2020-03-15

25A - Belgian Blond

BJCP Style: 25A - Belgian Blond

Since having Duvel's Single Fermented Blond which is a lighter, hoppy (dry-hopped with Citra) version of their Golden Strong, I've been wanting to make one of these. This will have the usual light base (possibly a bit purple... read on...), Duvel yeast (Wyeast 1388), and a mix of classic and modern hops.

UPDATE: This got fully clear (see later pics) right about the time the keg kicked and reinforced the idea that beers made with the Duvel strain must be allowed to clear to reach their full potential. I was not a fan of this while it was conditioning at all, and thought it was a failed batch. Once clear however, everything opened up and the dials were set to their optimal positions. This was a fantastic Belgian Blond bordering on IPA with the Citra dry hops. I would make again and this time be a little more patient.

Full Recipe is on BrewersFriend but here's the TL;DR:
  • 2020-3-14 (Pi day!): Brewday
  • Malts: Weyermann Pils and Munich I
  • Hops: [Magnum] (Fuggle/Loral/Mosaic) {Citra}
  • Yeast: Wyeast 1388 (Duvel); G2 after BSP
  • OG: 15.4°P; FG: 2°P; ABV: 7.2%
  • 2020-3-28: Dry hopped 
  • 2020-4-2: Cold crashed (fridge)
  • 2020-4-5: In keg (not in keezer)
  • 2020-4-12: moved to keezer and tapped 
Milling pils and munich malts

Crush

Flame on

Mash temp

Mashing for 1hr

Brew session beer: The Crushinator - Czech(ish) Pale Lager

Assortment of hops

Purple yeast? Hear me out: this is a leftover slurry from the previous Belgian Strong Pinot hybrid brew. I'm interested to see if any of the color carries over to the Blond and turns it a bit pink/purple...

Floor Manager Steve felt the need to attack this bag:

2020-3-15 (+1) Away we go - one day of activity with Purple Yeast™

2020-3-28 (+13): 7g/L Citra dry-hops added

2020-4-5 (+22): cold crashed for a few days in the fridge. ready to go into the keg. I don't have a spot in the keezer yet so this will have to wait to get tapped...

dry-hop layer

2020-4-9 (+26): sample taken from the kegging leftovers. Big citra aroma with a balanced malt that finishes slightly sweet.

2020-4-19 (+36): been on tap for a while but this yeast is sloooooow to drop clear. Hopefully soon. Tasting hoppy with low bitterness and distinctly 'Belgian' which is what we were after. I typically give beers made with 1388 2 months to clear so it has some keg-lagering time to go still.

2020-5-3 (+50): Finally clear and tasting fantastic. The keg kicked shortly after this which is too bad - most was consumed before it finished and there is such a huge difference within days of dropping 100% clear. I will make this again but give it more time to condition.

2020-5-10 (+57): Though the keg kicked a couple of days ago, I saved a 500ml can to compare with the Duvel version. The homebrew is darker because of Munich malt, though with the transfer and time in the can there is a possibility of oxidation. There is a more pronounced spicy yeast character in the homebrew while the Duvel is much more subtle all around. It's super clean and crisp like a Big Belgian Pilsner. I'll try this again but go all pils malt next time.