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Style of the Week: Flemish Red!

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July 24, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Here we see a typical Flemish Red ale served in a proper Tulip shaped glass. A Teku glass would work as well and be more contemporary.

Here we see a typical Flemish Red ale served in a proper Tulip shaped glass. A Teku glass would work as well and be more contemporary.

When I was stationed in Europe I got to drink a lot of fabulous beers. My favorites were usually the Belgians, especially the more strongly flavored ones. Two of my favorites are the Belgian or Flemish Red and the Belgian or Flemish Brown; these two beers represented the epitome of what are called Flemish sour ales.  While they are more sweet and tart rather than truly sour they are nonetheless extremely enjoyable.  Since this recipe is about the Flemish Red, I will be discussing the Flemish Brown or Oud Bruin in another installment.  Below you’ll find a recipe of mine which makes a very respectable Flemish Red ale, and uses the Wyeast 3763 Roeselare blended yeast and medium toast French oak cubes.  With perseverance, persistence, and patience, you too can make a truly wonderful Flemish Red ale.

Extract:

7 lbs. Pilsen Light LME

2 lbs.  Munich LME

1 lb.  Wheat LME

1 oz. Hallertauer or Liberty or Crystal Hops (bitterness)

1 oz. French Medium Toast Oak Cubes

Wyeast 1056, or WLP001,or US-05 Ale yeast in primary then add Wyeast 3763, or WLP655 in secondary.

Procedure:

  • Heat 5¾ gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add LME to kettle and bring to a boil.
  • After 10 minutes, add the bittering hop addition.
  • Add the Whirlfloc tablet at 15 minutes left in the boil.
  • At knockout, cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller. Add the mixture to the fermenter, removing the hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using distilled, bottled, or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 65°~70°F for 7 to 10 days.
  • Place bagged oak cubes into boiling water to sanitize for 15 minutes.
  • Put the sanitized bag of oak cubes into the fermenter.
  • Add the Roeselare yeast when the specific gravity reaches 75% apparent attenuation.
  • Allow to age an additional four to six months before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

6 lbs. Pilsner Malt

6 lbs.  Vienna Malt

1 lb.  Munich Malt

1 lb. Wheat Malt

1 oz.  Hallertauer or Liberty or Crystal hops (bitterness)

Wyeast 1056, WLP001, or US-05 Ale yeast in primary then add Wyeast 3763, or WLP655 in secondary.

¾ gm. Brewing (Calcium Chloride) Salts per gallon (~3.75 gms. or 1 level tsp.) in the mash and in the boil.

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 155°F for 1 hour. Sparge to obtain 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 10 minutes into the boil. Continue boiling for 40 more minutes, then add Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At knockout, cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 65°F to 70°F.  Add sanitized oak cubes and Roeselare yeast to secondary when specific gravity reaches 75% apparent attenuation.  Allow to age an additional 4 to 6 months to develop appropriate sourness and oak character.  Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 150 gms. corn sugar (approx.  1 cup), or kegged to 27 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 55°~60°F in a Tulip style glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew!

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