Recipe

New Belgium Brewing Company La Folie clone

New Belgium Brewing Co.’s La Folie clone

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.062  FG = 1.015 (or lower)
IBU = 20  SRM = 17  ABV = 6%

Ingredients
9.75 lbs. (4.4 kg) 2-row pale malt
1 lb. 5 oz. (0.60 kg) Munich malt
1 lb. 5 oz. (0.60 kg) crystal malt (60 °L)
10 oz. (0.28 kg) unmalted wheat
5.7 AAU Cantillion Iris hops (60 min.) (or any neutral hop) (1.9 oz./54 g at 3% alpha acids)
Wyeast 1056 (American Ale), White Labs WLP001 (California Ale), Fermentis Safale US-05 or Danstar Nottingham yeast
Wyeast 3278 (Lambic blend) or White Labs WLP655 (Belgian Sour Mix 1) blend
1 cup corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step
Mash at 154 °F (68 °C). Boil for 60 minutes adding hops at the beginning of the boil. Ferment with neutral ale yeast at 75 °F (24 °C), then rack to barrel and add sour blend. Aging time is totally up to the barrel. This is where years of tasting and blending come in handy. If you want to blend, try ~ 20% of a sweeter (younger) barrel, ~30% of a nice mild sour barrel and ~50% of a well established “tour gripper” with nice oak notes (cherries, horse blanket, etc). (Young usually means ~ 1 year, mid range ~2 years and grippers are 3+ years.) But there are no rules here. Do whatever works for you.

Extract Option:
Omit 2-row pale malt. Add 1 lb. 14 oz. (0.85 kg) dried malt extract and 4 lb. 10 oz. (2.1 kg) liquid malt extract. Steep crushed Munich, crystal, and unmalted wheat in 4.8 qts. (4.6 L) of water at 154 °F (68 °C) for 45 minutes. Rinse with 2.4 qts. (2.3 L) of water at 170 °F (77 °C). Add water to make 3 gallons (11 L), add dried malt extract and bring to a boil. Add hops and boil for 60 minutes, stirring in LME at end of boil.

Poor Man’s Barrel Option:
Don’t have the budget (or room) for a barrel? Try this “poor man’s” method of emulating some of the aspects of barrel aging. Conduct your primary fermentation in a bucket or ferment the beer with ale yeast, then rack it to a bucket — adding any “bugs” that may be called for. Buckets are more permeable to oxygen than barrels are, so let the beer condition in the bucket for only about 3 months, then rack it to a carboy for the remaining conditioning time. Two weeks before racking, take 3.0 oz. (85 g) of oak cubes (French oak, medium toast) and soak them in wine. Use Chardonnay for the Temptation clone, Pinot Noir for La Roja, Cabernet Sauvignon for Darth Porter and Burgundy or Meritage for Grand Cru and La Folie. Change wine every 3 days to lessen the intensity of the new oak. Add cubes when beer is racked to carboy.

Issue: January-February 2008

A wood aged sour brown ale with lots of green apple, plum and cherry notes. According to Lauren Salazar of New Belgium Brewing Co., “Never turn your back on (the barrels). They like to change on you and right when you think you know what one will do, it does the exact opposite.”