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Old 08-04-2010, 07:16 PM   #1
rexbanner
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Nov 2008
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I have been trying a lot of belgian beers lately and I finally tried Chimay Red and absolutely loved it. I've had other dubbels before but none as smooth and easy to drink as Chimay Red. It's a beer I'd love to have readily available but it's too damned expensive. What's the solution? CLONE IT!

Here's my notes from Brew Like a Monk:

Chimay Red:

OG: 1.061
ABV: 7.1%
Apparent Attenuation: 88%
IBU: 19
Malts: Pilsener, caramel
Adjuncts: Wheat starch, sugar
Hops: Bittered with American, flavored with Hallertau
Yeast: WLP500 or wyeast 1214

Fermentation: Pitch at 68, rise to 82 after one week
Secondary: 3 days at 32
Side note: Refermented with primary yeast


Typical ingredients in a dubbel:

Pilsener: 60-92% (avg 61%)
Caramel: 0-40% (avg 2%)
Special B: 0-12% (avg 5%)
Wheat: 0-22% (avg 1%)
Sugar: 3-18% (avg 10%)

Keeping all that in mind, I set about making a rough grain bill that would incorporate all of what Stan says is in Chimay Red, plus a little special B. Almost all homebrew recipes include it and I don't want this beer to be too one-dimensional.

Rough grain bill:

Pilsener 60%
Caramel 60 10%
Dark Candi: 5%
Sugar: 10%
Wheat: 10%
Special B: .5 lbs or less

BeerSmith Recipe Printout - www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Chimay Red Clone
Brewer:
Asst Brewer:
Style: Belgian Dubbel
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 6.02 gal
Estimated OG: 1.064 SG
Estimated Color: 16.1 SRM
Estimated IBU: 15.9 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 71.1 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 8.9 %
1.00 lb Wheat Malt, Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 8.9 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 2.2 %
0.50 lb Candi Sugar, Amber (75.0 SRM) Sugar 4.4 %
0.50 lb Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 4.4 %
1 Pkgs Belgian Ale (White Labs #WLP550) Yeast-Ale

0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (60 min) Hops 14.3 IBU
0.50 oz Hallertauer [4.80%] (5 min) Hops 1.6 IBU

This is what I came up with. Mash at 149 for 90 mins, ferment at 67 for one week, then rise to room temp which is around 78-80. I couldn't think of an appropriate American hop for bitterness but if anyone knows of any, I'd love to hear it. Let me know any suggestions in general. I understand that using the same ingredients as Chimay might not create as good a clone as using different ingredients (based on the differences in process). However, I figured it would be a good place to start.


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Old 08-04-2010, 09:05 PM   #2
maida7
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I'd use a bit more sugar and dubbel up on the special B. The sugar helps dry it out. Getting it to dry out is very important in a belgian beer. The special B will give you the dark malt characteristics needed in a dubbel.

Start the ferment cooler like 65F to control the hot alcohols and keep it from being crazy fruity. Then warm it as the ferment slows to 70F. This keeps the yeast warm for full attenuation. Make sure you pitch the proper amount of healthy yeast. Make a starter.



 
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:23 AM   #3
rexbanner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
I'd use a bit more sugar and dubbel up on the special B. The sugar helps dry it out. Getting it to dry out is very important in a belgian beer. The special B will give you the dark malt characteristics needed in a dubbel.

Start the ferment cooler like 65F to control the hot alcohols and keep it from being crazy fruity. Then warm it as the ferment slows to 70F. This keeps the yeast warm for full attenuation. Make sure you pitch the proper amount of healthy yeast. Make a starter.
Yeah, doubling the special B to half a pound could be a good idea, but at the same time I am hesitant to add more just because it's not mentioned in Brew Like a Monk, and also because at over half a pound it's supposed to add a plum taste. I never noticed any flavors close to plum-like Chimay Red, so I don't even want it to get close to that level. And once again it's supposedly absent from the recipe anyways.

I understand the fermentation process. A long post to read, I know.
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:17 AM   #4
dcp27
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Jan 2010
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The recipe looks like it should be pretty close, I did something pretty similar a year ago. It used around 0.66lb caravienne instead of special B, but I think 0.5lb special B would be closer. I think 1lb of aromatic malt in there would help it out too. Oh and personally, I'd use caramunich instead of C60.
The hops we used were saaz, then hallertau and styrian goldings.

 
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
SpanishCastleAle
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I'm brewing a 'starter batch' this weekend using the Chimay strain and plan to make a Chimay Red clone with the cake.

Timely thread, I really didn't have any idea of the recipe but was planning to use Pils/Aromatic/Crystal (still unsure of Lovibond, 120L is the darkest I have) and then a mixture of cane sugar and dark candi syrup. I have wheat malt on-hand so adding that is no problem. I orig was shooting for the 1.064 and ~84% attenuation (just shooting in-the-dark, was also going for slightly higher IBU) but 1.061 and 88% and less IBUs sounds good. I'll bitter with Willamette and finish with Hallertau.

Only had the real thing once (on tap) and it was wonderful.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:25 PM   #6
bgruis
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How did this turn out?
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Old 01-11-2011, 03:15 AM   #7
rexbanner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgruis View Post
How did this turn out?
I have not brewed it yet. I keep postponing it because I want it to be my swan song of brews and I've still yet to have a perfect brew day. It's definitely my next batch, though, I promise you. Within two months there will be a follow-up post to this one using the following recipe:

9 lbs belgian pilsener
.5 lb unmalted wheat
.5 lb caramunich
.5 lb special b
.5 lb aromatic
.5 lb amber candi sugar
.5 lb sugar
.5 oz galena @ 60
.5 oz hallertauer @5
white labs 530 yeast

.065 OG, 23 IBUs, 16 SRM

Really looking forward to this one.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:29 AM   #8
TastySalmon
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Are you inverting the cane sugar?

 
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:04 PM   #9
bh10
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Nov 2009
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I have a recipe at home, Ill get for you guys I was my Chimay Red clone, I got it dead on. Did a blind taste test with a Chimay Red, with a couple buddies, not one could tell the difference.

 
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
maida7
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fyi:

wlp 500 is the Chimay yeast

wlp 530 is Westmalle's

I'm gonna guess that 16 SRM is too light for Chimay.



 
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