Here are pictures of our brew 3/22/2015 – after a one month rest ( keg in a fridge at 36F )… first 2 pics are from artificial light and last 2 from natural window light.
If you want the color darker – increase your Chocolate malt…
after about 5 weeks the beer will clear up completely and show its true Copper color along with achieving its overall profile:
This is a Copper Ale, 5 gallon all grain recipe. Double everything for a 10 gallon batch.
This one should end up at around 7% ABV, 15 IBU, 14 SRM..
We did a Copper Ale using a different recipe a few years back – use the Search window to find all variations, trying a new one this time…
weight (in lbs) type of grain:
11 lb // domestic 2-row
1 lb // Munich malt
0.45 lb // Victory malt
0.09 lb // Chocolate malt 350L
Northern Brewer hops ( 6.0% Alpha Acid ) // 25 grams – add all of the hops as soon as boil starts, boil for 60 minutes. Add irish moss in the last 15 ~ 20 minutes of boil.
Wyeast American 1056 yeast should do nicely or use your house strain.
details of our 10 gallon brew on 2/28/2015..
total water used (mash and sparge) 15.5 gallons
we rounded the hops and added 2 ounces total ( or 1 ounce per the original 5gal recipie )
we added irish-moss 20 minutes prior to end of boil
we made a starter 24 hours before…
we start re-circulation 15 minutes before mash-out, to clear up the beer from particles
OG was 1.062
brew house efficiency ( coming up… )
video of circulation ( 20 min prior to mash-out ):
End-of-Boil, in this video I cool my wort and employ the re-circulation pump to remove cooling time as this help to remove the heat faster! Wort needs to be cooled to the recommended temp. range on the yeast packet – read the specs!
and the final stage, transfer beer to Fermentor – beer that is 10 gallons is to heavy to lift, you need to get a pump at this stage – unless you want to break your back. You can get away without a pump with 5 gallon batches, but not really with 10+
pitch yeast and wait…
clean up equipment, relax and drink beer, jump into a hot tub!
This recipe comes from a Brew Your Own magazine, January-February 2015 issue, page 40. We are planning to tweak it a little bit and change it around especially for the yeast and grains that we have access locally from our brew supply store. This is the all-grain version, they also had a extract only recipe.
Mash at 152F for 60 minutes – for a dry crisp Ale
follow with a 90 minute boil
We will update once we brew it and finalize our recipe and results :- )
5 gallon recipe.
5.2 lb Belgian Pilsner malt – substitute for what you can get
4 lb Wheat malt
1 lb light candi sugar – add in last 5 minutes of boil
1/4 oz or 7 grams of Nelson Sauvin hops at 40 minutes after boil starts
0.4 oz or 11 grams of Nelson Sauvin hops at 10 minutes from end of boil
2 to 4 ounces of dried hibiscus – last 5 minutes of boil / the more the more pinkish it will be
1/2 ounce coriander seed – end of boil (crush these before using with a roller of some kind or a beer bottle), let it soak for 5 minutes before starting to cool and chill the wort
We plan to use a 1214 Belgian Abbey yeast here, but original recipe calls for a WLP400 (Belgian Wit Ale) or a Fermentis Safbrew T-58 yeast…
tip: Never, ever pass judgment on a beer style based solely on your home-brewed experience/interpretation of it, ever!!!!!
If your batch didn’t turn out like you hoped, try comparing it to several commercial examples first, then aim to duplicate for which you like the best.
Unless the beer is made from a limited ingredient/batch source or expensive to acquire ingredients/limited authorized and/or controlled batches, Belgian beer is mostly pricy because of the name to pour reputation developed over time. This is not an attack at all on Belgian beers, if anything, you have to give them Belgian a Thumb up Bro and thanks for sharing your creations with the rest of the world!
Belgian beers are not just made by Monks, clearly we are the non-monks here and love to brew them! There isn’t much to it when you really think about it, there is a beer recipe, and you follow it and brew it and bamm, you have Belgian beer, that’s it!
Out of the dozen or so different Belgians we have brewed here so far, I would have to say that the only factor that stands out in making them a little bit more expensive to brew than other beers is the slightly more expensive grain bill due to many being a Double, Triple and even some Quads, and of average a longer time is required to age them, bare minimum of 3 months, averaging 6 to 12 months (varies by style), the recipes are not any harder to follow or brew than non-Belgian beers.
What makes a Belgian beer taste Belgian-y ?
It’s mostly the flavors put off by the Belgian yeast, fermented at higher temperatures. Belgian yeasts tend to produce distinct spicy to fruity flavors, in addition the use of adjuncts to lighten the body of the beer and increase the gravity are employed, like the use of Belgian Candy sugar.
So yes, when you pay $15 a glass at some fancy Bar, you are paying for the export recognition name, the History and bar markup prices, especially if the beer was brewed locally and is not imported from Belgium.
Fermentation took a solid week. ABV 8.9% // SRM 25
90 Minutes Mash at around 148F, followed by a 45 minutes at 158F, then mash-out at 170F // what we did different this time, used more grain and no Belgian Candi was used. Also, the 2 lb of Caramel 40L was split into 1 lb 40 and 60 Caramel each.
grain schedule (cost of grain bill was $47 from a brew store
Pale 2-row 27.50 lb
Torrified Wheat 1 lb
Chocolate Malt 350L 1.5 lb
Caramel 40 Love 1 lb
Caramel 60 Love 1 lb
hops schedule (whole hops cost was free, since we grew our own hops // pellet we buy it by the pound, this way cost averages down by ounce )
1.5 oz of whole hops Cascades, at start of boil
1 oz of pellet hops, Cascades at 30 minutes
1 oz of pellet hops, Cascades at 45 minutes + Irish Moss
yeast (we maintain our own, so this is almost free)
The yeast was the 1214 Belgian Abbey from 2014 brew which was sitting in the fridge all this time; we made a starter, and like a Boss! 2 liter starter, 48 hours.
December, 2014 Brew below:
90 minutes at 142F, than raise temps to 158F and hold for an additional 45 minutes, Mash out.
Over Ratio Grains Recipe:
80% pale 2-row
5% torrefied wheat
5% Belgian Chocolate mail
10% Caramel Malt (40L)
1lb of Belgian Dark Sugar Syrup
Hops schedule for a 5 gallon batch:
1 oz at start of boil – Willamette
1 oz at 30 minutes – East Kent
1 oz at end of boil – East Kent
for this recipe however we used Cascade hops for the whole thing, because we have a lot of them from the 2014 Harvest :- ) and also, these were the exact grains that we used, sometimes you have to substitute based on what is available where you live, you can also order exact grains and have them delivered, probably costs more money…
For the 10 gallon batch, we used:
24 pounds of Golden Promise – which is a pale 2-row malt
3 pounds of Crystal Malt, 40 Lov. (40L)
1.5 pounds of British Chocolate Malt (450-500 L)
1.50 pounds torrified wheat malt – it increases head retention and body / version of flaked wheat
1 LB of Dark Brown Candi Sugar
1 LB of Dark Belgian Candy Syrup
double the hot schedule for a 10 gallon batch ( see above )
We used 1214 Belgian Abbey yeast on this one!
12/21/2014 Brew OG 1.082
mashing stage with re-circulation:
Ferment for 2 ~ 3 weeks at about 70F, read your yeast specs…
Yeast – many different type of Belgian yeasts exists, please do your research…
Achouffe — Wyeast 3522 (Belgian Ardennes) and White Labs WLP550 (Belgian Ale)
Chimay — Wyeast 1214 (Belgian Ale) and White Labs WLP500 (Trappist Ale)
Du Bocq (Corsendonk) — Wyeast 3538 (Leuven Pale Ale)
Duvel Moortgat — Wyeast1388 (Belgian Strong Ale) and White Labs WLP570 (Belgian Golden Ale)
Rochefort — Wyeast 1762 (Belgian Abbey II) and White Labs WLP540 (Belgian Abbey IV)
Orval — White Labs WLP510 (Bastogne Belgain Ale)
Unibroue — Wyeast 3864 (Cana-dian/Belgian)
Westmalle — Wyeast 3787 (Trappist High Gravity) and White Labs WLP530 (Abbey Ale)
A Counter Pressure bottle filler is a great device that is almost a need to have for any serious home brewer. You can make your own too, but it is recommended to just buy one – unless you have a proven design and access to good parts.
You will get clear, sediment free beer :- )
We really like the one valve design with a pressure relief valve on the left side, this allows for pressure to escape as you fill the bottle with beer/co2 – otherwise the beer flow would stop… it also allows for foam to escape once it is towards the top.
Tip: Many people recommend that you cool down the beer before filling as this eliminates foam problems, but we found that if you release all the built-up pressure in the Keg first, before connecting the co2 input for this process, it almost eliminates all the foam issues even when filling warm beer that has not been cooled at all – and you can totally skip this step.
In this video we show how the bigger bottle was filled… this was warm beer from the keg at room temperature.
As you can see from the pictures below, you can fill all kinds of bottle sizes and after a few bottles you will get a hang of it really quickly. We fill our bottles at about 11 psi… with a T splitter from the co2 bottle (meaning) that we split the gas line, and left side goes to feed the Keg and right side goes to feed the counter pressure device.
Purge all the air from the bottle with co2, squirt some gas as you insert the device into the bottle
adjust your pressure relief valve
once bottle is fully under pressure and the oxygen (air) is out
switch to beer side and let it rip
some foam is good, because you want to cap-on-foam // so this is a no big deal
We started with 12 gallons of total water, this is for the initial mash and then the followup sparge, we were shooting for 7 gallons, but might have been a little more, maybe 8…
OG was 1.060
AVB 6.30 %
We used a 1/4 lb of hops – 3 ounces were pellet hops and 1 ounce was whole hops. We split each by 12 and added the weight together and added that amount every 5 minutes into the boil.
video of the recirculation:
video of the boil:
from mashtun, nice and black 🙂
the whole Cascade hops used in the brew.. from 2014 harvest…
Sometimes the beer don’t need many different grains mixed in, you can get really good beer results from a basic set of 3 grains. The Pale Malt will be the base of your beer, it represents 90% of your grain bill, the other 2 are your specialty grains.
If you don’t want a Black IPA, simply remove the Carafa III and add more of the 60 Crystal.
90% pale malt
5% 60°L Crystal
5% Weyermann Carafa III Special
Make sure you use the Special Carafa III and not the normal Carafa // otherwise you’ll end up with a hoppy Stout. Also, many brewers employ a trick where they add any dark grain in the last 5 minutes of boil or at end of boil, and let it sit for a few minutes, just enough to change the color, this way you don’t have to worry about any side effects of not hitting your goal.
once boil starts add hops every 5 minutes for 60 minutes
only Cascade hops will be used (single hop)
Use a good strain of yeast or your house yeast for this IPA Ale. We used Wyeast American Ale 1056.
On 6/4/2016 this year, we have brewed a 10 gallon version from last year, we scaled the grains and hops up by a factor of 2. Total water used was 15.5 gallons, and to be honest I think we ended up with 11 gallons total beer. However, this time we use canned Apricots, 5 cans total, they were already soft and super easy to create a puree (see video below) // also cost was much cheaper, 1 can costs $1, so $5 total. At the brew store, canned Apricots extracts were much more expensive $20 – so that’s something to consider…
Yeast, since we maintain our own yeasts, we use that, saves a lot of money and we have great results, Wyeast 1056 was used.
OG 1.056 // on day 3 we added 5 cans of apricots, this for sure raised the sugar levels, but we haven’t figured out exactly how to measure that, fruit calculators do exist, but I am not sure how accurate that really is.. Fermentation was for 2 weeks, below is a 2 week fermentation plot derived from the logger and their respective fit lines. You can see a nice spike when the fruit was added to the fermentor (blue lines are internal temps, orange external [outside the fermentor]).
without factoring in the fruit added on day 3, final ABV 6.3% // which probably is closer to 8% 😉 when you do factor in the fruit.
2015 Brew – 5 Gallon All Grain Recipe – Apricot Ale
This recipe is fairly easy and the finished beer is delicious! The ABV % will range between 4 % ~ 6 % depending on how much fruit you use and what kind and the efficiency of your brew setup and the attenuation of your yeast.
FG – 1.012 // Kegging and Botteling Date: 6/21/2014
We only used 2 LB of Apricots and later 4 ounces of a natural Apricot flavoring – which will most likely push the ABV up a little bit too once it is finished aging. Normally recipe calls for 1 to 1.5 lbs of apricot fruit per each gallon of beer.
9 lb American 2 row
2 lb Crystal 20L
Set your timer and once a nice steady rolling boil has been achieved, then:
add 1 oz Cascade (at start of-boil )
add 1/2 Cascade or (1 OZ if you want more Hops) at last 15 minutes of Boil
– The resultant aroma is of medium strength and very distinct. It has a pleasant, flowery and spicy, citrus-like quality with a slight grapefruit characteristic. The hop is good for both flavor and aroma uses. It can also be used for bittering effectively, and can be used to make any ales.
2~3 lb of Canned Fruit Puree – add this to the Primary fermentation at day 3 of the fermentation. You can also add some apricot flavorings (you can buy those at the brew store), but add this at the kegging or bottling time.
Apricot Extract/Flavoring or making your own Apricot puree (lower cost)…
Do a test before bottling or kegging if you go with the extract: Take a dropper or pipette with mL measurements and blend a measured amount of the extract into a measured sample of beer, this will help you to find the mix ratio you like, and then simply scale up to figure out how much to add for the volume of beer that you have – most people add 4 ounces per 5 Gallon…
picture below ( wort after mashing finished, continually recirculated ):
Today we have brewed a Belgian Saison – using the Wheast 3724 strain. If you read about this strains feedback and requirements from the manufacturer and other people’s experiences, you will quickly realize that this is not a beginner strain. If you are starting out and lack precise heating control in your fermenting environment (or some heat control), then you perhaps should go with a different strain, like the Wheast 3711 or perhaps offerings from other vendors like, White Labs., but check the requirements and do a little research for which ever yeast you decide to go with.
The temperature range for this strain is between 75 ~ 95F, it is a high attenuator 75-80% / which will give you that dry classic Saison profile beer. The grain profile for this brew was more complex than for the French Saison. We used regional hops from England.
For precise heat control management and data capture for later analysis, we of course use the Beeruino, it logs all the variables we need and allows us to monitor and tweak the temperature as the yeast gives you feedback on what to do.
We will post more details later including the exact recipe and final details on ABV.
The starting OG was 1.044 on this beer (11 gallons) and we take samples (gravity reading, date) over time as it ferments and quickly transform that into a plot using R to show what is going on.
On the 4th week we added 2lb of frozen raspberries / and waited a week extra.
Video before shows how I blend frozen raspberries. Total volume added was 3/4 of a gallon – I mix warm water with frozen raspberries, otherwise its difficult to get them blended.
On Friday 5/12/2017 the heat was turned down to 78F and I let the temperature fall so that everything settled to the bottom of the fermentor. You can ferment longer after the addition of the raspberries to let things integrate longer, maybe 3 weeks total after fruit addition.
Here is how the color looks before and after / also for testing purposes its always a good idea to leave some of the original beer before fruit was added to see how they compare.
left = before adding fruit
right = after addition of fruit
This yeast likes heat!
Make no mistake about it, this yeast like heat right from the start, 80F minimum is perfectly ” a ok ” even as soon as you pitch. Some people like to gradually raise it by a degree per day or so, but I think that this is totally unnecessary.
Most other strains when fermenting at these temperatures would result in a beer that tasted like a combination of gasoline and nail polish remover, seriously, so for this reason a lot of people naturally are wary of starting at higher temperatures. Be warned that if you start with a warmer starter, and pitch into a cooler wort say 68F / this yeast can stall right away and you might not even see fermentation – which probably will freak you out. As that’s exactly what happened the 1st time we did this, simply raise your temps to 75, then 80, then 85, 5F per day and let it sit there. Agitate your fermentor if you can once in a while.
Stalling – did I say already that this yeast is notorious for stalling ? It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced brewer, it has a mind of its own, it will stall, maybe on your first try or 5th try. Also – this yeast can be slow – so a lot of people will confuse that with stalling, but it just takes time.
This strain will most likely stall around 1.035, for us it was 1.033, just ramp up the temp and take a vacation, you will have to wait a few weeks.
Make a big starter – for this brew we only made a 1000ml starter, but bigger is better with this strain of yeast, next time we will do 2000ml starter at bare minimum.
This yeast *may* be pressure sensitive.
Some research indicates that this yeast could also be stalling because of the pressure created inside the fermentor from co2 gas, and therefore some people open ferment, maybe put some aluminum foil over the exhaust.
What we actually did was use an air lock, because not a lot of pressure is needed to move the air lock up, but more is needed to overcome the water resistance enacting over the fermentor when the blow-off tube is sitting in a container full of water.
But think about it, maybe that’s really what an exciting brew is all about, brewing becomes a little bit boring after a while, if everything comes out like clock work ” as to be expected ” and there is no element of mystery, what is going on in there, hello yeast, knock knock, anyone there ?
This Saison will reward you with a wonderful complex peppery-fruity flavor, people will be breathing down your neck, they will beg!!
The ABV can range anywhere between 5 ~ 7.5%, it all depends on your recipe and what you are looking for.
Detailed observations to come, stay tuned!!!
22 lbs – German Pilsner
1 lb – Vienna
1/2 lb – Munich
1 lb – Caramunich
1 lb – Wheat
2 ounce at start of boil – East Kent
1 ounce at 5 minutes to flame off – Styrian Hops
Wyeat 3724 1000ml starter
The more complex the grain bill is, the more it will cost ( specialty grains cost more per pound compared to base 2-row grain ) – for all ingredients ( grain, hops, yeast, raspberries ), total was $72 with tax – this brewed 11 gallons, which means that we average about $6.50 per 1 gallon of awesome, fantastic beer. Tell me where you can go and buy a gallon of Belgian Saison with Raspberry for $8 bucks ( no where ), most breweries sell Belgian by a small glass and that cost $8/$12 per glass, forget buying a growler to take home or a gallon.
The biggest cost was the German Pilsner, at $1.79 per pound.
Here is how it looks at only 1 week out of the fermentor with a quick cold crash in the fridge – ( tart, dry and a good hint of fruit ), very drinkable, now we age and see how it transforms and refines over time.
In conclusion – if you want a stronger/sharper raspberry flavor, remove beer about a week after addition of the fruit from the fermentor, however; if you want it more smooth and less fruity, let it ferment longer 3 weeks up to a month after addition of fruit. You can also have both worlds, by removing half of it and half later from the fermentor, and also save some without fruit additions so that you can compare it all.
7/28/2015 – on Sunday we are brewing a slightly different variation this year. 80% Pilsner, 10% Vienna, 10% Wheat. Columbus for bittering and Saaz for Aroma hops // using French Saison Yeast #3711 by Wyeast. In addition we will use Raspberries during secondary conditioning for a – French Raspberry Saison… Also we will shoot for at least a Double, so approx. 9% ABV+. The colour we are looking for is a farmhouse straw!
The two pics below were a test pour out of the Fermentor at 2 weeks, the classic staw Farmhouse Ale colour was spot on. The beer tasted awesome as well, only will get much better with time.
Raspberries also come through the best in beers for the flavor, taste and their overall profile. It can turn some beer slightly sour with an unexpected benefit!
OG this time was 1.068… FG was 7 days later (1 week fermentation), for a final of 1.005 – which would put this beer at a approximate 8.30% // not too shabby!
Now to Age // CHEERS!
Here is how the beer looks like at mashout…
and here is how it looks like after 1 week of fermentation with the raspberries added to the fermentor at day 3.
7/20/2014 – we used 12 pounds of grain (per recipe percentage proportions), and 1/2 lb of Belgian Candi sugar (that’s all we had left).. OG – 1.049, FG – 1.009
ABV % – 5.25%
Belgian Saison Ale
Historically a Saison is a french style farm beer, brewed in Fall/Winter for the next season – a harvesting/farmer drink. These days many variations exist, and many good articles too – Google for additional research and ask questions if you are not sure about something.
If you want a traditional Saison don’t add any spices or orange/lemon peels and use traditional German hops like the Noble or something regional from the French area – since this is a traditional French beer. We also like East Kent (even tho they are from the UK) and Styrian – these add a sweet edge to the beer.
Traditional Sainson’s are bottle conditioned and highly carbonated. Color can be Golden to Amber, ABV 3 ~ 5%, modern Sainson can be as high as 6.5%+. Should be moderately hoped to balance out the maltiness for all ABV variations.
Age: 1 ~ 2 months, and up to a year+
60 minute standard mash, some people even do a 90 minute mash
We will post out ( OG , FG ) and final ABV later.
85% lbs domestic Pilsner // we like to use the German Pilsner Malt as substitution.
5% Euro Caravienne
Hops / Additional ingredients:
Once you achieve a rolling boil, set timer:
At start-of-boil add 1.5 oz of Styrian Golding Hops and 1 lb of Light Belgian Candi
Sources: people I’ve met on G+ Community and various Beer Brewing Communities and Web sites.
Piwo = Beer.
In Polish the letters X, V, Q don’t exist and some additional letters are also present that are missing from English. For example VODKA is really spelled Wódka – the ó letter is more related to the U letter, because of how it is pronounced.
This article takes special meaning for me specifically since I am Polish, so am planning to invest extra time into figuring out all these recipes and how to best recreate them outside of Poland. I will write about a few things and then later I will post my own recipes after of course trying it out and confirming their result – and not just blind posting.
The „Grodziskie redivivus” Project – this is a famous mid-16th century Polish beer Recipe project, its maintained by a polish brewing community and here is the English version.
It goes into great details about every step to first document how it used to be done and how over time brewing has changed; and how it is done today and why. Some key differences to take note:
Artesian sources (especially the water)
low temp fermentation
a lot of older breweries and even ones that exist today open-ferment all their beers (this allows for a no stress/no pressure environment that brings out a unique and natural flower bouquet of flavors, tastes and is even apparent in the final color of the beer).
top and bottom fermenting yeasts are mixed together for a combination
Regional hops are used
some recipes use only single malt, like the smoked oak wheat malt and most breweries malt and smoke their own grains using their traditional methods
these beers are typically carbonated to 3.5 volume – so make sure to use strong bottles, don’t reuse any weak bottles that don’t qualify – the bottles might crack
Here is some links to some Polish brewing forums and Breweries: