Dancing like Jean-Claude Van Damme

My boss recently told me that when I focus on the right things I accomplish amazing things. Actually, he might have said if I concentrated on the rights things I might accomplish amazing things, since it wasn’t after I had made some killer presentation or done anything else work related. It was after I had corrected my colleague, who thought that Rick Astley had dated Kylie Minogue in the 80’s. He was of course confusing Rick Astley with Jason Donovan, however silly it may seem. The whole reason we got into this discussion was that I had just shown everybody my Rick Astley and Jean-Claude Van Damme dance moves. Now, I may not be the greatest at cloning beers, but nobody clones Rick Astley or Jean-Claude Van Damme dance moves better than me! I’m willing to prove it in a triangle test if needed.

How is all this relevant, you may ask? Well, in addition to being an excellent dancer, Jean-Claude Van Damme is Belgian, just like the tripel I entered into May edition of the “Homemade Dynamite” homebrew competition. The triple in question was the same one I wrote about in the “I have sensitive triples” post a few months back. The one that did not seem to carbonate properly. Turned out that it just took a little longer than usual to get carbonated. In fact, the one negative feedback I got from the judges was that it was over-carbonated. Based on the picture they posted online, see below, it does look quite fizzy. It was my first bottle conditioned batch in a long time and apparently I need to pay more attention to it.

Picture taken from Homemade Dynamite’s Facebook post

The way the Homemade Dynamite competition works is, that first they have three separate monthly competitions, with different themes. After that, the winners of the monthly competitions go head to head to determine the winner of the entire season. Dancing like JCVD, as I ended up naming the beer, took 1st place in May competition, with European beers as theme. It did not win the entire season however. Winning would have been nice. The winner gets the beer brewed at Malmgård, and distributed pretty much all over Finland. Malmgård is actually my local brewery; less than 10km from where I live.

Re-brew

The competition was held back in June, and I sent in the last four bottles I had, so it’s been quite some time since the last time I had the beer. From what I remember though, it was quite malty for a triple. It finished dry as it should, but the malt character, which I suppose came partly from the red ale malt, was a bit too much for me personally. For my next attempt I will skip the red ale malt (used to be called melanoidin malt) and add some wheat malt instead. Otherwise, I was quite happy with it. I will definitely use the Chimay strain (WLP500) in my triples from now on, and follow a similar fermentation schedule as well; starting at 19 °C , letting it free rise to 24 °C , and keeping it there until finished.

The recipe for the re-brew should look something like this:

  • 5 kg Pilsner malt
  • 1.25 kg wheat malt
  • 0.5 kg table sugar
  • 30 g Saaz @ flameout
  • enough Saaz @ 60 minutes to get the total IBU’s to 33
  • WLP500
  • Targeted OG; 1.078
  • Targeted FG; 1.010
  • ABV ~9%

This also has a small flameout Saaz addition, which the previous one didn’t have. I figure I need to compensate the reduced malt character with something else. Really looking forward to brewing it! Now it’s just a matter of finding time and especially keg space. I’m not proud of it, but work has really started to affect my drinking.

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