The keg of Witbier is getting low so I took advantage of a nice, long weekend to brew up the beer that’s going to take its place. Since the basement is still a little warm with our hot summer, another belgian beer seemed logical. I wanted something that could be fermented in the mid 70’s and not too strong. I was reading about the single or Enkel that the Trappist breweries produce that are mostly for their own consumption and its sounded pretty delicious. Russian River makes a beer in this vein, Redemption, but I wasn’t able to track any down before making this beer. The new style guidelines have a section on Trappist Single, and I stayed pretty much in line with that stylistically, except my version is a touch darker than the guidelines say (8 SRM vs 5 SRM).
Mash: 150 (60 min)
Boil: 90 min.
Added: 2g Gypsum & 1.7g CaCl to Mash and 2.2g Gypsum & 1.9g CaCl to Sparge water
Mash pH: 5.3
93.2% Pilsen Malt (Malteries Franco-Belges)
4.0% Melanoidin Malt
2.8% Special B
1.5 oz Hallertau (4.7%) 60 min.
1.5 oz Sterling (4.5%) 10 min.
2.0 oz Sterling (4.5%) 0 min.
2.0 oz Hallertau (4.7%) 0 min.
Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity
Made a 1.5 liter starter, larger than needed but the yeast from the shop was about 4 months old. Pitched at 78 and brought temp down to 74 via ice bath after about 5 hours. Fermentation took off quickly and seemed mostly down after 2 days. I’ve used this yeast strain before in a Dubbel, and loved the profile so I’m hoping for something similar in this beer.
Left in primary for 14 days and finished out at 1.007, just a touch drier that I was guessing. 86% attenuation.
Tasting notes – 10.26.14
Appearance: Golden with pretty good clarity and large white head. Retention is really good.
Aroma: Spicy, yeast esters with some herbal hop notes coming through.
Taste: Crisp with biscuit malt notes and spicy hop flavors coming in with classic spicy Belgian esters rounding out the taste. Ester profiles seems a little less intense that before, but that one was a bigger beer. No bitterness.
Medium: Medium – low with medium plus carbonation. Could even handle a bit more co2.
Overall: A really concise Belgian single. There is complexity but is also simple and easy to drink. Its nice to get all the esters but not have to drink a beer that is 7+ % in alcohol. All the aspects of the pint really work well together and this is a really nice change of pace beer to brew when the basement is a bit warmer in summer.