Belgian pale strong ales are pale to golden in
color with relatively light body for a beer of its alcoholic
strength. Often brewed with light colored Belgian "candy" sugar,
these beers are well-attenuated. The perception of hop
bitterness is low to medium, with hop flavor and aroma also in
this range. These beers are highly attenuated and have a
perceptively deceiving high alcoholic character being light to
medium bodied rather than full bodied. The intensity of malt
character should be low to medium, often surviving along with a
complex fruitiness. Very little or no diacetyl is perceived.
Herbs and spices are sometimes used to delicately flavor these
strong ales. Chill haze is allowable at cold temperatures. The
following recipe is a clone of Belgium's most popular strong ale
8 ounces German light crystal malt
4 ounces Belgian aromatic malt
6-1/2 pounds extra-light DME
1 pound Belgian clear candi sugar
2-1/3 pounds corn sugar
3 ounces Styrian Goldings hops
1/2 ounce Saaz hops
1 ounce pear flavoring
1 teaspoon Irish moss
Yeast recultured from bottle of Duvel or
Belgian strong ale yeast
3/4 cup corn sugar
Place the crushed specialty grains in a
nylon hop bag and steep them in 1 gallon of preheated 150º
water for 30 minutes.
Drain and discard the spent grains.
Bring at least 3 gallons of liquor to a
boil, remove the brew kettle from the heat source then stir
in the extract, the candi sugar, 1-1/3 pounds of the corn
sugar and 2 ounces of the Styrian Goldings hops.
Return the brew kettle to the heat source
and boil for 45 minutes, then add 1/2 ounces of the Styrian
Goldings hops, the Saaz hops and the Irish moss.
Boil for an additional 12 minutes, then add
the rest of the Styrian Goldings hops.
Boil for the final 3 minutes, then remove
the brew kettle from the heat source, cover it and drop the
temperature of the wort as quickly as possible to 77º F.
Once the wort has cooled to below 77º F,
take an original gravity reading, pour the wort into a
primary fermenter through a funnel with a strainer and add
enough cool water to create 5 gallons.
Once the wort has been transferred to the
primary fermenter, pitch the yeast, stir the wort
vigorously, seal the fermenter with an airlock and ferment
at 70º-73º F for a week.
Rack the beer to a secondary fermenter, add
1 pound of corn sugar boiled in 1 pint of water and the pear
flavoring and allow the beer to finish fermentation.
Once fermentation is complete, rack the beer
to a bottling bucket, prime with the corn sugar and bottle
and condition for at least 5 weeks before drinking.