got a new book, how to brew like a monk

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Soulshine2

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anyone else purchase this book ? whats your best trappist / abbey style beer youve made . i found a whole new facet of beer with these types. and then hearing since less and less people go into the "order" these styles are sure to become extinct if we the heathens dont keep it up.
 

CascadesBrewer

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It is a good book. Sometimes Stan is not able to pry many details out of the monks! I suspect there is new info available since the book was published, but every time I reread a chapter I pick up some info or tip. "Farmhouse Ales" by Phil Markowski is a good companion.

I have been trying to devote about half of my brew rotations to Belgians over the past year or so. I have only used a handful of yeasts (one batch of WLP500/Chimay, several of WLP530/WY3787/Westmalle, a couple Saisons). I have been struggling some to get reliable yeast character and repeatable results, though I have made some enjoyable beers along the way.

There is also a lot of great info in the thread: All things Trappist
 

mashpaddled

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BLAM is one of the few brewing books that has aged well because it's info right from the source in beer styles that aren't changing considerably. Sure Spencer is more in line with American craft beer trends but the classic abbey/Trappist styles haven't changed much in the past twenty years.

Achel actually lost its Trappist designation because it no longer has monks brewing the beer. There are certainly going to be tough decisions to make over time about that designation. I don't see the styles going away because the monasteries can continue to run even if the brewing facilities are run by secular staff (even if that means losing designations) and the secular breweries are likely to continue brewing what sells.
 

Spartan1979

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BLAM is one of the few brewing books that has aged well because it's info right from the source in beer styles that aren't changing considerably. Sure Spencer is more in line with American craft beer trends but the classic abbey/Trappist styles haven't changed much in the past twenty years.

Achel actually lost its Trappist designation because it no longer has monks brewing the beer. There are certainly going to be tough decisions to make over time about that designation. I don't see the styles going away because the monasteries can continue to run even if the brewing facilities are run by secular staff (even if that means losing designations) and the secular breweries are likely to continue brewing what sells.
Secular staffs can do the brewing as long as they are "supervised" by the monks. Unfortunately, the last monks at Achel grew too old to remain there and were moved to another monastery, IIRC, Westmalle.

 

jrgtr42

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There's plenty of 'secular' breweries that are making those styles as good as the Abbeys (in many cases.)
It's not just because they are monks they brew good beer - it's more to do with the fact they've mostly been doing it for long enough to have the recipes and procedures locked in tight, and by their nature, the brewmasters will train the next generation directly, compared to many secular breweries that the brewer may leave, without really leaving the exact recipes and procedures.
 

bkboiler

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Biggest thing I took away from that book was the dedication to quality.
The monks don't need to turn a profit like commercial enterprises, so they literally brew for passion and just to make a living.
And they don't compromise on their ingredients, methods or most of all PATIENCE!
Talk about a profession well suited to beer brewing...SKILLED in the art of waiting!
 

tripelthelightfantastic

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BLAM has tables showing various fermentation temps and the resulting flavors, has anyone brewed enough with the Belgian yeasts from Wyeast/Whitelabs to reproduce those flavors at those specific temps?
 

madscientist451

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I bought the book a few years back and go back to it as a reference now and then. The big takeaway I got is that the beers discussed in the book are very simple and what makes them special is the ingredients and the methods used, some of which you have to figure out on your own.
So when I want to brew a Belgian beer, I go to the clone recipes on the Candi Syrup website. When I want to go the extra mile, I get continental European malts, hops and get the individual yeasts specified. But most of the time my beers are "Belgian inspired" and not straight up clones, using what I have at the time.
 
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I bought the book a few years back and go back to it as a reference now and then. The big takeaway I got is that the beers discussed in the book are very simple and what makes them special is the ingredients and the methods used, some of which you have to figure out on your own.
So when I want to brew a Belgian beer, I go to the clone recipes on the Candi Syrup website. When I want to go the extra mile, I get continental European malts, hops and get the individual yeasts specified. But most of the time my beers are "Belgian inspired" and not straight up clones, using what I have at the time.
I have been using Viking Malts from More Beer (no LHBS). These are referred to as Northern European malts. I think the HQ is in Denmark. Good malts at fair prices. Suited for Belgian, Czech, and German inspired beers. IMO.
 

tripelthelightfantastic

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Thanks for the tips guys!
Ive been using Swaen malts this year while Dingemans has been out of stock for the last 6 months… will check out Viking malts and the Candi Syrup recipes
 

madscientist451

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I got some of the Viking malt a while back, some people here on HBT were saying they noticed lower gravity when they used it, but I haven't had any issues.
The continental European malts use different varieties of barley and have different flavors. I'd bet that some of the Belgian breweries get special malts produced just for them, but maybe not.
The Franco-Belges is worth trying, Weyermann has a Belgian malt that is hard to find in the US, and Dingeman's make a few Belgian malts. I haven't looked at on-line malt prices in a while, wow prices have jumped up.
 

tripelthelightfantastic

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For comparison a 25kg/55lb bag of Dingemans or Swaen Pilsner malt costs about $25-$27 here, Weyermann $30-$35.
Any US hops cost $11 per 100g except cascade and Amarillo, they are a bit cheaper
 

CascadesBrewer

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For comparison a 25kg/55lb bag of Dingemans or Swaen Pilsner malt costs about $25-$27 here, Weyermann $30-$35.
I am not sure what that translates to USD, but I pay around $60 to $65 for "premium" European malts (Weyermann, Crisp, Dingemans, etc.). Actually, I just checked my local shop and the European malts seemed to have jumped around $10 per bag. Likely due to supply issues. A 50lb bag of Briess is usually around $50.

Right now I am working on a bag of Avangard Pils that seems like a nice neutral grain. My last bag was Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pils. A very nice malt, but I did not think it fit well for light Belgian styles. Nobody around me sells Viking, but the bag of Pale Ale malt I got a few years from More Beer was way darker than I would want in a base malt (significantly darker than Crisp Maris Otter).

Dingemans Aromatic Malt is my secret weapon for adding just a touch of grain complexity and a touch of color.
 

tripelthelightfantastic

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The prices I quoted were USD, sorry should have said that.
It’s „almost“ worth the flight over to stock up, especially if you can combine with a Belgian beer research tour :)

Aromatic is a great malt, this has a little in it, and it’s beer o clock here!
 

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