With these thoughts in mind, several members of my homebrewing club, the Charlottesville Area Masters of Real Ale (CAMRA), decided to play with Belgian stouts. The idea was to gather for a group brew where a common volume of stout wort was divided amongst the participants. They, in turn, would ferment the wort with a Belgian yeast strain of their choosing and finish it using techniques as they see fit. These techniques could include dry hopping, aging with on oak chips or cubes, encouraging a secondary fermentation on fruit, souring using bacteria, etc. The experiment would conclude with a presentation to CAMRA about the style and how each brewer interpreted it, along with a side-by-side tasting of the different beers.
For further information, here are a few commercial examples of Belgo-American styles:
- Brouwerij Het Anker's Gouden Carolus Hopisinjoor - blend of Belgian Golden Strong and India Pale Ale (IPA).
- Brouwerij Van den Bossche's Buffalo Belgian Stout - blend of Belgian Dark Strong and stout.
- Flying Dog Brewery's Raging Bitch Belgian-Style IPA - imperial American IPA augmented with Belgian yeast strain.
- Allagash Brewing Company's Allagash Black - stout brewed with Belgian yeast strain and bottled with methode champenoise.
Stout de la Belgique
Style: 13-F Belgian Imperial Stout
Author: Greg B.
Batch Size (Gal): 6.0
Total Fermentables (Lbs): 19.5
IBU: 50 (Rager)
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70%
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes
10.0 lbs Pilsner Malt
5.0 lbs German Dark Munich
1.0 lbs Barley Flaked
1.0 lbs German CaraMunich III
0.5 lbs Special B - Caramel malt
0.5 lbs 2-Row Chocolate Malt
0.5 lbs Pale Chocolate Malt
0.5 lbs Roast Barley
0.5 lbs German Carafa III
1.0 oz Magnum Pellet Hops (14.5% AA) at 60 minutes
1.0 Tab Whirlfloc at 15 minutes
1.0 tsp Chalk in mash
1.0 tsp Calcium Chloride in boil
32 drops of Foam Control in the boil
TBD by each brewer (I used a 2 L starter of WLP 530 - Abbey Ale
60 min at 150°F
Batch sparged to get 8 gallons in brew kettle