Monday, September 21, 2015

Heretic Abbey Ale - Recipe From the Archives

Brewery: Old North Brewing
Style: Belgian-Style Dubbel

Brewed On: 12.27.2014 (best guess)
Bottled On: 01.24.2015
ABV: 6.5%

This was the first beer I brewed on my current setup. I was really excited to be able to perform multi-step mashes with no risk of scorching grain, but I might have gone a bit overboard with this mash schedule. I don't have my notes of the day of brewing, but I remember having quite a bit of difficulty with this process. Part of the problem was definitely from failing to pre-heat my mash tun. I learned my lesson and always heat my mash tun with about a gallon of boiling water while I bring my brewing water up to strike temperature.

Despite struggling to hit most of my mash numbers, this beer came out quite well. The recipe was lifted from BYO's clone of the Spencer Trappist Ale but with some modifications based on the availability of ingredients and to reflect some of the peculiarities of my system. I enjoyed the concept of this beer as an American take (with many American ingredients) on an age-old Belgian tradition.

I remember this being an excellent, malty beer, having a nice dry finish (FG was 1.008!). There was slightly more hop presence in this beer than many other Dubbels, but it seemed that the first wort hopping kept the bitterness well integrated (or does it?) and as none of the hops were outrageously citrusy and instead reflected the herbal, grassy, spicy characteristics of hops traditionally used in trappist and trappist-style beers, it worked quite well. The aroma of the Abbey Ale yeast used came through as a mild stone fruitiness and white pepper notes. I don't recall much more about this beer, but will likely brew again sometime near the end of this upcoming winter.

As a wink towards the religious affiliation of the brewers, as well as the "heretical" use of many American ingredients in this beer, we named it Heretic, and often referred to it as our Protestant abbey ale. 

Batch Size: 5 gallons into fermentor
Measured OG: 1.058
Anticipated IBUs: 25
Anticipated SRM: 5.3
Actual Brewhouse Efficiency: 71.5%
Boil Time: 90 mins

80% [9.0#] - Avangard Pilsner Malt
18% [2.0#] - American Pale Malt (2-row)
2% [0.25#] - Caramel 60L

6.65 AAU [0.50 oz, 13.3%] - Nugget - First Wort Hop
1.18 AAU [0.25 oz, 4.70%] - Willamete @ 10 mins

0.5 Whirlfloc tablets @ 15 mins
0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient @ 15 mins

1 package of White Labs WLP5300 "Abbey Ale"

Winston Salem, NC municipal water
1 tsp Calcium Chloride

Step-Infusion Mash (Adding hot water)
148 F for 75 minutes w/ 12.2 qt of water @ 166.5F
162 F for 15 minutes by adding 9 qt of water @ 185.5 F
Mash out at 168 F by adding 10.12 qt of water @ 182.5 F

Fly-Sparge with 2.26 gallons of water @ 168 F

Fermented in a soft-sided cooler with frozen bottles to hold down temperature. Averaged 72 F through the fermentation.

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