Thursday, February 11th, 2016 by Ben Farhner
I kicked off 2016 by brewing a new recipe as part of the Alchemy series: a Belgian single that I’m simply calling Table Beer. The goal is a highly sessionable Belgian-style pale ale, brewed in the tradition of the patersbier (Dutch for “father’s beer”) that is consumed by the Trappist monks and not typically released to the public. It comes in under 4% ABV, and is complemented by homegrown hops and a hint of spices.
This beer has a very simple recipe, with the grist consisting entirely of Pilsner malt. Saaz hops were used for bittering, while homegrown Mt. Hood hops were used for a light hop flavor and aroma, and coriander and sweet orange peel added with restraint to provide a subtle complexity. It was fermented with a Belgian yeast strain that provides additional fruity and spicy characteristics. The result is a fairly dry pale ale that is refreshing and very easy to drink, yet showcases a distinct Belgian-inspired complexity of flavor.
I force-carbonated half of the 10 gallon batch in a keg, and bottled the remainder for bottle conditioning. It’ll be interesting to compare the two in a couple weeks to see if there’s a noticeable difference between force-carbonating and bottle conditioning this beer. The kegged version already tastes great, though!