity to brew this one. Leffe Blonde is one of my favourite beers so I can't wait to taste the finished result. It's bubbling away vigorously.

My finished volume was slightly low (16 litres instead of 19) and my OG was slightly high (1072 instead of 1068) but hopefully it'll still turn out ok, if slightly strong.

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:29 AM   #248
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For the record, I just cracked open one of my last dozen or so bottles of this brew.

My "bottled on" date on the label is 4-28-2012, and I brewed it four weeks prior to bottling.

Age hasn't hurt this one a bit; if anything, it continues to subtly improve.

Pour gives me the same nice, fluffy head as always.

Aroma is a fruity bouqet with some slightly hoppy notes. Taste is fruity maltiness up front balanced with some nice spiciness and a subtly dry finish. Very nice brew, one that I will make a point to always have on hand.

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Old 01-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #249
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Brewed this yesterday. Mashed for an hour, but otherwise hit all my numbers. Subbed in some Willamette for the 60 min and tettnang for the 30min. Used yeast from my last dubbel (WLP530). My 1L starter didnt have much of a white layer of yeast, so after crashing it, poured off and did another starter. Well, I had full krausen at 6 hours... Guess there was plenty of yeast.

Currently sitting at around 19C.

Should be a good one!

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:44 PM   #250
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Sounds interesting with the hops, and the yeasts. Can't wait to hear how it turns out.

Hey, that begs a question for you guys. What yeasts have you used on this? Every time I do this I use a different one, including harvest yeast, and so far nothing really beats the original yeast I used. What do you guys like? I think I need to get this back in rotation again...not sure if I want to use something new, or go back to old school on this.

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