Belgian Blond recipe

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Belgian Blond recipe

Postby Bad 'Ed » Sat Oct 29, 2016 16:46

I want to make a Leffe Blonde clone and have found this recipe on Jim's which the poster says is pretty close.

dean_wales wrote:
Leffe Blone Clone

Batch size 5 UK Gallons
Expected efficiency 75%

Fermentables
Wyermann Premiere Pilsner Malt - 5000g
Dingemans Belgian Aromatic Malt - 250g
Thomas Fawcett Pale Wheat Malt - 250g
White Sugar - 680g

Colour 10 EBC

Hops
Hallertauer Hersbrucker - 100g 90min (Full boil)

Bitternes 24 IBU

Yeast
Whitelabs WLP 500 Trappist Yeast (Half a vial stepped up in a one - two litre starter)

Target OG: 1.059
Target FG: 1.009

Alcohol: 6.6% abv


I've got some lager malt which I want to use up - I assume it's not going to make too much of a difference? Similarly, how important are the noble hops do you think? I have some old british hops which I am thinking of substituting as there shouldn't be too much of the flavour carrying through to the final beer.

Edit: changed the title from Leffe Blonde Clone to better describe the thread for future readers.

Last edited by Bad 'Ed on Sun Oct 30, 2016 22:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Leffe Blonde clone

Postby Aleman » Sat Oct 29, 2016 17:39

Bad 'Ed wrote:I want to make a Leffe Blonde clone and have found this recipe on Jim's which the poster says is pretty close.

<snip>

I've got some lager malt which I want to use up - I assume it's not going to make too much of a difference? Similarly, how important are the noble hops do you think? I have some old british hops which I am thinking of substituting as there shouldn't be too much of the flavour carrying through to the final beer.

So in reality you want to make a beer a little bit like Leffe Blonde but are not really bothered if it is olny somewhere in the ball park a little bit?

If that is the case you substitutions are probably ok :D Actually as most of the character comes from the yeast, it's more important you get that right than the base malts and hops . . . I'd say that the adjuncts should not be messed with, and ideally the sugar should be candi, or at least invert . . . possibly going as far as No 2

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Re: Leffe Blonde clone

Postby Bad 'Ed » Sat Oct 29, 2016 20:37

Aleman wrote:So in reality you want to make a beer a little bit like Leffe Blonde but are not really bothered if it is olny somewhere in the ball park a little bit?


Ha, yes. It was worded in a bit of a douche way. I was looking through the recipe books for something new I could use the ageing lager malt in, Belgian Blonde came up as a style so I googled Leffe.

What I should have asked is whether the hop switch would be very noticeable or whether it would still taste like a Belgian Blonde ale as long as the hops I used were fairly bland. I'm not going to be doing any leffe comparisons.

Also, what's the difference in flavour between lager and pilsner malt? Could I add something to make up for the switch?

I'll look into the sugar; I think Kyle or Good Ed posted a how to on making them.

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Re: Leffe Blonde clone

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Sun Oct 30, 2016 08:20

I have tried and failed many times to brew a Leffe Blonde clone. I can never get that illusive hint of cloves.

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Re: Leffe Blonde clone

Postby serum » Sun Oct 30, 2016 09:58

For leffe you want enough sweetness at the end and a decent bit of wheat as that carries through in the flavour. 500 is probably the right yeast.

I wouldn't mash too low or maybe think about a step mash as leffe has quite a bit of body compared to some others.

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Re: Leffe Blonde clone

Postby Bad 'Ed » Sun Oct 30, 2016 13:31

INDIAPALEALE wrote:I have tried and failed many times to brew a Leffe Blonde clone. I can never get that illusive hint of cloves.


What's been your favourite recipe so far?

serum wrote:For leffe you want enough sweetness at the end and a decent bit of wheat as that carries through in the flavour. 500 is probably the right yeast.

I wouldn't mash too low or maybe think about a step mash as leffe has quite a bit of body compared to some others.


What were you thinking of mash temps (the recipe below suggests 70c which seems very high)? I've not seen anyone mention step mashes in the limited research I've done so far but they are easy for me to do. Also, have you got a preference between the WLP500 and WLP530? I've not tried either so I'm happy to be persuaded by someone who has.

Another recipe below is actually pretty different to the first one I posted. He also professes to have done a successful side by side test (with BJCP judges), which is surprising given the differences in recipe. Good news is that he uses English hops for the bittering and other malts that I already have. I'm not a big fan of following American recipies though as whenever I follow them the beer doesn't usually taste how I remember the style. Maybe it's my brewing, maybe it's the BJCP interpretation. Not that it matters. I just want a decent version of the style rather than an exact Leffe clone so it should be ok. As Aleman says, I expect the success or otherwise of this beer to be a decent ferment with the appropriate yeast.

Revvy wrote:Leffe Blonde Clone

Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
9 lbs 13.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 81.61 %
1 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 8.32 %
5.3 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2.75 %
3.5 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 1.83 %

1.36 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (60 min) Hops 23.4 IBU
0.71 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (30 min) Hops 7.0 IBU

10.6 oz Sugar, Table (Last 15 minutes of boil) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 5.49 %

1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) Yeast-Ale

Mash In: Add 14.20 qt of water at 178.4 F
Hold mash at 158.0 F for 45 min

Boil Time: 90 min (Pilsner malts)

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Re: Leffe Blonde clone

Postby serum » Sun Oct 30, 2016 15:34

I'm sure brew like a monk has a mash schedule in it, I'll have a look but all Belgians do it. Americans are dead against it and I've never known why. 70 may work as leffe is really sweet. The sugar will dry it out.

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Re: Leffe Blonde clone

Postby Monte Cristo » Sun Oct 30, 2016 18:48

Here is a recipe for Leffe i was looking at the other day http://www.candisyrup.com/uploads/6/0/3 ... _-_040.pdf
They reckon they have it pretty close. :hat:

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Re: Belgian Blond recipe

Postby Bad 'Ed » Sun Oct 30, 2016 23:13

I've changed the thread title to just find a Belgian Blonde as I've realised that's what I'm really after.

The Brewing Classic Styles book has a blonde that just has Pilsner, wheat and sugar. I think I'm going to keep it simple the first time, especially as I'm swapping the lager malt in. I might even spend the ££ on noble hops despite having far too many hops in the freezer already, just to keep the modifications down.

A lot of you boys seem to like the Belgian beers, anyone got a tried and tested recipe?

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Re: Belgian Blond recipe

Postby serum » Sun Oct 30, 2016 23:48

I think this would work well. It's based on some blonds and saisons I've done and should be decent:

3kg Dingemans Pilsner
2kg Dingemans Pale
350g Sugar

Challenger or Northern Brewer to bitter
Kent Goldings or Bobek at 30 mins left
Saaz or Hallertauer at 5 mins left

Use the same amount of hops for bittering and at 5 mins with about half as much for the middle addition and aim for about 25-30 IBU.

You could use WLP 500, 530 or 550. I really like 550 but it can finish fairly dry. 500 will be sweeter and 530 spicier.

You could also try changing the malt bill to 3.5kg pilsner and 1.5kg wheat if you like wheat. Depending on your system you might want some oat husks in there.

The brewing classic styles one will be decent too. I'd keep it simple. From what I've seen a lot of what the Belgians do is through technique and not fancy recipes, whereas books from the USA use much more complicated grain bills to get the body.

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