Last updated: 2/27/20
Recipe Inspiration: Back in 2016 I decided to try to brew a clone of Allagash Brewing Company’s House Beer, a Belgian table beer (Trappist Single/Patersbier) that is only avaiable at their Portland, Maine brewery…Using the information available on their website, I put together a recipe that roughly met the parameters (ABV, IBUs, malt character) of the original beer. However, I decided not to build up a starter of Allagash’s house yeast from bottles of Allagash White (witbier) and instead used Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes…Fast forward to 2/4/20, when I brewed version 2.0. Changes to my original recipe included using more white wheat, opting for galaxy hops instead of centennial, and Fermentis S-33 instead of the Wyeast strain.
Grains: (estimated brewhouse efficiency set at 70%) – Batch Size: 5.25 gallons
8 lbs Belgian pilsner malt
1.5 lbs White wheat
8 oz Carapils
8 oz Victory Malt
Mash: 150F for 75 minutes – BIAB volume 7.75 gallons
Hops: 90 minute boil
0.75 oz Perle (7.1%AA) @ 45 minutes
0.25 oz Perle (7.1% AA) @ 15 minutes
0.5 oz Galaxy (15% AA) @ 5 minutes
0.5 oz Nelson Sauvin (12.1% AA) @ 5 minutes
1 oz Tettnang (3.2% AA) @ 15 minutes hop stand
0.5 oz Galaxy (15% AA) @ 15 minutes hop stand
0.5 oz Nelson Sauvin (12.1% AA) @ 15 minutes hop stand
Dry Hops: 2/23 – 1oz each of Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin hops
Fermentis/Safbrew S-33 – rehydrated in 1 cup of water prior to pitching
Stop and Shop Arcadia spring water
- Mash: Instead of using my usual brew kettle which fits on two stove burners I decided to use my Ss Brewtech 10 gallon kettle because is has a thermometer and it’s easier for BIAB mashing. However, I found myself babysitting the mash due to a 4-6 degree difference between the kettle’s thermometer and my instant read thermometer. In the end I kept the kettle’s thermometer in the upper 140s as much as possible and my instant read thermometer the lower 150s. Que my homebrewer’s anxiety…I’ll have to wait and hope that the beer does not end up finishing with a higher than expected FG.
- Boil: In order to keep the brew day going I decided to forego taking a preboil gravity reading. >> I added 5 minutes to the 90 minute boil after adding my immersion chiller. >> I collected 5.25 gallons of 1.049 (target 1.051) i.e. not bad for my first BIAB in over a year.
- Start of fermentation: Because I’d be brewing my First Fruits quadrupel the following day I decided to ferment this beer using the swamp cooler method in my brew closet. Rehydrating the yeast helped fermentation start within 12 hours of pitching. Surprisingly though there hasn’t been much of a krausen on this beer. There’s evidence of a krausen on the carboy, but since bigger CO2 bubbles cleared there hasn’t been any krausen. Because I haven’t used this yeast before I’ll have to wait until I take my first gravity sample to find out why a persistant krausen didn’t form (being a low gravity beer could be the cause). Notably, when fermentation was at high-krausen (most active), a wierd white substance form on the edge of the blow off jar twice. Once fermentation calmed down it did not come back.
- Fermentation “fix”: After reading some additional reviews of the S-33 yeast I decided to check add a carboy stick-on thermometer to my carboy and check the temp of the swamp cooler water. Both were cooler than I expected…So I took the carboy out of the tub (plastic tote) and roused the beer/yeast.
- Fermentation Management: Soon after taking the carboy out of the plastic tote and rousing the yeast I added a fermentation heat wrap and temperature controller which has since been able to keep the fermentation temperature between 70 and 71F. After a few days of being out of the swamp cooler (plastic tote) fermentation activity seemed to pick up and frequent bubbling was consistent for a week.
- First Gravity Sample: On 2/18 I took a gravity sample and it showed my FG as 1.011, which means the beer finished at 5.1% ABV i.e. my target. The sample smelled and tasted great with tropical hop character and sweet bready malt standing out most.
- Kegged: 2/26/20- after a 3 day dry hop at room temperature I kegged the beer. It tasted just as tropical and yummy as version 1.0.
You might have fermented at too low a temperature. That swamp cooler could have been too efficient. What time of year were you brewing?
I brewed this beer this week (winter in NJ). I ended up taking it out of the swamp cooler set up, rousing the yeast, and adding a carboy heat wrap to keep the fermenting beer warmer. Cheers!