Ommegawd Belgian Amber Ale 04.08.14

This recipe is essentially a clone of Ommegang’s Rare Vos. Many details of the recipe are easily available, as Rare Vos was featured on the can you brew it podcast, which includes a rather awkward interview with a brewer at Ommegang. There were a few modifications I needed to make because of availability issues, the yeast strain being the most significant.

I stuck with the same mash schedule I’ve used for other Belgian styles this summer. A one hour 64.5C beta-amylase rest, followed by a short alpha-amylase rest at 70C.

IMG_7702 IMG_7720

The spice additions make me a bit uneasy. Spices in beer tend to be either undetectable or completely dominant. In this case, I scaled down the numbers used in the can you brew it clone recipe, which was reported to be a convincing clone. By the way, grains of paradise smell fantastic.


The groundwater was quite warm, and I was only able to chill the wort down to 23C before racking it to the carboy to ferment. To further cool the wort I immersed the filled carboy in a water bath held at 20C (ice packs) for an hour and a half before oxygenating and pitching the yeast. The yeast had to go through the ordeal of being taken out of the fridge and gradually heating up to the ambient temperature in the apartment, about 28C, and then being pitched into wort that was only around 21C. Twelve hours later the krausen is forming up, as you can in the picture above, and it seems to be doing fine.

Recipe Specifics
Batch Size: 9L
Boil Time: 80 min
Estimated OG (brewtoad): 1.054
Measured OG: 1.053
Estimated FG (brewtoad): 1.013
Measured FG: 1.008
Estimated IBU (brewtoad): 21
Estimated SRM (brewtoad): 5
Estimated Extract Efficiency: 75%
Measured Extract Efficiency: 76%

Grain Bill
2000g Pilsner Malt (Weyermann)
150g Belgian Aromatic Malt (Dingeman’s)
150g CaraHell (Weyermann)

Mash Schedule
Rest for 60 min at 64.5C, 3.1L/kg, raise to 70C for 15min, sparge to 11L, top up to 13.5L.

20g Styrian Goldings 3.6% AA @ 75 mins
20g Styrian Goldings 3.6% AA @ 5 mins
10g Styrian Goldings 3.6% AA @ 0 mins

2g Coriander Seed (Smashed) @ 15 mins
4g Grains Of Paradise (Smashed) @ 15 mins
Zest of one Navel Orange @ 15 mins

WLP575 Belgian Ale Blend @ ~7.7 Million Cells/mL

Fermentation Notes:
04.08.14: Yeast pitched, temperature at 20.5C.
05.08.14: Airlock active, krausen forming, temperature up to 21C.
06.08.14: Nice fluffy krausen, temperature up to 22C.
07.08.14: Fermentation slowing, temperature up to 23C.
11.08.14: Away for the weekend, temp got to almost 26C. Oh well.
17.08.14: Bottled 7.1L with 63g of table sugar (3.0 Volumes).


2 thoughts on “Ommegawd Belgian Amber Ale 04.08.14

  1. Brendan. I really appreciate the attention to detail and expertise in all your blog posts. I especially liked your analysis of cellered stouts. I have had great success cellering Thomas Hardy at room temperature and have had the privilege of tasting one from my basement that was purchased in 1990. I have a 750ml bottle of Ommegang’s “Take the Black Stout” which I would like to share with you. Maybe, we can compare it with your Baltic Porter or Toasty Winter, if there are any left? (highly unlikely based on your tasting notes).

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