Saturday, 25 August 2012

Big Bad Belgian Beer Mk IV or (Quad B 4)

Hi All,
A couple of weeks back i had a few nights out in Hull. Its a great city with a lot of very nice people and very nice pubs. One in particular to put on a 'to do' list is The Wellington Inn.. It has an onsite microbrewery, an excellent number of guest ales & Perrys and the best Belgian beer fridge that i have seen outside of Belguim itself. I introduced a few of the lads to differing styles of Belgian beers with the lambic being the firm favourite. I went for the Achouffe Blonde which is a tremendous unfiltered beer.
The only downside is that it is an 8% monster and in truth it can be a bit chewy so its in no way a session beer. On the upside it has massive yeast flavours and sits close to the top of my fave beer list.

With this in mind and while still in the pub i decided that i'd have a crack at a lightweight version of Achouffe Blonde, reasoning is that i REALLY like Belgian beers but at 43 years old i don't really like the idea of falling on my arse due to drinking 8% beers! I haven't aimed slavishly close at Achouffe just in the general direction of Southern Holland and Northern France! This casual approach give me the artistic freedom i enjoy in beermaking, clone beers have zero appeal for me. The final volume of this beer was approx 18 gallons. As my overback is 60 ltrs i find that a 60 ltr mash/rest and the same again for a sparge will give me approx 18 gallons final wort. Anyway, here's the recipe for this most recent of adventures.
Quad B 4
12kgs Maris Otter
2kgs Munich
1 kg CaraMunich
1kg wheat
1kg torrified wheat
1/2 a handful of Pale Chocolate malt
7oz Glacier hops FWH
3.5oz Amarillo 90 min steep
3.5 oz Nelson Sauvin 90 min steep
2.5 oz Simco 90 min steep
1 oz Simco through Hopthang over 2 days
Duvel/Chimay Yeast Split @ 23 degrees falling to 20.
I don't really bother with staggered hop additions. As you can see i go for First wort hopping to reduce harshness then a long steep for the aroma hops with nothing in between. In this case it seems to have worked out quite well as there is a distinct fruity aroma to the beer not connected to the traditional Belgian Yeasts. I moved 4 gallons to another FV for Brett C introduction and took the opportunity to draw off a sample. I can taste limes which reminds me of Pacific Gem hops so i assume this is from the Nelsons but at the moment i can't really differentiate between the yeast influence and the hops. Its all rather nice though!

I enjoyed running up HopThang again as its sat idle during my last few brews. I carried out a modification on the return line fitting to open it up to 10mm dia from 3mm. It has made a huge difference to the flow through HopThang. Check out the video and the eddy currents!

Early indications are that this beer is a winner, nice and light but absolutely bursting with flavour from the Yeast and hops. I will be bottling tomorrow so hoping to get an early preview in about a week. In the meantime i'll just have to make do with last years 5.5% Saison with apricots and Turkish Chillies, its a hard old life. :)

The next morning
I will begin the delabelling and sterilisation of the bottles today so first thing this morning i ran up HopThang again. I won't leave it running overnight but run it in 1/2 hour bursts through the day. Compare the two photos of  HopThang for its effectiveness as a yeast filter. A nice bonus to the hop infusion.
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1 comment:

  1. Left a pic & my tasting notes on JBK