Hi Guys, here's my first ever post:
I've been interested in brewing La Chouffe and as yet have not tried this beer, so first things first, I should buy a bottle and try it. I am wondering how this Belgian Blonde Ale differes from that of Duvel which is a BSG Ale of course.
I have brewed Duvel and I think some of the processes could well be worth sharing with you who are brewing La Chouffe ? so here is a run down of a few things I've picked up from one or two other HB'ers who brew Duvel regularly, I hope it may be of some use.
Firstly I'm not suggesting that brewing a Belgian Blonde is the same as brewing a BSG Ale.
Weyermann Pils 6.0 kg ( I could not get Dingermans)
Acidulated Malt 40 gms (for what its worth, I could have used more)
Dextrose 1.5 kgs
Styrian Goldings @ 60 mins 26 gms
Styrian Goldings @ 30 mins 26 gms
Czech Saaz gas off 14 gms
Wyeast 1388 3.0 L. Stir plate.
OG (virtual) 1.072
Alc 9.3 %
I mashed overnight from 11 pm until 6 am for a very attenuative wort.
Primary began at 18 C for 4 days then raised slowly over two days to 21 C.
OG was (virtual 1.072) Once the gravity was at 1.038 I added the sugar as 1.5 kgs in two litres of boiled water, cooled which raised the primay a little more to around 23 C.
Primary activity then incresed with a visible krausen.
Temp was slowly increased further over the next 4 days to 27 C and kept there for the next week untill SG 1.006. I then allowed it to cool somewhat without paying too much attention to the actual temp.
After a total of three weeks in primary the FG was measured at 1.002 and I left it for another week before racking.
I could not fit the entire volume all in the carboy so I bottled a half dozen stubbies which took 3 weeks to fully carbonate, meanwhile the full carboy went into lagering at 1 degree C for 3 1/2 weeks before bottling with 200 gms of dextrose and a small amount of S-23 dried yeast. This is a lot of priming sugar and was suggested to me for best producing the classic Rocky Head of Duvel.
Currently the entire batch has been bottled and is still conditioning, but all 6 stubbies have been consumed
It tasted sooooo good, that I could not leave 'em hanging around. I'm happy so far with the amount of esters present and the beer does not taste of fusels to my palette. The bottles, once fully conditioned will then go back at 1 degree C for three weeks to clear. I'm convinced they will be even better than the original 6.
Basically most of the pils malt wort was fermented at lower temps for cleaness, then the sugar was allowed to ferment warm for ester production along with what remained of the wort.
The FG ended up a few points lower than expected so the Alc % ended up a tad high at 9.3 % after priming.
The temp regime seems a little complex but in reality is pretty basic. Furthermore I doubt whether the next batch will receive the same exact treatment but will be very similar.
Cheers, sorry for the long first post, I'll try and keep them short from now on (famous last words) .