Another regular feature, here at Ales From the Hood, will be some of my favorite recipes: here’s the first one.
“Feels Like the First Time” is a strong, Belgian-style ale. When made properly, this recipe comes very close to Chimay Red (a classic “Dubbel“). So close, in fact, that it’s almost painful. A lot like, you know, the first time. Thus the name…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Recipe Type: Extract
Volume: 5 gallons
- .5 lb. Belgian Special Roast Malt
- .5 lb. English Crystal Malt (80L)
- 10 lbs. Sparkling Amber malt extract (liquid)
- 1.5 cups Belgian candy sugar
- 1 tablespoon, Irish moss
- 5 US. Gallons distilled water
- 1 oz. Northern brewer
- 1 oz. Cascade
- 1 oz. Chinook
- Wyeast #1214 “Belgian Abbey” (get the “Propagator” [small] pack).
- Bring 2.5 gal. to 150 degrees. Add grains. Reduce heat to “Low.”
- Steep grains for 30 min. at +/- 150 degrees F.
- Reduce heat, add extract, sugar, additional 2.5 gallon of distilled water, and northern brewer hops.
- At the first sign of boil, add Cascade hops. Bring to full boil.
- After full boil for 30 minutes, add Chinook hops.
- After full boil for 45 minutes, add Irish moss.
- After full boil for 60 minutes, turn off heat, cool to 72 deg. F, pitch yeast.
- Pitch Wyeast #1214 pitched directly from pack (do not make starter) into wort at 72 deg. F
- Maintain fermentation temperature at around 70-76 degrees.
- Ferment for 10 days
- Prime with 1 cup corn sugar/3 cups water.
- Bottle condition for at least 14 days
Yeast: it is important to use the “propagator” (small pack) of Wyeast #1214 Belgian Abbey without making starter. Under-pitching is a crucial part of what makes this recipe work. Just smack the packet approximately 36 hours before pitching.
Fermentation: Fermenting above 72 degrees F. is crucial to the overall finished flavor as well. If you ferment cooler than 72 F. the result will not be as complex or estery (and less like Chimay Red as a result).
Aging: This recipe is drinkable after 2 weeks in the bottle, but really starts to shine after two months. Don’t be in too big a hurry to start drinking this one.