Batard de Belgique


The long, rather cool mash seemed to break down the dexterine malt more than I would have liked, and I only had 1–1/2 ounces of hops around, so the batch is underhopped. I didn’t notice a lot of banana ester during the fermentation, and it tasted sweetish and has a somewhat strong molasses note at bottling, with a noticible, but not too strong, banana component. Underneath was the characteristic woody-spicy accents I associate with Chimay. One week after bottling, the banana seemed to subside, and things seemed to be going along rather nicely. However, at two weeks after bottling, the banana component came back with a vengence! I dropped off a 6-pack for one of my brewing comrades, and he called me yesterday to say that it was “rudely banana.”

I hope the esters subside with age, as it is overpowering right now. On opening, a bottle almost fills the room with the ripe banana smell. The taste is intensely banana!!! Fermentation was at about 70-75, for what it’s worth.Only time will tell, I guess…

  • 6 pounds, U.S. 2–row malt
  • 3–1/4 pounds, dexterine malt
  • 2 pounds, unmalted wheat
  • 1 pound, light brown sugar
  • 1 cup, blackstrap molasses
  • 1–1/2 ounce, East Kent Goldings hops (6.1% alpha)
  • Chimay yeast
  • 2/3 cup, corn sugar (priming)
OG: 1.070 (5–3/4 gallons) FG: 1.011

Cook 1/2 pound 2–row malt and 2 pounds of unmalted wheat in 4–5 quarts of water until gelatinized (about 45 minutes). Mix cooked wheat into main mash water and stir until well mixed. Mash in: 12 quarts at 138F. Protein rest: 30 minutes at 126–131F. Mash: 2 hours at 148–152. Mash out: 5 minutes at 170. Sparge: 6–1/2 gallons at 170. Boil 2–1/2 hours adding hops 60 minutes from the end of the boil.

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