Eureka, we travel back again for a past recipe. The following recipe is an attempt to clone the legendary Orval. I did a lot of research to get as many information as possible about the abbey and the brewing process itself. Then blended all the information into a recipe and tweaked it a bit to fit my system and ingredients. I could easily write a whole post about how I came up with the recipe but this would be very boring I guess. Orval is quite different to the other Trappist brews. I assume that Orval is the only Trappist beer made with dry hopping and Brettanomyces. Lets get into the recipe.
|Recipe:||Val de moine|
|Numbers:||Volume [L]||20 (5.3 gal)|
|Terminal gravity||5.2°P (before Brettanomyces did its job)|
|Color||Around 16 EBC|
|Grains:||Pilsner malt (4 EBC)||4.0 kg|
|Cara Munich 1 (90 EBC)||0.7 kg|
|Table sugar (0 EBC)||0.2 kg (added to the boiling wort)|
|Acidified malt (5 EBC)||0.1 kg|
|Hops:||Hallertauer (4% AA)||57 g and boil for 90 min|
|Styrian Goldings (5% AA)||28 g and boil for 15 min|
|Styrian Goldings (5% AA)||28 g and boil for 0 min|
|Styrian Goldings (5% AA)||57 g for dry hopping in secondary fermentation|
|Yeast:||#3522 Belgian Ardennes, 2 Orval dregs added in secondary fermentation|
|Water:||Burgdorf||Mash: 13 L (13.4 gal), sparge: 18 L (4.8 gal) @78°C (172°F)|
|Rest:||Mash schedule||Mash in @66°C (151°F), 60 min @ 72°C (162°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)|
|Boil:||Total 90 min|
|Fermentation:||Primary||7 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a plastic bucket|
|Secondary||28 days @ 20°C (68°F) in a plastic bucket|
|Maturation:||Carbonation (CO2 vol)||3 with table sugar|
|Maturation time||Weeks to years in bottles
05/17/2011: Brew day. Mashed in at 66°C and iodine test was negative after resting for one hour. Then sparged and boiled the wort following the hop additions. Then cooled the wort down to 20°C and pitched Wyeast’s #3522 Belgian Ardennes. I made a starter of the #3522 a few days before.
05/24/2011: Racked into secondary fermentation vessel. Gravity: 9°P. Added dregs of two Orval bottles and the Styrian Goldings for dry hopping.
06/24/2011: Bottled the beer with fresh yeast and some table sugar in 0.75 L champagne bottles. Gravity: 5.2°P. The bottles still mature at around 15°C (59°F).
08/23/2011: First tasting. Beer is nearly two month now.
Aroma: Pepper notes. Aroma reminds my of some sort of candy.
Appearance: Caramel brown, light haze (yeast), long lasting head, nice bubbles
Flavor: Candy notes, pepper (clove), pretty dry, some hop aromas
Mouthfeel: Medium body, average carbonation, short sweet aftertaste
Overall Impression: A very nice brew already. Quite solid! I would definitely drink a second one. The beer still has the character of the Belgian yeast strain (Wyeast’s #3522 Belgian Ardennes) and the hops are still detectable. Typical taste for a fresh beer. But the taste is very different compared to a fresh Orval beer.
12/01/2012: Second tasting. The beer is now nearly seven month old.
Aroma: Hoppy smell (grass note), not funky, multi vitamin fruit juice aroma (pineapple).
Appearance: Orange, nice carbonation visible, 2 finger off-white head, very long lasting. A bit hazy from the yeast sediment in the bottle.
Flavor: Hint of bitterness, notes of oranges, light grassy note as well. No pepper notes anymore. Quite dry.
Mouthfeel: Light- medium body, average carbonation, pretty dry finish, and hints of bitterness in the aftertaste.
Overall Impression: The beer is quite dry and some bitterness shines through. No sourness detectable. Characteristic notes of the Belgian yeast strain are gone. But I would drink another one. It is not bad but less interesting than five month ago. I assume that the grassy notes originate from the hops. I will let it age further and taste it again in June 2012. I will do a vertical tasting of some Orval beers in maybe a year and include my clone as well to get a final answer to the famous “Cloned?” from the podcast “Can you brew it?” I would say that the appearance is already cloned…
Well done! Although you’re not satisfied with the whole results I really like what you’re doing!
MY guess is if you really want to clone Orval you first have to become a Belgian Cistercian Monk! 😉
Hi there Alex,
Thanks! Just had a look on your site and you have a pretty neat brewery yourself. Cool stuff. I hope the beer will turn around in a few months. I’ll have to wait until the Bretts kick in and do their job. And who wouldn’t become a monk to learn the secrets of Orval, right? 🙂