Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Humulus Belgica

(Disclaimer - the stuff on the carboy is on the outside, it’s just hard water)

The name of this beer comes from the scientific name for hops Humulus lupulus and from the Roman name for Belgium Belgica. Putting the two together roughly hoppy Belgium.This beer is a Belgian IPA, or more specifically a Belgian Tripel dry-hopped with American aroma hops. I went with a simple gain bill using traditional Belgian ingredients and home made Belgian Candi sugar again.

My Belgian candi sugar came out better this time then it did last time.

As you can see it came out clear as compared to my last time when it was opaque. It’s also a little darker because I boiled it a little longer. I went with a 15 minute boil of the sugar at 265F.  This is the process I used to make my candi sugar.

The recipe I used is based off of a hoppy Tripel that Mike (Mad Fermentationist) made a while back; however, I decided to up the dry-hopping and I took his advice and mashed at a lower temperature and added more sugar in an attempt to dry out the beer and lower the final gravity.

  • Batch size: 4.25 Gallons
  • Boil length: 90 minutes
  • Grain bill: 14lbs
  • Estimated Efficiency: 75%
  • Anticipated OG: 1.076
  • Measured: 1.076
  • Anticipated FG: 1.017
  • Measured OG: 1.014
  • ABV:  8.1%
  • Anticipated SRM: 5 (yellow to golden)
  • IBU:42
  • 7 lbs Belgian Pilsner
  • 5 lbs Belgian Pale Malt
  • 1.5 lbs Homemade Belgian Candi Sugar
  • 0.5 lbs German Wheat malt
Hops (pellet)
  • 60 min - 0.5 oz - Cascade
  • 60 min - 0.5 oz - Crystal
  • 60 min - 0.5 oz - Sterling 
  • 15 min - 0.25 oz - Cascade
  • 15 min - 0.25 oz - Crystal
  • 15 min - 0.25 oz - Sterling
  • Flame out - 0.25 oz - Cascade
  • Flame out - 0.25 oz - Crystal
  • Flame out - 0.25 oz - Sterling
  • Dry hop - 0.75 oz - Amarillo
  • Dry hop - 0.75 oz - Centennial
  • Dry hop - 1.0 oz - Falconer’s Flight
  • WL 500 (Trappist)
Mash Schedule
  • Sacch Rest 149F - 60 minutes
Brewed on 9/11
Heated 4 gallons of strike water to 160 degrees, missed target mash temperature by one degree; however, over an hour it will fall to 149F (not that that will really matter much). Stirred every 15 minutes and lautered about 2 gallons of first runnings.

Side note - I only mashed 12.5 lbs of grain because I put the sugar in at the end of the boil.
Preformed a double batch sparge. Heated 5 gallons of spage water to 185F and poured half in, stirred and let rest for 10 minutes. Lautered second runnings, re-heated the rest of the sparge water to 165F poured in and stirred. I needed 6.7 gallons for boiling, ended up with a little extra.

Efficiency was better then I expected (81%) so I topped off my boil with the remaining third runnings. This should add volume with a minimal amount of sugar, thus lowering my gravity.

Added Candi sugar at the 15 minute mark along with yeast nutrient and Irish moss.

Added flame out hops once I cooled the wort to under 180F to preserve as much of the hop aroma as possible.

Cooled to 80F (as low as I can get with my current set up), aerated, and pitch a big healthy yeast starter (about 2 quarts). Took a gravity reading, 1.076, hit my target!

I ended up with 5.25 gallons, adding the extra third runnings lowered my IBUs to 32IBU, not a bad thing.
A few hours later a small krausen formed.

(9/12/11) - Two inches of krausen and vigorous fermentation.

(9/13/11) - All of the krausen has dropped out of suspension, not sure, why and I can see it still fermenting away, It smells amazing right now. The beer is also a little brighter orange now and slightly opaque, probably from the yeast.

(9/14/11) - A small layer of, what I presume is krausen, has formed on top again and fermentation appears to have slowed.

(9/17/11) - Gravity down to 1.014, might lower another point or two by the time I bottle, but I’m ok with where it’s at now. Still smells really good, spicy, fruity, and yeasty. Really boozy at this point but at 8.3% ABV that is to be expected when the beer is this young. The yeast should clear that up over time.

(10/2/11) - Racked to secondary to clear room for my pumpkin ale in my primary carboy. Took another gravity reading, down to 1.011, just about what I was looking for in an FG. Dry-hopped it wih .75 ounces of Centennial and Amarillo hops and with 1 oz of Falconer’s Flight.

(10/11/11) - Bottled with 0.21 cups (2.8 oz) of table sugar. Smelled really good, very fruity and spicy. I think the combination of the hops and the yeast worked well together.

(11/28) - Tasting notes.

(after dry-hopping, I know I don’t have a bag, thus, I will have to filter it)

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