This week my guest is Stan Hieronymous – the author of “Brew Like a Monk”. Stan joins us to talk about brewing Belgian beers, the history of Belgian Abbey and Trappist ales, and how to brew them at home.
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Topics in This Week’s Episode (51:00)
- Stan Heironymous is this week’s guest. Stan is the author of Brew Like a Monk, the book Brewing with Wheat, (Amazon affiliate links) and he runs a blog called Appellation Beer online.
- Our topic for this week is the history of Belgian Abbey ales and how to brew Belgian Abbeys.
- Stan talks for a few minutes about his blog (listed above) on beer brewing.
- We discuss the history of Belgian ales, and how the brewing of these has evolved over time. He explains how the Dubbel is closest to historical abbey ales, but also walks us through Tripels and other styles.
- We talk about the basic styles of Abbey and Trappist ales (Dubbels, Tripels, Belgian Golden Strongs).
- Stan discusses some of the traditional Belgian ale techniques and ingredients.
- He shares that they really just use sucrose (table sugar) to enhance the alcohol content of the beer – adding no flavor (plain white sugar)
- We talk about the low mash temperature that is used to create high attenuation
- Target CO2 levels for Belgians are very high (3.5-4.0 volumes) in Belgium, requiring stout bottles to contain them
- We discuss optimal fermentation schedules and fermentation conditions for a Belgian ale
- Stan walks us through how he would go about brewing a Belgian Dubbel
- He talks about his visits to Belgium and interviews with both brewers and monks there
- Stan finishes by talking about his new book “For the Love of Hops” which will be out in the Fall of 2012
- For more information on Brewing Belgian Ales, see our earlier podcast on Belgian Ales or my article on Belgian ales.
Thanks to Stan Heironymous for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
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