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Buckwheat's Belgium Pale Ale

Brewed: 03/30/2013   Bottled: 04/18/2013

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.

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

Buckwheat Belgium Pale Ale (AG) --- Batch 10

Belgian Pale Ale
Batch Size
5.50 gal
All Grain
Boil Size   7.76 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency   75.00   Boil Time   90 minutes

Recipe Characteristics

Recipe Gravity
1.052 SG
Estimated FG
1.010 SG
Recipe Bitterness
24.4 IBUs (Rager)
Alcohol by Volume
5.5 %
BU : GU   0.472        
Recipe Color
8.3 SRM
Measured OG:    1.049   Measured FG:    1.012
ADF:    75%   Measured ABV:    4.8


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 85.7 %
12.0 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2 7.1 %
12.0 oz Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 3 7.1 %
0.375 oz Magnum [14.70 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 21.5 IBUs
0.50 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 5 -
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 10.0 mins) Other 6 -
0.750 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.80 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 7 2.8 IBUs
2.0 pkg SafBrew Ale (DCL Yeast #S-33) [25.00 ml] Yeast 8 -

Mash Profile

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 13.13 qt of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min

Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.86gal, 3.88gal) 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.
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:   162
Mash Temps:
 150 all the way through 1.5 hours
Pre-boil OG   1.036 (1.042 SG)   Pre-boil Vol   8 gal (7.76 gal)
Actual Mash Efficiency
Pitch Temp    60
Day 1: Active early. 60 degrees
Day ... 
Day ... 

Click here to see previous recipes
Brewing Notes:
03/27/2013 esheppy
Purchased the ingredients. Hope to brew this weekend.
04/06/2013 esheppy
Took a sample. 1.018 gravity reading.
04/13/2013 esheppy
Was going to keg today, but the gravity is at 1.017 which is way higher than I want for this beer. Going to rack to secondary and add 2oz table sugar in hopes that this kick-starts the yeast a little bit.
04/18/2013 esheppy
Kegged today. FG is 1.012, which is much more reasonable than what I measured before the secondary. Tastes wonderful. It is exactly how I remember it and exactly how I think it should taste. My only issue with this beer is the clarity. Maybe that will improve in the keg.
04/27/2013 esheppy
Had some last night. My pint was very hazy, but this might be a result of first-pour yeast. The beer model had one that looked better from across the room. Flavor is what I remember this beer always has been ... sort of a little sister to Phat & Tyred.
05/08/2013 esheppy
Beer is still not clear, but much improved from first pours. Flavor is what it should be. A bit foamy, but not too bad.
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