#50 The Folly Flanders Brown

Eureka, its time for another recipe. This particular recipe is batch number 50 so far. I chose to brew a Flanders Brown Ale for this occasion because I really like this particular style very much. I will celebrate this milestone with at least a glass of Rodenbach Grand Cru poured from a draft (although it is not a Flanders Brown but I don’t care about that). Man am I lucky…. my favorite bar managed to get a keg of Rodenbach’s Grand Cru and will put it on tap soon. Can’t wait to try it. However, this post is about a recipe for a Flanders Brown. There is one beer I never had so far but heard so much about it. I am talking about La Folie from New Belgium. This beer inspired me to make something similar to the La Folie. And this led my to the La Folie Clone recipe from No Limit Brewing. And I more or less used the posted recipe there and made some minor changes (some of them were not intended…). Lets go through the recipe:

Recipe: The Folly Brown Ale
Numbers: Volume [L] 41 (10.8 gal)
Original gravity 15.7°P
Terminal gravity N/A
Color Around 24 EBC
ABV >7 %
Grains: Pilsner malt (4 EBC) 1.0 kg
Pale malt (6.5 EBC) 7.0 kg
Munich malt (14.5 EBC) 1 kg
Cara Munich 2 (120 EBC) 0.8 kg
Cara Munich 3 (120 EBC) 0.4 kg
Oat flakes 0.4 kg
Hops: Willamette (5.6% AA) 71 g and boil for 60 min
Yeast: #3763 Roeselare Blend/ #1581 Belgian Stout and dregs from various sour beers (see below)
Water: Burgdorf Mash: 28 L (7.4 gal), sparge: 44 L (11.6 gal) @78°C (172°F)
Rest: Mash in @68°C (154°F), 60 min @ 68°C (154°F), 10 min @ 78°C (172°F)
Boil: Total 60 min
Fermentation: Primary 14 days @ 20°C (68°F) in plastic fermenters
Secondary 1 year @ 20°C (68°F) in various fermenters and add 56 g of medium toasted French oak chips for 22 weeks
Maturation: Carbonation (CO2 vol) 2-2.5 vol
Maturation time Months to years

Collecting the wort

04/07/12: Brew day number 50 begins. I prepared all the malts for milling and as I started milling I asked myself, why Pilsner malt is used as a base malt for such a recipe. I then went back to the protocol and had to notice, that I prepared Pilsner malt instead of the Pale malt… Fortunately enough, I only milled 1 kg of Pilsner malt already and so I replaced the remaining Pilsner malt with the Pale malt as originally planed… Luckily, all the other steps went according to the protocol. Iodine test was negative after resting for one hour and so I proceeded to the sparging process. I then sparged until the wort’s gravity was approximately 2°P and then stopped collecting. I then boiled the wort for one hour with the addition of the hops and cooled the wort down and split the wort between two fermenters to have enough head space.

The original gravity was 15.7°P and the volume 41 L. The original recipe from No Limit Brewing called for a 16°P wort. So close enough.

Because one package of Wyeast’s Roeselare blend was not enough to ferment 41 L of wort, I decided to pitch some of Wyeast’s #1581 Belgian Stout yeast cake from a previous batch as well to ensure a healthy primary fermentation. The Belgian yeast should not have a big influence on the aroma and flavor of the beer since the beer is going to mature for some time. The only impact the yeast can have on the beer is the attenuation level. The Belgian yeast has an attenuation level of 70- 85% (as stated by Wyeast). A high attenuation level would leave less fermentable sugars left for any other bacteria or yeasts.

04/21/12: Measured gravity was 4.2°P. Racked the beer into three different glass carboys and left one share in a plastic fermenter. I did so to test the influence of my plastic fermenter on the oxygen transfer. Some say that the plastic fermenters tend to increase the oxygen in the beer due to the high oxygen permeability of the plastic itself. I will see how the beer in the plastic fermenter turns out compared to one from a glass fermenter (as a control). I then added dregs from a Girardin Gueuze to one glass carboy, and dregs from a 3 Fonteinen Geuze to another. I now have three different fermentations in glass. One, without any dregs, acts as a control to compare the effects of oxygen and to test the complexity of the Roeselare Blend on its own. The two others with the dregs are to check the effects of the dregs. Simple as that. I will leave these fermenters in my cellar at roughly 15-20°C (58-68°F) for a while and will add some wood chips later on.

05/05/12: Had to check the fermenters. The smell between the different fermenters is already different. The fermenters without any dregs smell rather clean and fruity, the other ones with the Girardin and 3 Fonteinen dregs smell quite funky already. There were some white bubble spots on the surfaces. Can’t wait to see some pellicles in the next weeks/months.

07/22/12: Added 80 g of Medium Toasted French oak chips to the four fermenters in total.


4 thoughts on “#50 The Folly Flanders Brown

    • Thanks, I had to do other batches first to make something special for batch number 50. And your recipe seems to be very appropriate. Looking forward to taste those beers in a few years… Will write you an email right away. I can delete your email adress in the comment if you want. Cheers!

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