Malted Barley Appreciation Society

Malted Barley Appreciation Society Newsletter

Vol. 4, No. 8 August 1997

The July Meeting

By Lucy Zachman

Torrential rains didn't dampen our July meeting. To start off the evening, we had the first homebrew contest I've witnessed in quite a while. The topic of consumption was all-extract brews. And the winner was David Maida with his American style Pale Ale. While Judge Bill Coleman noted that this style is relatively easy to make from extract, he also thought David's example had good hop flavor and malt character.

Other contest entries included a Vienna Lager, a Biere du Garde, and an India Pale Ale. All were tasty examples of extract brewing.

But wait! The fun didn't end there! While the judges were scoring the contestants for nose, body, poise and talent, our guest speaker entertained the crowd.

John Baldy from Typhoon brewery at 54th Street and Madison Avenue, brought a keg of his "Liquid Plummer" beer. (Knowing how to warm up a crowd, John passed out samples before hitting us with the details.) When he said that women usually like it, a few eyebrows raised. Not one of those girlie, fruity beers! But no, it was actually a very subtle pale ale with a nice touch of fruitiness provided by french mirabel plums. John explained that this selection went well with the flavorful, spicy thai-style food served at Typhoon.

The light spciy/floral hoppiness (18 BU) was supplied by Challenger and seeded English Ale hops for spiciness. Ingredients used included Belgian Pale and Caramel malt for mouth feel and sweetness.

John said his goal is to provide beers that pair well with the food. In the case of Typhoon's menu, it is important that the beers be clean so that the flavors of each dish can come through.

Primarily, John uses two yeast strains #1056 ale yest and Scotch Ale Wyeast. The later is used in the mirabel plum beer. Typhoon beers are krausened for clear yeast aroma and to fix any hydrogen sulfide problems, then carbonated.

The original gravity of the plum beer was around 12, ending at about 5.75 - 5.8. It was fermented at 57 degrees, an odd temprature for an ale, but, John said, a quicker fermentation at a higher temprature would have created a phenolic flavor.

Next on Typhoon's beer list will be an alt beer and in the fall, look for their apple ale. Other menu regulars include a Verner Von Brown and Korsylylc, a strangely named wheat beer spiced with cloves. Stop and visit John any day of the work week, but remember Typhoon is closed on weekends in the summer.

In other news...If you haven't already, start brewing a weiss beer for our the Weiss is Nice Club-Only Content in October. See ya at the next meeting!

Note to readers: The Malted Barley Appreciation Society has joined the World Wide Web. Check out our page at: Malted Barley Appreciation Society Home Page.

We also have an E-Mail address. Any E-Mail can be sent to the editor at:
my E-Mail address. Keep those E-Mails coming in!

The New York Notorious Brewers

and the Catskill Mountain Pub Invite you to Attend

their 3rd Annual Oktoberfest

Homebrewers BBQ/Campout/Party/Celebration/Jambeery

Saturday, September 20, 1997

Noon to Midnight at the Catskill Mountain Lodge Palenville, NY

$10 prepaid, $15 at the Gate.

Kids 6 yrs & older $3, 5 & under free.

Fee covers food & entertainment

Clubs are encouraged to bring homebrew. (Jockey boxes are limited. If you have them, bring them, we'll supply the ice and CO2.) Homebrewed wine supplied by the "Sisterhood of Homebrew Widows." Homebrewed Soda provided by "Notorious Kids."

Games and entertainment will be provided for our younger guests. For Tickets and Information, call John Adam at (914) 336-0029.

Our next meeting is on Wednesday, August 13 at 7:30 p.m. This month's guest will be Tom Baker of A.J. Gordon's Brewing in Manhattan. As usual, it will be held at Mug's Ale House, 125 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn, I hope to see you all there!

Recipe of the Month: American Pale Ale

by Jim Simpson

Editor's Note: most of you are aware that Jim Simpson won the Samuel Adams World Homebrew Contest for 1996 with an American Pale Ale. This month, Jim lets us in on more of his secrets for brewing American Pale Ale.

This month I will focus on American Pale Ales (APA). I guess the one beer that people identify with the style is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and rightfully so. Before Sierra Nevada came into existence this style was not brewed commercially. Ballantine, the largest American ale brewer, made pale ales but even their IPA was more an English style than an American variety.

If you ever want to smell the aroma of Cascade hops, just pour yourself a Sierra Nevada. Some people get the aroma and flavor of grapefruit which I believe comes from using Cascade as flavor and bittering hops. Some people like this flavor (and it is acceptable within the style) others like myself find it a bit overpowering. I have come up with a happy medium, BIG Cascade nose with very minimal grapefruit flavor or aroma.

Another important aspect of this style is malt flavor. A beer with this much bitterness needs some sweetness to balance. Yeast character should not be out in front. Some fruity esters are appropriate but should not overpower your palate. Any clean ale yeast will work as long as the temperature is kept reasonably cool (62-68). Diacytil, that buttery/butterscotch flavor/aroma, while acceptable in the style guide lines can become quite distracting in this beer. The following recipe won the 1997 World Homebrew Contest's Pale Ale category but failed to make it to the final round.

Pick-A-Dilly III :

made 12 gallons @ 1.053 , Mashed in @155 F for 1 hour


Boiling Hops

Dry Hops

To convert this to an extract brew (since this beer is very light, try boiling the full wort) for 6 gallons cut the hop rate in half and substitute 7 lbs of light malt extract for all the malts except half the CaraPils, Crystal and the sugar.

You may want to try a partial mash since this beer should have some malt character to support all the hop bitterness. Try mashing some of the Mild Ale, Pale ale and Flaked Barley together. Any way you make it, just make sure some makes it to the meeting!

Support the

New York City  Beer Guide at:

A Tripel Recipe

By John Dittman

Editor's Note: in the Malted Barley Archives, never printed here until now, I found this fine article on Belgian Tripels by John Dittman, who is now located in the Washington, DC area. Those of us who remember John's beers from the meetings of our club he attended know how excellent they were. This article was originally written for another select homebrew club John belongs to, the Boston Wort Processors.

The Trappist abbey of Westmalle was the first to introduce the Dubbel and Tripel style. Their Dubbel (1060 OG, 6.5% alc. by volume) is a dark, amber-brown color with a rich maltiness and a hoppy dryness in the finish. A more impressive beer, and one that they are better known for, however, is their stronger beer called Westmalle Tripel. This is a very pale, strong (1080 OG, 8% alc.) ale, obtaining its fermentables from Pilsner malts and candy sugar. It is hopped with English Fuggles, several German varieties, and Saaz. After several months warm maturation (50 F) in tanks, it is re-yeasted and bottle conditioned, yielding a beer of great complexity.

Although Westmalle Tripel is the classic brew, other excellent varieties of Tripel include the Trappist-brewed Koningshoeven, and the abbey varieties from Leffe, Grimbergen, Isebart, and Bruges, among others. They all possess the similar Tripel characteristics of a pale colored, high-gravity, complex Belgian ale.

The exact recipes for the Trappist Tripels are generally a guarded secret. There are those who think that small amounts of herbs and spices are added as a flavor nuance. I know a person who thinks that camomile may be an ingredient, while Jan Knoop, owner of La Vierge, a specialist beer bar in Maastricht, Holland, suggested laurel leaves!

I had never seen a recipe for a Tripel until a trip to Belgium & the Netherlands several years ago. There I found several copies of The National Beer Journal, a monthly newspaper published by the Nationaal Biermuseum �De Boom' in Alkmaar, Holland. In the back of one of them was an article (in Dutch) about yeast, including a recipe for a Tripel!

The original recipe was in Dutch. Here is my translation:

Tripel (2.6 gallon):

Recipe by D. Walsh

Procedure: Make a thick mash at 131 deg. F and hold for 45 minutes. Add boiling water until the temperature is 145 deg. F and hold one hour. Raise the temperature to 162 deg. F and wait another hour. Hold at 172 deg. F for 15 minutes. Sparge to collect 3.6 gallons of wort. Bring to a boil and add most of the hops, boiling them for an hour. The sugar, coriander, orange peel and a handful of the hops are boiled the last 5 minutes. Starting gravity is about 1080.

Notes: I have made this beer a couple of times. It yields a beer of lovely complexity. This recipe makes a beer that is too dark for style and I would simplify it by substituting all Pils malt for most if not all of the darker grains. Also, use corn or candy sugar for the brown sugar if you wish. The hopping rate seems about right if you use low alpha noble hops like Saaz and EK Goldings. Others have suggested that the number of IBU's should be somewhat lower than in the above recipe. Some experimentation here may be necessary for your own personal taste.

I think that the spicing is a necessary ingredient and adds interest to the final product. Note that it is used only at the nuance level and in quantities so small that you should use a gram scale for accurate measurement. Do NOT overdo the spices if you use them, you only want a subtle touch.

As for the yeast, you are somewhat limited to what you have available. I agree that Wyeast Belgian isn't appropriate (too banana-y), and the same for Chimay yeast. I have experimented with Westmalle yeast cultured out of a bottle brought back from Belgium, but it behaved as if it were a bottling yeast. Duvel is also reported to be a bottling yeast. I know that La Chouffe would be a good yeast to use, as would the �T ij. The Celis yeast may be worth a try if you can get your hands on some (they use it for their Grand Cru). Has anybody given the Corsendonk Monk's Pale Ale yeast a try??

So a 10 gallon batch might look something like:

Assuming 30 pts/lb for the malt and 44 pts/lb for the sugar, you should get an OG of ~1.080.

Here's a recipe that my friend Steve Black of Texas has used that is a winner:

Tripel (3 gallons)

Comments made on 9/17/96:

Good quality Pilsner malt seems like the malt of choice, but it probably is no big deal. I suspect that you could use a domestic pale malt (2-row) and make a very good beer. A little wheat for head retention, a bit of carapilsner for shading and complexity, corn sugar to lighten up the body are all appropriate. The mash schedule for the first recipe seems overly complicated. This is an ale and a simple step infusion should work if your malt is relatively well modified.

Hopping rate should be in the range of 25 IBU's - don't overdo it, this is not a hoppy beer. Stick with mostly noble hops if you can, I'd stay away from high alpha hops at all costs.

Spicing is important, but as stated above don't overdo it. Pete and Bob made a nice split batch of Tripel for Bob's wedding. Half of the wort sat (hot) on the spices longer and it was noticeable (and not as good).

Good yeasts from the Yeast God would include La Chouffe, �t IJ (what the CBC used for their Belgian beers last Spring), Celis Wit, La Fin du Monde. Aerate the wort well and pitch a big starter!

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