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Belgian Ale Recipe...tell me what you think

Hey guys, Im new to brewing(two batches under my belt). I have been doing a lot of research into beer recipes and I think im starting to understand what ingredients go together. I love Belgian Ales and wanted to create my own. I just would like to get some feedback on the recipe from you guys. Dont worry, i wont get offended if you tell me it looks like a train wreck, thats the only way im going to learn.Trial and error! So here is what I got put together;

Specialty Grains- Franco-Belges Pilsen Malt steep 30 min

Fermentables: 1lb Briess DME Pilsen 90 min
3.15lbs NB Gold Malt Syrup 30 min
2lbs Clear Belgian Candy sugar

Hops: German Hallertau Leaf Hops 2oz 90min
German Hallertau Leaf Hops 1 oz 60 min
Czech Saaz Leaf Hops 1 oz 15 min

Yeast: White Labs WLP570 Belgian Golden Ale

Maybe I’m missing something but, I’m not sure what the thought is behind the pilsner steep. Pils needs to be mashed.

Ok,thanks, what would be the correct type of grains? How do you know what grains to use. I picked that cause it says its a base.

Ok,thanks, what would be the correct type of grains? How do you know what grains to use. I picked that cause it says its a base.[/quote]

This is a start

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12.html

You should by the book if you haven’t yet (How to Brew by John Palmer). It’s the brewing bible for most home brewers.

Long story short… there are 4 types of grain.

  1. Those that need to be mashed and are highly enzymatic. Meaning they have enough enzymes to convert themselves and other grains. Your base malts… pilsner, 2-row, pale malt, wheat malt, etc.

  2. Those that need to be mashed and have enough enzymes to convert themselves, but not enough to convert other grains in your grist. Vienna, Munich, etc.

  3. Specialty grains the don’t need mashing. Caramel/Crystal malts, dark roasted malts, etc. These just add color and flavor. Normally they go in the mash with the rest of your grains, but don’t need to. They can just be steeped.

  4. Specialty grains that do need mashing. Raw wheat, rye, rice, corn, honey malt, biscuit malt, victory malt… these are all non-enzymatic and need enzymes from your base malt to convert them.

Hope this helps you a little.

Even better! Just stole this from another thread.

http://www.beersmith.com/Grains/Grains/GrainList.htm

What the chart doesn’t tell you though, is which grains are highly enzymatic and which are not. Knowing that will help you create recipes. Sometimes you’ll need the extra enzymes from base malts to help convert other grains in your mash. Usually this is not an issue because your base malt will normally be 50-90% of your grist. Which will lend plenty of enzymes to convert grains that don’t have the needed enzymes for conversion.

Great! Thanks. Other than the grains, how does the rest of it look?

If you’re going to do a mini-mash with some Pilsner, I would skip the amber syrup and add Belgian Aromatic or Biscuit (or a little of both), then boost the Pilsner extract to bring the gravity up - the amber is less fermentable and you want this beer nice and dry. If you’re not doing the mini-mash, flip the amounts of Pilsner and Amber extract.

And you’re wasting money on the candy sugar - Belgian brewers use regular table sugar.

[quote=“Shadetree”]If you’re going to do a mini-mash with some Pilsner, I would skip the amber syrup and add Belgian Aromatic or Biscuit (or a little of both), then boost the Pilsner extract to bring the gravity up - the amber is less fermentable and you want this beer nice and dry. If you’re not doing the mini-mash, flip the amounts of Pilsner and Amber extract.

And you’re wasting money on the candy sugar - Belgian brewers use regular table sugar.[/quote]

+1 to all this ^^^

EDIT: And if doing a mini-mash, mash low (146-148F range) to get a more fermentable wort.

Don’t be afraid of the temp. I will start my Beligans’ at 64 degrees for 72 hrs then pull them out of the swamp cooler and let them go. I also mash some wheat for mine for head retention

+1! I’ll add, depending on the strain. I’ve made a few Belgians that I kept fermentations in the 60’s and they came out well. I have a Belgian IPA fermenting right now that I really wanted to ferment warm so the funky Belgian flavors would stand up against the aggressively hopped IPA. So I pitched at 74F and let it do it’s thing. Didn’t control temps at all! Left the fermentor in a closet that was somewhere in the mid 70’s.

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