AUTHENTIC TRAPPIST BEERS

Chimay is an authentic Trappist beer:
this means that it is brewed within the walls of a Trappist monastery, under the control and responsibility of the community of monks, who are involved through the process of making and marketing the beer.

Most of the income generated by this activity is devoted to the needs of the community and social works.

GOOD TASTING DEPENDS ON GOOD SERVING

  1. Tilt your glass at 45°
  2. Delicately pour half of the bottle into the glass.
  3. Straighten the glass to finish serving.
  4. Leave the last centimetre at the bottom of the bottle to avoid the yeast clouding your beer.

However, if you wish, the beer can of course be served with its yeast, which is perfectly edible.

1 - Mashing

The various ingredients are mixed in the mash tun: water, drawn only from the two wells within the Abbey precincts, and ground malt (barley germinated then dried). For the starch in the grain to be transformed into fermentable sugars, the liquid is brought to various different temperatures at set intervals.

2 – Filtering the wort

The liquid is then filtered to separate the spent grain (insoluble husks and residues) from the wort. (At this stage in the production process, the liquid cannot yet be called beer). The spent grain makes first-class cattle fodder. Local farmers come along to collect it for their cows, whose milk is used to make … Chimay cheese!

3 - Boiling

The wort is then boiled at 100°C. This is when the hops are added. A second batch of hops is put in at the end of the boiling process to bring out the bitterness and aroma of the beer. This boiling process makes the wort sterile.

4 – Clarifying and cooling

The wort is clarified in the centrifuge to remove the solid elements, and then cooled before being transferred to the fermentation vats.

5 - Fermentation

The wort is then sent to the fermentation vats. After three to five days, a liquid is produced which may be called ‘beer’. Because this fermentation takes place at a temperature between 18 and 32°C and the yeast rises to the surface of the fermented beer, this is known as ‘high fermentation’.

6 – Centrifuging and cooling

As the wort ferments, the yeast multiplies. The surplus therefore has to be removed. To do this, the beer is centrifuged and then cooled. The yeast residue is recovered, dried and compressed to form the famous Trappist beer yeast tablets rich in vitamin B and vitamin H and recommended as a potent natural dietary supplement.

7 - Storage

The beer is than kept in a storage vat for a few days at a temperature close to 0°C. This process removes the final solid residues still found in the beer.

8 – Preparation and bottling

After the storage process, the beer is flat, clear and bright. Fresh yeast is therefore added at this stage to achieve the correct alcohol content and sparkle. The beer is then taken by tanker to the bottling plant at Baileux.

9 – Bottling

Once the yeast has been added, the beer is bottled at the rate of 40,000 units an hour. Its foam and sparkle are obtained thanks to the oldest and most natural process possible: second fermentation in the bottle. The liquid is totally ‘flat’ when it is bottled. This additional maturation process is triggered by adding sugar and yeast before bottling – a real ‘champagne method’ which takes three weeks. It produces carbon dioxide saturation while making the beer even easier to digest and enhancing its alcohol content, thereby refining its personality.

10 – Refermentation

After bottling, the beer is kept at a stable temperature and humidity for 21 days, until the refermentation in the bottle is complete. This is when the Chimay maturation process begins. Connoisseurs maintain that this process can be extended for several years, but that’s another story.

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Key dates

ADS biere forte belge Father Théodore isolates the unique yeast cells that still form the basis for brewing Chimay Trappist beers today.
1948
Spéciale 1956 Creation of the White Cap beer, also known as Chimay Triple.
1966
bouteille chimay bleue Creation of Chimay Triple on tap.        .
2001
 
1862
The monks of Chimay produce their first beer according to the monastic traditions of natural brewing.
Moine 1956
The monastic community develops a Christmas beer that is now known as Chimay Blue Cap.
blason chimay triple 1982Creation of Chimay Grande Réserve and, in 1986, Chimay Cinq Cents (75cl bottle). verre chimay 2013
Chimay Gold is marketed for the first time

 

Chimay around the world

CHIMAY TRAPPIST BEERS IN THE WORLD

Our Trappist beers are appreciated in all four corners of the world.

You will find them in many pubs and restaurants near you or when travelling.

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