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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * January 9, 2004 * Orval Update? < Previous Next >

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St. Pat's 2000H strainCharles Xartman12-16-03  01:02 am
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Aaron MacDonald (167.242.48.41)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Back in May (if I recall correctly), there was a substantial post concerning cloning Orval. Someone posted a recipe that received a lot of interested responses. A number of folks on this board noted that they were going to attempt this recipe. I copied down the recipe at that time, and I was considering using it to brew my next batch. Just wondering, for those of you who tried it, how'd it turn out?
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 11:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On a slightly related note, does anyone else agree that that the Orval currently being sold is especially good this year? I had one last weekend and thought an obliging S. Claus could drop some down my chimney anytime.
 

Adam W (128.125.6.113)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 11:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There was a long thread about this not too long ago but I forget what the subject heading was. Anyhoo...short answer: very good!
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 11:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, I thought the Orval I had a few weeks ago was the first Orval I ever had since the early 1990s that wasn't oxidized crap. So I don't have a good reference point, but yes, that beer is awesome!

Let's here some replies to Aaron's query. I, too, have been waiting since May for the WLP Bastogne yeast to become available in January/February. So it would be nice to hear if it is worth the effort.
 

Jim Keaveney (64.12.96.42)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 11:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i was in a hotel bar last week and was pleasantly surprised to see orval as one of the 6 or 8 beers on the bottle list. i was even more pleasantly surprised when the bartender bought me a second one because of the minor delay in my food order. hell, that food could have waited all night if they were going to keep coming!
 

Aaron MacDonald (69.14.26.5)
Posted on Monday, December 15, 2003 - 11:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chumley -- my thoughts exactly when I was at the White Labs' site and noticed the release date of next month.

Bill -- I couldn't agree more about this year's batch. In the past, Orval never overly impressed me. But, I've become obsessed with this brew over the past six months. I was wondering if my palate had changed ... perhaps not ...

Adam W -- If I recall, were you the one who posted the recipe originally?
 

Adam W (128.125.6.113)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes
 

Charles Xartman (24.194.156.166)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

For what it's worth: I brewed Adam's Orval clone last May, following his recipe to the letter. The result came close to being the best beer I have ever made (in ten years of homebrewing). The only close second was an Urquell clone. The double fermentation using WL Bastogne in the primary and WY Brett in the secondary is essential, as is the dry hopping with Styrian Goldings. I have my order for this year's WL510 already in at my local homebrew shop. This is one beer that is really worth the effort to assemble authentic ingredients and to take the time to brew it right. And the whole fermentation should proceed at 55-59F.
 

Andrew Bales (65.28.61.181)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 01:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sounds like a plan. Got my Jan beer set then.
 

Andrew Pearce (68.225.195.30)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 02:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anybody remember where that thread is, or as an alternative, Adam, would you mind reposting that recipe. I remember the discussion but didn't jot it down at the time because I wasn't doing AG. Now that i am, Orval is high on the list.

--Andrew
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.200.231)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Our regional Merchant Du Vin rep is a homebrewer, and he recently dropped off some Orval to the owner of my LHBS. (Mercant du Vin is the US importer of Orval)

One bottle found its way to me, and I have to agree with the others, one of the best bottles of Orval I've had outside of Belgium. I think part of the problem is that Orval needs to be kept cool (13-15 deg C or 55-59 Deg F) for long term storage. If stored warmer than that, it can get rather funky.

I've alerted my LHBS to get the WLP 510 Bastogne and Wyeast Brett yeasts for me next month, and I'm going brew up 10 gallons.

I have notes at home from the last thread in B&V on Orval, and can post them tonight when I get home, if Adam or somebody else doesn't beat me to it.
 

Magnus Graham (148.177.161.211)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have yet to get one in UK that tastes OK. I got some in Brussels a year ago and it had the wow factor. I have since bought it here and it was manky. My local store (specialist beer shop) may need a lesson in storage.
I have one bottle in at the moment that is all cloudy. I am waiting for it to settle again before I try.

Mag
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 12:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is the link to Adam's Orval recipe from the archives:

http://hbd.org/discus/messages/15516/19166.html?1069705487
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 02:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mag, it might be a little pricey, but I think a trip across the Channel to Belgium would net you some wonderful, fresh beers. I know I wish Belgium were close enough for a weekend getaway.
 

Andrew Pearce (68.225.195.30)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 02:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You guys rock! I think I have my holiday brew schedule set.

--Andrew
 

Brew Labs (150.159.224.8)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 02:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

if i were to buy these strains in january...how long could i keep them (in a fridge of course) before they go bad. i want to make this, but won't have the all grain equip until march.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 03:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't have any problem using the yeast if stored refrigerated for six months or longer. You certainly should make a starter and expect the starter to take several days to ferment out if the yeast is old.
 

Adam W (128.125.6.113)
Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2003 - 07:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's the thread I was refering to. Thanks Bill....

Like I mentioned in the previous thread, I actually prefer using 100% malt a little bit compared to my recipe that calls for table sugar in the kettle. However, both variants are good.

In addition, be sure to use a large starter of WL510 so that the beer is well attenuated bfore adding the Brett.

Enjoy!

Adam

P.S. If anybody out there is in the Los Angeles area (I live in Long Beach, CA), I maintain stocks of WL510 and Brett. bruxellensis at home. I can make slants of them available through my local homebrew club free of charge.
 

Andrew Bales (65.28.61.181)
Posted on Friday, December 19, 2003 - 03:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

got a question - what are the characteristics of the WLP510 yeast? Reason I ask is that I am going to brew 2 10g batches that day, Orval and something else. What else can I do with that yeast?
 

Michael (69.132.111.174)
Posted on Saturday, December 20, 2003 - 03:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I emailed my LHBS (not so local). Getting in WLP520 on 1/9/04. OK, Adam, I'm game.

My grain supply is low (25#'s of Weyerman's Wheat,5#'s of Weyerman's Pilsner, assorted oz's of choclate, crystal and RB). Hops even worse....18 cones of homegrown Cascade ziplocked in the freezer, and a few ounces of Goldings. One tube of WL British, and who knows how many pkgs. of Nottingham. I'm not even seeing a "kitchen sink ale" in all of this.

The timing works out good. This recipe will be in the que for Feb. My re-stock visit to (semi)-LHBS will coincide with the delivery of El' Bastogne.

Thanks for providing this info.
 

matt_dinges (67.31.168.245)
Posted on Sunday, December 21, 2003 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bales- I think you can do just about anything with this yeast that you want...I did a "lighter" belgian pale ale type of beer with it and a massive ambree.

Others:
This is a very good recipe that will yield you good results if you follow it...my version was fairly exact to the grain percentages posted, with the exception that I added about 10% german Vienna to mine in place of some pils. I took my example to Denver with me over thanksgiving where I drank it with some serious belgian beer enthusiasts...The comment I got was that it was very close, my version being more phenolic than Orval...I think that keeping the fermentation temp lower would help. Mine was fermented at 76*F or possibly even a bit higher for the first 5days or so. I don't know about going down to the 50s with it, that just seems way too low as a gut reaction.

My feeling after doing side by side tastings with my orval and the real thing was that mine had much more brett character than the true orval. I think getting a good attenuation in primary is important. Adam feels that the brett character might subdue some over time...time will tell, mine is scarcely 3months in the bottle.

I also think that using the additional yeast at bottling is very important...and it should be the primary yeast in the form of a small starter, not some nottingham or champagne yeast. Using the orignal yeast in the form of a small starter is now my norm for bottle conditioning my strong belgian ales.

Thanks again to Adam and Paul.

Cheers
 

cheesehead (24.118.124.147)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Great info guys. Now I've got my next beer set.
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.200.230)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Matt,

Orval defintitely changes over time. And it's bottle-conditioned at the brewery for six weeks before being released.

The brewery does pretty much everything (primary, secondary, conditioning) at around 55-59 Deg F.

I'm lined up to brew my clone as soon as the LHBS gets the WLP510 and the Wyeast Brett in the door.
 

matt_dinges (65.221.169.187)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 06:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Paul...I might try it down there(50s)...its 56*F ambient in my basement fermentation chamber right now.
 

matt_dinges (65.221.169.187)
Posted on Monday, December 22, 2003 - 06:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another thought somewhat related via the beire de garde post....drop the brett from this recipe, go all malt, keep the ferment cool, and wouldn't you have a fairly decent biere de garde recipe here?

I have heard of a commercial brewery using the Bastogne yeast for a biere de garde.

Thoughts?
 

Magnus Graham (148.177.161.211)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's it.
I opened the Orval bottle I was considering saving for special and it tasted rotten. I am now going to complain to the shop that sold it. It is the third time I've bought it from them and it has never tasted like beer.

In case I am mistaken, can anyone describe the taste that should be expected-

This bottle was sour and almost Lambic like with a bit of a rotten drain smell. Unlike Lambic it was difficult to drink. It was possible to sip but definately not take a full mouthful. I am assuming that the shop is storing these too warm (top shelf at back of the shop) and the yeast combination is doing the wrong thing.

When in Belgium this tasted like a more complex Tim Taylors Landlord but definately wasn't sour.

The sediment in the bottle was not well settled even after leaving for 2-3 days cool.
Magnus
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 06:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Magnus, that is definitely a result of Orval sitting on a warm shelf for months. I have tasted that many a time.

I had a truly miserable beer suffering from the same fate last night. Saison De Pipaix, from Brasserie à Vapeur. Sour and flat (you would think that a beer that comes with both a cork and a bottle cap wouldn't be flat, wouldn't you?) And the sediment in this beer, too, was not very compact.

Since Orval is so perishable, that is why I am ready to brew my own. When oh when will this yeast become available? Not at B3 and Northern Brewer yet.
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.200.231)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 06:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

chumley,

My LHBS says their January shipment from White Labs will have the WLP510 in it. I'm getting itchy, too.

Magnus,

years ago the first Orval I ever tasted (bought in Indiana) had the odor of a poorly ventilated nursing home.

I never tasted it again until I was in Belgium in 1995. That was nirvana. We also had some properly cellared 3-year-old Orval during our visit to the brewery on that trip. Kept below 60 deg F, Orval does age beautifully.

I've never had the Tim Taylors Landlord, but a good Orval, since it's dry-hopped, and has a relatively simple grain bill, does remind me of a complex English pale ale.
 

Andrew Bales (199.64.0.252)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 07:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bier de garde!!! yep thats the 2nd beer. thanks matt
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 07:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Mag, Orval is a unique beer. It pours with fairly large, long lasting beige head on a somewhat hazy orangish base. The aroma is very slightly phenolic but also with quite a bit more hop aroma than most other Belgians, almost like a good English pale ale. The flavor is complex, not overly bitter but balanced among malt, hops and a faint "horsey" lambic (Brettanomyces) character. The finish is drier than most Belgians, and the body is light to medium. Carbonation is pronounced but not excessive, about the same as an American lager. It's the most distinctive of the Trappist beers and the one most likely to be appreciated by those who otherwise aren't fond of Belgian ales.
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.200.231)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 08:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Stop it, Bill !!

You're making me thirsty!!!

And I'm still at work
 

chumley (65.102.122.168)
Posted on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 11:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill got me thirsty, too, so I took the afternoon off from work, finished up my Christmas shopping, then stopped at the local beermonger to buy a Christmas present for myself - 12 imported beers, including 9 Belgians (the other 3 are Samichlaus, EKU 28(?), and Utenos Porter).

As I type this, I am enjoying a fresh Orval. Wow. Is IT good! And it was the most expensive of the lot, at $5.75 a bottle (when you live in the sticks, you pay through the nose).

Bill has described it dead on. I think he should take over Bob Klein's job, and start writing those beer calendars. :)
 

Magnus Graham (148.177.161.211)
Posted on Wednesday, December 24, 2003 - 08:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Bill for the full taste definition. I will copy that somewhere and use it when I complain to the store properly with a resealed foul bottle when next I feel brave enough to purchase.

Mag

Merry whatever festive season fits your winter solstice (or summer solstice in the south)

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