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Mid Strength/low Alcohol Belgian

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ekul

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The last few times i've been to the bottlo i've been tasting a few belgian beers. I bought some abbey ale II yeast a week ago and i'd like to have a crack at making one. My favourite belgian is Leffe Radieuse however i prefer my beers to be a little less alcoholic. The first time i had it i nicked into the bottlo for a roadie and thought i'd try it. Quickly found out that 8.2% beer is not great as roadies.

So has anyone had a crack at a midstrength belgian?

I was thinking of doing something simple like this


23L


3kg pale ale (or vienna)
1kg munich II
.1kg dark crystal


OG 1039

saaz to 18 ibus @ 60


Wyeast abbey ale II


If a low alcohol belgian is not a possibilty i'll make up a clone recipe that i found and bottle it for long term aging.
 

Dazza88

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Search for patersbier and Belgian table beers.
 

ekul

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Thanks Daz, couldn't find anything on here but i found references to a recipe pack sold by northern brewer over at HBT. Seems to be a pretty simple recipe, pils malt to 1044, Noble @ 60, saaz @ 10. (some even dry hop with saaz!) Ferment with high gravity trappist yeast. I just need to work out what ibus to bitter this bad boy at and i'll be knocking out a batch tomorrow..
 

jotaigna

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I am finishing fermentation of a patersbier 15L
3kg weyerman pils
10g perle @45m
25g saaz @45min
wlp530
I think it will be about 25 IBU considering I thought I had hallertauer but I didnt so I had to make do with what I had and the saaz aau was like 2.7%
Anything between 20 and 30 and lawnmower bitterness should be fine.
I did mine under the logic posted on this forum "why make yeast starter for a dubbel when you can make a light beer you can drink afterwards?" So if this one is drinkable and light, I dont care if it doesnt fall into style




Thanks Daz, couldn't find anything on here but i found references to a recipe pack sold by northern brewer over at HBT. Seems to be a pretty simple recipe, pils malt to 1044, Noble @ 60, saaz @ 10. (some even dry hop with saaz!) Ferment with high gravity trappist yeast. I just need to work out what ibus to bitter this bad boy at and i'll be knocking out a batch tomorrow..
 

Nick JD

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While a lot of people adore 1762 (Rochefort's yeast), to me it's missing a lot of what I feel are the "belgian" ale characters. Not saying it's not a great yeast in its own right - but you won't get a Leffe or a Chimay flavour using it.

Where I found it great was for making Belgian APAs. Yeah, that sounds weird but if you make a hoppy american ale and use 1762 it comes out really nice - bit spicy and quite mellow on the esters.

I've done a few <1.050 Belgian PAs with both 3787 and 1214 and they're supurb but a little too much for the style. 1762 makes a great yeast for a BPA. Check out the BJCP blurb on BPAs.
 

QldKev

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I've been going to make a Lil Belgian Blonde for a while.

I have not made this yet, but I'm thinking along these lines.

Aiming for just shy of 4%, 23L batch, no chill
2kg Pils
1kg Vienna
0.2kg Melanoidin

Saaz @ 60min to 20 IBU
Syrian Goldings 0.5g/L @ 10 min

Mash 65c
Yeast 1214, @20c


QldKev
 

Dazza88

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Anything Leffe seems to use 3787.


My accidental Belgian Pils - Boh Pils wort @ 1.048, all saaz, with 3787 turned out really good, a bit like a mid-strength Leffe blonde (well in terms of the Leffe normally being 6.6%, this was closer to 5%)
 

Adr_0

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how did these turn out? I'm contemplating something similar shortly, circa 1040 or so.

I'm pretty sure questions don't get more open-ended than that.

why aren't there any/many recipes out there in the 3-5% ABV range using your popular Belgian strains? does the flavour end up being just too estery/phenolic for a drier/low alcohol beer, or does it work really well?
 

Phillo

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Did a 1.047 Belgian pale for Dad with 3787 recently. Bloody nice.

From memory it was just BB ale, Munich, wheat, and some table sugar with Styrians to around 20IBU.
 

Phillo

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BTW, even with a lower gravity beer, 3787 still doesn't like to stay confined to the FV.
 

Adr_0

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Sounds good Philio, I was even thinking a 'dubbel' around the 4-4.5% range, with a Belgian yeast (e.g 1214, 3522).

And then I look at the AABC guidelines, and see that there is nothing Belgian under 6%, so I'm wondering if I'm missing something here or there's a lot of potential?
 

stakka82

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Made a BPA earlier in the year that was great, mostly pils, a little bit of munich and some aromatic, with EKG to about 25IBU and 1214... came in at about 1045 from memory.
 

Phillo

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Belgian Pale according to BJCP is 1.048 - 1.054.

But even if it wasn't, we can make things outside the style if we prefer. 'Tis a good hobby we have.

I reckon a 4.5% dubbel sounds sweet. I say just do it.
 

jotaigna

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Phillo said:
Belgian Pale according to BJCP is 1.048 - 1.054.

But even if it wasn't, we can make things outside the style if we prefer. 'Tis a good hobby we have.

I reckon a 4.5% dubbel sounds sweet. I say just do it.
Hitting styles in the head is great for learning and getting a feel for how ingredients and processes affect the final product. But hey,, it's your brewery so go for it. Think of it as a Belgian dubbel- English mild fusion, mmmh what if its also c-hoppy?
 

Adr_0

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Well that's exactly it, I was basically aiming for a continental 'flavour-country' midstrength. I basically wanted something (probably) using English or Euro hops, and wanted a yeast with character, some esters and maybe phenols but didn't want to lean towards a typical Mild/Bitter/ESB mix. I think that's when the lightbulb went on, but I'm still scratching my head why there's nothing Belgian out there in the 3-5% range.

I was tossing this about (needs work):

Weyermann Vienna - 85.3%
Weyermann Melanoiden - 4.7%
Weyermann CaraMunich I - 6.2%
TF Chocolate - 3.9%
To a mind-blowing SG of about 1.035

15IBU of Pilot (60min)
5 IBU of Styrian Goldings (15min)

Wyeast3522

Who knows, might as well try. I guess I had a bit of a concern that Belgian yeasts would probably hammer the attenuation on a lower SG beer and would be very ester/phenol-forward; maybe too much so. While usually you would have shovel-fulls of delicious malt to balance that somewhat, you probably don't in this situation so I wonder how well it works.

Have to try it at least once. :)
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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I was going to do this as well, so this came up fortuitously at the same time. Though it's down on my list.

I managed to get T58 to throw some bubblegum in my regular belgian (that was from the fermenter) and the lack of available wet yeasts means I'm sticking to dry ones at the moment. I'd love to have a go at this with a good wet belgian yeast. My other option is - I have Danstar Belle Saison (for a Saison) and thinking of pitching this beer straight on the yeast cake.

I used (I'm at work so ianh's spreadsheet) Leichtes Weizen as the 'style guide' - just for ABV%, bitterness and OG/FG as a guide.

I'm going for a pale version (summer is coming):

50/50 Pils and Wheat malt to OG 1.027

Sylva hops at 60 minutes to 12IBU.

T58 (up to 75% attenuation), FG 1.007, leaving it 3% in the bottle (allowing for the extra abv%) or 2.7% if I still had kegs (*sob*).
 

Midnight Brew

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Plan on brewing a saison today to about 3-4% Abv with Belle Saison.

Simple Summer Ale
75% Ale
25% Wheat
Magnum FWH to 15 IBU
Saaz (cube 20min) to 7IBU
Belle Saison around 24C and above.

I want to mash at 70C and this will affect attenuation. BS2 predicts 1010FG and it will no doubt go lower.

These beers are suppose to be dry and I think I will still reach the ball park of saison FG but my question is: Is there a better way to achieve this lower abv other then a 70C mash. Should I go less on the malt and lower on the mash temp? Or brew as planned?
 

mje1980

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I mash saisons low, and keep the malt down. So aim for 1.040 og and know it will hit 1.002. Just me preference though. Should still hit low 1005s, probably still hit 1.002 with a high mash temp though haha
 

Midnight Brew

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Thanks mje, deciding to mash high and split the batch. One will be a saison with saaz at 20min (cube) the other will be a summer ale with ahtanum in cube and dry hop with wy greenbelt revived.
 

mje1980

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Can you update the fg of the saison please?, keen to know.
 

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