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Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale

Brewed: 03/08/2020   Kegged: 03/20/2020

buckwheat.jpgAs I mentioned before, the SheppyBrew Beer Model got me Jamil Zainasheff's and John Palmer's book Brewing Classic Styles for my birthday.  Of course I spent lots of time looking it over and based most of my recipes so far in 2010 on recipes in the book.  I asked her if she would like to pick out a recipe from the book for me to brew.  To my surprise, she actually spent the time to look through the book and picked out "Antwerp Afternoon", which is Jamil's award winning Belgium Pale Ale.

So, I plugged it into BeerSmith.  Jamil's recipe calls for a bit of Biscuit malt to be steeped, but BeerSmith wants it to be mashed.  Because I was going to have to do a partial mash anyway, I decided to bring the base grain up to the same amount as the LME, making this (by far) the most economical brew I've done so far.

I was very pleased with the way this beer turned out.  The beer model likes it too, which is a bit of a disappointment as I would like to drink it all myself.  It sort of tastes like a little brother to my Phat & Tyred Ale.

The Buckwheat Belgium Pale Ale is a well-balanced, easy-drinking beer.  It finishes pretty dry with some initial malt-sweetness that does not last to the finish.  The biscuit malt gives it a nice nutty / bready taste.  It has enough malt complexity to prevent it from being a boring tasting beer.  There may be a hint of ester fruitiness, but certainly not too wild.  The relatively low alcohol (especially if you compare it to my recent beers) and overall drinkability should allow us to drink it by the liter with no problem on those hot summer days.

I am going to brew this again (and again and again).

Batch #3 was my first attempt at all-grain brewing.  It is interesting that I am not saving a ton of money on this all-grain batch.  My LBHS didn't have the SafBrew, so I went with the US05.  The whole thing was a bit of a learning experience.  My OG ended up much lower than expected pointing out that I have AG process improvements to make.  The beer turned out lighter in color and body.  This batch is called Buckwheat light.

Batch #4 was a 5 gallon batch split between two Mr. Beer fermenters.  I decided to use one to test how safbrew T58 would compare the S33.  T58 would probably be closer to a spicy, peppery flavor that would be appropriate for a Belgium beer.  S33 will be cleaner and more in line with what the beer model likes.  The mash efficiency on the big batch was significantly higher, so I had a couple of bigger beers than planned.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean I need to fine-tune my process (again) for bigger boils.

Batches #6 and #7 were another experiment.  This time, I tried half the batch with S33 and the other half with US05.  The differences here were less, but the beer model clearly prefered S33.  

Batch #8 uses S33 and was sized up to brew in the 6 gallon carboy.

Batch #9 was exactly the same as #8 except I batch sparge in my 10 gallon cooler instead of the modified BIAB I used before.

I brought the grain bill (and thus ABV) down a bit for Batch #10. I also switched back to my mash tun.

Batch 11 was pretty much the same as batch 10 except I added in a little more caramunich, biscuit malt and EKG hops.

There are a few posts on my blog about this beer.  Follow this link to look at those.

Buckwheat Belgium Pale Ale (AG) --- Batch 13 (250)

Style Belgian Pale Ale Batch Size 6.00 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   8.23 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   70.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.051 SG Estimated FG 1.010 SG
Recipe Bitterness 25.1 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 5.5 %
BU : GU   0.488        
Recipe Color 8.0 SRM
Measured OG:   1.050    Measured FG:   1.012 
ADF:   76%    Measured ABV:   5


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
6.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 1 - -
10 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 82.5 % 0.78 gal
1 lbs Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 3 8.2 % 0.08 gal
1 lbs Caramunich Malt (35.0 SRM) Grain 4 8.2 % 0.08 gal
2.0 oz Sugar, Table (Sucrose) [Boil] (1.0 SRM) Sugar 5 1.0 % 0.01 gal
0.375 oz Columbus (Tomahawk) [18.00 %] - Boil 45.0 min Hop 6 21.9 IBUs -
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 - -
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 8 - -
1.000 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.30 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 3.2 IBUs -
1.0 pkg SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) [25.00 ml] Yeast 10 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 15.00 qt of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.81gal, 4.12gal) of 168.0 F water

Recipe Notes
Started as recipe "Antwerp Afternoon" on p205 from Brewing Classic Styles. My wife (buckwheat) picked that recipe out from the book as one she might like. Looking at it, I decided that she was probably right.
Water profile totals:
72.5 Ca; 8.5 Mg; 21.4 Na; 149 SO4; 23.5 Cl; 104 HC03
Pitch as close to 60F as possible. Let fermentation go where it wants, but try to keep under 72.
Carbonate in keg to 2.7 ~14PSI @40F.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.042 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (8.23 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
02/28/2020 esheppy
Bought ingredients today.
03/08/2020 esheppy
Brew day today went well. Started late and didn't finish until almost noon. OG perfect at 1.050. Got temp very close to 60 to stay out. Brewing in the anvil brew bucket.
03/09/2020 esheppy
Bubbling away today. Don't have tilt in this one, but temperature shows 58.
03/10/2020 esheppy
Bubbling fast and hard. Temp strip at about 68.
03/20/2020 esheppy
Took sample. Calling the FG 1.012. The beer isn't real clear, so it might be a bit early to keg, but I have an empty so I probably will later today. Tastes like a BPA should. At least how I remember it should.
03/20/2020 esheppy
Kegged. Got some yeast in there, but I'm sure it will settle out. Had to use auto-siphon after flow from spigot stopped too soon. Not sure if that was due to yeast or something else. Really tastes good.
03/21/2020 esheppy
Shook in CO2 at 30psi for 10 minutes. Pint seems nicely carbed. Delcious beer.
03/22/2020 esheppy
Lighter in color than I remember (and compared to previous photos). Still hazy. Flavor is perfect.
04/01/2020 esheppy
Moving to the kegerator today.
04/02/2020 esheppy
Really like this beer. I wish I could spotted cow out in Colorado because I really want to compare. This reminds me of a better balanced spotted cow. Less hazy every day. 😋
04/12/2020 esheppy
Really clear golden beer. Nice flavorful easy drinking ale.
04/16/2020 esheppy
06/06/2020 esheppy
I've sort of been neglecting this with all the other great beers I have on tap. At this point, it is Crystal clear and delicious. I still think a little more hop flavor would make it better, the Beer Model says no. I'm ok with it as is. Nice pleasant easy drinking ale with a touch of nuttiness and and a subtle fruity yeast flavor that I can't quit describe, but very much enjoy.
06/11/2020 esheppy
Keg blew. Now I have a keg to put Colorado Strong into.
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