My prototype recipe is as follows:
12 lbs Belgian pale malt
6 oz caramel wheat
6 oz special B
4 oz aromatic
3 oz roasted barley (added to the mash right before the sparge, for color)
mash @ 152
75 min boil:
1 oz cascade @ 60
1 oz centennial @ 15
1 oz cascade @ 10, 5, and 1
I'm also toying with doing an all-cascade hop schedule, with 1 oz @ first wort, 60, 15, 10, 5, and 1, for ~54 IBU, but that's a little high, but only 30% of the IBU come from the bittering addition, and 44% of the IBU come after 15 minutes. Maybe only .5 first wort and .5 bittering, which would be ~36 IBU.
pitch a half-gallon starter of Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity (which I've found to be a good middle-of-the-road, all-purpose Belgian yeast.) Hold at 68 until high kräusen, then let free-rise to about 80 to finish.
what do you guys think?
The idea is to fuse a couple styles. So I looked at some Irish Red grain bills, and then took the basic grain bill I found for that style- a dark crystal, a medium crystal, and a touch of roasted barley- and I used Belgiany versions, so the dark crystal is special B, and the medium crystal is caramel wheat, and I also added a bit of aromatic malt just to be clear about the Belgian bill. The Trappist High Gravity yeast, if you treat it properly, is smooth and mildly and delightfully estery, not overpowering. (I also happen to have some harvested from a previous batch.)
But I wanted this beer to be like a Pale Ale, and that means some hop character too. So I looked at some hop schedules for some APAs and poked around at IBU:SG ratios for award-winning pale ales and thought a nice generous hop bill where I get most of my IBUs from first wort and late additions would be perfect and balance the relatively restrained quantities of specialty malt.
My primary inspirations for this beer are hoppy Belgian pale ales like young Orval before the brett kicks in too much, and Stone Cali-Belgique IPA which I find to be more smooth yet also more complex than Stone IPA, and they're both the same base beer.
Is this too much going on or am I onto something here?