Back to Shopping at

Belgian Bruin Recipe

My neighbor who normally does not like beer called me last night to tell me that she finally found a beer that she loves, a Belgian Bruin. Its description was a Belgian Brown Ale, Carmel, Plum and raisin like malt flavors. I emailed the brewery to ask them a few questions about the beer and he responded back with the grains, hops and yeast that he used. He said he used Franco Belges malt, some special b, and a little wheat. He used French strisselspalt hops and a pale ale yeast from Lueven. He wanted a beer with a little plum raisin carmel back ground, and a spicy exotic aroma that the yeast helps provide.

I have never put together a recipe like this before, usually I am working off of a cook book. I was wondering if anybody could give me some tips on the recipe that I came up with below.

8lbs Franco-Belges Pilsen Malt
4lbs Castle Special B
2lbs weyermann CaraWheat

Conversion / Saccharification Rest infusion of 5.25 gal at 168°F to reach 156 °F for 60 mins

Mash-out infusion of 1.52 gal at boil to reach 167 °F for 15 mins.

Add 1 oz of Strisselspalt Hops and boil for 60 minutes.

Chill the wort and pitch Leuven Pale Ale Yeast.

This is where I get a little lost as to how long to let a beer ferment for before bottling.

Any tips or reccomendations on the amount of grains, hops, hop timing would be greatly appreciated.



Too much special B,
Most recipes use ~ 1/4 pound.
Just used to add complexity.

I would agree that 4# of Special B is an insane amount–you will end up with an extremely dark beer (think guiness) with that grainbill. 0.25 to 0.5# should get you a decent amount of the plum/raisin flavor you’re after. Depending on what color you’re going for, you can get the rest of it from standard cara malts.

Also, unless I’m mistaken, Stisselspalt has negligible AAUs, so in theory you would have very little bittering with that recipe. I would go for roughly 15-20IBU’s of any continental noble hop–Hallertau, Tett, or Spalt added at 60min should do the job. You could also do a flavor addition of the same hops at 10-15 minutes if you want some hop flavor characteristics, but as far as I can tell you may get closer to what you’re going for without it.

By the way–who was the brewer and what was the beer?

The brewery was great waters brewery in St Paul MN and the beer was just called Bruin. I am not sure on the color of the beer as it was my friend who was the one who tasted and saw the beer. Is 2 lbs of wheat too much? And when you say standard cara malts what kind of malts do you mean by that? This is my first all grain recipe so I am a little new to this. My friend for whom this beer is for usually doesn’t like beer and I am finding that it mostly gets attributted to the hop characteristics in the beer. So I am thinking that is why she liked the beer so much with the strisselalt hops. Good call on the special b though. Although just wondering what would happen if I used that much special b in a recipe?

It sounds like an oud bruin without the sour.

I looked at the oil profile of strisselspalt and it looks close to palisades. The Suggested substitutions are crystal and mt hood which are Hallertau mf derivatives so I would say if you could get that or Saaz those would work too.

I think the mash temp is a little high. I would mash 150~152. Belgian beers aren’t known for being thick and malty.

That yeast sounds great if you can get it.

Two pounds of carawheat sounds good.
I think by cara he means caramel/crystal.

4 Lbs of Special B is way too much. I scanned the chapter on Old Bruin from Michael Jackson’s Great Beers of Belgium. There were only a couple of examples in there, but they use pilsner malt, caramel malts and some roast. I think you could probably get by with
10.5 Lbs Pilsner Malt
1 Lb Cara Munich or English crystal
1/2 Lb Special B

The special B will give you the raisin character that Great Waters talks about on their web site. This beer is supposed to be malty so I would skip the wheat.

The hops that are used at different breweries are East Kent Goldings and Saaz added in one addition for Leifmans, and Northern brewer and Styrians added at Cnuddle so I don’t think you have to stick with Strissel spalt. Just stick with the classics, not the big American C hops and you should be fine. Aim for 20-25 IBUs so the beer stays on the malty side.

Many of these beers have a sour character and that may be why your friend liked it. One of my wife’s friends loved a sour red ale I made because she thought it tasted like wine. I did not think it tasted like wine, but it did have some oak character and low bitterness. You could age some of the beer post fermentation. Do a regular secondary with 4 gallons, and then take the 5th gallon and age it in a gallon jar with plastic wrap over the top of it. This will let it get some exposure to oxygen and sour. You could pasteurize this in a few weeks and blend it into the other beer later. This would hopefully maintain some of the malty character of the beer and add a bit of sourness. I have done some of this with my sour red ales, but I did not pasteurize them because I wanted a lot of sourness.

OK, gotcha…Used teh Google and found this at the brewer’s site:

Belgian Bruin
A Belgian brown ale with plum and raisin flavors and aromas of current and bread.
O.G. 16.8P, 27 IBU, 6.8% ABV

With that starting gravity and ABV, that means the FG was probably around 1.017, which to me is pretty sweet and will swamp out those 27 IBUs pretty easily. I would go with a something like this:

Batch Size (Gal): 5.25 Wort Size (Gal): 5.25

Anticipated OG: 1.069 Plato: 16.89
Anticipated SRM: 20.0
Anticipated IBU: 28.2
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Amount Name Origin Potential SRM

10.50 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row)
1.00 lbs. Crystal 60L
0.50 lbs. Aromatic Malt
0.50 lbs. Special B Malt
1.00 lbs. Belgian D2 Candi Syrup

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time

1.00 oz. Perle Pellet 8.00 25.9 60 min.
1.00 oz. Czech Saaz Pellet 3.50 2.3 5 min.

The crystal might be a bit too much, and the aromatic is my own touch, but otherwise this is a fairly basic dubbel (although a little dark).

Never tasted the beer you’re going for, but without more info we’re throwing darts either way, and this should be a solid Belgian that matches what we know…

If you have not tasted Oud Bruin, you should try to get a bottle of Leifman’s Goudenband. It went away for a year or two, but I think Moortgat (the Duvel brewery) bought them, and the beer is again available in the U.S. It has more sweetness and sour than a Dubbel, and does not have the spicy, yeast character that a Dubbel sometimes has. It is more like a sweeter Flander’s Red without the oak/vanilla character. These beers are aged in stainless instead of oak and then blended which is why they are less sour. There are two varieties that I have seen in Texas. One is aged on cherries, and both versions are very tasty, but my friend thinks they taste different from the versions we got a few years ago. I like them better because they are not oxidized.

Rustyhoover I think your recipe looks good except I would skip the candi syrup. You want the beer to be malty sweet with a dry tart finish. I would also skip the aroma hops. Check out the Leifmans web site for more info.

Could be right about the Candi…I like it in my dubbels, but have no idea if it’s right for this. I think I copied the late hop addition from NB’s dubbel recipe, although they do it at 10 (I probably did too last time I made it). Definitely not necessary, but I really get just about zero hop aroma from a 5-10 minute addition. Probably the fault of my chronic sinus problems and at least a little hop desensitization…

By the way, this topic is reminding me of Pierre Celis’ Signature Series Grotten Brown Ale. I haven’t seen it around for at least a year or two, but that stuff is fantastic…

Definitely different than a dubbel. Think Sweet malty brown ale with a slight sourness like a lambic.

I loved the Grotten Brown, but I liked the blond version even better. I bought it every time I saw it. Maybe it is good it went away. I would check beer advocate to see if it is still being brewed. I think I saw that it had been retired.

Back to Shopping at