Abbey Ale 9/2012

>> Sunday, September 02, 2012

I've been pretty busy lately and haven't had a chance to brew for the past few weeks, so I figured I'd take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend.

I've been on a Belgian kick lately so today I'm brewing an Abbey Ale. I emailed this recipe to myself a while ago and I honestly can't remember where I found it. If I remember correctly it was described as a dubbel, but when I entered it into Beersmith I found it didn't quite fit the style guidelines, so I'm just referring to it as an Abbey Ale. Here's the recipe as I'm making it today. Maris Otter isn't a typical choice for a Belgian ale, but it's my favorite base malt.

7.00 # Crisp Maris Otter Pale Malt
1.50 # Briess Dark Munich
0.25 # Briess Carapils
0.50 # Briess Crystal 80L
2.00 # Amber Candi Sugar (15 min)
0.50 oz Target (60 min)
0.27 oz Willamette (10 min)
0.27 oz Liberty (5 min)
White Labs WLP500 Trappist Ale yeast in a 1L starter
1 Whirlfloc
5.2pH Stabilizer

90 minute mash at 150F, 90 minute boil
Start off fermentation at 65F then ramp up to 72F over a few days.

Brewing Notes
The brew session went smoothly. Assuming I entered everything correctly, my efficiency was slightly higher than 90% with this batch. I ended up using a bit more hops to help balance out the increased efficiency.  I made the wort on Sunday and pitched the yeast on Monday afternoon.  This morning (Tuesday) I'm seeing a nice dense krausen.

Update 9/19/2012
This one got kegged on 9/16.  I didn't sample it before it went in the keg and I forgot to take a gravity reading so I'm not sure of the ABV.  I'll have to take a gravity reading once it's conditioned and on tap.  I do know that it smelled awesome when it was fermenting; definitely some banana aromas.  I've seen some reviews of this yeast where they indicated the flavor profile in the finished beer was less intense than expected based on the heavy banana smells coming out of the fermentation, so it'll be interesting to see how this one tastes.

Update 11/30/2012
I never got around to measuring the final gravity on this one, but I'd guestimate it's at least 7% but probably closer to 8% ABV. That said, it's very easy drinking so this is one that can really sneak up on you as a friend of mine found out when I took some to a Halloween party last month. It's got some great Belgian character, very fruity from the ester profile, and a beautiful copper/amber color. I'll definitely brew this one again but I might cut down on the grain bill slightly to try to reduce the ABV a bit.