Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

Posts tagged “Belgian Golden Honey Ale

Baby girl Belgian honey ale

I took this past Friday off from work to brew a celebratory beer for my daughter’s impending birth (due Valentine’s Day). Doesn’t get much better than outdoor brewing on a fall Friday afternoon.

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback on the Belgian golden honey ale I brewed last February, in competition as well as from friends, so I figured I’d stick with a tasty recipe for this important batch – with one important tweak: it needed to be red for Valentine’s Day so I switched up the specialty malt bill to make it more like the red lager I brewed in 2010.

Here’s the recipe: (more…)


A couple o’ Belgians

I had plenty of time to screw around with brewing stuff this past weekend, as it was “girls weekend” and the wife was up north at a cabin with her girlfriends. After getting home from a happy hour Friday, I apparently hadn’t drank enough (the only tolerable option at LaFonda in Eagan is Summit EPA) because I was able to muster some motivation to transfer the “In the Name of doG” batch from primary – where it had been for the past 11 days – to secondary. While doing so, I took a gravity reading on it for the first time since brew day. 1.008. Wow, I knew I’d had a vigorous and successful fermentation with this batch, but it was very cool to see this 1.074 brew attenuate down to 1.008 in just 11 days.

SOB (left) and In the Name of doG (right) on 3/4/11

Upon tasting the gravity reading sample, it reminded me a lot of Delirium Tremens and Lucifer, the two Belgian beer’s I’ve tasted in this style. Very happy about where this batch is headed. After running the pre- and post-fermentation gravity readings through the ABV formula, I came out with 9.1% ABV. Awesome! This will be the strongest brew I’ve done so far, especially because it has since continued with a slight fermentation even after going to into secondary while at 59* down in my basement at that. I wonder how far down it’ll go…

I harvested the yeast off the trub in primary, (didn’t get greedy and take too much this time) and have 300 ml. or so of it chilling in a beaker in my beer fridge. I’ve heard it’s potentially not good to harvest yeast from a anything with a gravity that starts above 1.070 (according to discussion at the SPHBC meeting I attended this past week) as the yeast may have been too stressed in fermentation to be usable in a second batch. We’ll see. What I have appears viable. I think I”ll take the chance and use it in a few weeks, as I’m currently considering my next batch to be a “Belgian brown ale.” Any recommended recipes out there? Please comment below if so. (more…)

In the name of doG

Had a nice little brew session this past Presidents’ Day. Great use of a day off work especially because Minneapolis got hit with a big snow storm (13 inches) the day before. Fortunately I’d purchased all my supplies to get my yeast starter going the day before the storm.

Boil additions, in order

Holed-up in the house and brewing on my day off? Sounds good to me.  I did a Belgian honey ale, calling it “In the Name of doG” as a play on the common religious phrase and the fact that many strong Belgian beers like this one are often brewed by monks.

After discussing sparging methods with another brewer at the recent Nordeast Homebrewers Alliance meeting I attended, I decided to move things along a bit quicker during this brew day, so I only fly-sparged for about an hour as opposed to 2+ hr. sparges I’d done on previous all-grain brew days. I also researched a little during the boil on how to calculate efficiency in sugar extraction, and… bah, that’s too complicated for me to care about yet.

Here’s the recipe:

Base: 7lbs Rahr domestic 2 row, 4 lbs. wheat malt
Specialty: 8 oz. Cara II (was supposed to be Caravienne but Midwest was out of that malt), 8 oz. Carapils
Hops: 1 oz. Liberty (60″), 1 oz. Liberty (50″), 1 oz. Styrian Goldings (2″)
Adjuncts: 1 lb. Clover honey (25″), 2 or 3 cups light DME (20″), 1 lb. Clover honey (10″), 1-2 tsp Wyeast yeast nutrient (8″), 1 lb. Belgian Candi sugar (8″), .5 oz bitter orange (5″), .5 oz. coriander (5″), 1-2 tsp Wyeast yeast nutrient (8″)
Yeast: White Labs Belgian Ale WLP550 (2000 ml yeast starter with 1 cup light DME  at 1.038, 36 hrs. prior to pitch)