Monthly Archives: December 2018

Batch 48: Snowdrop

Brew date: Dec 27, 2018
Bottling date: Jan 12, 2019

In an effort to diversify my brewing experience and have something different to drink, but still well suited to my brewing equipment, I am brewing an assortment of Abbey ales over the next while. First up is a Tripel, with Tripel Karmeliet being a primary inspiration.

I chose Escarpment Labs’ Dry Belgian ale yeast because of its high attenuation and lower levels of phenols, though this is based on literature as I’ve never used the yeast. Also, with 180B cells, I feel comfortable pitching it into my half batch (10L) without a starter.

Grain bill is based on the Karmeliet clone found here, with some changes.  With oat malt being a bit tough to find in bulk, I opted to write that out of the recipe. I also made other simplifications (ie no flaked barley) because I prefer to start simple and work up from there to better understand the contribution of each component.

Target OG: 1.081
Target FG: 1.012
Target IBU: 29

10L batch brewed on Grainfather:

Water Adjustments:
1g CaCl
2g Gypsum
2g Chalk
6g 88% lactic acid

Mash Steps:
dough in at 131F (12L)
30 minutes at 145F
10 minutes at 151F
20 minutes at 160F
Mash out at 170F
Sparge 6.25L at 170F

Boil: 90 minutes

Bohemian Pilsner malt – 2.50 kg (73.5%)
Wheat malt – 0.30 kg (8.8%)
Table sugar – 0.30 kg (8.8%) added after high krausen
Flaked wheat – 0.15 kg (4.4%)
Flaked oats – 0.15 kg (4.4%)

20g Hallertau at 60 minutes (22.3 AAU)
15g Saaz at 15 minutes (7 IBU)

Other Additions:
Peel of 1/2 lemon, shaved – added as a tea with the sugar
1/2 tsp Coriander seeds, whole – added as a tea with the sugar


Escarpment Labs “Dry Belgian ale”
Pitch at 66F, let free rise in 68F ambient

Actual OG: 1.073
Actual FG: 1.004
Actual ABV: 9.2%

Bottle conditioned to 3.4 vols CO2 (84g table sugar into 9L bottling volume).


Post-boil gravity 1.059, no sugar. Upped the sugar addition from 300g to 325g to help offset the lower-than-expected gravity.

As you can see, this beer dried right out! Escarpment Dry Belgian is a diastatic yeast, and it showed. I am glad I came in under gravity to account for this; even still it is exceedingly high ABV.

For the second iteration of this beer, I would like to keep the grist and hopping the same, as those profiles were great, but double the lemon and coriander (and maybe add some cardamom as well). I will also try with WLP500 next time for hopefully a more Trappist-like yeast profile.

Competition Results

3rd place (of 30 entries) – Cowtown Yeast Wranglers 2019
Score sheet results 43/50, 39/50

3rd place (of 12 entries) – Lethbridge WertContest 2019
Score sheet results TBD

Tasting Notes:

[Feb 13, 2019]  Carb is great, gradual gush but the head is extremely long lasting, pillowy, and has great cling. Medium gold in colour with chill haze. Aroma is banana and clove in equal measure on the phenolics, which are moderate, and some underripe peach character also. No alcohol noticed on the aroma. Taste wise, the carbonation dances on your tongue but the heat on the back end is noticable. Low to no fusels, but very warming and a bit young-tasting there. Nice crackery malt with light floral notes and alcohol flavours reminiscent of Piraat from my memory. Nice! Very, very dry. Could honestly stand to be less dry.