Big Belly Belgian Blonde
5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains; OG = 1.060; FG = 1.011; IBU = 26; SRM = 5; ABV = 6.3%
- 3.25 lbs. (1.5 kg) light dried malt extract
- 14 oz. (0.40 kg) light liquid malt extract (late addition)
- 2.0 lbs. (0.91 kg) corn sugar (late addition)
- 1 lb. 13 oz. (0.82 kg) Belgian Pilsner malt
- 3.0 oz. (85 g) Belgian aromatic malt
- 6 AAU Cluster hops (60 mins) (0.86 oz./24 g of 7% alpha acids)
- 1.3 AAU Styrian Golding hops (20 mins) (0.26 oz./7.3 g of 5% alpha acids)
- 1.3 AAU Styrian Golding hops (10 mins) (0.26 oz./7.3 g of 5% alpha acids)
- 0.25 oz. (7.1 g) Styrian Golding hops (2 mins)
- Wyeast 1388 (Belgian Strong Ale) or White Labs WLP570 (Belgian Golden Ale) yeast (no starter)
- 1.25 cups corn sugar (for priming)
Step by Step:
Place crushed grains in a nylon steeping bag. In a large kitchen pot, heat 3.0 qts. (2.8 L) of water to 163 °F (73 °C). Submerge grain bag in water and let steep at 152 °F (67 °C) for 45 minutes. (When temperature drops below 148 °F (64 °C), heat to 152 °F (67 °C) again.) While grains are steeping, heat 1.5 qts. (~1.5 L) of water to 170 °F (77 °C) in a sauce pan. Also, begin heating 2 gallons (7.6 L) of water to a boil in your brewpot.
When steeping is done, place a colander over your brewpot and lift the grain bag into it. Pour the "grain tea" through the bag (which will strain out most of the grain bits), then rinse the bag with the 1.5 qts. (~1.5 L) of 170 °F (77 °C) water.
Heat the (roughly) 3 gallons (11 L) of wort in your brewpot to a boil, then stir in dried malt extract. (It will foam a bit, so don’t pour all the extract in at once.) Bring the wort back to a boil, add the bittering hops and boil for 60 minutes. Add first charge of Styrian Goldigns with 20 minutes left in boil. Add Irish moss, liquid malt extract and corn sugar with 15 minutes left in boil.
Add remaining charges of hops with 10 minutes and 2 minutes left in the boil.
After the boil, cool the wort (either in a cold-water bath in your sink or with a wort chiller). Cool until the side of the brewpot feels cool to the touch. Transfer wort to your fermenter and top up to 5 gallons (19 L) with cool water. Aerate the wort and pitch your yeast — straight from the package (no starter) — at 65 °F (18 °F). (Expect a lag time of a day or more.)
Put your fermenter somewhere where the ambient temperature is around 72 °F (22 °C) and let the fermentation temperature rise — up to 80 °F (27 °C) is fine — during fermentation. When fermentation stops, wait a day or two, then rack to secondary. Bottle with corn sugar (or keg) a few days later.
If possible, store beer cold (around 40 °F/4.4 °C) after bottle conditioning for a week or so.