BIAB#8 – Patersbier


Inspired by some of the recent posts on Basic Brewing video, I decided that instead of making a simple malt extract starter for my vial of WLP500, I’d make a 5 litre batch of medium-gravity beer which will act as a starter for my next batch. A Belgian “singel” or “patersbier” seemed like a great candidate for this. A “singel” is style of table beer, typically brewed by Trappist monsteries for consumption by the monks. Though occasionally it is available for sale in cafés near the monasteries. I decided on an extremely simple grain bill of pilsner malt with a little wheat malt for head retention.

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 8.20 l
Post Boil Volume: 5.20 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 l
Bottling Volume: 3.50 l
Estimated OG: 1.041 SG
Estimated Color: 7.6 EBC
Estimated IBU: 15.3 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 55.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 55.0 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes


1.100 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (3.9 EBC), 91.7 %
0.100 kg Wheat Malt, Ger (3.9 EBC, 8.3 %
5 g Saaz [4.00 %] – Boil 60.0 min, 13.2 IBUs
0.13 Items  Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)
5 g Saaz [4.00 %] – Boil 5.0 min, 2.2 IBUs
1.0 pkg  Trappist Ale (White Labs #WLP500)

Mash Schedule: Bubbles Small Batch BIAB Mash
Total Grain Weight: 1.200 kg
Saccharification  Add 8.93 l of water at 74.4 C   68.0 C  60 min

21/06/2014 – Easy enough brew day, though admittedly it is a lot of work for 5 litres of beer.

05/07/2014 – Bottled with carb drops. Got 3 x 330ml bottles (Saison Dupont bottles!) and 4 x 750ml bottles. 2 carb drops in the the 750s and 1 drop in the 330s. Couldn’t avoid getting lots of the very fluffy yeast into the bottles.

17/07/2014 – Bit of Belgian yeast on the nose, but mostly just a big wallop of sulphur! No head retention to speak of. Taste is actually quite good!! Little bit cidery, but nice malt flavour and really good mouthfeel for the ABV. The sulphur should dissipate with time.

21/07/2014 – I really shouldn’t have opened another bottle of this so soon, but I did. The whiff of sulphur is still there, but underneath the eggy aroma is a really crisp, flavoursome beer with some nice fruit Belgian yeast notes. I’d even consider scaling up this recipe to a full size batch, with maybe a coriander addition (like the monks use in Chimay Doree) or a little extra complexity from some Vienna or Munich. I should google to see how long it will take for the sulphur to dissipate.

11/08/2014 – I’m on the second last bottle of this and the eggy aroma is still there, but it’s not very perceptible in the flavour. I do think it’s improved. i’ll have to chill the remaining bottle for an extended period to try to figure out the bottle-conditioning characteristics of this yeast strain. I’ve been thinking recently that the unpleasant aroma might be DMS caused by not chilling the wort quickly enough. Sulphur is the more likely culprit though.

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