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Hoppy Belgian Pale

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TyTanium

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I want to brew a hoppy Belgian pale ale. Don't care much about "true to style", just want something that tastes good.

9 lbs Pale Ale
1 lb Munich
0.5 lb Victory
0.25 lb Aromatic

1 oz Saaz @ FWH
0.5 oz Saaz @ 10 mins
1 oz Saaz @ 0 mins (160F hop stand)
1 oz Cascade @ 0 mins (160F hop stand)
1 oz Saaz @ DH
1 oz Amarillo @ DH

1.060 OG // 19 IBU
Mash 153F for 90 mins
WY3522 Ardennes @ 61F ambient allowed to free ramp up to 70F

Thoughts on the recipe?

<Edited to show final recipe based off comments below>
 

kingwood-kid

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I'd go sugarless, but I brew everything sugarless. 3522 should be able to get a crystal-malt free wort pretty dry on its own, so I'd say skip it. I suppose you could always add it after primary fermentation if you felt it was needed. As far as the hops go, I think 1:1 ratios of Saaz and West Coast hops perfectly illustrates the saying "there is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."
 

slarkin712

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saaz won't make much of a hoppy beer.
I disagree with this. Saaz makes a nice Belgian IPA or hoppy pale ale when blended with smaller amounts of American hops, or with other noble type hops. I believe La Chouffe Triple IPA is made with predominantly Saaz and it's a nice hoppy beer. The recipe just has to have the right combination of hops to not overpower the delicate spice from Saaz.
 

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I like it! I was thinking that I normally use styrian goldings in tripels- I wonder if using that (with or without the saaz) would make a nice hoppy Belgian. I don't know, but I think I would like that as well. It would be similar to saaz, but maybe a little earthier.
 
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TyTanium

TyTanium

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Thanks for the feedback everyone! I'll drop the sugar. Thinking about dropping the Victory too. As for the hops, I love Pilsner Urquell which is pretty much a Saaz showcase and I've done an all-Saaz IPA before and loved it, and I like how it blends with Cascade (homebrew) & Amarillo (houblon chouffe)...so I'm thinking the trio could work nicely, just trying to get the proportions right since Saaz is more subtle than the others. Yoop- unfortunately of the 10 lb of hops in my freezer, none are Styrian Goldings, so they're out for now, trying to use up existing inventory. But I think you're right that the earthiness would be awesome. Maybe I'll split off a gallon or two and add some Willamette if I'm feeling saucy.
 
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TyTanium

TyTanium

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Brewed this on Saturday and fermenting strong; 61F ambient and 70F beer temp. I top-cropped a ton of yeast this morning, awesome.

OP edited to show actual recipe.
 
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TyTanium

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Tasting good. Finished @ 1.007, cold conditioning now. Then will bring back to room temp and DH w/Saaz & Amarillo.
 
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3522 is a great strain.

Are you bottle conditioning? If so, make sure you cap a few in 22oz bombers and set aside for a year or two. 3522 has a history of really bringing to life beers with a bit of age on them.
 
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TyTanium

TyTanium

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Thanks. Yes, I definitely plan on keeping a few bombers around.
 

Marc77

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I want to brew a hoppy Belgian pale ale. Don't care much about "true to style", just want something that tastes good.

9 lbs Pale Ale
1 lb Munich
0.5 lb Victory
0.25 lb Aromatic

1 oz Saaz @ First Wort Hopping
0.5 oz Saaz @ 10 mins
1 oz Saaz @ 0 mins (160F hop stand)
1 oz Cascade @ 0 mins (160F hop stand)
1 oz Saaz @ Dry hopping
1 oz Amarillo @ Dry hopping

1.060 OG // 19 IBU
Mash 153F for 90 mins
WY3522 Ardennes @ 61F ambient allowed to free ramp up to 70F

Thoughts on the recipe?

<Edited to show final recipe based off comments below>
How did this turn out? I've got a fermentation chamber I'm building so this would be at a constant temp. What would you recommend for a temp?

How long did this stay in the primary and did you rack to a secondary?

When did you add the dry hops? All at once or every week (if so which order)?

I'd really like to brew this so I'm curious how it turned out.
 
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TyTanium

TyTanium

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Cool! Still in process, but so far so good. Let's see, it was down to 1.010 in 2 (yes, 2) days. Finished around 1.007. Cold conditioning at 34F now for about a week, after which I'll bring back to room temp and dry hop (all at once) for a few days. All in primary, no secondary.

I would recommend starting your ferment cool, like 62F until you see some activity. Then let it go...it should ramp up on it's own to ~70-75F...don't try to chill it, just let it roll. Keep the ambient cooler though so it doesn't go above 75. As fermentation slows, definitely push up the temp to keep it in the 70s to help it finish.

The week of lagering I don't think is necessary but should produce a cleaner, brighter beer.

I plan on updating this thread as it progresses...this is a style I want to brew well and will post my thoughts on possible improvements.

Samples so far have tasted crisp and grainy with some bready/crackery malt. A hint of Belgian fruit character and subtle peppery spice. Subtle citrus from the Cascade.
 
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TyTanium

TyTanium

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Tasting great. Crystal clear and super crisp after gel & 10 days lagering. Added dry hops, planning to bottle midweek.

I love Saaz.
 
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TyTanium

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Bottled on Saturday & tried one last night....fantastic. Good carb and crystal clear. Perhaps a little heavy on the Saaz DH...a little spicy. We'll see how that progresses with age.
 
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TyTanium

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This one is a winner. One of the better beers I've brewed. Really crisp and drinkable.

Color is a deep orange with white rocky head.
Some hop haze from DH, but gel has cleared most of it really nicely.
Noticeable saazy spicy aroma with some sweet orange peel.
Taste has subtle belgian fruit with the amarillo orange character, and present but subtle phenols & saaz spice.
Crisp toasty malty finish.
 

meltroha

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That sounds terrific, Cheers! Yoop, what's the equivalent White Labs strain?
 
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TyTanium

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That sounds terrific, Cheers! Yoop, what's the equivalent White Labs strain?
Thanks. I'm glad it turned out. One of the rare times I had an idea in my head for how I wanted a beer to taste, and the finished beer actually matched the vision.

WL550 Achouffe is the equivalent.
 

meltroha

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Thanks I'm going to try this, did you stick with the victory? Do you think it would be wise to skip the saaz dh?
 
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TyTanium

TyTanium

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Thanks I'm going to try this, did you stick with the victory? Do you think it would be wise to skip the saaz dh?
Sweet! Yes, I kept the Victory. If nothing else, it adds a beautiful bright orange color to it, really works with the Amarillo orange flavors. The flavor contribution is subtle enough.

Still undecided on the Saaz DH...I want to see how it changes over time. I'll be trying another one tonight. Post back when you're close to your decision time and I'll give you an update.
 
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