Duplicating a Brew? Ask the Pro’s!

It is technically an Enkel or single as it has ABV of around 5%. Other Belgium styles are Dubbel (ABV 6-8%) or the Tripel, which can be as high as 10%. Stan Hieronymus , author of “Brew Like a Monk”, describes Monk’s Ale, “It’s along the lines of the beers Trappist breweries produce for the monks themselves to drink but don’t sell commercially (such as Westmalle Extra and Chimay Doree). A 1.052 (13 degrees Plato) beer, it’s 4.7% abv and 16 IBUs. The grain bill included two-row pale, honey malt and aromatic malt, and Monk’s Ale was hopped with Hallertauer, Styrian Goldings and Czech Saaz.”. Monk’s Ale is one of my favorite New Mexico produced beers. I wanted to brew it, but of course I needed to amp it up! I decided to make a Tripel. Stan’s hints led to a recipe for the beer.What I wanted to capture was the Belgian crispness, but with the American influences of two-row malt, honey malt, and the hops selections. First I chose the style in Beersmith.This gave me the parameters of color, starting and finishing gravity, and IBU’s that I would need for a beer true to style. I then chose grains, hops, and other ingredients to get my parameters close.
Here is the real key to crafting a great beer: I talked to friends who know beer to get their opinions! I let my brewing buddies know what I wanted to do. I talked to my friend Kevin Davis of Southwest Grape and Grain (now Boxing Bear Brewery). I tried to call Brad Kraus in Santa Fe who originally made the recipe, but he had moved to South America to open a brewery. I phoned the current brewer of Monk’s Ale and he graciously gave me the key to the Monastery, the strain of yeast being used for the beer. My recipe was complete!Please don’t be afraid to call professionals. Brewers can be the most generous and sharing people I have ever met. It really is about the craft. There aren’t a lot of beer secrets. It’s about execution and the love of the art.It was a great brew day as we gathered multiple samples of the style, and spent an afternoon brewing, “sampling”, BBQing, talking about beer, and being with friends and family who love beer. The fermentation was slow, even with a starter, and it took a long time in both the primary and secondary. After almost two months, the beer was still. I bottled it all up for a long conditioning period. I got an inspiration and did not use priming sugar; rather I used carbonation drops: 1 for the 12oz, 2 for the 22oz bombers, and 3 for the 1L pop top bottles. The beer tasted way too sweet when I was bottling, even though the gravity was spot on. I seriously doubted I had hit the mark.Another two months later, after almost forgetting about the beer in the pantry (yeah, right!) , I took one out. Hmm, nice layer of yeast at the bottom? Hmm, clear? Chilled it down and popped the first one. Still a little sweet but getting better… Another two weeks later, another sample drying out and converging on the mark… After three more weeks later of conditioning ? WOW! The beer gods smiled upon my Trappist experiment and blessed me with the best beer I have ever made.Moral of the story (this is about a Trappist beer after all) – brewing is about the craft. When you follow the basics of sanitation and temperature, almost any home brew recipe will be drinkable. If you love the beer and take the time to truly craft it, you most likely will end up with something special!The RecipeCZSO TripelColor 7.6 SRMIBU 28OG 1.078FG 1.01410 Gallon All Grain11 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US11 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter1 lbs Honey Malt1 lbs Munich Malt12.0 oz AromaticMash 75 Minutes at 149 31 quarts of water.Mash out 5 gallons to bring to 168 (10 minutes)Fly sparge with 3.32 gal water at 168.0 F90 Minute Boil2.00 oz Hallertauer Boil 50 Minutes1.00 oz US Fuggles Boil 50 Minutes2.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (15 minutes)1.00 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (15 Minutes)2.00 oz Saaz (10 minute)1.00 oz Styrian Goldings (10 minute)2 lbs Candi Sugar, Clear (5 minute)8.0 oz Honey (5) minute)Yeast White Labs WLP550 in a 1 liter starter with 1 cup Light DME, 6 hop pelletsFerment 5 days at 68Ferment 5 Days at 78Carbonate at 2.5 VolumesThis beer takes a good 4-6 months to condition in the bottle.
***Paul is the Director of Business Development at Great River Technology. Paul resides in Albuquerque, is married to Susan and has two children, Grace (8) and Hannah (13). In his spare time, he golfs, tinkers, and makes award winning beer!The “Head to Head” campaign is about the art and craft of beer. This is not “Hell’s Brewery” or “Beer Survivor”, “Head to Head” is not about humiliation! The show will honor the love of beer and beer culture and will be made with the same level of craft and art that is making Craft Beer and Micro Breweries so popular today.My vision is to produce a show that captures why people love this and why people do this as a hobby and do this for a living. Please lift a virtual pint to us and help this get made!Prost! Paulhttp://www.indiegogo.com/projects/head-2-head

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