Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Eye of the Storm" Belgian Table Beer

Hydrometer floating in the golden wort
Yesterday, amidst threatening weather, I was able to crank out the second brew of the summer, a Belgian Table Beer.  I read quite a few blogs of other homebrewers, and when I read this post on Ryan Brews, I knew I needed to brew this beer for summertime.  I woke up yesterday morning to start brewing, and before I even mashed in, it was as dark as night and started pouring down rain.  No problem, I thought, I'll just do the boil the next day and split my brew day up.  I happily went along with the mash, which once again went perfectly with essentially no drop in temperature (and 77% efficiency!).  I did my mashout and collected the first runnings, and I realized that the sky was getting brighter and the rain softer. 
Perfect mash temp consistency
As I did my sparge and collected the second runnings, I saw that it was no longer raining!  Upon checking the radar, I noticed that among all of the thunderstorms in the south, there was a huge opening over Nashville.  I decided to risk it, and braved the outdoors to do my (90 minute) boil.  It went great, and I again went back inside just as a few drops of rain were starting to fall (hence eye of the storm).  From there, it was just an elevator ride, wort chiller, and yeast pitch (not to mention lots of cleaning), and I was done for the day.  Fabulous.  I even "went green" (haha) with my brewing and conserved a couple of quart bags worth of spent grains with the intention of using some of them in cooking/baking (see the latest issue of Zymurgy).

Fresh whole-leaf Hallertauer hops in the boil
Here is my recipe, a slight modification of Ryan's (thanks, Ryan!):

Anticipated OG: 1.040
Actual OG: 1.044
Anticipated SRM: 2.4 °L
Anticipated IBU: 26

6 lbs. Franco-Belges Pilsener Malt
2 lbs. Soft Flaked Wheat

1 oz. Hallertauer (Whole 4.3% AA) @60
1 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellets 7.2% AA) @10
1 oz. East Kent Goldings (Pellets 7.2% AA) @0, 10 min. steep

Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes, with an 800 mL starter, started 2 days ahead of time on a stir plate

Happy Birthday to Matt Clark, and Happy Fathers Day to my dad and all the dads out there!  Have a homebrew in their honor today.


Belgian Table Beer Review, 8/5/11

1 comment:

  1. I'll be very interested in hearing what you think of the beer when its ready!