Sunday, January 6, 2013

Brew Day: Patersbier

Keeping with tradition, the first brew of the new year is another Belgian beer. However, this time around I'll be brewing a Patersbier, a low alcohol session beer (of sorts) that gets most of its flavor from the yeast. Historically, these beers were brewed for the monks consumption and were not released to the public, although I have only heard of one monastery where such a beer was brewed. Regardless, I have never brewed a Patersbier before and I wasn't really planning to do so, that is, until I was given a vial of WLP540 Abbey IV yeast that needed using. This yeast is supposedly the same strain they use at Rochefort and is known to produce lightly fruity and balanced beer, but it can have attenuation issues. Not wanting to brew a huge Belgian Quad with it, I figured a light and sessionable Belgian beer would be a good way to start the brew year. The recipe I am using is very simple, just pilsner malt, a small amount of cara-rye (by no means traditional), and Saaz hops. To keep this beer light, crisp, and malty, I am treating the water much the same way you would for pilsners; very low in sulfate and alkalinity, with a decent amount of chloride. Looking forward to drinking this one.

Session Porter
Patersbier : Belgian Blonde

Recipe Specifics: 
Batch Size (Gal): 4.0
Total Grain (Lbs): 6.75
Anticipated OG: 1.044
Anticipated FG: 1.008
Anticipated SRM: 5
Anticipated IBU: 20
Efficiency: 70%
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

96.3% - 8.00 lbs. Pilsner Malt
3.7%  - 0.25 lbs. Cara-Rye (70L)
0.75 oz. Saaz @ 60 min for 15 IBU
0.50 oz. Saaz @ 20 min for 5 IBU
0.50 oz. Saaz @ flameout

Yeast: WhiteLabs 540 Abbey Ale IV
Mash 150F for 60 min
Brewed on 6 January


  1. The NB Patersbier kit with the wyeast 3787 yeast was such an awesome beer. It's got flavor for days, easy to make, costs almost next to nothing to make, and you can drink tons of if without getting bored of it. Some of my family are light lager loyal, and they drank multiple glasses. As a session beer brewer, you'll enjoy it for sure.

  2. Also, don't know if anyone else asked, but what's with the 4.0 gal batch size? Just curious.

  3. Yeah, the NB kit was pretty much the inspiration for this beer. Never made it, but I had a few pints at a brew club party. Light and refreshing. Hopefully the Rochefort yeast works out.

    Four gallon batches let me brew more often and cycle through kegs quicker. And it makes my grain/hops go farther. It's usually 5.5 gallon boil, 4.5 into the fermenter, and 4 into the keg.

  4. I'm brewing on of these soon as I really enjoyed mine from a couple years ago.
    Let me know what you think about that yeast and the cara-rye?

  5. As for the cara-rye, I figured it couldn't hurt and I wanted a bit more malt character than what the NB version had. If any rye flavor comes through, it should pair nicely with the yeast. I'll keep everyone updated.

  6. How did this turn out, interested to hear.

  7. How did this turn out, interested to hear.


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