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Belgian Trappist/Abbey Ale

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Jayfro21

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So I posted a few days ago about belgian beers and my inexperience with them, and have since tried two and liked them both. Had the Chimay blue last night, and pretty much have decided to brew a Trappist/Abbey ale as my next beer. I have a few questions:

1) I can' t seem to find many recipes for this type of beer, and so can someone either point me to a good recipe and/or maybe a good book on brewing belgian beers.

2) I have found some how-tos on making belgian candy sugar syrup, using sucrose and citric acid (or even lemon juice), and was wondering if this was a good way to make it and if it worked well in belgians?

Thanks so much for any and all help!

Jason
 

avidhomebrewer

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For recipes, I have 'Clone Brews' and 'Beer Captured'. I like the Belgian recipes in both books and have made many of them. I have also heard good things about 'Brew like a Monk', but haven't seen any of the recipes to personally comment. About the candi sugar, I haven't tried the technique you suggest. You can also make it by re-crystallizing sugar (heat some up to a boil in water, cool it (maybe filter), then collect the sugar once a solid falls out of solution and it is cool.
 

missing link

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The Chimay Red is even better. There is a recipe in one of the clone brew books. THere is also a book called brewing like a monk, but I am not sure if there are recipes in it.

Linc
 

big supper

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This is the one I am going to try. From brew365.com. I am going to use either regular 2-row or Pils instead of MO, and I am using the wrong yeast. I was going to use the Whitelabs or Wyeast Chimay strain, but know someone who has a brew pub that is going to give me a different one.(Rochefort I think)

All Grain Recipe - Chimay Red ::: 1.064/1.015 (5.5 Gal)
Grain Bill (75% Efficiency assumed)
11 lbs. - Maris Otter - 2 Row malt
1 lb. - Candi Sugar (ligh to medium in color)
1/2 lb. - Caramunich Malt
1/4 lb. - Aromatic Malt
1 oz. - Chocolate Malt (optional)


Hop Schedule (28 IBU)
1.25 oz. - Tettnang - 60 min.
1/2 oz. - Galena - 15 min.
1/4 oz. - Styrian Goldings - 15 min.

Yeast
White Labs Abbey Ale Yeast (WLP530) - 1800 ml starter

Mash/Sparge/Boil
Mash at 151° for 60 min.
Sparge as usual
Boil for 60 minutes (remember to compensate your water)
Add the Candi Sugar near the end of the boil to prevent browning
Cool and ferment at 68° to 72°
 

FatMonsters

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Jayfro21 said:
1) I can' t seem to find many recipes for this type of beer, and so can someone either point me to a good recipe and/or maybe a good book on brewing belgian beers.
Jason
Check out the Recipe Database on here, those are tried and true recipes from members...
 

BrewDey

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Jayfro21 said:
1) I can' t seem to find many recipes for this type of beer, and so can someone either point me to a good recipe and/or maybe a good book on brewing belgian beers.
Also-these beers will usually be referred to as Belgian Dubbels, Trippels, Golden Ales, or Dark Ales-that might help your search...I'm pretty sure 'trappiste' just refers to the fact that it was brewed in a Trappist monastery
 
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Jayfro21

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BrewDey said:
Also-these beers will usually be referred to as Belgian Dubbels, Trippels, Golden Ales, or Dark Ales-that might help your search...I'm pretty sure 'trappiste' just refers to the fact that it was brewed in a Trappist monastery
Yeah thanks! I read about Trappist/Abbey ales last night and found out that these are only called this when brewed by a certain place, etc. (kind of like Champage, but by a group instead of a town). There are a couple of recipes that look promising to me on here, but I guess my only other question is about the belgian sugar candy. If my LHBS has it I will probably buy it, but if not, if anybody that has made it using the Wiki procedure could tell me if it worked ok, that would be great!

Jason
 

DeathBrewer

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trappist means it was brewed by an authorized monastary. abbey ale is the term for a trappist style brew that was not.

they're all usually pretty heavy in alcohol, fruity, warming brews and there are more differences in taste and methods between breweries that fitting it to a "style" would be tough (god, i love belgian beer)

but if you drink one, you know it!

i like dark strong ales, myself ;)

i'm not really a fan of candi sugar, either. i hear the syrups work better, but haven't had the chance to try it yet. i need to get on that...
 

Sixbillionethans

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there seems to be no limit to the types of sugars you can use.

some people (Randy Mosher, for instance) are critical of the Belgian Candi Sugar rocks that you can buy from your LHBS, claiming they are overpriced.

but if you read "Brew Like a Monk" you will read about several Trappist breweries that use that very stuff to make exceptional brews...Belgians say it increases alcohol while keeping the brew "digestible". the whole point is it's 100% fermentable.

there's the option of making candi sugar. I don't have any experience with it.

there's the candi syrup that Northern Brewer now sells, but I haven't used it yet.

there are also all the other sugars available from your local hippie grocery store: turbinado, sucanat, date sugar, can sugar.

I have a tripel fermenting now that used date sugar and sucanat. the sucanat really had a nice flavor and I'm looking forward to the complixity that I think it has potential for. it's really light and fruity. I'm skeptical of the date sugar, but we'll see.

I have another Belgian pale ale in secondary that I used turbinado, which is a little more carmelly or molasses-y.

I also want to try some of the other more ethnic sugars like jaggery, palm sugar, or agave. those can be tougher to find, though.

it seems like there is a lot of room for experimentation with belgians...definitely opportunities to make rich, complex brews. good luck.
 

big supper

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I made some candi sugar this week. Very easy. Lots of people say that it isn't necessary but I wanted to do it anyway. i know a couple of professionals and they recommended that you don't make the sugar too dark as it may start to taste burnt. He said that some of the darker sugars or syrups that you can buy commercially are just clear with some dark mixed in. I don't know if this is accurate or not.

I would also take advise from people around here and expirement. That's what it is all about. You will never know what effects these different ingredients and techniques will have unless you try them for yourself. I guess we all better get brewing and more importantly..........get drinking!!!!


Edit.............BTW I used lemon juice instead of buying citric acid and it seemed to work well.
 

B-Dub

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I brewed 2 Belgium styles last night. On one I used the D2 candi syrup cut with half white sugar and the second one I used the soft blond and brown cut with a little white sugar.

The wort tastes amazing!! Both brews had 2 inches of krausen this morning. And to top it all off, Brian, the importer of the candi syrups and soft sugars is a really nice guy. I like knowing the people behind a product are solid folks. That is one of the reasons I bought the Barley Crusher this year.
 

Kai

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The flavours you get in these Belgians is much more dependent on the control of the fermentation than on the ingredients. I haven't tasted a difference between purchased candi sugar and homemade candi sugar, and have had good results with boring old table sugar.

If you want that good abbey flavour, it's all about treating your yeast right. Don't overpitch - some people use the yeast cake from a small batch, but apparently if you do that you lose out on some yeast flavour components you get from the growth phase. Just make a normal sized starter like you would for a regular beer (1-2 qts). Aerate your wort very well. Very well. Pitch the yeast around 68˚ or 70˚; keep the ambient temperature around that, and let it rise on its own as far as it goes, hopefully to the low-mid seventies. Don't pitch it while it's warm, you'll risk fusel alcohols. Pitch room temperature, let it warm after. I don't know the Rochefort strain well, but with the Westmalle strain (3787) it can be a challenge to keep the yeast in the wort where you need them. I had to periodically agitate the carboy to get the yeast out of the krausen or the trub and in the wort in order to dry it out.

Read up. Jamil is useful on the topic of getting a good Belgian fermentation. Good luck!
 

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