Trying a Trappist. Feedback appreciated

Discussion in 'Recipes for Feedback' started by FedoraDave, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. FedoraDave

    FedoraDave Member

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    I've decided to spend 2019 investigating Belgian-style ales. Aside from one saison, which I really enjoy, I haven't done anything with the styles from this region, and I figured it was about time.

    So I've put together the following Trappist Single, which I call "Wilbur's Orval."

    It's for a 3 gallon BIAB batch.

    5.25# Belgian Pilsner
    1 Oz. Biscuit
    1 Oz. Honey Malt
    1 Oz. Special B

    1 Oz. Saaz @ 60 minutes
    0.5 Oz. Saaz @ 20 minutes
    0.5 Oz. Saaz @ 7 minutes

    One unit of White Labs Antwerp Ale Yeast WLP515 (if my LHBS carries it)

    I'm aware that the Honey Malt may not be in the Belgian tradition, but I think it will add a nice touch, and I'm more concerned with the final taste than I am with strict adherence to a style.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Use the Trappist or Abbey Ale yeast (a suggestion). I haven't used the Antwerp strain but have had good results with both the White Labs and Wyeast versions of the Trappist ale. The honey malt may interfere with the traditional dry Belgian finish - I'd lose it but then I like dry beers.
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'd just use about 2% Biscuit and be done. Special Roast has no place in a single and the Honey malt is redundant with Biscuit in those small amounts. I like Biscuit but for a Blond or Single, I use a small amount of a Light Aromatic Malt that's like a very rich/malty Vienna. Kicks up the malt flavor without adding color or cloying sweetness.
    Consider making some candi syrup for part of the fermentable sugars or just throw in 5-10% table sugar into the boil. It'll lighten the body and boost the attenuation and alcohol slightly so that you're more in line with style.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I have to agree the biscuit and honey do counsel each other out and I'm not a big fan of special B, I've had 5 pounds of it siting here for a year and no plans to use it but I do think like experimentation, it might be a very good beer for you, I would go for it and get your tastes of it for the future, good luck
     
  5. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Still trying to reproduce the one or two I've had. The recipes I've seen are just pilsner and table sugar. I guess that's trying to capture the taste of the third runnings from a double or triple that it's supposed to come from.

    The batches I've done have used that approach and have felt right for grain bill. My problem had been keeping the yeast flavours under control.

    The latest batch is a much higher pitch rate and the early samples seem good. Just waiting for the carbonation to finish.

    First few batches were the Danstar Abbaye dry yeast. This time it's Wyeast 3727.

    As Nosy said, dryness is important for the low ABV Belgians. Though the Belgians agree with you on styles they all talk about drinkablity and how dryness is a big part of that.
     
  6. vicjuve

    vicjuve New Member

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    The single trappist are very dry beers and are brewed with 100% pils (max 90 pils and 10% candy sugar). The Wlp500 (Chimay strain) is more suitable. I would move all the aroma hops into dh. Belgian yeasts tend to "eat" the hops during fermentation. If you refer to Chimay doree, you can also use 1 gr / lt of orange peels and Curacao seeds at 5 minutes from the end of boil.
     
  7. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    +1 on the trappist yeast with the wlp500 for me as a standout. The yeast is more important for flavor than the hops imo i would not wory to much about dry hop or more than 1 aroma addition, get the IBU's you want in the boil.
     
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  8. vicjuve

    vicjuve New Member

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    Trappist single isn't a tripel. In this style hop aroma is important...
     
  9. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Here's an excerpt from the guidelines:

    Aroma: Medium-low to medium-high Trappist yeast
    character, showing a fruity-spicy character along with mediumlow
    to medium spicy or floral hops, occasionally enhanced by
    light herbal/citrusy spice additions. Low to medium-low
    grainy-sweet malt backdrop, which may have a light honey or
    sugar quality. Fruit expression can vary widely (citrus, pome
    fruit, stone fruit). Light spicy, yeast-driven phenolics found in
    the best examples. Bubblegum inappropriate.
    Appearance: Pale yellow to medium gold color. Generally
    good clarity, with a moderate-sized, persistent, billowy white
    head with characteristic lacing.
    Flavor: Fruity, hoppy, bitter, and dry. Initial malty-sweet
    impression, with a grainy-sweet soft malt palate, and a dry,
    hoppy finish. The malt may have a light honeyed biscuit or
    cracker impression. Moderate spicy or floral hop flavor. Esters
    can be citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit), pome fruit (apple,
    pear), or stone fruit (apricot, peach). Light to moderate spicy,
    peppery, or clove phenolics. Bitterness rises towards the crisp,
    dry finish, with an aftertaste of light malt, moderate hops and
    yeast character.

    Hops mostly for proper bitterness with supportive flavor and aroma. If the hops are interfering or clashing with yeast contribution, it's too much. I wouldn't dry-hop but a little something to enhance the floral aspect of the hop flavor could work. Bitter with Saaz or Spalt and throw some in at 15 or so for a late charge and then maybe follow up with a small dry hop of one of the more delicate "nobel" character hop crosses like Opal or Saphir.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Some of the worst Belgians I've had have tried to emphasize both hop flavors and yeast characteristics. Those are the ones that end up tasting vaguely poisonous to me.
     
  11. vicjuve

    vicjuve New Member

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    I have brewed this recipe a few months ago. The yeast is not the max, however its aromas have completely covered that of the Saaz. This is a fairly common problem with many Belgian strains. The dh with the Saaz is not like doing dh with an American hops, it's just a gimmick to prevent the exuberance of yeast overwhelming everything. Also I was inspired by the guidelines of the bjcp, but the second attempt I did it with dh. Definitely more successful.
     

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  12. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Got a keg conditioning at the moment. I'll definitely try a keg dry hop if I get my previous problem of overwhelming yeast character. Even if I don't I think I'll try if for the last half/third of the keg to taste the differences.
     
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  13. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I can see how Belgian yeast could overpower in a simple malt recipe, Castle Pils is a great fit for grain, sweet nutty. I have had good results getting aroma from noble hops at last 10 min, flame out or whirlpool. I guess maybe more from the hops? Not just edges but full aroma/flavor? My experience anyway. And keeping ferment temps in check, then ramping up to clean up.
     
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  14. thehaze

    thehaze Active Member

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    Your beer will benefit from an all-base grain bill or at least this is what I firmly believe. One of my favourite Belgians is Tripel Karmeliet and this beer is supposedly brewed with a few different malts. I personally like Wheat and Oat malts along with Pilsner/2-row/other Pale malts. Anything from 10 to 25% each can help with the beers body, mouthfeel and the malt backbone of the beer and / or the lack of it.

    A " pale " Belgian beer is meant to be fairly dry, crisp, with a subtle, yet pleasent malt backbone, medium to high esters and phenols, low-ish FG and - this is personal preference - a fair/decent amount of hops. Don't be afraid of hops, hop aroma and flavour.
     
  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Counterpoint to thehaze: you can use a good quality DME to save yourself a lot of brew day, that is unless you're doing all-grain anyway. The range on Belgian styles is so wide that the extra bit of color from the extract won't matter and you combat the increased body - I've found extracts to give fairly highly viscous worts - by using a pound or so of sugar, plain old cane sugar, in the grist. Trappists, Belgians in general, shouldn't be "thick". Here's what the style guide says (whether you like it or not, it at least gives us a common language):

    Overall Impression: A pale, bitter, highly attenuated and well carbonated Trappist ale, showing a fruity-spicy Trappist yeast character, a spicy-floral hop profile, and a soft, supportive grainy-sweet malt palate.

    Your original grist should work, not exactly Trappist but as you mentioned, you aren't that interested in brewing it to style. "Trappist" would be more like Belgian Pilsner and maybe Carafoam. I wouldn't add anything to punch up the mouthfeel, this is designed to be a beer to be consumed while working, and you may want some more bitterness - Saaz isn't a very bitter hop - maybe some Magnum early on to reach 25 - 45 IBUs - without additional info I'd shoot for the middle of the range. So my advice, brew it. You'll know a lot more about the next batch.

    Cheers!
     
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  16. FedoraDave

    FedoraDave Member

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    Thanks for you input, everyone.

    I decided to 86 the honey malt, add some Candi Sugar (my guy at the LHBS recommended about 10 Oz. for this volume), and I switched the yeast to WLP530, Abbey Ale Yeast, again on the recommendation of the LHBS; he rarely steer me wrong.

    I should be brewing this in a couple of weeks, and I'll post results.
     
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  17. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Good choice. I did a Honey Blonde session ale last summer that was very nice and I like Honey malt in a couple of specific applications but generally it's out of place in most European beers. Next time you need Candi Sugar, consider making yourself some Candi Syrup from table sugar and acid - lactic if you use it for other brewing or simple cream of tarter from the supermarket. Super easy to make and you can add as much color and flavor as you want by cooking longer. Costs pennies as opposed to the price of the stuff available in homebrew stores.
     
  18. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Save yourself a few bucks: You have candi sugar in your pantry. It's nothing but cane sugar. But subbing it in is a good approach to a saison.
     
  19. vicjuve

    vicjuve New Member

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    Excellent yeast (it seems to be rocheforte strain) . You could do topcropping and use it in a dubbel trappist ...
     
  20. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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