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

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Abrayton

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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 .
I’ve been under 1.010 every time. If I understand correctly the high mash temp will add mouthfeel while the sugar addition will help bring FG down
 

BBQB

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Well, it’s kegged. I’m going out of town for a month but will report back if it’s any good. Next time I might mash at 154
 
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jturman35

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I did 158 just like the recipe calls for. The high mash temp is for added body. My batch took about 2 months to condition to where I felt like it hit its prime. I’m sending 3 bottles to Dr. Homebrew (Podcast) that were kegged back on Jan 27th. I will let the two Master BJCP judges tell the rest, can’t wait!
 
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Abrayton

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I did 158 just like the recipe calls for! The high mash temp is for added body. My batch took about 2 months to condition to where I felt like it hit its prime. I’m sending 3 bottles to Dr. Homebrew (Podcast) that were kegged back on Jan 27th. I will let the two Master BJCP judges tell the rest, can’t wait!
247C471E-6E15-4A66-ACDF-B722BA5B0F8C.gif
 

BBQB

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I did 158 just like the recipe calls for! The high mash temp is for added body. My batch took about 2 months to condition to where I felt like it hit its prime. I’m sending 3 bottles to Dr. Homebrew (Podcast) that were kegged back on Jan 27th. I will let the two Master BJCP judges tell the rest, can’t wait!

What was your FG?
 

SirHC_

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Adding this to the brew list. I'm going to split it between two fermenters, one w t-58 and the other with 530.
I'll then use the 530 yeast cake for a westy quad clone!
 
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Revvy

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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.


Did you READ my instructions? I CLEARLY STATED THAT IT WAS 158 AND WHY......

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.

So yes, it REALLY IS 158.
 

bondra76

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Did you READ my instructions? I CLEARLY STATED THAT IT WAS 158 AND WHY......



So yes, it REALLY IS 158.

Wow I’m sorry I offended you so much - was just asking a simple question vs reading through 609 pages of thread to see if circumstances had changed over the years.
 

jturman35

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Ok just an update. Thought I would provide some insight to this thread. I followed Revvy’s recipe and brewed a really good Belgian Blonde. I brewed and kegged this back in Jan.

I just sent 3 of these to podcast (Dr. Homebrew) Episode 147 and this beer was judged by two Master BJCP judges. I respectably received a 31/33 score and the only flaw pointed out was under carbonation. If you listen I was told this beer could possibly hit 40’s with proper carbonation. I bottled using a beer gun which turns out is a common problem. Granted my beer only finished down 1.018 because I lost a lot of yeast during blow off. I am going to take the recommendations from the judges and build on this beer.

Thanks Revvy for such a great recipe!
 
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Revvy

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I just sent 3 of these to podcast (Dr. Homebrew) Episode 147 and this beer was judged by two Master BJCP judges. I respectably received a 31/33 score and the only flaw pointed out was under carbonation. If you listen I was told this beer could possibly hit 40’s with proper carbonation. I bottled using a beer gun which turns out is a common problem. Granted my beer only finished down 1.018 because I lost a lot of yeast during blow off. I am going to take the recommendations from the judges and build on this beer.

Thanks Revvy for such a great recipe!

Oh my god, wow!!! Congrats.
 

HomerJay

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I brewed this recipe 3 weeks ago. OG 1.072, mashed at 158. I had to use Wyeast 3522, as this was the only Belgian yeast I could get my hands on. Fermented around 68 to 70F. Now the SG is sitting at 1.020 for the last week and seems stuck.

I try to ramp the temp to 75F at the moment and hope the last bit of yeast in suspension will start chewing away some more sugar. Anyone any other ideas what to do to get this down to 1.010?
 
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ihavenonickname

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I had the same problem - I let it get hot and swirled it, finished at 1.018. It seems fairly common with the recipe. Some people like it like that so you don’t have to do anything. But I really prefer most of my Belgians to finish dry so if I were in the same situation I would add an mL of amylo300 to the fermenter. Or you could pitch something like 3711 that would bring it way down.
 

goodolarchie

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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.

[...]

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

Okay! Reporting back and answering this (better late than never!). The beer turned out decent after 3 weeks, was missing some phenol and fruity esters I thought, but it got a 36.5 (guessing a 38 and 35) in the one comp I entered... but I never saw a scoresheet, emailed the organizer to no avail >/

So now those bottles have cellared for almost 9 months, the beer is very tasty, no surprise for a Belgian strain. I don't think I would brew this again without planning on bottle conditioning, it just seems style appropriate. Since these were 500ml bottles I threw some in my precision hydrometer (as I did prime them a tiny bit). FG was 1.011 (156 mash) after primary. Granted that hydrometer broke, but this one reads 1.010.

So here's my take:
Good recipe, my execution was mediocre, beer was better around the 2 month mark.

Appearance - darker than leffe by a few SRM, great rocky head after conditioning.

Aroma - missing the 4vg phenol (clove), but lovely dried fruit / fig / raisin esters. Nothing off when served at 42, but brought up to room temp I got solvent.

Taste: I like the dryness, I dislike the moderate midpalate bitterness I get, even 5 minutes after the last sip. I'd dial the Goldings down to 18-20 IBU and mash at 158 as recommended. (156 was by mistake, undershot February grain temp in the cooler) to finish around 1.013 ideally.

Mouthfeel: pretty spot on, it's just like leffe. On the thin end, lovely effervescence in a refreshing Belgian way.

Flaws: I think I'd dial back the biscuit + Munich if I was going to cellar it again, there's a kind of cloying and unfitting toasty malt note that wasn't there 6 months ago. I bet the color would be perfect with a 60 min boil less some Munich. The only offensive off flavor I get is ethyl acetate, which to me says I stressed the yeast out. Within the limit, this should taste like pear - perfect to style, yet at room temp it's clearly solventy.

Looking forward to brewing again with a few small tweaks.
 

HomerJay

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I brewed this recipe 3 weeks ago. OG 1.072, mashed at 158. I had to use Wyeast 3522, as this was the only Belgian yeast I could get my hands on. Fermented around 68 to 70F. Now the SG is sitting at 1.020 for the last week and seems stuck.

I try to ramp the temp to 75F at the moment and hope the last bit of yeast in suspension will start chewing away some more sugar. Anyone any other ideas what to do to get this down to 1.010?


I decided to test if there is any fermentable sugars left by adding some bread yeast to a sample batch. Couple days later, still the same SG. As I have no experience with amylase and do not want to mess too much with 10 gallons of this beer I called it done. FG 1.020, so be it. Cold crashed and kegged. Sample after cold crashing tasted very promising, although a bit sweet.
 

TandemTails

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I just brewed up this recipe today. I modified the recipe to adjust for my brewhouse efficiency. I scaled biscuit up to 6oz and just wrote 6oz for melanoiden too, about double what the recipe called for. It's still at under 3% of the grain bill so whatever.

Mashed for an hour at 157'F. 90 minute boil per the recipe. OG was 1.067 and pitched an active starter of Wyeast 3787 in there that I had harvested from a previous belgian dark strong I brewed not too long ago.

I'm looking forward to this one! As a bonus, I just kicked a keg in my kegerator so i'm excited to get this one hooked up.

I pitched the yeast at 65'F and will let it free rise to 75'F over the course of a few days, then slowly lower it back down to 65'F over a few more days where it'll finish up at that temp for a week or so.
 

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Brewed this over the weekend. Only flaw during during brew day was I ran out of propane mid-boil. Fired it back up for 15 min guesstimate I lost. I ended up with a little extra volume and a lower OG of 1.062. Yeast blew out the blow off on day 2. I will report back on the outcome. I’m sure it will still be good as long as it’s not too bitter.
 

Rob2010SS

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I'm brewing this recipe again on Sunday. I just drank the last bottle of this back in November. That was bottled for 1 yr 3 mos and it was still amazing! Looking forward to having this on tap!
 

Oldskewl

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Transferred my attempt after 3 weeks in my brew bucket to a keg today. FG was 1.016. Hydro tasted good! I did lose a lot of yeast out the blow-off partly due to having some extra volume in the fermentor. Not sure if the higher FG was due to the lack of yeast or the 158 mash. Now I need give it a couple weeks to carb.
 

mr_lahey

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If I am trying to follow the original recipe, what would be the best Munich malt between Weyermann's Munich 1 and Weyermann's Munich 2?
 

Donvache

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Getting ready to try this recipe and I don't have any melanoiden malt. SMH. How is this going to affect the beer?
 

craigmckay

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Can I ask a daft question from the UK? ...are these units "US gallons/quarts" or "Imperial gallons/quarts"?

Thanks!
 

craigmckay

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Thanks Griffi!

Another question: Am I reading right that we bring the 14qt (13L) to 178F (81C) and add our grainbill to that volume of water, and mash for 45 mins before sparging with 4.47gal (17L)? I've never mashed with such little water.

Thanks again!
 

Abrayton

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I’d think you can mash with whatever grist to water ratio you like, the temps are what matter according to the OP.
 

jturman35

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Brewing this for the second time but changing my mash temp. Going to try and do a 20min protein test at 131deg then mash at 149 for 60mins just to see how this changes the beer. I did the 158mash for one hour and came out great on the first batch.
 

Kjokkakim

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T-58 would work (I think I even did it with it years ago) and WB-06 might be interesting, though I'm assuming it would make for a cloudy beer.

Give it a try and report back, that way we add to the knowledge base, by having the guts to try something no one else has. :mug:

I got a couple of packs with WB-06 which are getting close to expiration date. I don't currently have any plans for these and are considering using these in a BB.
 

GrowleyMonster

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This looks like a good recipe for me to try one of these days. I have been re-using my yeast for several generations now and it is nice to not have to buy it, and I have been getting excellent results with the high gravity ales I have been brewing. The original was a pack of HotHead and since the specs on the yeast said the batch should have had TWO packs, I semi-randomly pitched a pack of dry BE-256, formerly named Abbeye, too. I believe that because my fermentation room temps run around 72 or 73F, the BE-256 now dominates the culture. With ales in the 1.070 to 1.080 range, a one quart starter from this stuff pitched in a 5 or 5.5 gallon batch goes to work in a very few hours but isn't explosive, and gets the heavy lifting done in about 4 days and tapers off to last blurps at about two weeks. Now I see that the recommended yeast in the original recipe often blows out the airlock at lower temps than I ferment at. What I am wondering is if using my house yeast will materially affect the outcome, vs the WLP530 in the recipe.

I have always liked Leffe Blond since I first tried it when I was sailing on a regular North Atlantic run in the 90's. We often stocked up on "personal stores" in Antwerp because the lady chandler who handled that was kind of hot and her prices weren't bad, lots of freebies. We bought a lot of chocolates, cheese, and beer, there. Three of the 5 basic food groups. (the other two being bacon and ice cream.) After trying a shipmate's offered bottle, I was hooked, and started buying all I could drink. My absolute favorite foreign beer. So I had been thinking about doing a Leffe clone for a while, now.

The high mash temp is interesting. I definitely won't be changing that, the first time I try this recipe. The reasoning is sound, and results testimonials are promising.

So Revvy, and beer nerds, what about the yeast? Should I pick up some WLP530? Maybe do a batch with that and a batch with the house yeast? Or split the batch and bottle it? (I normally keg but I don't have any shorty kegs.) The house yeast does have a strong Belgian lineage in the BE-256 element.
 

jturman35

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Second edition with a few slight changes. Both times I brewed this beer it took months for it to come around. This beer is seven months old and really starting to shine. Only changes i made were the mash temp. I did 30 mins at 131 and 30 mins at 152. This is a solid recipe!




6DA250AD-BDBF-48BA-BC02-0D3DE28319DE.jpeg
 

SaisonMan

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Rookie question: I'm brewing this as we speak in a Mash & Boil. I mashed in at 178. It has taken a long time to get it down to 158. Does the 45 minute mash time include this or does the clock start ticking when it hits 158?
 

seilenos

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If you put your grains in at 178 then all enzymes got denatured rather quickly. You're going to end up with primarily unfermentable wort.
 

seilenos

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I'm a full volume, no sparge BIABer so my vols are based on 32 qts. I would assume that the step in the recipe means that combining the volume of water at that temperature with the amount of recipe grains will end up with a mash temp of 158 F.

What temp were you at just after mashing in?
 

SaisonMan

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I mashed in at 178 and had my M&B set at 158. When the temperature didn't drop, I set it to 142. So it was a very gradual drop in temp. I guess I should have shut it off after mashing in and let it cool. Rookie mistake. Is all lost?
 

Oldskewl

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Every system is different. You needed to use a calculator like BIAB calculator(I do full volume BIAB)


It varies by how much water you mashed with. I do full volume. So with 7 gal of water my strike temp was 165F to hit a 158F mash temp
 

SaisonMan

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I mashed in with 3.5 gallons. You live, you learn. It's my fourth all-grain batch. Never mashed in at 178 before, so it was new territory for me. We'll see what happens.
 
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