Oli's Champion Flanders Red Ale

Champion Beer at 2015 the National Homebrew Competition, scoring 48/50

Based on the recipe in brewing classic styles.

  • OG: 1.056
  • FG: 1.008
  • IBU: 12 (tinseth)
  • ABV: ~6.3%
  • 25-27L Batch
  • Brew day: 3/6/2013
  • 5Kg Gladfield Pils
  • 1Kg Gladfield Vienna
  • 1Kg Gladfield Munich
  • 500g Carapils
  • 300g Gladfields Wheat
  • 250g Gladfields Aromatic
  • 250g Belgian Aromatic
  • 250g Caramunich II
  • 250g Special B
  • 100g Maltodextrin

  • 10g Southern Cross (12% AA) 60min

  • US-05
  • Wyeast 3763 - Roeselare Blend
  • Bottle Dregs of your choice (e.g. Cantillon).

  • 20g european oak cubes (light toast)

Given it was 2 years ago and I'd only just started brewing all grain, my notes are a bit sparse. Here's what I could find/remember:

Colour wasn't quite as dark as I would have liked, racked some dark wort into it a bit down the track to get it up to a nice deep ruby red.

I like to brew at least 25L on brewday so I can fill a 23L carboy right up to the neck in primary/secondary. Sometimes I'll do the primary in a 23L carboy + a 4.5L demi-john, use the demi-john the top up the fermenter once the yeast has settled down.

Mashed at 70 deg C (1 hour?)
Christchurch water, no adjustments

10g Southern Cross (12% AA) 60min

Primary (6 months):
Aerated cooled wort normally.
1/2 pack US-05 rehydrated
Funky Slurry (courtesy of Douglas) (originally roeselare blend + cantillon dregs)

Secondary (16 months):
Racked to secondary on top of some dark wort for colour adjustment. Added oak cubes, 100g Maltodextrin and yeast nutrient.
I used the wardrobe in the spare bedroom of our flat for all my sours, this room got almost no direct sunlight so was the coolest/steadiest room in the house temperature wise.

Gravity: 1.008, added some of the blend from our Chch barrel brew (dregs from several homebrew flanders bottles + RR beatification).

Racked 4.5L into a demi-john for future blending.
Bottled the rest ~17L with 140g table sugar.
Rehydrated CBC-1 for bottling.

So it was close to 2 years in fermentation + 6 months in the bottle by the time it was judged.

When it was young in the bottle it had kind of a buttery / ethyl-lactate type flavour + aroma. This seemed to drop off after a few months.

I left it in the fermenter for so long because I believed it wasn't sour and complex enough. I pretty quickly learned that the perception of these beers changes a lot when you add some CO2 into the mix, it helps to lift the aroma and increase the perceived acidity. I think it's quite aggressive for the style, but if you like aggressive sour beers then adding some dregs can really help.

The main thing I'd improve in this beer would be to try and boost the mouthfeel and general malt backbone. I've recently put down a bigger, darker version using only fresh roeselare in primary. I'm hoping the bigger OG will give more residual body + mouthfeel (as well as a different grain bill). If the fresh roeselare doesn't produce the acidity I'm after, my plan is to blend with some more aggressive batches.

Anyway, I hope my crazy kitchen sink attempt at a flanders inspires someone to give it a go ;). Don't let anyone tell you that brewing sours is difficult, if you can make wort you can make sour beer :) Malt extract brews are great for sours too.

Sam's Champion NZ Pale Ale

Champion Ale at 2015 the National Homebrew Competition scoring 47/50, and winner of Brewmania 2016

Fermented at 18 degrees for first five days and then ramped to 21, ended up splitting the dry hop in half adding for 7 and four days. Cold crashed for a couple of days, kegged and hit with gelatin. All up a 17 day turn around as I got started a week late, would have been four weeks grain to glass on judging day - sheet attached.

The water additions work out to be 4g CaCl, 6g Gypsum, 6g Epsom with Christchurch water.

  • Type: All Grain
  • Batch Size: 24.50 l
  • Boil Size: 32.06 l
  • Boil Time: 90 min
  • End of Boil Vol: 27.56 l
  • Final Bottling Vol: 22.00 l
  • Equipment: BIAB Setup
  • Efficiency: 76.00 %


  • Water: Christchurch NZ 35.00 l
  • Gladfield American Ale Malt (5.0 EBC) 4.50 kg
  • Gladfield Wheat Malt (4.2 EBC) 0.40 kg
  • Gladfield Gladiator Malt (10.0 EBC) 0.20 kg
  • Gladfield Light Crystal Malt (63.0 EBC) 0.20 kg
  • Gladfield Sour Grapes Malt (4.0 EBC) 0.20 kg

  • Nelson Sauvin [11.10 %] - Boil 60.0 min 16.00 g
  • Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) 0.50 Items
  • Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 15.0 min 20.00 g
  • Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 15.0 min 20.00 g
  • Nelson Sauvin [11.60 %] - Boil 15.0 min 5.00 g
  • Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min 20.00 g
  • Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 5.0 min 20.00 g
  • Nelson Sauvin [11.60 %] - Boil 5.0 min 5.00 g
  • Cascade [5.50 %] - Boil 0.0 min 20.00 g
  • Motueka [6.70 %] - Boil 0.0 min 20.00 g
  • Nelson Sauvin [11.60 %] - Boil 0.0 min 5.00 g

  • US West Coast Yeast (Mangrove Jack's #M44) 2.0 pkg (Rehydrated)

  • Cascade [5.50 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days 40.00 g
  • Motueka [6.70 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days 40.00 g
  • Nelson Sauvin [11.10 %] - Dry Hop 5.0 Days 20.00 g

Gravity, Alcohol Content and Color

  • Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 5.1 %
  • Bitterness: 39.4 IBUs
  • Measured Original Gravity: 1.052 SG
  • Measured Final Gravity: 1.013 SG
  • Mash & Water Profile
  • Mash Name: BIAB, Medium Body - 66.7 Degrees C for 60 minutes
  • Mash out at 75
  • Mash pH 5.3
  • Ca: 85 ppm
  • Cl: 60 ppm
  • SO4: 175 ppm