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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Belgian Table Beer

This is another one I have been working on for awhile - a year and a half maybe.  I have brewed about 5 different versions of this with a couple of different people, getting feedback (thanks to Push Eject, David Howes, Matt Staley, and Nate Smith for the ideas!), and just plugging away.  The more I brew, the less I want to brew new beers and just dial in my recipes.  They need it, trust me.

I had been requested to brew this for a friends wedding, to be served along side Lagunitas and Russian River, which is quite an honor for me.  While my friends have not had this variation, I think they will love it, as it is the best one I have made so far.

The goal was to clone Westvleteren 6, the table beer of the monks at the Westvleteren brewery in Belgium.   After Justin brought that back for me two years ago, I have been dreaming of that thing.  The beer is crisp, dry, slightly bitter - some would say too bitter for the "style", and possibly the best Belgian beer I have ever had.

Anyway, boring story short (too late), here is my recipe.  If you brew it, please let me know what you think.  I'm not saying this is the recipe to end all clones, but if you are looking for a beer like Westy 6, this will get you most of the way, I think.

11 gallons
90 min boil
70% Eff.
1.050 SG
WLP 530 @ 75F

17 lbs. Belgian Pilsner Malt
1.5 lbs. German Munich
1 lb. Table Sugar

1.25 oz. Magnum @ 14% AA for 60 min
1.5 oz. Saaz @ 4% AA for 10 min
1 oz. Styrian Goldings @ 5.4% AA for 5

Now, the next time I brew this I'm going to try and dry it out somehow - it's a bit more malty than the commercial example, and it could you a more firm bitterness, but overal it is a super drinkable 5% beer.  Again, if you brew it, let me know.  And maybe consider hitting that "donate" button up top there (cough cough).