BIAB#2 Belgian Christmas Ale

Christmas is always a big family occasion for us, so I thought this year I’d brew up something special to add to the occasion. I knew that I wanted to brew something with at least a Belgian influence to it, but I also knew that by the 15th of October when this was brewed, I’d already left it a little late for something big.

So my solution was to take inspiration from a forum posted recipe and simplify the malts used to hopefully reduce the ageing time needed for this beer.

It was also my first time using a liquid yeast. I did this for two reasons. Firstly, I didn’t want to throw any old dried english ale yeast at this one, I was looking for that fruity Belgian character that only comes from the right fermentation. Also, I’ve been wanting to give it a try for a while now, so why not with a special Christmas brew!

The trappist blend from White Labs seemed perfect, and I believe is the yeast of choice that many use to make Chimay clones, which will be coming up soon on my list of planned brews!

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Final Brew Length: 10L

2.280 kg Marris Otter Pale
0.500 kg Crystal Malt (60L)
0.225 kg Biscuit Malt
0.022 kg Mittelfruh Hops (5.3% AA)
1/4 Whirlfloc Tablet
WLP575 Belgian Trappist Blend Yeast

Mashed for 60 minutes at 62C

All 22g of the Mittelfruh Hops were First Wort additions, then the Whirlfloc Tablet was added with 10 minutes left in the boil.

120g Sugar was added at flame out to bring the OG up to 1.058

As advised with this yeast, I started the fermentation at 21C and then upped the temperature ~1C each day until I hit 28C.

It was in primary for 10 days, reaching 1.012 as a final gravity before being mini-kegged with 15g priming sugar per keg.

It already tasted drinkable straight out of the fermentor, so I’m hoping for great things come Christmas! Now, ideally I’d have bottled this as  the Belgians typically have a higher level of carbonation than traditional english ales, and that’s a lot easier to achieve in a bottle. However, I’m probably going to have to transport 20 pints of this to my parents via train, so I’m thinking the mini-kegs will be a little more manageable!

 

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