Nouvelle: A belgian blonde ale

Discussion in 'Complete and Brewed Recipes' started by foxbat, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. Feb 10, 2019 #1

    foxbat

    foxbat

    foxbat

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    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:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
    Sadfield, BrewCurious, uDicko and 2 others like this.
  2. Feb 10, 2019 #2

    Dutto

    Dutto

    Dutto

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    I like the sound and look of that.

    I brought this lot back from France a couple of years back to make some yeast starters from the bottles.

    Imports for Yeast (1).jpg

    The ones I tried were all successful but I didn't have the nerve to use them!

    However, I will be back to France in a few weeks and this time it will be different.

     
    foxbat likes this.
  3. Feb 10, 2019 #3

    chthon

    chthon

    chthon

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    Very nice. Duvel uses 18% dextrose, so yours is not too far off.

    After I let someone who is a Duvel connoisseur taste my previous brew, I also upped the IBU's somewhat to 35 IBU.
     
  4. Feb 10, 2019 #4

    uDicko

    uDicko

    uDicko

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    OK, I have the hops, I will order the malt and the batch size and recipe is perfect for what I am after as I have been searching around for a good Belgian blonde I can do for a while.

    I do not have the time or kit to do the duvel yeast starter so annoyingly will have to find a substitute.

    How long has it taken to get from the start of fermentation to the gorgeous picture above where you are drinking it?
     
  5. Feb 10, 2019 #5

    foxbat

    foxbat

    foxbat

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    It was brewed on new years day, so about 40 days. It took 3 weeks to finish fermenting.
     
    uDicko likes this.
  6. Feb 11, 2019 #6

    Zephyr259

    Zephyr259

    Zephyr259

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    That is a very pretty beer, nice photo, good lighting, a lot of homebrew photos either look like hazy dishwater due to poor lighting or glow due to an obvious backlighting. I'd be tempted to try this, but I have some Wyeast 1388 in a jar in my fridge which is meant to be the same yeast so seems a bit daft. A side by side could be interesting.
     

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