Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Session Beer Series: Belgian Single, Patersbier, Enkel

Call it what you want to call it.
Here is another session beer. I am truly excited about this one. It seems like such a great style that appears to be completely over looked. It is not really made commercially. A few of the Trappists make this style but either don't distribute or distribute very locally. (Chimay Doree, Orval Petit, Witcap Paters, Westmalle Extra). Through my internet research there seems to be a bit of confusion as to what to label these beers and also what the difference is between each. So that's why the name has three titles just so I have my bases covered. Actually some also call it a Table beer.
The history I could find behind this beer is debatable like everything in history. One idea is that these beers were the second runnings from the Triples or even Dubbels that the breweries made for the public. They would ferment these beers the same but would just be for the Monks to drink. The low alcohol allowed them to drink while still working (I wish this would still fly).
I made mine a pale version but my research showed that they can vary greatly in grain bill. The other purpose for this batch is to propagate yeast for my whole line-up of Trappist beers. Also if interested in entering this is competition, you may get away with entering it as a Belgium Pale but it seems most enter into the Belgian Specialty Category.
This one was a fun one to research and I came up with the recipe with this thinking. Belgian Pilsner  for the base malt, no explanation needed. The Wheat Malt is mainly to add a bit of protein to help get that rocky Belgian head on the beer that I really like. The CaraMunich is used to add a bit of complexity and toastiness I also like in Pale beers. Then the Acidulated Malt is added for a few reasons, one is to lower my mash pH since this is such a pale beer, but it should also help the beer have a nice crisp finish. The more I read the more it seems like the bittering hop matters very little, for this batch I used Northern Brewer because it was left from my California Common. Then for the flavor/aroma hop I used Saaz as it should give me some nice spice to match up well with the Belgian yeast. Also this is my first Belgian style beer so I decided to start with WLP500 or the Chimay yeast. I like the idea of using this for the entire Trappist series. And my plan next year is to brew the same grain bill with another yeast like WLP550. It will be fun to see the differences and maybe even try a vertical tasting in a few years.

Recipe: Belgian Single / Patersbier / Enkel
O.G.-1.039  F.G.-TBD   IBU-16.6 
SRM-5   ABV-3.8-4.2%%   Cal-127

Grain Bill (75% Efficiency):
5 lb Belgian Pilsner Malt (71.4%)
1 lb Wheat Malt  (14.3%)
.5 lb CaraMunich Malt (7.1%)
.5 lb Acid Malt (7.1%)

.25 oz Northern Brewer, 8.8%, pellet, 80 min 12.1 IBU
.5 oz Saaz, 6.4%, pellet, 15 min 4.5 IBU

White Labs WLP500 Trappist Ale (Chimay)

Brew Day:
Brewed: 8/14/10
Kegged: TBD

San Diego (Alvarado) Tap Water
1 campden tablet per 5 gal.

Mash Details:
H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.4 qt/lb
Mash Volume: 2.5 gal
Sacc Rest. Temp/Time: 152F @ 60min
Strike Temp: 164F
Batch Sparge Volume: 5 gal
Sparge Temp/Time: 170F @ 30min

Boil Details:
Boil Volume: 7 gal
Boil Time: 90min
Post Boil Volume: 5 gal

Ferment Details:
O.G.: 1.043 (I got 78% efficiency)
Ferment Temp: 66-69F
Length: 14 days in primary

Day 2

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