Nouvelle is my take on a Belgian Blonde inspired by the legendary Duvel and brewed with yeast cultured up from a bottle of Duvel. So much of this brew's character is delivered by the yeast that I would humbly suggest that the yeast should not be substituted for another. The flavour is unmistakeably and squarely Belgian. Phenols, cloves, spices all contribute to the overall flavour profile. The body is light and the mouthfeel and aftertaste is malty and dangerously quaffable. There is no hint of alcohol burn at all. I did a taste test against a bottle of Duvel. First a glass of mine, then Duvel, then mine again. Same temperature. Mine is more malty and has a fuller mouthfeel. Duvel is more bitter and feels thinner (more sugar in the recipe?). Overall 'character' is identical (no surprise). Duvel finishes with quite strong Saaz notes. I don't really get much Saaz from mine. Duvel was more highly carbonated (the bottle is nucleated). I've turned up the gas on my keg to improve this. Duvel is 8.5%, mine is 7.4%. My wife preferred mine. I would take either on its merits. This is very good beer. Here's my recipe for a small 13 litre batch. Plug the grain percentages into your recipe software and adjust the hop weights to get the same IBU levels. Code: Style: Belgian Blond Ale TYPE: All Grain Recipe Specifications -------------------------- Water: Tesco Ashbeck Mash water profile: Ca:41, Mg:4, Na:10, SO4:44, Cl:43 Mash pH: 5.30 Batch Size (fermenter): 13.00 L Bottling Volume: 11.50 L Estimated OG: 1.060 SG Estimated Color: 6.1 EBC Estimated IBU: 27.4 IBUs Brewhouse Efficiency: 76.00 % Boil Time: 60 Minutes Ingredients: ------------ Amt Name Type %/IBU Volume 2.37 kg IREKS Pilsner Malt (3.5 EBC) Grain 75.0 % 1.54 L 0.32 kg Wheat, Torrified (3.3 EBC) Grain 10.0 % 0.21 L 0.47 kg Brewing Sugar (Dextrose) [Boil 10 mins] Sugar 15.0 % - 40.00 g Styrian Goldings [2.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 18.7 IBUs - 20.00 g Saaz [4.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min Hop 8.7 IBUs - 1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 7.0 mins) Fining - - 1.0 pkg Duvel Bottle Culture (Duvel Moortgat) Yeast - - Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 3.16 kg ---------------------------- Name Description Step Temperat Step Time Mash In Add 13.02 L of water at 68.4 C 65.0 C 60 min Sparge: Dunk sparge with 5.00 L water at 75.6 C I pitched a 1000ml starter built up in 3 stages from the bottle. I started at 20C until it had actively started fermenting then raised to 21C and a day later to 22C and kept it there to the end. Thanks to the large dextrose addition and the aggressive Duvel yeast strain I got a stonking 93% attenuation for an FG of 1.004 and an ABV of 7.4%. I fined the mini-keg with Kwik Clear and the resulting brew is star-bright. This I think, was a mistake. The first two pours from the keg were hazy and had noticeably more of that wonderful phenolic yeast character. Bright beer is good, but in this case I want more of that yeast flavour so next time no keg finings. Here's a picture of the beer before last night's tasting: Some notes for next time: Don't fine the keg. More Saaz. I think I could use up a 50g bag in the last 15 minutes. More biterness. Upping it to 35 IBU with the above Saaz additions would work I think. Brew a bigger batch because this isn't going to last long.