Simplicity meets homebrewing

As i have noted many times over, American breweries by in large fail to get Belgian style brews. They often employ methods that work great for big or”extreme” beers, but don’t always work when making a Belgian style beer. Lots of malt seems to be used for the high gravities, and complex grain bills are used to try and create the complexity. I have found that for Belgian beers, simplicity is the key. Here’s my simplistic and fairly dead on take of a dubbel that can be easily ramped up to a strong dark or quad:

Drunken Monk Ale

7# Belgian pale malt

7# Belgian pils malt

A bit of aromatic malt or special b can be added for a little extra complexity

1 bottle of Dark Candi Syrup – D1 or D2 depending on profile desired

.5oz 14.5%AA Magnum 60 minutes

.5oz of a noble German hop – Saaz, Hallateur, etc. 20 minutes

.5oz of a noble German hop – Saaz, Hallateur, etc. F.O.

Mash low, around 145-149

Ferment with your favorite Belgian strain

I always start fermenting any big beer cool. I usually start around 55 degrees or so for the first day. The cool slows the yeast and keeps them from going insane in a high sugar enviroment. The result of not doing so can result in off flavors and most importantly fusels. After a day or so at 55, I let the temp ramp up to the 70s-low 80s. Those temps create the classic Belgian beer ester/flavor profiles. With any big beer I usually let the beer ferment for 2-4 weeks to ensure complete fermentation.

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~ by thebrewgeek on Tuesday, October 21, 2008.

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