Belgian Biscuit

A bit of a mish-mash, made from what I've got lying around.

Named after Betty McIntosh, New Westminster City Councillor extraordinaire.

It's Betty!


Batch size: 5 gallons

Grain bill:

  • 6 lb 12 oz Gambrinus ESB
  • 1 lb 9 oz wheat
  • 1 lb 8 oz Crystal 60/80
  • 10.5 oz roasted barley


  • 1 oz Centennial (10.25%) @ 60 min.
  • 1 oz Mt Hood (5%) @ 30 minutes
  • 0.5 oz Goldings (4.5%) @ 10 min.

Yeast: Wyeast 1762 (Belgian Abbey II)


August 21, 2010: 210 g DME + 2 litres water; boiled, cooled to 28C then pitched 2 small jam jars with Wyeast 1762 harvested from Betty's Belgian Pale. 18 hours later, the starter had taken off nicely...not bad for 8 months in the fridge!

Brew Day

August 27, 2010: Two-part brew day: mashing tonight, boiling & pitching tomorrow. Brought 7 gallons water to 165 F/74 C, then dumped in the cooler. Came down to 150 F/65.5 C, which is just perfect. Here's the grain before the water went in:

Black Betty mash

August 28, 2010: Up at 5:30am to start boiling. The temp was 130F -- not bad. One snag: I've run out of 1/2" tubing! After some fruitless searching, I got out a pot, ran the wort in there and dumped it in. I started the burner right away to save some time.

Gravity out of the mash was 1.050, which was just perfect. I threw the Mt. Hood in at 30 minutes by mistake -- they were originally going to be my aroma hops. Oh well, next time (maybe [[Hops2010|harvest time]]?).

Chilled down to 22C/72F and pitched at 8am with the help of my two young assistants. Cleanup done by 8:40am...not bad.

Fermentation had visibly started by 11:30am; by 6pm it was going like crazy. I love a good starter.

The taste of the wort was lovely and sweet. This ought to turn out nicely. The colour is a little closer to porter than stout...maybe a bit more roasted barley? I guess 10.5 oz instead of 16 really does make a difference. An improvement to make for next time.

9:30am and the blow-off tube sounds like a machine gun! Temp only 22C, so still good.

60 hours after pitching (2.5 days), it's slowed right down. The temp is quite calm, despite the melted/removed ice pack.


September 12, 2010: 65 g dextrose or so for 4 gal yield. FG 1.005, so 7.5% ABV. 15 litres yield. Hydro sample: rich dark brown colour, smooth mouthfeel. Bitter, bit of sweetness at all, so I guess the crystal didn't actually affect much.


October 2, 2010: First tasting! Mouthfeel not too smooth...expected more from the barley flakes. It's dark enough to be a stout. The Belgian yeast flavour is in there, but not nearly as strongly as the Betty's Pale Ale was at this age. Not very carbed just yet, and not very bitter for all the roasted barley. Some roastiness. Remarkably drinkable for being this young; I thought it would be a lot greener.

October 9, 2010: The Belgian flavour has come through a lot more, and so has some sweetness. Still not carbed very much; almost like an English bitter.