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

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jturman35

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A friend of mine brought me a six pack of Leffe this summer and I was blown away! I usually only like dark beers and quads but this beer is so good! I’m definitely going to brew this soon!



Anyone build their water up from distilled have a good water profile they use?
 
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Rob2010SS

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Heres the profile i used when i made this, started with distilled water. Is it a good profile? I don't know for sure. I will say that i finally got to try Leffe after i made this recipe. I think this recipe kills Leffe. I experienced a very pronounced, not so pleasant burn on the back end of Leffe. This recipe did not have that.

Leffe is good, this is better.
20181127_201041.jpeg
 

jturman35

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Thanks! I plan on brewing this next and then pitching a Westvleteren 12 clone on the old yeast cake!
 

jturman35

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For those who have perfected this Leffe what kind of fermentation schedule does WLP530 yeast like? I was thinking starting at 67 and letting it ramp to 72 over 5 days to help drive this beer down to 1.010.
 

Tom M

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For those who have perfected this Leffe what kind of fermentation schedule does WLP530 yeast like? I was thinking starting at 67 and letting it ramp to 72 over 5 days to help drive this beer down to 1.010.
I just brewed this a few weeks ago. OG was at 1.064 and finished at 1.007. I mashed at 152F so maybe this is why it finished a little low. I found the WLP530 did not respond much at around 62 degrees. I raised it to around 68 and it took off nicely. I just kept it around 68 degrees for a few weeks and it seemed to work out well. It did have more alcohol bite than I would prefer. I think next time I'll cut the simple sugar addition by about 60%.
 
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Rob2010SS

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I just brewed this a few weeks ago. OG was at 1.064 and finished at 1.007. I mashed at 152F so maybe this is why it finished a little low. I found the WLP530 did not respond much at around 62 degrees. I raised it to around 68 and it took off nicely. I just kept it around 68 degrees for a few weeks and it seemed to work out well. It did have more alcohol bite than I would prefer. I think next time I'll cut the simple sugar addition by about 60%.
Just my 2 cents, I wouldn't cut the sugar addition. I would hit your mash at 158*F per the recipe. With mine, I hit 158 on the nose and there is really no alcohol bite at all. It's delicious, smooth, easy to drink but very full body. Finished out at 1.010 and my OG was 1.071 IIRC.
 

jturman35

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I think it’s been asked several times in this thread but how is everyone getting this beer down to 1.010-1.012?
 

Rob2010SS

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What do you mean by "how"? If you oxygenate sufficiently and pitch a healthy yeast starter, should be no problem to get it down to 1.010. I forget exactly how i handled temp during fermentation but i think i had it at 69 for the first couple days and then let it slowly rise to like 74 or 75.
 

jturman35

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According to BS I was only supposed to get down to 1.016. Hydro samples taste great so all and all I’m not too concerned. I currently have this beer in a conical cold conditioning at 55deg.

IMG_4650.JPG
 

Rob2010SS

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Your sheet there says measured FG 1.010...? Is that not your reading?

What was your final gravity reading before chilling?

If you're happy with how it tastes, don't worry about it.
 

griffi

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I think it’s been asked several times in this thread but how is everyone getting this beer down to 1.010-1.012?
I think that unless you had an issue with your yeast, your attenuation issue is with your wort. I know mine was. Agree with others that if it tastes good, finish it. Mine tasted too sweet and the amylase enzyme dried it out enough.
 

goodolarchie

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Love the look of this recipe Revvy. I decided I'm going to do this next, after enjoying one of my favorite local beers (a Strong Blonde), the closest commercial example is Leffe due to the esters and sweet aroma.

I try to support my local yeast labs - Wyeast and Imperial, but I'm wondering if their comparable strains are the same isolated strain. Still I don't like to deviate on the first batch when a tried and tested recipe is out there. So here's my plan

1.5L stir starter - ~36-48 hrs prior.

Mash @ ~156
I have some spare clear candi sugar to use. I rarely make trappists so it will go to waste otherwise
Pitch @ 68, let free rise to 70. Add some Fermaid K at ~48 hours in.
After a week I'll throw it in my fermentation closet which stays at 74.

I'd like to have some really nice esters, to me a good blonde is just bursting with pear, clove, etc. without being cloying. It's always a balance between esters/phenols and a beer turning out "hot," it's an off flavor / effect that happens more than I'd like.

If it turns out not as flavorful as I'd like, I'll probably put it on some spring everbearing strawberries or rhubarb, they start appearing in the garden in April when the weather holds 35ºF+ overnight. A rhubarb blonde sounds amazing right now.

Ordering stuff now, will update in a month or so when it's ready...
 

Rob2010SS

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Love the look of this recipe Revvy. I decided I'm going to do this next, after enjoying one of my favorite local beers (a Strong Blonde), the closest commercial example is Leffe due to the esters and sweet aroma.

I try to support my local yeast labs - Wyeast and Imperial, but I'm wondering if their comparable strains are the same isolated strain. Still I don't like to deviate on the first batch when a tried and tested recipe is out there. So here's my plan

1.5L stir starter - ~36-48 hrs prior.

Mash @ ~156
I have some spare clear candi sugar to use. I rarely make trappists so it will go to waste otherwise
Pitch @ 68, let free rise to 70. Add some Fermaid K at ~48 hours in.
After a week I'll throw it in my fermentation closet which stays at 74.

I'd like to have some really nice esters, to me a good blonde is just bursting with pear, clove, etc. without being cloying. It's always a balance between esters/phenols and a beer turning out "hot," it's an off flavor / effect that happens more than I'd like.

If it turns out not as flavorful as I'd like, I'll probably put it on some spring everbearing strawberries or rhubarb, they start appearing in the garden in April when the weather holds 35ºF+ overnight. A rhubarb blonde sounds amazing right now.

Ordering stuff now, will update in a month or so when it's ready...

Curiosity question - you say you don't want to deviate from the recipe on a first batch, so why did you decide to go 156*F mash instead of 158*F?
 

bondra76

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That’s beautiful

I just brewed this last weekend. In the fermenter now. I used a starter but am wondering if I should have just let it be and stressed out the yeast a little. Nonetheless I’m excited to see how it turns out.
 

jturman35

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I did a starter and this was the first time I ever used WLP530 man did this thing crawl out of the blow off bucket. I lost a lot of yeast due to blow off, yet it still got down to 1.018. Very mellow Belgian character unlike others I have brewed. I believe this recipe is spot on and wish I had a bottle of the original to compare. I’m not a huge fan of blonde or Belgian ales but this beer is damn good!
 

Rob2010SS

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I did a starter and this was the first time I ever used WLP530 man did this thing crawl out of the blow off bucket. I lost a lot of yeast due to blow off, yet it still got down to 1.018. Very mellow Belgian character unlike others I have brewed. I believe this recipe is spot on and wish I had a bottle of the original to compare. I’m not a huge fan of blonde or Belgian ales but this beer is damn good!
Im surprised it didn't go lower for you. Mine finished at 1.010. Same though, this fermentation couldn't be contained lol
 

bondra76

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Hmm weird my fermentation was pretty rampant for a day or two but nothing crazy. But it’s also in a huge speidel.
 

Andre3000

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What are people's thoughts on this regarding skipping the sugar and compensating with more pils? Can you achieve the same result with a different mash temp? Keep the same mash temp? Might brew this this weekend with that change!
 

bondra76

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Most Belgians are brewed with sugar and leffe’s a little on the sweet side in general. I’d think subbing out the sugar would really alter the taste.
 

jturman35

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I wouldn’t deviate from the recipe personally. 10oz is really not that much sugar. I could only manage 71% attenuation with WLP530 because I blew a crap ton of yeast during fermentation. Mine finished down to 1.018 but still ended up being a pretty good beer!
 

Andre3000

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Fiiiiiiine guys I'm convinced! Sugar it is!

What about schedule on fermentation temps with 3787? Fairly certain that detail is critical with this beer.
 

jturman35

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I started around 66 and finished around 72. I don’t let the temp rise more than 1 deg per day. I think the next time I’m going to let it get much higher the esters are subtle. I wouldn’t be scared to let it get a little hotter.
 

Andre3000

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I started around 66 and finished around 72. I don’t let the temp rise more than 1 deg per day. I think the next time I’m going to let it get much higher the esters are subtle. I wouldn’t be scared to let it get a little hotter.
You might be better off pitching at 67 and rising to 73 then no? If you pitch at 66 and rise to 73, by the time you make it to 73, all ester production could be well finished. Most of my ales approach FG by day 3 TBH.
 

jturman35

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Yea, I’m starting to learn that now that I have used my tilt. This batch i didn’t have this handy tool! I’m going to brew a Westy 12 Clone this summer using this same yeast. I plan on getting that beer up past 80deg to help attenuate. I’m just not sure if letting it climb temp on its own or keeping it controlled to 1-2 deg per day works best. Maybe someone else can chime in.
 

Andre3000

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It really does depend on ambient conditions, warm or cold.

If you don't prescribe the temp, ambient may dictate and it may never actually "free rise" or it may shoot up into the 80s. Eg in the cold months my garage get down into the 50s and that would for sure prevent a free rise up to 70. That's why I usually do the 1-2 per day.
 

bondra76

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My last batch stuck at 1.03 siting in ambient temp in my basement in Colorado. It’s been a cold May. Next time I plan on starting it at least at 70.

Also I forget what my mash temp was - I think it was 156 and I’m going to go lower next time. Maybe 153 ish.
 
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Revvy

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What are people's thoughts on this regarding skipping the sugar and compensating with more pils? Can you achieve the same result with a different mash temp? Keep the same mash temp? Might brew this this weekend with that change!

Then you will get more body than the original recipe. The purpose of the sugar in a Belgian beer is to have the ABV but not the heaviness of the beer, that you would get from the protieins in the grain. It's about not increasing the body of the beer.

To understand this, get a barleywine at 12% ABV, and get a Belgian Quad at the same strength and drink them side by side, tell me which feels "heavier" to you, maybe THEN you'll understand why sugar is added to certain beers.

The "evil" that most noobs seem to repeat about using sugar is about fratboys boosting their extract batches with pounds of sugar to get wasted.. That's not the same reason brewers like Belgian use it in their beers.

As long as you are less than IIRC 30% of your grainbill, it's ok to use sugar.
 

bondra76

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Can I ask folks - is the mash temp really 158? Next time I make this I am thinking of lowering it down to 153-154 max. I had a stuck fermentation but part of me believes that the mash was too high.
 

BBQB

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I just kegged mine. It had a fg of 1.020. Is that normal? I too mashed at 158. Seemed high .
 
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