Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Brew Day 9/22/12

Cuivre means “copper” in French. Since my Penny Bier went sour, I’ve been wanting to get another stab at table beer for the holidays and this is it- A second, much more focused attempt at a small Dubbel; or a “Table Strength Belgian Amber” to be more specific. Copper colored, single strength, mellow, fruity, and spicy. Penny Bier take 2.

One of my favorite not-pale beer styles (at least in the winter) is Abbey Dubbel -- I love the complexity and warmth that Belgian yeast strains can bring to a simple brown grain bill. I find that when they are done right, the rich, sweet complexity of the spicy and fruity Belgian yeast compliments the slightly toasty malt bill without being overwhelmingly fruity and sweet the way Belgian Golden Strong Ales or Tripels are. I think that the spicy, warming, rich and earthy character of darker belgian beers makes for a perfect holiday beverage, and I want to have something that pairs well with roasted meat and veggies without filling you up or getting you too “toasty” ready for the family Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, so I whipped up a lower ABV dark Belgian.

Cuivre (Amber Belgian Table Bier): This is almost a SMaSH (Single Malt and Single Hop), but the use of Willamette hops as the bittering charge and the lb of dark Belgian candi syrup at flame out DQ it in that dept. Still though, 100% Vienna Malt for the grain bill and Saaz hops as the only flavoring addition should make for a wonderfully simple palate of warm bready malt and spicy-sweet hop aromas as the backdrop for the earthy, dark fruit, and clove dimensions contributed from the Abbey yeast and candi syrup. The Chimay yeast fermented at a relatively low temp should keep the bubblegum and banana phenols to a minimum and hopefully let the spice and plum-skin esters shine through. Light bodied and full flavored, with just enough subtle bitterness to keep it from feeling too sweet-- I’m looking to achieve a nice depth without noisy complexity.

The Recipe (for 5 gal):

10 lbs Vienna Malt - 90%
1 lb D-90 Dark Candi Syrup - 10%

1 oz Willamette @ FWH

2 oz Czech Saaz @ 15min

Pitched 2 viles WLP500 (Chimay strain) @ 75F with .5 tab Servomicies. Quickly dropped to ferment at 66F for 5 days and then up to 75F to clean up. **Would have loved to pitch at 65F, but the fridge was being kooky**

Used Sonora Tap H2O with .5 g/gal gypsum for pale/balanced water profile and mash PH.

Mashed at 155F for 75min. Mash Out at 168F for 10 min.
Batch Sparge
60min boil

Collected 4.5 gal after boil and hop trub removal.

OG: 1.052= 63% efficiency

FG: 1.011= 5.4% ABV
Calculated SRM: 14
Calculated IBU: Garetz 28, Tinseth 33

9/23- Down to 66F after cooling overnight, small krausen.

9/27- called Annette to turn chamber up to 75F.

9/13- Kel added 1oz gelatin.

9/14- Bottled with Carbonation drops. FG@ 1.011

12/6/12- Been drinking it since Thanksgiving. Its OK. A start at the recipe, but I need to skip the Vienna malt and ferment hotter next time. Probably switch out hops too.

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