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Old 07-10-2013, 04:14 PM   #1
jonathanchapman1
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Default Belgian Dark Strong Recipe Critique

Hello again friends and fellow brewers! I was wondering if anyone would mind taking a look at my recipe, and provide any pointers or things they would change? Plan on brewing this weekend, already have the yeast and candi sugars.

http://beersmithrecipes.com/viewrecipe/208684/belgian-dark-strong

Question on the candi sugar: when should I add it? To the boil, or after primary fermentation has started rocking?
Thanks as always!

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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That looks awesome. I would like to try it now, in fact! My only comment is that I don't think I have seen oats in a dark strong. But they work well in other dark beers, and in other Belgian styles, so I don't see why you'd have a problem here. I especially like the 10:7 pils:Munich balance; I think that will give you a lot of malt flavor without using anything super dark (which, IMO, is a not what you want to get the flavor right).

I don't know anything about 3822. Interestingly, some information I have seems to show that it produces acid? Do you know its origins?

As for the candi sugar--you can definitely add it late in the boil if you're doing everything right for your yeast (making a starter, etc.). But you can also add it at high kraeusen (boiled in a tiny bit of water, then cooled, for sanitation), which is better for the yeast and may result in slightly greater attenuation. I don't think it will change the flavor much either way (unless it affects attenuation), but I've never experimented side-by-side to verify that.

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Old 07-10-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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I have a similar recipe in my primary now, only it's a 2 gallon batch. I did my sugar with 5 min. left in the boil. It has been active now for 6 days! I really hope it's getting down, because I didn't get as good of eff. as I had hoped. (By active I mean bubbling in my blow off bottle)

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Old 07-10-2013, 10:04 PM   #4
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Looks pretty good.

I like the D-180, D-90 additions . They really give great flavor. I add them either at flameout, or sometimes add them after a few days of fermentation. I often wait about .three days and then add one of them, wait another three days and then add the next one. Either will work.

I have never used that yeast so I cannot give you any info on it. But in general for Belgians I like to cool my wort to mid 60's and then pitch. Hold it ther untill fermentation starts and then slowly let the temp rise. Don't let it get too hot too fast.

One more thing your BU:GU ratio is about .38 and for a Belgian Dark I like it closer to .30. Minor point.

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Old 07-10-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies everyone! I will add the sugars after a few days active fermentation. I will also pitch mid-60's. I plan on having a 2 liter starter.

motorneuron - from my research, 3822 used to be called "Dutch Castle" and people think it is from the Kasteel brewery. I can't verify that though! Now, it is a "private collection" strain from wyeast. I was planning on doing a belgian dark, and what do you know, wyeast JUST released a belgian dark strain! I call it fate
As for the oats, I saw someone say they liked them for head retention, and I say why not!

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Old 07-11-2013, 12:02 AM   #6
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Oats are too oily to really help head retention, and they'll make your beer a little thicker than a classic dark strong. I have no problem with brewing outside the guidelines, so feel free to make whatever recipe you'd like. My personal recommendation would be to drop the caramunich and the oats. A half-pound of wheat (malted or flaked) will help with head retention and will add a smoothness without letting it get too thick. If you add the sugars at flameout, you'll get more yeast-derived flavors, but it'll be harder to keep the temps and fusels in check. I wouldn't worry about the IBUs too much, as they'll fade with the aging this beer deserves.

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Old 07-13-2013, 06:41 AM   #7
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I'm so intrigued by this whole thing that I just went to the LHBS and got a pack of 3822, and I plan to brew a belgian dark strong tomorrow. We can compare notes in a few weeks, I hope!

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Old 07-13-2013, 06:55 AM   #8
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This could be a great recipe, but to a large extent, I'm with Kingwood above, in that the oats and aromatic/crystal malts seem a bit out of place. If you're looking for something a bit bigger than the usual Quad, then by all means carry on. Understand, though, that with that percentage of oats and specialty malts, that you may very well get something bigger than you bargained for. I think this holds especially true in light of the large amount of Munich malt present.

As for the sugars, I would either add them at flameout or as fermentation dies down (sanitized via a short boil, of course). Otherwise, everything looks pretty standard to me.

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Old 07-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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Thank you for the advice everyone. I ended up swapping out the oats for malted wheat. I also switched out 2 lbs of Munich for 2 lbs of Belgian Pale Malt.

I plan on adding the sugars at high krausen. Last question: my OG was 1.072, but obviously without the 2lbs of sugar. For calculating ABV, how much higher will by OG go if I add those 2 lbs of sugar?

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Old 07-15-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
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Are you using the Candisyrup liquid products? I think they're 32 ppg. If you're using regular old sucrose, that's 45-46 ppg.

So, for example, 2lbs of D-90/180 in 5 gallons is (2*32)/5 = 12.8. So figure on a .013 increase in OG. So that will take you from 1.072 to 1.085.

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