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Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale

Brewed: 08/26/2023   Kegged: 09/12/2023

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.

Batch 14 was the first I brewed on my Anvil Foundry.

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

Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale --- Batch 14 (342)

Style Belgian Pale Ale Batch Size 5.50 gal
Type All Grain Boil Size   6.60 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   68.00   Boil Time   60 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity 1.052 SG Estimated FG 1.012 SG
Recipe Bitterness 24.3 IBUs (Rager) Alcohol by Volume 5.4 %
BU : GU   0.463        
Recipe Color 8.6 SRM
Measured OG:   1.050    Measured FG:   1.012 
ADF:   75    Measured ABV:   5.0 


Amt Name Type # %/IBU Volume
7.96 gal Denver, Colorado Water 1 - -
5.00 g Calcium Chloride (Mash) Water Agent 2 - -
3.00 g Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash) Water Agent 3 - -
1.00 tsp Lactic Acid (Mash) Water Agent 4 - -
10 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 5 85.1 % 0.78 gal
1 lbs Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 6 8.5 % 0.08 gal
12.0 oz Caramunich Malt (45.0 SRM) Grain 7 6.4 % 0.06 gal
1.000 oz Magnum [12.60 %] - Boil 25.0 min Hop 8 20.9 IBUs -
1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 9 - -
1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 10 - -
1.000 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 3.4 IBUs -
1.0 pkg SafBrew Ale (DCL/Fermentis #S-33) [23.66 ml] Yeast 12 - -
0.50 tsp Gelatin (Bottling 1.0 days) Fining 13 - -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Saccharification Add 31.84 qt of water at 156.5 F 150.0 F 45 min
Heat Heat to 156.0 F over 10 min 156.0 F 20 min

If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

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
Acid addition to get the mash pH to around 5.4
Pitch as close to 60F as possible. Let fermentation go where it wants, but try to keep under 72 for at least the first couple of days.
Carbonate in keg..
Add gelatin to keg after chilling.

Brewing Record

Brew Date:   Strike Temp:  
Mash Temps:  
Pre-boil OG   (1.048 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   (6.60 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency   Pitch Temp    
Day 1: 
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
08/25/2023 esheppy
The Beer Model wants to brew this. Got ingredients today at Brew Hut. Will brew tomorrow.
08/26/2023 esheppy
Brew day today. The Beer Model was the Brew Master. Pre-boil and OG were a bit low, but volume was high, so we probably added too much water at the beginning. All good, though. Beer fermenting in the pressure fermenter.
08/27/2023 esheppy
Yeast got started sometime last night. Going strong today. 15 psi. Letting out some pressure. Tilt already down 11 points to 1.038. 70 degrees.
08/28/2023 esheppy
Tilt down to 1.017 at 71 degrees. Spunding valve reads 3psi. Didn't even realize I could get it that low. Kraussen already thinning.
08/29/2023 esheppy
Tilt says 1.017 at 69 degrees. Beer already looking fairly clear. Still a tiny bit of kraussen. Spunding right at 5 psi.
08/30/2023 esheppy
3 days in a row of Tilt reading 1.017. And ... the yeast seems to be flocculating really well. I'm a little surprised the beer finished so quickly and the antennation seems to be as low as it is. But ... the Tilt isn't always real accurate, so I guess we'll see when we keg. One of the reasons I use this yeast is for the lower attenuation and therefore more body in the beer, so it's all good. Even so, I'd like a couple more points than what the reading is.
09/06/2023 esheppy
Tilt says 1.016 at 68. PSI at 10. Really looking nice and clear. Should keg this up soon.
09/12/2023 esheppy
Kegged. FG was at 1.012, which makes this a 5% ABV beer. About perfect for this style in my opinion.
09/21/2023 esheppy
The Beer Model hasn't had this yet. Still fairly hazy, but that's fine for this style. Tastes like what I think a BPA should taste like.
09/29/2023 esheppy
Tasty. The Beer Model likes it. Asked her if I should add gelatin and she said no. Nice EKG hop flavor. Not sure it's really a BPA, but it is what the Beer Model wants in a BPA.
10/06/2023 esheppy
Nice and clear now. More smooth. Has that nice biscuit Fat-Tire Jr. flavor. Nice amber ale.
11/03/2023 esheppy
I was surprised when I calculated the age of this beer. 52 days since it was kegged. Probably about half left. Mostly for the Beer Model, so it might last another couple of months. Beautiful amber. Still fairly hazy. Thick head. Wonderful biscuit flavor. Great balance.
11/10/2023 esheppy
Now almost 2 months since I kegged. Still delicious.
12/01/2023 esheppy
Gorgeous golden to amber color. Nice and clear. Medium to light bodied. Nice malty flavor with just a subtle touch of EKG on the finish. Perfect balance of malty sweetness with hop bitterness. Beer lover's beer.
12/07/2023 esheppy
Really a beautiful and delicious beer. Fat Tire Jr. 😋
12/21/2023 esheppy
Really a nice beer. Great balance. Malty, fruity, bready and toasty. Yummy.
12/29/2023 esheppy
Crystal clear. Still great malt flavor. Probably won't last much longer.
01/02/2024 esheppy
Keg blew on New Year's Eve. Lasted 3.5 months, and tasted great to the end. I'm sure I'll brew this again sometime.
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