Belgian Table Beer

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ryane

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
Wyeast 3522
Yeast Starter
0.5L
Batch Size (Gallons)
5.5
Original Gravity
1045
Final Gravity
--
Boiling Time (Minutes)
60
IBU
26
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
2wks - 65Fish
Tasting Notes
http://ryanbrews.blogspot.com/2010/06/belgian-table-beer-review.html
[repost from blog]

I brewed this one up about 2weeks ago now, and somehow I'm just getting around to writing it up. I guess the great spring weather around here has made me too lazy, all I do is lay around soaking up the sun.

Since it was awhile ago that I brewed this I forgot some of the small nuances of why I brewed it like I did, but I have a fairly good idea what and why I did it. A recent pattern to my brewing is lower gravity refreshing beers that will quench your thirst on a hot summer day, and this beer is no exception. A problem I have with a lot of commercial Belgian beers is that they tend to be a bit higher alcohol, and I don't really wanna headache on a hot day. This is kind of an unfortunate trend with homebrewed Belgians as well. This was something I really wanted to avoid at all costs.

A lot of lower OG beers tend to be a bit lighter on the flavor as well as the alcohol, by using a Belgian yeast Im hoping to make something that not only is packed with flavor but will really accentuate all the BBQ food Ill be eating in the next couple months. When dreaming up the recipe I really liked the idea of a light bodied, but very earthy bready beer with a nice amount of Belgian phenolics and esters mid-palate. I didn't however, want it to be anything like a witbier, I wanted something with its own identity. To be honest I had never had anything that I would consider a Belgian Table Beer before today (2wk after brewing) and what I'm drinking as I type is a decent beer but a bit different that I hope to make. (BTW I'm drinking Avril from Dupont) I don't think the beer is bready enough, and it reminds me far too much of a Saison Dupont on a diet, which isn't a bad thing, just not what I want in my beer.

I decided to keep the malt bill simple (as usual) but wanted to add a bit of unmalted wheat to lighten the graininess of a pils base. I wasn't sure what yeast to use, so I went with a strain that I hadn't yet used (Ardennes) it wasn't until a bit of convincing though from some BA'ers that this would be a strain that would work well in the beer. Lastly I threw a lot of late additions of Fuggles and plan to dry hop with them as well to really drive home the earthy flavors.


Belgian Table Beer I

Amt (lbs) Type
6.5 Pilsner
1.5 Flaked Wheat

Hops Type Time
0.85oz Mt Rainier (6.8%) 60
1.0oz Fuggles (4.7%) 10
1.0oz Fuggles (4.7%) KO<170f
1.0oz Fuggles (4.7%) Dry Hop

Mash Schedule
Temp Ratio Time
150F 1.2qt/lb 45
170F 1.9qt/lb 15min - vorlauf

Yeast Ardennes WY3522

Stats
5.5gal OG 1045
85% eff IBU 26
7gal Boil FG -
 

GuldTuborg

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That's a good looking beer.

Oddly, I just drew up a recipe while bored recently that looks a good deal like this. I had hoped to get around to brewing it soon, but it's always tough to find time during the holiday season (plus I still have my 11/11/11/ to crank out). My recipe calls for roughly 2 parts pilsner to 1 part wheat with a little sugar thrown in, plus what hops I have on hand (first gold & crystal, probably). I might add a whisper of flavoring, such as lemon, or something like that. I like the 3787 and 3538 yeasts, but I've never tried the 3522. Looks like I have a new excuse to try some different yeast! They should turn out fairly similar, I would imagine. A good tasting, drinkable beer that won't knock you on your a$$, yet still captures the essence of these big Belgian ales, is exactly what I had in mind, too.

Have you brewed this again? Would you change anything next time around?
 
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ryane

ryane

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thanks,

3522 I think is quite a bit different than 3787, and Ive yet to try 3538, it only hints at bubble gum and spice that 3787 throws a ton of, I think a touch of lime zest could really accentuate the flavor profile of 3522 so you might keep that in mind if you decide to add some spices

Unfortunately I havent had time to rebrew this yet, although its in the plans soon so its ready for spring time, as far as changing anything, I really dont think I would I really liked it as it was, I do think you could sub in something like Rye, Spelt, Triticale, etc for the wheat in the recipe, the yeast really let the flavors from the grain really shine through
 
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ryane

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If you do Id like to hear how it went, Im getting ready for another take on this one myself
 

sockmerchant

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Quick question, guessing i can sub malted wheat for flaked wheat 1 to 1? Havent really done much with wheat.
 
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ryane

ryane

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you could but using malted wheat will change the flavor profile considerably (malted wheat will provide a much grainier wheatiness, and doesnt provide the same creamy body), if you can I really suggest finding the unmalted wheat, lots of heath food stores sell flaked wheat or wheat berries, both would work equally well

if you use the berries I suggest grinding them to flour and mixing them in well before you mash in, theres no need for a cereal mash as the gelatization temp of wheat is low enough that mashing at 150F will do everything for you
 

sockmerchant

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Harder to find in NZ than I thought. Might have to work something out involving maltodextrin
 
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ryane

ryane

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hmm, have you checked the baking aisle in a grocery store? they always seem to have and unprocessed form of wheat there for bread

If you still cant find it, I suggest using any type of grain you can find in flaked or berry form ie triticale, spelt, etc, you could even use flaked barley

Edit:

I dug around a little bit, and found this

http://www.foodtown.co.nz/Shop/Prod...name=barnyard-poultry-food-wheat&search=wheat

its listed as chicken food, which doesnt sound appetizing but it seems to be actual wheat berries
 

sockmerchant

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I've tracked down a LHBS that has torrified wheat so should be good. Brewed something based on your recipe last night. And by based on, I mean completely different :)

Will brew your one when my ardennes yeast shows up (getting stuff in NZ is a pain in the ass!)
 
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ryane

ryane

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Dunno why but it seems odd to me there isnt more homebrew presence there, seems that there would be a decent amount of beer culture in NZ being it was settled by the UK

I looked at a couple of the HB stores in Auckland and was expecting a bit more.....

I hope everything goes well and the beer turns out as tasty for you as it did for me!
 

sockmerchant

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Cheers :)

And yeah its hard going here! There is a grand total of two ways to get wyeast here. One shop does a very limited selection (south island). There is a forum here which seems to be mostly run by Epic beer (an NZ craft brew place...which does good work! Their stuff is available in the US in limited quantities). Through the forum they do bulk orders every two months. Waiting for my yeast from said order to do your brew. All round its a giant pain in the ass and costs way more than it should. Oh well. Brew on
:mug:
 
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ryane

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I just brewed up another version of this, this one using Amaranth instead of wheat berries, Ill post a pic when the beer is finished

It has a very nice herby nut like flavor that seems to blend really well with the hops, well before its been fermented at least
 

GuldTuborg

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How's the amaranth version going? I've been curious about brewing with amaranth for a while, if only because no one else seems to be doing it. did you just use a cereal mash? Any cloudiness from the extra proteins and such?
 
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ryane

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I kegged it a week or two ago and its cold conditioning, flavor from the amaranth seems to be very herbal and earthy and blending really well with the hopping (EKG's)
 
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ryane

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I generally prefer beers with a bit less CO2(~1.6-1.8), but this is a beer I like to have around for bbq's etc so I will crank it up to around 2.2vol and at that carbonation level its quite nice
 
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ryane

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Update - I did a tasting of the Amaranth version of my table beer, a review and a pic are posted here


To give a quick overview of it though, I think its a bit more herbally than the original was, a bit less creamy (less wheat) but overall its a nice easy drinking bee

I think amaranth could pair very well with a saison yeast or in something light with brett b. Anything with crystal malt or darker grains though and I think the flavor of the amaranth would be covered up, it could still provide some benefit to darker beers though as it has a lot of protein and produced a very dense head
 

cuttsjp

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I just did a review of the original Belgian Table Beer for my blog. After reviewing it I read Ryan's review...let's just say that they are VERY similar. I'll take that as proof that this is a fantastic recipe. Perfectly named, too...this is the one you want to drink with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between.

Appearance: very pale golden color, and now brilliantly clear (was a bit hazy from suspended yeast at first); a finger of brilliant white head dissipates into a nice ring of foam with some decent lacing

Aroma: bready, sweet malt aroma with mild spice, banana, and bubblegum notes in the background; not as super pronounced as in other Belgians, but actually quite lovely and delicate

Flavor:
really nice biscuity flavor from the Pilsener malt, with a light sweetness (though the beer is quite dry) and smooth creaminess, floral and slightly earthy hop flavor all throughout the middle from the wonderful EKGs; subtle, quintessentially Belgian notes of spice, fruit (especially pear) and bubblegum towards the end with just enough bitterness at the back of the tongue

Mouthfeel:
I was intentionally conservative with the carbonation on this one, and it really paid off. Low to medium carbonation with a silky light body and wonderful smoothness/creaminess from the flaked wheat

Overall: This is a perfect summer beer and an ideal session beer, and next year I'll probably brew a batch earlier in the year so that I can start drinking it right in June. I have loved how the flavor of the beer has evolved since I cracked the first bottle, which is good because it encourages patience, truly a virtue when one is a homebrewer. As Ryan said on his blog, this beer pairs handsomely with food, particularly summer flavors like barbecue. I noticed that it went particularly well with a light, lemony vegetarian pasta dish that I made as well. Basically, I loved this beer and I am really excited to do some variations of it, particularly something along the lines of Ryan's dark version, which I think would make for a great autumn table beer.

Prost! :mug:
 
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ryane

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Thought I would update the thread again.

I brewed another table beer, this time using toasted millet. Similar basic framework as all the other table beers Ive brewed, just different ingredients.

Millet Table Beer
 

JeffoC6

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I'm thinking about brewing this so that by the time spring is here, I'll have a nice quenching beer to drink down.

Being a pretty new brewer, I had a few questions about this recipe. Hope you don't mind answering them for me (even though they may sound quite elementary) :)

-The 6.5 Pilsner and 1.5 Flaked Wheat is in POUNDS, right?

-I don't see Mt Rainier hops offered at my LHBS. Can you recommend something else?

-Is the 1.0 oz Fuggles KO<170f mean that you add the Fuggles after the boil when the wort is below 170*?

-Is this a 45 min. mash at 150*?

- You only did a primary fermentation for 14 days at 65*?

-Do you not have a target FG for this brew?

Most appreciated!
 
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ryane

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I'm thinking about brewing this so that by the time spring is here, I'll have a nice quenching beer to drink down.

Being a pretty new brewer, I had a few questions about this recipe. Hope you don't mind answering them for me (even though they may sound quite elementary) :)
Hey No worries I love to help:mug:

-The 6.5 Pilsner and 1.5 Flaked Wheat is in POUNDS, right?
Yes

-I don't see Mt Rainier hops offered at my LHBS. Can you recommend something else?
The bittering hops (60min addition) dont matter too much, you could use fuggles instead to keep everything simple. Just make sure you use a brewing program to get the IBU's correct

-Is the 1.0 oz Fuggles KO<170f mean that you add the Fuggles after the boil when the wort is below 170*?
Yes

-Is this a 45 min. mash at 150*?
You got it, although if this is one of your first AG beers you might just run with a 60min mash to make sure

- You only did a primary fermentation for 14 days at 65*?
Kinda, I think it probably set about 3-4wks total, but after the first two the temp was elevated. (not much was going on at this point though, I was just lazy and didnt keg it) You can ferment it slightly warmer if you like, it will just be a bit more estery, which isnt a bad thing

-Do you not have a target FG for this brew?
I never do when brewing really, I looked and I didnt write this one down, I recall it being around 1008 though

Good luck with the recipe, sounds like its one of your first all grain batches? Id love to hear how it goes
 

ylpaul2000

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If you are considering a Belgian table beer, I would suggest trying your hand at a Belgian pale ale BJCP category 16B. Seems just like what the folks on this thread are looking for. Just made one myself and it is a great tasting Belgian beer with many of the Belgian components by only 4.9% ABV.
 
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ryane

ryane

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If you are considering a Belgian table beer, I would suggest trying your hand at a Belgian pale ale BJCP category 16B. Seems just like what the folks on this thread are looking for. Just made one myself and it is a great tasting Belgian beer with many of the Belgian components by only 4.9% ABV.
In a way thats what my recipe is, but lighter in color, and a much more prevalent hop character
 

thetragichero

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gonna try this as my second-to-next brew (after an ipa, need more hoppy beers after all these session beers i've been brewing), but using cultured unibroue yeast and wild discovery hops from silver hops (6.3%aa and noble hop-ish, adjusted schedule to get 26ibu... but subbing FWH for 60 minute addition because that's how i roll)
also will do a step mash and 90 boil but... still crediting you with the idea!
 
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ryane

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gonna try this as my second-to-next brew (after an ipa, need more hoppy beers after all these session beers i've been brewing), but using cultured unibroue yeast and wild discovery hops from silver hops (6.3%aa and noble hop-ish, adjusted schedule to get 26ibu... but subbing FWH for 60 minute addition because that's how i roll)
also will do a step mash and 90 boil but... still crediting you with the idea!
Haha, alright.....

I think I would suggest against the step mash, I think if you do that you might impact the effect of all the unmalted wheat. Step mashes usually break down a lot of protein, which IMO in these types of beers is a very good thing

From what Ive played with there is a lot of room to play with yeasts, and hops, but Ive found in general I like to use a substantial portion of some type of high protein unmalted grain
 
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