Belgian Pale Ale Dr. Motu - Hoppy Belgian Ale

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Jul 11, 2013
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This is a recipe I've been tweaking for years now, and I've gotten it to a place worth sharing. It has a nice clove-y flavor from the Belgian yeast, balanced with a solid bitterness and bright citrus flavor from the hops. While hard to fit into a particular style, this beer is definitely delicious.

I roughly based this on the clone recipe of Brooklyn Brewery's Sorachi Ace that appeared in BYO back in 2011. My wife really loved that beer, so I started trying to make it at home about a decade ago. But Sorachi Ace hops are hard to find and pretty inconsistent, in my experience. A few years ago, I had to dump a batch that was ruined by some truly gross Sorachis, and I started looking for alternative hops. After some trial and error, I hit on the combo of Dr. Rudi and Motueka, which is perfect for this beer. They bring a really nice lemongrass and fresh citrus flavor that's even better than Sorachi Ace, in my opinion. Over the years, I stopped using pilsner for this beer and went with 2-row because I keep it around in bulk. The recipe works just as well with pilsner malt, if that's what you prefer.

Title: Dr. Motu

Brew Method: BIAB
Style Name: Belgian Blonde Ale
Boil Time: 60 min
Batch Size: 5 gallons
Efficiency: 70% (brew house)

Original Gravity: 1.070
Final Gravity: 1.013
ABV (standard): 7.7%
IBU (tinseth): 58.7
SRM (morey): 4.3

Pale Malt (2 row) US (92.3%) - 12 lbs
Table Sugar (7.7%) - 1 lb (I usually add this at flameout to avoid scorching)

.25 oz Dr. Rudi (11% AA) - 60 min
.25 oz Motueka (7% AA) - 60 min
.25 oz Dr. Rudi (11% AA) - 30 min
.25 oz Motueka (7% AA) - 30 min
2 oz Dr. Rudi (11% AA) - Steep/Whirlpool for 15 min
2 oz Motueka (7% AA) - Steep/Whirlpool for 15 min
1.5 oz Dr. Rudi (11% AA) - Dry Hop for 3 days
1.5 oz Motueka (7% AA) - Dry Hop for 3 days

Mash @ 152 F for 60 min

Wyeast Labs - Belgian Ale Yeast #1214

I typically pitch the yeast when the wort has cooled to about 66 degrees Fahrenheit, and then I let it free rise until it hits 72 degrees, where I keep it for the rest of fermentation. In my experience, that temperature range gives a good balance of yeast character. In the higher 70s, the yeast can give off some black pepper flavors that don't work very well with the hops.
Never made a Belgian Blonde, but it's always been on my radar. Going to give this 1 a shot, as I've never tried either of those hops, so a total branching out, in my case.

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