Brewing Like a Monk with Stan Hieronymous – BeerSmith Podcast 37

by Brad Smith on April 30, 2012 · 6 comments

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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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

m1k3 May 2, 2012 at 11:59 am

Hi Brad-

I just wanted to comment on the sound quality of BeerSmith Podcast 37.
The noise gate on Stan’s audio was a little distracting. In general you have one of the best sounding podcasts online (normally twice as good as what I hear on the Brewing Network).

Again keep up the great work! Sorry, I even bring this up but I know what a high quality production you normally achieve! Thanks again for all you do for home brewing.

Brad Smith May 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Thanks for the feedback. Since all of the interviews are done via skype, I am often at the mercy of the equipment the guest has, plus limitations of bandwidth and skype itself. Stan actually went out and bought a mic for the show (which was very nice) but unfortunately we got a lot of noise from his sound card on the computer. I was unable to remove the noise post-production. I’m going to try to purchase a pool of headsets and cameras to have available to send to guests in the future.

Cole Brown July 29, 2012 at 1:02 am

I see he mentions over-protein resting when using modern grains. Anyone got any info on this?

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