Styles of Beer
Many have said the taste of beer must be "acquired".
That may be true. Although factors such as the brewing
process and various spices, fruits, etc. play a role, the
taste of beer chiefly comes from the malt and water
used, esters (or lack of) from the yeast, and the hops.
And, it's the hops that people are inherently tasting when
we say beer is an acquired taste...
You'll find that most beginners use bottles for their
home brewed beer. But, as you advance your
knowledge and experience in brewing beer at home,
you'll likely want to move away from bottling to kegging
your beer. Learn about the various home brew
kegs and kegging systems.
Get answers about the home brew system, the best
home brew kits, all
the different pieces of
home brew gear, and even where to obtain beer
labels for your bottles!
Any of the Belgian Monk beers brewed within the
walls of the Trappist Monastery and controlled by
the International Trappist Association. World
renowned beers that are considered by us among the
Great beer, brewed in a fashion familiar to any of
us who have served with the Army/Air Force in
Germany during the Cold War. Love the new Pint
Glass they sent me recently. Ummmmmm!
While stationed in The Netherlands, this was the
more popular beer, after Heineken. In our
opinion, it is a far better brew than the big "H"
beer! Unfortunately, Brand beer is not
available in the United States.
8 - Belgian Golden Ale
Ingredients for this Home Brew
Northwestern Pilsen Malt Extract – 6.6 Pounds
Belgian Candi Sugar - 1 Pound
Crushed Grain, Belgian Ale Blend (.3 Crystal 10, .4 Belgian
Aromatic, .3 Biscuit)
Perle Hops – 1 Ounce (8.9 Alpha Acidity)
5. Czech Saaz Hops – 1 Ounce (3.0 Alpha Acidity)
6. White Labs Belgian Golden Ale Yeast - 1 Vial
Corn Sugar - 1/2 cup
August 23, 2012 - We have previously brewed two
types of beer in the spirit of Belgium:
Belgium Trippel, and a recent batch of
Belgian Battleground Ale.
Both of those were strong pale ales. But, this Belgian
Ale should see an abv of about 5.5 % and be less bodied.
We were looking for a beer that was typical of an average
beer you would get in a bar or cafe in downtown Brussels.
Not strong like a Duvel or Trappist Tripel, but more like an
everyday beer such as Stella Artois, but with slightly more
Of course, we started by sanitizing everything.
That's always one of the first things we do.
Another first involves chilling about 3 gallons of
filtered water in the fridge. This time, we did this
about 4 hours ahead of yeast-pitching time. Ideally,
you'll want to place your sanitized bucket of 3 gallons
water in the fridge for overnight resting. This will
get it down to a very cool temperature and assist
tremendously in cooling your wort to 72 - 74 degrees F so
yeast can be pitched.
Next, we added about 2 1/2 gallons of filtered water from
the fridge to our brew bucket and turned the heat up.
In went the grain bag and we carefully monitored the
temperature, letting it rest around 150 - 155 degrees.
The grain bag steeped at this temperature for 50 minutes.
After that time, we removed the grain bag and placed it
on a strainer above a sanitized stainless steel bowl.
The brew was heated to a near boiling and then removed
from the heat. At that time we added the malt extract
and Belgian candi sugar. Carefully watching for boil
over, we returned the brew to the heat. The timer
started when it reached full boil.
After ten minutes we added the Perle bittering hops.
We chose to place them in a mesh hop bag this time around.
We were hoping for a less amount of trub.
At mid boil we added the remaining grain juices that were
Somewhere around this time we noticed a considerable
amount of protein in the boil. It almost looked like
tapioca floating around in the brew!
A quick search on the internet calmed our fears.
This is a normal and occasional thing for home brews.
35 minutes into the boil, we added 1 teaspoon of Irish
moss. This was done because we wanted to further
eliminate the trub and increase the clarity of our beer.
At 45 minutes we added the Czech Saaz flavoring hops.
We turned the heat off at 50 minutes and covered for 5
minutes. The brew was then placed into a water bath so
as to decreased the immediate hot heat from the brew pot.
We removed the hop bags and added about 3 pounds of ice,
which brought the temperature down to 94 degrees F.
After a few minutes the ice had melted, bringing the
temperature down to around 94. We then added the brew
to our bucket of chilled water and the temperature fell to
about 73 degrees F.
A quick siphoning to the glass fermenting carboy brought
the temperature down to about 72 degrees F. It was at
this point that we realized we should have stirred the brew
into a whirlpool. Doing that would have placed most of
the trub in the middle of the bucket and we could have
siphoned the clearer brew from the edge of the bucket.
Because we failed to do this, we did see a decent amount of
trub enter the carboy fermenter.
Our yeast was pitched (poured into the carboy via a small
funnel), and the brew was given a rough shake to aerate it.
An air-lock was added and the brew was sent to a cool,
dark place to ferment. After about an hour, all the
trub feel to the bottom of the carboy and the brew was
actually quite clear at that time. Of course, when
fermentation begins, it's going to stir it all up.
We'll keep you updated!
August 24, 2012: This batch started fermenting
quickly. The yeast was pitched last evening about 7pm.
This morning at 5am I noticed the activity. Don't know
exactly when it started, but I'm guessing somewhere between
6 and 10 hours after the yeast was added. Current
fermenting temperature is 74-75 degrees F. So we are
going to move it to a vent from our home's central air
system like we did
Belgian Tripel. That will lower the temperature to
a steady 69 - 70 degrees and slow fermentation. Here
is a video of the initial fermentation...
August 27, 2012: It has been four days since
fermenting began and it is still holding steady at about 20
bubbles of the air-lock per minute. We failed to move
the brew to the edge of an HVAC vent so the temperature is
still higher than preferred - 73 degrees F. But, no
harm is done, as this higher temperature will bring out the
fruity esters of the beer.
August 29, 2012: Fermentation is slowing, but is
still active. Temperature is steady at about 72
September 2, 2012: Fermentation has ceased so we
are going to move the homebrew to a secondary fermenter