Last fall I brewed the 1st version of this beer and really liked how it turned out and wanted to do another version. It’s nice get get the typical ester profile that this Belgian yeast provides in a little smaller beer. I did make a few changes from last years recipe, mostly lightening up the color by eliminating the Special B malt and putting in a little malted wheat in its place to give a touch more body than was there previously. The gravity was also dropped a few points to get this one around 5%. I kept the Sterling hops in there, as they’re one on my favorites, but I added a new hop Jarrylo. This hop is supposed to give banana, pear and spice flavors and seemed like a good choice to compliment the Sterlings.
Mash: 149 (45 min)
Boil: 90 min.
Mash pH: 5.3
87.2% Pilsner Malt*
5.1% Melanoidin Malt
5.1% Wheat Malt
2.6% Acidulated Malt
5g Sterling (8.1%) 60 min.
0.50 oz Sterling (8.1%) 10 min.
1.25 oz Sterling (8.1%) 0 min.
2.00 oz Jarrylo (14.2%) 0 min.
Imperial B48 – Triple Double
*Used a mix of Weyermann Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner and Malteries Franco-Belges
Pitched yeast directly from the can into 71 degree wort and allowed to free rise to 74 and was kept there the first few days of fermentation. As fermentation winds down I’ll crank up the temperature to 77 to dry it out a bit. I believe this yeast is the Westmalle strain, so this should finish nice and dry with that classic ester profile. This is hands down my favorite Belgian yeast strain and worked really well in this beer last time.
Kegged on 10/30 and finished a touch higher than I was thinking. Last years batch had 86% attenuation and this years looks to be 80%. I’m assuming since I didn’t make a starter and just pitched the 200 billion cells from the can I’m slightly under pitching compared to last year. I love the convenience of not making a starter, but not if that’s going to sacrifice attenuation.
Tasting notes – 12.8.15
Aroma: Spicy Esters, little bit of apricot with some doughy malt notes.
Appearance: Nearly crystal clear golden this a billow with head that lingers. Was much hazier but after a month in the keg has cleared up
Taste: Very similar to the aroma. Starts with a mix apricot fruit esters with a little bit of spice in there as well. Gives way to a rich doughy malt notes. Hops balance quite well, but the flavors are similar to the ester profile and don’t stick out much.
Mouthfeel: Medium with medium carbonation.
Overall: Really like how this years version came and I think I prefer it from the previous batch. The simple pilsner grist really matches well with this yeast strain and this beer is just about gone as it’s been really popular with the regulars. I really love how there’s a lot of complexity in a pretty simple beer that is under 5% in alcohol. The doughy pilsner malts come through nicely and the hop profile of the sterlings mesh really will with the ester profile of the Westmalle strain. Nothing to change on this one and I’ll get it brewed again for next fall. Cheers.