Belgian by way of Bolivia Table Beer

Carnaval (Mardi Gras) is a big deal here in Bolivia, and we get a full four-day weekend to celebrate. With all the time and generally sticking around the house to avoid flying ink, paint, foam, and water balloons, I was in the mood to brew with some ingredients I’ve not yet tried: quinoa, amaranth, and boricha (Korean roasted barley for making tea).

Admittedly, I went a bit overboard if I was trying to isolate the influences of each grain on the taste of a beer, but I’m confident the result should be interesting. Likewise, making a total of 27% of the mash pre-boiled quinoa and amaranth resulted in a terribly stuck sparge. This appears to be a recurring problem of late, so perhaps it’s time for me to make contact with a rice miller and pick up some rice hulls.

Besides experimentation, I wanted to highlight what my new bag of Columbus[1] hops bring, have a medium-strength table beer to pair with whatever is appropriate, utilize the packet of already-six-months-old Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale that has been in my fridge so that I can do a yeast wash on it and add it to my burgeoning and ad-hoc yeast ranch. This ought to create a nice yeast cake to pull off of. Because this is brewed at home, I don’t have any temperature control, so the fermentation temperature is ambient and probably around 24-30º C. And because I have to estimate the SRM colors of all my specialty grains, I’ve been under-estimating them consistently and ending up with much darker beers than I’d like. So this is also an attempt to keep the final color a bit more pale than I’ve been able to lately.

[1] In retrospect, purely in terms of nomenclature, this is probably the poorest choice of hops I could have bought since Christopher Columbus is basically antithetical to much of Bolivia’s intellectual and political present. But I got them for bittering hops, so maybe there’s a decent metaphor to be had…

BrewMate Recipe

Belgian by way of Bolivia Table

Belgian Pale Ale


Recipe Specs

Original Gravity Final Gravity Colour (SRM / EBC) Bitterness Alcohol by Volume
1.049 1.006 13.0
25.6 IBU 5.6%

Brewhouse Specs

Recipe Type Batch Size Boil Time Efficiency
All Grain 4.0 Litres / 1.1 Gal 60.0 min 65.0%


Name Type SRM Percentage Amount
Pilsner Grain 1.7 41.24 % 0.40 Kg / 0.88 Lbs
Boricha (Korean Roast Barley Tea) Grain 40.0 20.62 % 0.20 Kg / 0.44 Lbs
Quinoa – Toasted 10 L Grain 10.0 15.46 % 0.15 Kg / 0.33 Lbs
Amaranth Grain 1.0 12.37 % 0.12 Kg / 0.26 Lbs
Turbinado Sugar 10.0 10.31 % 0.10 Kg / 0.22 Lbs


Name AA% Amount Use Time
Columbus 14.2% 2.00 g / 0.07 oz First Wort 60 mins
Columbus 14.2% 1.00 g / 0.04 oz Boil 15 mins
Columbus 14.2% 1.00 g / 0.04 oz Aroma 0 mins


Name Attenuation
Wyeast 1388 – Belgian Strong Ale 85 %

Mash Steps

Step Name Time Temperature Type
Saccharification Rest 60.0 min 64.0 °C / 147.2 °F Infusion


N.b. No-sparge mash: strike water = 5.5 L.Boil the Amaranth first.

Recipe Generated with BrewMate


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: