Vol. 3 No. 4
Our last meeting was a long interesting sampling of new commercial beers along with new homebrews.
B. United's Matthias Neidhart brought several new imports such as Zum Uerige, a classic Dusseldorfer Altbier, which was nice and hoppy. For most, including myself, this was the first opportunity to sample a true Altbier.
Next, we tasted the La Chouffe, a pale Belgian Ale, that was refreshingly fruity in flavor. This ale had been imported only in Canada up until now. We then sampled the Chouffe-Bok, also made by Brasserie d'Achouffe. This beer is dark Belgian Style Bock Beer, which despite not being a lager, possessed a maltiness coupled with a candy sugar sweetness. The Chouffe-Bok is available only through May.
Finally, Matthias rolled out a real surprise. He informed our members that B. United will be importing for the first time into the U.S. the Westmalle Dobbel and the Westmalle Trippel. The two classics of the brewing world will officially make their debut in 1997. Matthias was kind enough to bring some bottles to sample. I was my first taste of these renowned Belgian Classics. The Trippel was delicious! This possessed a well balanced maltiness with a fragrant nose. The Dobbel was dark and malty, full of body, and quite pleasant!
After sampling all of these first time new arrivals, our members enjoyed many fine homebrews that ranged in taste from a Raspberry Wit to an all Rye Beer. Our club homebrews were the perfect compliment to the excellent and unique collection of imported ales from B. United!
This Months Meeting: Our next meeting is at Mug's Ale House, 125 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, on Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 PM. We will have a special study of Belgian Beer Styles, as a preparation for our Belgian Beer Contest, on Saturday, April 13. Be there!
Do you have any articles for the newsletter, or any questions concerning the club? Any calls or letters for the Malted Barley Appreciation Society should be sent to Hop, Skip and Brew. The address and phone number are in the box just below this one!
In our Belgian contest, we are trying to familiarize homebrewers with a number of possible Belgian beer styles that are not part of the standard AHA-style list, but are possible to create in standard homebrewing methods.
This month, I am outlining the specific recipe that I used to create an Orval-style beer. This beer, which I have called Wilbur-Abbey, won the first prize in the Belgian Other category in the New York Homebrewer's Guild.
I have include all the notes that I made as the beer was fermenting, so you can see how a beer like this will progress in the time it takes to bottle.
Method : Full Mash Starting Gravity : 1.059 Ending Gravity : 1.010 Alcohol content : 6.3% Hop IBUs : 29.3 Recipe Makes : 6.1 gallons Total Grain : 13.34 lbs. Color (srm) : 8.7 Efficiency : 76% Malt: 5.50 oz. Light Dry Malt Extract 8.00 oz. Flaked Wheat 2.00 lb. Pale Ale 6.00 lb. Pilsner 2-row 1.50 lb. Caravienne 2.00 lb. Cara-Pils Dextrine 1.00 lb. Table Sugar Hops: 1.00 oz. Styrian Golding , 4.5%, 45 min 1.50 oz. Kent-Goldings, 10 min 2.25 oz. Hallertau, 2.9%, 95 min Mash Notes: Date Started : 05/28/1995 9:57: Added 2.75 gallons boiling water. 10:06: Added .25 gallon boiling water, = teaspoon calcium carbonate. Temperature: 154. Added = gallon boiling water: temp 157. 10:11: Began conversion. PH 4.9. 10:26: Temperature: @162. Added 1 quart cold water: Temp 156. 1 tsp Lactic acid added to sparge water. 11:38: Iodine OK, PH 4.9. Temperature low 150's. Added 1.5 gallons boiling water. 12:00: Decocted 3 gallons solids. Brought to boil. Added back to mash. Temp @156. Decocted @3.5 gallons, brought to boil. Temp: 160. 12:35: Began recirculation. Filled bottling bucket to @4 gallon mark twice. It was running very clear, 1:00: Finally began full sparge, and got a total of 9.5 gallons, at 1042. 2:00: Began heating 9.5 gallons in two pots. I would need a long boil to get this down to 5.5 gallons, my original plan, plus it would have too high a gravity, so I decided to go for 6+ gallons. 2:15: Smaller of two pots reaches boil. 2:27: Both pots boiling. Pretty good time; usually it takes an hour. 3:34: Combined both pots. 3:37: Added Hallertau hops. 4:05: 7.2 gallons at 1050 4:27: Added Styrian hops. 4:57: Added Iris moss. 5:02: Added Kent Gouldings. 5:12: Ended boil. 5:22: Began chilling. 5:35: Ended up with 6.2 gallons at 1059. 5:40: Chilling done, ran into aerator. Foamed after ten minutes. 6:00: Pitched yeast. Rest of evening: turned on aerator, off and on, until I went to bed, about 11:00. Date : 05/30/1995 Current Gravity : 1.038 Alcohol content : 2.7% Hop IBUs : 25.60 Date : 06/03/1995 Current Gravity : 1.028 Alcohol content : 4.0% Hop IBUs : 25.60 Took a gravity reading today, 6/03/95: the gravity was down to 1.028, still high, but the Orval yeast should be able to handle it. It tasted okay, though sweet. Date : 06/07/1995 Current Gravity : 1.024 Alcohol content : 4.5% Hop IBUs : 25.60 Racked into secondary. Added @2/3 oz. of Hallertau Mittelfrau dry hops. Pitched Orval yeast. Date : 06/10/1995 Current Gravity : 1.018 Alcohol content : 5.3% Hop IBUs : 24.30 Took gravity, also added = oz. Styrian Gouldings. Glad the Orval yeast has not gone totally wild so far. Temperature now at 60 degrees. Date : 06/19/1995 Current Gravity : 1.018 Alcohol content : 5.3% Hop IBUs : 24.30 Gravity still at 1.018, which is good; it means the Orval didn't eat everything in sight this time. I just have to wait for it to clear a bit, and then I'll bottle it. Date : 06/26/1995 Current Gravity : 1.013 Alcohol content : 5.9% Hop IBUs : 25.60 Took gravity reading: 1.013. Still cloudy. Incredible hop nose; maybe even too much. Not enough "Orval"flavor for my taste, but some. It's early yet. Date : 06/28/1995 Current Gravity : 1.013 Alcohol content : 5.9% Hop IBUs : 29.50 Moved to lagering refrigerator, with a temperature of 42 degrees. Date : 07/07/1995 Current Gravity : 1.012 Alcohol content : 6.1% Hop IBUs : 29.50 Very hoppy: a little "floral," but intense. Some definite Orval-style activity; not as strong as earlier Orval, but there. Date : 07/15/1995 Current Gravity : 1.010 Alcohol content : 6.3% Hop IBUs : 29.50 Very dry. Date : 07/29/1995 Starting Gravity : 1.059 Ending Gravity : 1.010 Alcohol content : 6.3% Hop IBUs : 29.50 Bottled today! Note: when warming up the beer, it went back into full Krausen, with a lot of foam from escaping CO2. A day later, I was still noticing that some of the bottles had bubbles going in them. I hope the beer is not overcarbonated. There was also a problem with the spritzer on top of my bottle tree, and I think I did not spray enough sanitizer on the bottles. Lastly, when preparing the cup of corn sugar for bottling, I boiled over some of the corn sugar, so I replaced it with another 1/3 cup. I think a full cup may have been too much anyway. For all of these reasons, I am expecting excessive carbonation in this beer. I hope I am wrong. The quantity of beer for this batch was only 48 bottles: 40 12 oz glass, 3 12 oz crocks, 3 16 oz glass, 1 16 oz crock, and one nipper glass.
April 13 is the date for our Belgian Beer Contest. We are looking forward to the submissions from our members, and homebrewers from throughout the area.
We want to thank the various beer distributors, restaurants, homebrewing stores and others who have generously donated prizes for the contest.
We also want to thank the judges and stewards who will be donating their time to judge the best Belgian-style homebrew in the area.
Last, but not least, we want to thank Mug's Ale House, which is providing us with, as usual, a wonderful environment to enjoy the world's greatest beer styles, accompanied by fine food.
This contest started from an awareness that the AHA-created style guidelines for Belgian-style beers did not adequately cover the wide range of beers that are available in the country. I have do note that recently there has been an increase in style categories for Belgian Ales in many local contests, and that is good to see. I hope this is the beginning of a trend to include more categories that homebrewers can compete in among world-class beer styles, both from Belgian, and around the world. (Anyone for a homebrewed Adelaide Sparkling Ale?
Anyway, I hope to see you at the contest, and I hope you've entered plenty of homebrew!
Category 1: White Beer 1st - Warren Becker - Strong White 2nd - Bill Coleman - White 3rd- Jeff Gladish - White Category 2: Belgian Ales 1st - Bob Brotschol - Strong Ale 2nd - Steve Peeler - Belgian Ale 3rd - Jim Simpson/Bill Coleman - Strong Ale Category 3: Saison 1st - Paul Sullivan - Saison 2nd - Warren Becker - Saison Special 3rd - Bill Coleman - Saison Category 4: Lambic 1st - Francois Espourteille - Gueuze 2nd - Lucy Zachman/Eric Freberg - Raspberry Lambic 3rd - Jim Simpson - Watermelon Lambic Category 5A: Abbey Dubbel/Orval 1st - Henry Finkelstein - Dubbel 2nd - Jim Simpson/Bill Coleman - Orval 3rd - Bill Coleman - Orval Category 5B: Tripple/Special/Grand Reserve 1st - Craig Toms - Special 2nd - Bill Coleman - Grand Reserve 3rd - Warren Becker - Tripple Category 6: Flanders Brown & Red Ales 1st - Paul Sullivan - Raspberry Red Ale 2nd - Bob Brotschol - Raspberry Oud Bruin 3rd - Jeff Gladish - Cherry Oud Bruin Best of Show 1st - Paul Sullivan - Raspberry Red Ale 2nd - Francois Espourteille - Gueuze 3rd - Craig Toms - Abbey Special