Chimay White Clone

I have successfully cloned the Chimay Red and Blue. My next attempt will be the Chimay White, known as a Belgian Trippel; or is it Dubbel?

Trippel it is

DSCN0715

Too bad it’s not 5 cents. A bottle this size from your local store is about $13. A five gallon batch will have about 30 bottles this size for about $60.

See? Homebrewing is not only fun, it’s economical.

There are lots of recipes out there and some are way off…like the one I was going to use. Further research caused me to change my plans and the following is what I came up with.

8 lbs Light DME

2 Wyeast 1214, one for priming

1 lb Belgian clear candi sugar

4 oz special B malt

4 oz torrefied wheat malt

4 oz caramel wheat malt

1 oz Styrian Goldings pellets

1 oz Hallertauer leaf hops

I boiled 2 C water and 1/2 C DME for minutes and let cool the night before.

I smacked the yeast and added it to the cooled starter at bedtime. It was ready the next morning.

First, I heated 2 gallons of water to 160°. Putting all the grains in a grain bag, I put them into the heated water and set a timer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another pan, I heated a gallon of water to 160°. I will use this to rinse (sparge) the grains when they are done steeping.

Try to maintain your steeping temp around 160°. It’s not going to hurt if it drops a little below, or a little above. Be sure it does not get over 170°, as this will bring out tannins and other undesirable flavors from the grains. Likewise, do not let it go below 150°, or all you have is hot cereal.

After the allotted time is reached, I use a large colander over the pot, and put the grain bag in it, then rinse the grains with the other pot of heated water. No rush.

When rinsing is done, I put the colander into the other pot and let it finish draining. I will add those few ounces of mash later in the  boil.

Also while this was going on, in yet another pot, I put the candi sugar with just enough water to cover it over low heat. Stir occasionally to keep from burning. Keep this warm and add the dissolved mixture at 50 minutes into the boil. It’s better if it’s boiling too or you will stop your main boil.

Now heat our now 3 gallons of water to close to boiling, and remove from heat. Add and dissolve all the DME. Be absolutely sure that every morsel is dissolved or it will burn, ruining the whole batch.

Return to boil, start the count up timer, and monitor closely until hot break is reached; about 4-5 minutes. After that, we can relax a little.

I use a yeast fuel and I add that capsule now.

At 30 minutes into the boil I added the Styrian Golding pellets; 1 ounce. (St. Celiena).

At 45 minutes, I added 1/2 ounce German Hallertauer whole leaf hops.

At 50 minutes, I added our dissolved candi sugar. Watch for boilover.

At 53 minutes, I added another 1/2 ounce German Hallertauer whole leaf hops.

At the end of the boil, I put the pot in the sink with ice water. I further added two ziploc gallon bags with ice in them (I make my own cubes with bottled water).  It took fifteen minutes to drop the temp from boiling, to 80°. Not bad.

I realize this particular beer is supposed to ferment at around 65°, but here in south Texas, the only way that would happen is if I cranked the a/c down to 60…not happening.

I poured the wort through a funnel strainer into a 6 1/2 gallon carboy. I added bottled water to make 5 gallons. I used an aerator for a few minutes, checked the OG, then pitched yeast starter.

The OG was 1.070.

For this particular style of beer, we’re not looking for an FG of 1/4 the OG. This beer should finish out almost to zero, as that is the style; a champagne like beer. It should be very dry with a light hop flavor and nose.

Now we wait.

Update:

It took about six hours for the ferment to begin. 24 hours later, it’s really going nicely.

Update 4/7

I racked today. The gravity is at 1.012.

A little CO2 activity when I tested the gravity.

I’ll probably let it sit at least another week to finish and clear, then bottle at that time.

Update 4/16

Bottling day today. I  have been rinsing and sanitizing the Grolsh bottles this morning; 30 of them at 16 oz each, a clear glass fliptop bottle that holds around 28 oz, and several plastic bottles that hold at least 32 oz.

I have boiled my 2 C water with slightly more than 3/4 C corn sugar, and it’s been cooling to room temp since early this morning.

I smacked my other Wyeast 1214 last night, and it has expanded successfully.

We are ready to bottle.

Update…all done. The FG was 1.010. I did not check it until after the corn sugar and yeast was added.

Update: tasting

This recipe does not taste like the commercial Chimay White. As I mentioned above, there were several recipes out there that varied greatly between them.

If I made this again, I would do without the caramunich and special B malt.

The beer tastes pretty good, and it is very strong. I suppose I should take a picture and post it. Will get back to you on that. It has a strong head and a mild hop aroma.

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