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Belgian Blond Ale Revvy's Belgian Blonde (Leffe Clone)

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Revvy

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Recipe Type
All Grain
Yeast
WLP530 White Labs Abbey Ale
Yeast Starter
Yes
Batch Size (Gallons)
5 gallons
Original Gravity
1.068 (est)
Final Gravity
1.010
Boiling Time (Minutes)
90
IBU
30.4
Color
6.3 SRMs
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp)
30
Tasting Notes
Tastes really close to Leffe Blonde. Same crispness and grainy character.
Category 18a Belgian Blonde.

This is MY INTERPRETATION of a clone of Leffe Blonde that I came up with for AHC big brew day in May. It was created by my usual method of looking at other Leffe Clones recipes, starting by overlapping the similarities, and tweaking til I achieved over several batches the taste profile I was looking for. It ws created by the same methods described in the Introduction to create clones/de-engineering in BYO's 150 clone brew recipes. Then repeatedly it was sampled alongside the original by several brewer friends and even a couple bjcp judges informally. All felt this final version was a tasty approximation of the original.

I find that Leffe, has a nice "graininess" that has really come out nicely in this recipe.

I just discovered 2 bottles in the back of my brew closet (5 months later) and it is delicious. Even better I think now, then when it was "fresh" That's why I have decided to actually let this recipe go, and quit tweaking it.

Revvy's Blonde
Brew Type: All Grain Date: 4/25/2010
Style: Belgian Blond Ale Brewer: Michael
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
Boil Volume: 6.41 gal
Boil Time: 90 min (Pilsner malts)


Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
9 lbs 13.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 81.61 %
1 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 8.32 %
5.3 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2.75 %
3.5 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 1.83 %

1.36 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (60 min) Hops 23.4 IBU
0.71 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (30 min) Hops 7.0 IBU

10.6 oz Sugar, Table (Last 15 minutes of boil) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 5.49 %

1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) Yeast-Ale

Mash In: Add 14.20 qt of water at 178.4 F
Hold mash at 158.0 F for 45 min

Note #1 (fEdited from an answer given earlier in the thread)
The reason for mashing at 158 came from doing research into the style from somewhere that I can't even recall.

It may seem high, but the reason for doing so is that Beta Amylase enzymes denature at 158. This leaves more unfermentable long chain dextrins, you will have more "weight" and more mouthfeel with the 158f mash temp but about the same starting gravity, and the final gravity will be higher as well.

You get more mouthfeel this way so that when you add the table sugar to the boil, you get the gravity boost but it's not "thin and cidery" like happens with many beers when you boost with a simple sugar. With this higher temp mash there still is decent mouthfeel and even great lacing on the glass from the proteins.

Sparge with 4.47 gal of 168.0 F water.

Add water to achieve boil volume of 6.41 gal

Estimated Pre-boil Gravity is: 1.058 SG with all grains/extracts added.

Note This is a great Belgian Base recipe that you can add fruit to if your are inclined. it can be a great panty dropper for anywomen who may like sweet beers.

You can rack it to a seondary with whatever fruit you like. Peaches, Mango, Strawberry, whatever works for you. You can use frozen, fresh, canned or even extract.

I've done it with frozen peaches.

If you want some extra sweetness to pep up your fruit, either add 1/2 pound (or more) of lactose in the boil, or even along with your priming sugar at bottling time. Just dillute it along with your priming sugar in 2 cups of water.

Enjoy!

:mug:

I'll try to throw a PM version of this up later.

Legal Disclaimer This is the author's interpretation of the beer, his homage, it is not an officially SANCTIONED clone recognized by the official clone sanctionaing body of beery nirvana (EAC), and shouldn't be thought of as one. It may not even use ingredients similar to the original recipe, but it will contain the following, grain, water, hops, yeast. Your Mileage may vary. All prior agreements, discussions, representations, warranties, and covenants are merged herein. There are no warranties, representations, covenants, or agreements, express or implied, between the parties except those expressly set forth in this agreement. Any amendments or modifications of this agreement shall be in writing and executed by the contracting parties. If you drink, don't drive. If you fold, spindle of mutilate this recipe, you will violate your warranty. This disclaimer does not cover misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper reading, incorrect line voltage, improper or unauthorized use, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, removal of tag, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom, crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the item, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, mud slides, forest fire, or projectile (which can include, but not be limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB’s, paintball, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions of X-rays, Alpha, Beta and Gamma rays, knives, stones, etc.). No license, express or implied, by estoppel or otherwise, to any Intellectual property rights are granted herein. The Brewer Revvy (TBR) disclaims all liability, including liability for infringement of any proprietary rights, relating to use of information in this specification. TBR does not warrant or represent that such use will not infringe such rights. In fact, that’s a very strong possibility.
Nothing in this document constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or license, express or implied. TBR disclaims all liability for all such guaranties, warranties, and licenses, including but not limited to: fitness for a particular purpose; merchantability; non-infringement of intellectual property or other rights of any third party or of TBR; indemnity; and all others. The reader is advised that third parties may have intellectual property rights that may be relevant to this document and the technologies discussed herein, and is advised to seek the advice of competent legal counsel, without obligation to TBR. In other words, get your own #$^%#$ lawyer before you hurt yourself. These materials are provided by TBR as a service to his friends and/or customers and may be used for informational purposes only. If you brew it you will make a beer that tastes close to the afore mentioned beer, so stfu and brew it already. This is intended for the use of the individual addressee(s) named above and may contain information that is confidential, privileged or unsuitable for overly sensitive persons with low self-esteem, no sense of humour or irrational religious beliefs. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of this email is not authorised (either explicitly or implicitly) and constitutes an irritating social faux pas. Unless the word absquatulation has been used in its correct context somewhere other than in this warning, it does not have any legal or grammatical use and may be ignored. No animals were harmed in the transmission of this email, although the yorkshire terriernext door is living on borrowed time, let me tell you. Those of you with an overwhelming fear of the unknown will be gratified to learn that there is no hidden message revealed by reading this warning backwards, so just ignore that Alert Notice from Microsoft: However, by pouring a complete circle of salt around yourself and your computer you can ensure that no harm befalls you and your pets. If you have
received this email in error, please add some nutmeg and egg whites and place it in a warm oven for 40 minutes. Whisk briefly and let it stand for 2 hours before icing. Don't you just love when the legal cover your ass boilerplate is longer than the actual commercial? That's what you get when you have people like the folks below on this planet sucking up all the air, and making you have to write drivel like this when you could be sipping coffee and helping new brewers not sh!t themselves because their airlock is not bubbling. And as always, viewer discretion, is advised.
;)
 

Mermaid

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Thanks for posting this, Revvy.

I might try and scale this down to my current (AG) batch size (3.5 ga.) and give it a shot.

I might also try it, just for grins and giggles, with the Unibroue strain to see what I get.

Leffe is also a favorite of mine because it's readily available, not overly expensive, and doesn't get me too trashed if I drink 2 in one session :)
 

sjlammer

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Revy,

Why did you choose table sugar over belgian candy sugar, or something of that nature? Just curious for my own future recipe formulation.

Thanks,
 
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Revvy

Revvy

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Revy,

Why did you choose table sugar over belgian candy sugar, or something of that nature? Just curious for my own future recipe formulation.

Thanks,
Because "Belgian candy sugar" is really just whatever sugar the monks and Belgian brewers bought in bulk, then inverted and boiled down to whatever darkness they wanted in their beer. It's not a special magical sugar, grown for them by secret society of castrated elves specially for the monks to brew beer with. It was whatever was reasonably priced in bulk. More often than not it was beet, but it could have been cane, depending on what traders had for them...but "Belgian Candy Sugar" is really just "the sugar that the belgians happened to use." And to me, buying overpriced sugar is ridiculus, especially when you can make your own. I think that the original Belgian Monks would laugh at us silly American homebrewers who pay 3 times as much for it from the LHBS, when we can buy it from bulk food warehouse.

Graham Sanders on the aussie craft brewer radio first brought it up with one of those authors of Beligian Style books, can't recall who.

We've been discussing it for years.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/quick-interesting-read-dubbels-99971/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/candi-sugar-necessity-148786/

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/candi-syrup-all-out-stock-128960/#post1445241

And many even argue that if you're just using "clear" cadi sugar or syrup, then just dump it directly in the kettle, since the sugar theoretically inverts itself during the boil. If you are using darker grades in your recipes, then inverting them with a little cream of tartar, citric acid, lemon juice or vinegar, and pre carmalizing them to the level you want is a good idea. There are "recipes" for making candi in both rock and syryp form. It's really easy. No harder than making Candy.
 

timbudtwo

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I am wanting to do a belgian blond as my first all grain (wanting to move away from extract to save money) and I am wondering how this would work using the BIAB method? Any thoughts?
 

mxwrench

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Gonna brew this in a few days but can get my hands on any Melanoiden in the near future, should I use a little more Munich and Biscuit or would a little Vienna be appropriate in exchange??
 

rtheis10s

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I am looking to brew this beer on Friday. What DME do I need to make a yeast starter kit? It looks like I need a little over 300 grams of DME as the starter requires 3.2 liters of agua.
 

Bithead

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Brewed this up this past Sunday and sub'd aromatic for the melanoiden. Pitched with Wyeast 1214 and fermenting in the low 70s. Samples tasted wonderful and the smells coming out of the fermenter are sweet and banana. I'll be bottling this so I'm wondering about how much priming sugar. thought maybe I'd find some experiences here. Guess I do more research.
 

Powers

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hey revvy, what temp did you ferment this at?

also, what's the purpose behind the 158 degree mash for only 45 minutes? does the sugar addition increase the attenuation, so that the higher mash is necessary?

appreciate your input. i'm going on a work road trip up to Minneapolis and want to swing by Midwest to stock up on supplies. trying to pick a couple recipes so i know what to get :)
 

Powers

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just stopped by Midwest for the first time ever. GIANT store. A home brewers paradise!

Now I have enough grain to make 10 gallons of this stuff, but could really use some input on the questions above. I would really appreciate any advice you could swing my way.
thanks!
 
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Revvy

Revvy

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hey revvy, what temp did you ferment this at?

also, what's the purpose behind the 158 degree mash for only 45 minutes? does the sugar addition increase the attenuation, so that the higher mash is necessary?

appreciate your input. i'm going on a work road trip up to Minneapolis and want to swing by Midwest to stock up on supplies. trying to pick a couple recipes so i know what to get :)
I fermented it at my ambient room temp, at the time of year it was in the low 60's so I didn't need to do anything.

I can't recall where I got the 158 for 45 minutes mash....it probably came through my research into the style.

But the reason is that Beta Amylase enzymes denature at 158. This leaves more unfermentable long chain dextrins, you will have more "weight" and more mouthfeel with the 158f mash temp but about the same starting gravity. The Beta Amylase enzymes denature at 158. the final gravity will be higher as well.

You get more mouthfeel so that when you add the table sugar to the boil, you get the gravity boost but it's not "thin and cidery" there still is decent mouthfeel and even great lacing on the glass from the proteins.
 

Powers

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excellent. thanks revvy. i think i'm going to go separate into two 5 gallon batches. one straight up on the recipe. then another to rack onto fruit, peaches or apricots most likely. thanks for the feedback. i'll keep you posted on my results.
 

groony1

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Revvy,
Thanks for the recipe. I just brewed it last night and noticed that you put 30 days for fermentation time. Is that 30 days in carboy or does that include time in the bottle? Just want to know what to expect. Thanks.
 
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Revvy

Revvy

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Revvy,
Thanks for the recipe. I just brewed it last night and noticed that you put 30 days for fermentation time. Is that 30 days in carboy or does that include time in the bottle? Just want to know what to expect. Thanks.
Thanks for brewing.

You will find that many folks opt for a long primary instead of a secondary these days. There's about a million threads on the topic. I leave nearly all my beers in primary for a month, then bottle. Bottling is at least 3 weeks at 70 degrees. I figure 7-8 weeks from grain to glass, and it is worth it.
 

Powers

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i brewed this up yesterday and everything went pretty smooth. i used a little more pils to offset some inefficiencies in my system and ended up at 1.067. i pitched a starter of WL530 and it was forming krausen within 6 hours.

currently, the fermenter is in my basement where it's about 61 degrees ambient. the temp strip on the carboy is reading 66. i imagine that means its going to get closer to 70 as the fermentation peaks, which fits within the comfortable range for this yeast. of course, 530 is the Westmalle strain and according to Brew Like a Monk, Westmalle allows the temp to rise to 68 at the peak. Leffe, on the other hand, uses a different strain which I doubt is commercially available. But they let their yeast go to 77 at the peak. i realize Westmalle's strain today is likely different from the one White Labs captured, but I'm going to stick with Revvy's suggestion to keep the temp lower.
 

Powers

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Batch #1 appears to be successful. finished at 1.010. it's kegged and should be ready to test by the weekend.

Despite my Batch #1 success, Batch #2 is trouble from the start. i repitched slurry from the Batch #1 yeast cake, and it's acting kind of strange at 24 hours. the yeast grew and cropped, but didn't really take off actively. this is way different than the 6 hour start i got on the first batch. I'm warming it up a touch and also pitched some top-cropped WL530 that I harvested from the first batch. hopefully that dual approach will take care of any issues.

EDIT: by warming it up to 66 and pitching some nice top-cropped WL530, things finally got rolling last night. it will be interesting to do a side by side on these two batches to see the impact of the 24 hour lag v. 6 hour lag....
 

Powers

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Batch # 1 a complete success. After a week in the keg it was a little cloudy, but after two weeks golden clear and delicious. As Revvy planned, the higher mash maintains the beer's body and keeps a Leffe-esque sweetness despite finishing at 1.010. Slightly peppery with strong yeast notes make this a delicious, albeit dangerous devil of a beer at 7.6% abv. The keg is almost gone already, which is a travesty that this didn't get more time to age.

On Batch # 2, it started a little lower at 1.064, but still finished at 1.010. Then, I decided to put that residual sweetness to work against 1.5 lbs of red raspberries. They've been devoured in the secondary, leaving a very light pinkish golden hue. Can't wait to get this one on tap and see how the sour raspberries work in this brew.
 
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Batch # 1 a complete success. After a week in the keg it was a little cloudy, but after two weeks golden clear and delicious. As Revvy planned, the higher mash maintains the beer's body and keeps a Leffe-esque sweetness despite finishing at 1.010. Slightly peppery with strong yeast notes make this a delicious, albeit dangerous devil of a beer at 7.6% abv. The keg is almost gone already, which is a travesty that this didn't get more time to age.

On Batch # 2, it started a little lower at 1.064, but still finished at 1.010. Then, I decided to put that residual sweetness to work against 1.5 lbs of red raspberries. They've been devoured in the secondary, leaving a very light pinkish golden hue. Can't wait to get this one on tap and see how the sour raspberries work in this brew.
Awesome!!! I can't wait to here how the rasberry one turns out.

:mug:
 

Powers

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this picture shows off the beer color and clarity. it's actually clearer, but has a slight haze on the glass because it was pretty warm yesterday. this glass sat outside for awhile, and so the head is not quite what it usually is....

{click on picture for link to larger shot}
 

Pappers_

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Hi Revvy, this recipe inspired me to brew up a Belgian Blonde - I haven't made a Belgian ale in a couple of years. I'm not following the recipe exactly, because I'm using ingredients on hand, but am inspired by it.

Got the Abbey Ale yeast starter going and think we'll brew on Sunday afternoon.
 
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Revvy

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Hi Revvy, this recipe inspired me to brew up a Belgian Blonde - I haven't made a Belgian ale in a couple of years. I'm not following the recipe exactly, because I'm using ingredients on hand, but am inspired by it.

Got the Abbey Ale yeast starter going and think we'll brew on Sunday afternoon.
Sounds good. Best of luck. :rockin:
 

XanderBrew

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I am going to brew this this weekend, just wondering if I was to do strawberries frozen, how many pounds do you recommend?
 

usfmikeb

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I had been planning to do this with cherries, but with strawberry season in full swing, my wife's asked me to use them instead. I had been waiting to do this about a month from now, but am doing it this weekend instead.
 

usfmikeb

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Amount of fruit is really dependent on preference. My wife likes to have a decent amount of strawberry flavor in it, so I use 6 pounds. If you want it to be very fruity, use 8 pounds; less fruity, use 4 pounds.
 

Mermaid

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So I might have missed it.. but did you ever figure out a PM version of this recipe?

heh.. if not I'll have to run it through a calculator to get to 4 gallons (the size of AG I am limited to due to what equipment I have on hand).
 
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Revvy

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So I might have missed it.. but did you ever figure out a PM version of this recipe?

heh.. if not I'll have to run it through a calculator to get to 4 gallons (the size of AG I am limited to due to what equipment I have on hand).
The problem I find with coming up with an extract or PM version of some beers is that the base malt here is pilsner, and I don't know how able anyone is to get pilsner extract. I've never tried it.

I see more beer has Pilsner Malt extract here.

I guess I would use that for the majority of the base as that, but if I were doing a PM, use some Pils grain with the specialty grains tom help convert them. If you're doing extract with grains I would just go with the pils LME as the base and steep the rest.

I'd love it if someone would give it a try.
 

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Ahh, the red raspberry report. So, the red raspberries added a good degree of sourness which complements this sweeter beer very well. My wife and I discussed the quantity last night as we drank of few of these on the patio, and agreed that 1.5 lbs is just about right for our tastes. That amount still lets the beer flavor through, but still gives you the raspberry flavor. However, if you wanted lots of raspberry flavor, you could go higher but you will risk masking the grain bill completely. I'll see if I can get a picture posted in a week or so when this clears up.
 

Powers

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CAVEAT: I can also say that, having made this beer in its original form and also a raspberry batch, the fruit completely changes the beer. the raspberries are nice, but i prefer the beer in its original form where the yeast complexity really shines through...
 

usfmikeb

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Finally brewing this today. Vacations and such have interrupted my brewing schedule, had planned to brew this weeks ago. This is for my SWMBO, and we'll be doing strawberries in the secondary. Brewing the Spiced Cherry Dubbel from Mosher's book next weekend.
 

usfmikeb

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Bubbling away nice and pretty in my new ferm chamber at 68 degrees!
 

Akavango

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Made this recipe for my second brew and first one from a recipe. It came out with a beautiful colour and an OG of 1.058. The only problem will be waiting the 30 days of fermentation... How long did you have it in bottle before drinking it?

Thanks for the recipe.
 

usfmikeb

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Mine's in tertiary right now, after spending two weeks in secondary on top of 6 pounds of strawberries. I'll probably let it sit for another couple weeks before cold crashing and racking into a keg. Should be ready to drink about a month from now.
 

Akavango

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Mine's in tertiary right now, after spending two weeks in secondary on top of 6 pounds of strawberries. I'll probably let it sit for another couple weeks before cold crashing and racking into a keg. Should be ready to drink about a month from now.
Sorry for the newbie question. In your secondary and tertiary fermentation, do you had more yeast or sugar? What is the benefit of a tertiary fermentation?
 
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Sorry for the newbie question. In your secondary and tertiary fermentation, do you had more yeast or sugar? What is the benefit of a tertiary fermentation?
Drop the word fermentation. The purpose of a tertiary or secondary vessel is to clear the beer. Since he added fruit in the secondary, he moved it to a third vessel, to let the beer clear.

For info on secondary fermentation which most of the time is a minsomer, go here.
 

usfmikeb

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Revvy's correct. There was a secondary fermentation triggered by the introductiomn of fructose in the strawberries. However, the tertiary is primarily for aging purposes, as I didn't want to sit on the strawberries for too long.
 
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