Flanders Red Ale Recipe
credit: Smabs SputzerIt’s always exciting using an ingredient you’ve never tried before and in this case it’s the yeast blend. Brewing sour ales is something I’ve only ever dabbled in but on a recent trip to Brussels I got to try a variety of beers that are fermented with wild yeast creating, depending on the beer in question something extremely sour to something with a mild acidity or sourness.
Flemish Red Ale
Having tried a a couple of the Rodenbach Breweries beers I was inspired to try brewing my own Flanders Red Ale using the Wyeast Roselare yeast strain.
Here’s a bit of background on Flanders Red from wikipedia:
Flanders red ale is a style of sour ale usually brewed in Belgium. Although sharing a common ancestor with English porters of the 17th century, the Flanders red ale has evolved along a different track: the beer is often fermented with organisms other than Saccharomyces cerevisiae, especially Lactobacillus, which produces a sour character attributable to lactic acid. Long periods of aging are employed, a year or more, often in oaken barrels, to impart an acetic acid character to the beer. Special red malt is used to give the beer its unique color and often the matured beer is blended with a younger batch before bottling to balance and round the character.
Flanders reds have a strong fruit flavor similar to the aroma, but more intense. Plum, prune, raisin and raspberry are the most common flavors, followed by orange and some spiciness. All Flanders red ales have an obvious sour or acidic taste, but this characteristic can range from moderate to strong. There is no hop bitterness, but tannins are common. Consequently, Flanders red ales are often described as the most “wine-like” of all beers.
Notable examples include Duchesse de Bourgogne and Rodenbach.
Now I’m not going to be fermenting in oak barrels but am hoping the choice of yeast given enough time will give the beer some of that tart and sour quality that I found so appealing in Belgium.
The recipe is based loosely on what I’ve found others to commonly use but modified to what I have available in my supplies, the malt bill is quite large for the style compared to say Rodenbach Grand Cru.
Batch Size: 19 Litres
Original Gravity: 1.061
Final Gravity: 1.008
Bitterness (IBU): 15.4
Est. Colour (EBU): 30.2
|Amount||Item||Type||% or IBU|
|2.13 kg||Pilsner Malt (3.3 EBC)||Grain||35.03%|
|1.60 kg||Munich Malt (19.7 EBC)||Grain||26.32%|
|1.60 kg||Vienna Malt (6.9 EBC)||Grain||26.32%|
|0.25 kg||Belgian Special B (289.6 EBC)||Grain||4.11%|
|0.25 kg||CaraMunich I (69.0 EBC)||Grain||4.11%|
|0.25 kg||Wheat Malt (4.9 EBC)||Grain||4.11%|
|20.80 gm||Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (90 min)||Hops||14.8 IBU|
|1 Pkgs||Wyeast 3763-Roselare Belgian Blend||Yeast-Ale|
From what I’ve read the the bug in this yeast blend takes a while to come through in the beer. Therefore it will need plenty of aging in secondary before it’s going to be ready and perhaps require a year to reach maturity.