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Style of the Week: Oud Bruin or Flemish Brown Ale!

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July 31, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Here we see a typical Oud Bruin or Flemish Brown Ale served in a classic tulip glass. A more modern Teku glass would also work well.

Here we see a typical Oud Bruin or Flemish Brown Ale served in a classic tulip glass. A more modern Teku glass would also work well.

Invariably when you ask some one about Flemish beers, you’re going to get 1 of 3 reactions: either they look at you and think you uttered the most horrible sentence, or they’ll say you can take them, or you can leave them, or hopefully we’ll ask you which one you prefer the Red or the Brown.  Last week we discussed brewing up the Flemish Red and now this week it’s time for the Brown, or Oud Bruin.  Below is a recipe of mine which starts out as a typical brown ale and the souring culture is introduced on the fourth or fifth day of the primary fermentation.  This generally ensures a balancing tartness to the residual extract of the beer.  While others may find that it’s not sour enough, the balance develops over time as the beer dries out.

Extract:

7 lbs. Pilsen Light LME

3.3 lbs.  Munich LME

¾ lb.  Wheat LME

½ lb. Aromatic Malt

½ lb. Biscuit Malt

½ lb. CaraMunich Malt

½ lb. Special B Malt

2 oz. Carafa III Malt

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

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

Procedure:

  • Heat ¾ gallons of water to 165°F.
  • Add steeping grains in bag to hot liquor and steep for 20~30 minutes.
  • Remove grains from kettle, and rinse with hot water through a colander.
  • Add remaining water and LME to kettle to obtain 6½ gallons total volume.
  • After adding LME to kettle, bring to a boil, and after 10 minutes, add hops.
  • Continue to boil for an additional 45 minutes.
  • 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 the yeast and ferment at 65°~70°F for 4 to 5 days.
  • 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:

8 lbs. Pilsner Malt

4 lbs.  Munich Malt

1 lb. Wheat Malt

½ lb. Aromatic Malt

½ lb. Biscuit Malt

½ lb. CaraMunich Malt

½ lb. Special B Malt

2 oz. Carafa III Malt

2 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 primary after fourth or fifth day or 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 152°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°. Add the Roeselare culture to the primary or 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 135 gms. corn sugar (approx.  7/8 cup), or kegged to 25 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 60°~65°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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