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Brooklyn Brew Shop's Bruxelles Blonde

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 October 2015 at 17:35
Brooklyn Brew Shop's Bruxelles Blonde

On Monday (October 12th), I brewed my next: Bruxelles Blonde, from Brooklyn Brew Shop.

As usual, I'll start with the particulars:

Informational link: http://brooklynbrewshop.com/beer-making-mixes/bruxelles-blonde-beer-mix

Instructions: http://brooklynbrewshop.com/directions/Brooklyn%20Brew%20Shop%20-%20Bruxelles%20Blonde%20Instructions.pdf

Awesome, must-see video: https://vimeo.com/47840795

I brewed the beer straight according to the directions, and it seemed to go very well. I prepped everything beforehand and went right down the line - four hours from start to finish, to the minute. Temperatures during the mash stayed in range, the sparge and boil went without incident - and I was loving the aroma of the Styrian Golding hops with the fresh-smelling malts. There really isn't anything else to report - the brew went that smoothly.

It is currently fermenting in our bedroom closet, where the temperatures are the most stable and "controllable." I checked on it Tuesday morning and this morning, and things seem to be going very well. As is usually the case with BBS's mixes, there was quite a bit of activity with the blow-off-tube early on, which will most likely calm down by tonight or possibly tomorrow. At that time, I will replace the blow-off tube with an airlock, and then leave it alone for about three weeks.

I'm looking forward to this beer, as everything I have seen written about it sings its praises - light and refreshing, a true joy to drink.

More as it happens, etc. &c....

Ron
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 October 2015 at 22:16
I forgot to mention, when I switched from blow-off tube to airlock, the beer looked really good. Plenty of evidence of very good fermentation, and the beer was starting to clear very nicely. The colour was a bit darker than I expected, but otherwise, I think we are well on track for some wonderful stuff here. 

I will, of course, keep updating as events unfold.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 November 2015 at 19:18
Thanks to some outstanding graphics assistance from TheCADJockey (a member of a homebrewing forum), I have three very-cool labels to choose from for this beer:







Which should it be?

I am partial toward the bottom one, but my wife says the top one. And the middle one has some really nice artistic qualities that work well, too ~ 

Decisions, decisions!

My hearty thanks to TheCADJockey for his help with this! mug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2015 at 06:32
I bottled this beer on Saturday, 28 November; about 3 weeks after I had planned to bottle it, but life gets that way - especially during hunting season! No big deal - in fact, my better beers have been the ones that were bottled "late."

The process really went off without a hitch, and I ended up with nearly 10 bottles, which is a "perfect yield" for a 1-gallon batch that doesn't happen very often. One HUGE help was that, for the first time, I used a spring-loaded tip on the end of the bottling rig, which kept me from flinging beer all over the place, as is often the case with the thumb-driven clamps. I am 100% convinced that the spring-loaded tip and the mini auto-siphon are the two absolute best investments I have made in my brewing experience. I managed to suck up a little bit of trub, but I am not concerned about this. My experience is that it settles with the bottle-conditioning sediment and poses no trouble at all, especially when the beer starts out as amazingly clear as this one did before I began bottling.

With the un-carbonated, un-finished beer that I had leftover from bottling, I was able to sample what promises to be an excellent and outstanding brew. So far, it is shaping up to be a nice Belgian ale - a little darker in colour than I expected it to be, but otherwise as good as I could ask for. We'll see how it turns out in the end. The flavour was bright and "awake" - there's not really any other way to put it - with a nice floral character from the hops that left me wishing I would have brewed this in the late spring or early summer. The local honey that I used as a priming sugar also comes into play, giving the beer a rich, mellow, addicting undertone that I simply can't imagine with corn or table sugar. I am pretty sure that this will be a beer that I brew often in the future.

My bottles are hanging out now in the closet, and will continue to do so until at least three weeks have passed. I'll then refrigerate the finished beer for a week before sampling it, and my patience will hopefully be rewarded.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2015 at 08:14
I'd have to side with Mellisa on this one, Ron. While the bottom one, due to the richness of the colors, is perhaps better art, the top one is more evocative of the homelands.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 December 2015 at 10:22
I vote for the bottom one also
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2016 at 19:28
Long story, but I ended up going with a different format using the same image - the format is pretty much the same as the rest of my labels, but in blue.

Also, I was finally able to sample the finished beer after a little over a month in the bottle. 

It was great! Just slightly over-carbed - I opened the bottle and a little foam would rise to the mouth of it, but it wasn't overflowing or explosive or anything like that. The aroma was very nice - light and refreshing - and visually it looked just...right. It poured a nice, creamy head that even left a little lacing on the glass, and it retained its effervescence very well. The beer itself tasted just as advertised - smooth and refreshing, with a little bit of malt sweetness balanced by hops that I would describe as "pleasantly floral." 

All-around, I really liked it. This would make a really nice, very refreshing beer on a hot summer day, either sitting on the back patio or out at the lake with a fishing pole. I'll look forward to making this again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 February 2016 at 15:17
I've been avoiding beer for a while in an effort to cut back on carbs, but today is of course SuperBowl Sunday, and since The Beautiful Mrs. Tas is the football fan in the house, today is an official "cheat day."

So, I was able to try another one of these after conditioning for a few weeks in the refrigerator.

All I can say is, WOW ~ this beer was good before, but is probably three times as good, now! The flavours have blended and matured, the hops have integrated into the profile more deeply, and have really contributed to a rich, floral aroma. The over-all mouth-feel has really smoothed out, turning a very drinkable beer into a very enjoyable beer. The ale itself is crystal-clear, and the head is wonderful - creamy and smooth. The improvement is indeed dramatic, and this was a beer that I really liked to begin with.

It's easily become one of the most refreshing that I've tried from Brooklyn Brew Shop, and it will definitely be brewed again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 May 2019 at 11:36
My next brew will be a repeat of this brew; I hope to brew it early this week; next weekend at the latest.

I have toyed with the idea of adding something to the brew; current ideas are chokecherries, wild prairie rosehips and raspberries. In all honesty, I will probably add nothing, as this beer is completely amazing on its own.

I'll post more at it happens; in the meantime, here is an updated label for this beer:



Ron
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