Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Belgian dark strong recipe help - AG

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-09-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
mcwilcr
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 885
Liked 78 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 42

Default Belgian dark strong recipe help - AG

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite styles so I decided it was time for me to try my hand at brewing one. I've done a fair amount of research and over the last couple days have come up with this first draft of a recipe.

Code:
Belgian (Quad) Dark Strond - AG - Belgian Dark Strong Ale
================================================================================
Batch Size: 5.500 gal
Boil Size: 6.394 gal
Boil Time: 60.000 min
Efficiency: 75%%
OG: 1.094
FG: 1.023
ABV: 9.3%%
Bitterness: 25.1 IBUs (Tinseth)
Color: 24 SRM (Morey)

Fermentables
================================================================================
                 Name  Type    Amount Mashed Late Yield Color
      Caramunich Malt Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No  72%%  56 L
      Caravienne Malt Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No  74%%  22 L
       Special B Malt Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No  65%% 160 L
 Pale Malt (2 Row) US Grain 12.000 lb    Yes   No  79%%   2 L
          Munich Malt Grain  3.000 lb    Yes   No  80%%   9 L
   Candi Sugar, Amber Sugar  2.000 lb    Yes   No  78%%  75 L
Total grain: 18.500 lb

Hops
================================================================================
      Name Alpha   Amount  Use       Time   Form  IBU
 Hallertau 4.5%% 2.500 oz Boil 60.000 min Pellet 25.1

Yeast
================================================================================
                 Name Type   Form   Amount   Stage
 Wyeast - Belgian Ale  Ale Liquid 1.057 qt Primary

Mash
================================================================================
               Name     Type    Amount      Temp    Target       Time
         Conversion Infusion 4.950 gal 165.133 F 152.000 F 90.000 min
 Final Batch Sparge Infusion 3.649 gal 195.355 F 168.000 F 15.000 min
I have a few questions and concerns:

1) The software I am using (Brewtarget) does not seem to allow me to see how attenuation changes for different fermentation temperatures. I am concerned about the high FG of 1.023 that I am seeing with this recipe as it stands. my plan is to ferment primarily in the mid to high range of the temperature for the chosen yeast strain and then possibly raise the temp a bit higher just after high krousen to hopefully improve my attenuation and get those FG numbers down. is this a reasonable plan? would I be better of letting my initial yeast do its thing then adding something like a campaign yeast at the end to finish things off?

2)Right now I have caravienne and caramunich both at about 5% of the grist. I am thinking about lowering the caramunich to about 3% and increasing the caravienne to about 7% to keep them at 10% of the grist. I want the toasted caramel sweetness but not a burnt sugar taste that I am afraid to much caramunich would add. Thoughts?

3)I have had experience with the wyeast Trappist HG yeast before which is another strain I am considdering. What are your thoughts on comparison between the Trappist HG and the Abbey ale I & II ? from the discription on the website I am leaning more toward Abbey ale I but I have never used it before.

4) Most importently, am I overlooking or over complicating anything? I've never tried to brew anything this big before so I'm open to suggestions.
__________________
mcwilcr is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-09-2012, 03:24 PM   #2
jpoder
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 224
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Belgian Dark Strong is my favorite style too (both to drink and to brew). I won a gold medal recently with my BDS using the recipe for Westvleteren 12 that has a massive thread on Homebrew Talk (search for 'The Pious') I used the 'New World' recipe that derives a lot of flavor from specialty malts. Traditional BDS recipes typically use a very simple grain bill and derive all of their flavor from the dark candi syrup and the yeast.

Traditionally the base malt for these beers is pilsner malt. Using 2 row you just won't get the biscuity, bready flavor/aroma that is typical of the style.

Tradition aside, I like grain derived character, so I use a pilsner base and specialty grains like the addition of caramunich II, aromatic malt and biscuit malt as well as Special B.

Candi Syrup (the dark stuff either D180 or D2 depending on vendor) is the key to this beer. The amber syrup doesn't have the same flavor profile and will disappoint, IMHO. You just won't get the raisiny, dark cherry, dark fruit, chocolate, leather character that defines this style without it.

I usually mash low (typically around 149) to try to get these as dry as possible. I don't like my BDS to be cloyingly sweet, which can happen. You can mash higher if you prefer a sweeter BDS with more mouthfeel. This is really a personal preference. lots of good commercial examples at either end of the spectrum.

Make sure you pitch a proper amount of yeast. Either multiple packs/vials, a large starter, or a yeast cake from a previous batch. if you pitch a single vial or a small starter you will be disappointed...LOTS of off flavors. I've had good luck with many different yeasts in BDS beers. on a recommendation I recently used a wit beer yeast and LOVE the results! Obviously the results will differ as different yeasts will result in different esters, will attenuate differently, etc, but there is no single *best*. I've used WLP 530 with great success in this style, I've used Fermentis T-58 with great success, I've used WLP 500, but don't like it as much.

Don't fall for the fallacy of hot ferments. especially early on in the fermentation. if you can manage it, start in the mid-60's and only ramp above 70 after a few days of vigorous fermentation. it is too easy to let it blow into the 80's, but you will get lots of fusels and higher alcohols. I find it really harsh and undesirable. some recover after LONG periods of aging, some never recover.

Let this puppy age! my BDS beers are almost undrinkable younger than 6 months old. They start getting good around 9 months old, and my 2 and 3 year old versions are GREAT (and award winning).

Best of luck on brewing this fantastic style! Get yourself a copy of Brew Like A Monk for lots of great info!

__________________
jpoder is offline
mcwilcr Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-09-2012, 04:48 PM   #3
mcwilcr
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 885
Liked 78 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 42

Default

Thanks for the helpful advice!

I did read some of the pages of the thread you mentioned and found it very informative!

what ever yeast strain I use I plan to make about a 1L starter which is what Mrmalty comes up with as well for my potential OG. Thanks for the info about fermentation temps too. The primary reason I was considering upping the temperature about mid way through is because of that first thread you mentioned where he talks about letting his temps rise up to about 82-83f and holding it. also, anywhere someone mentions finishing too high he seems to recommend raising the ferm temp. You do not allow your temps to rise?

I chose the amber candi simply because I dont expect what I make to be quite as dark as the dark candi in the software. I have make my own invert sugar before with great success and plan to do this again for this recipe as well. I was thinking about possibly doing something like the sugar#5 in this thread. it is darker than I have ever done before myself but from the discription I think it will be a great addition to this beer.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-l...trient-114837/

the 2-row I have in my recipe is not exactly correct. I am actually using Colorado base pale from a Colorado maltster which is a little more flavorful than standard 2-row and I think will work really well but I added the munich malt to add a little more biscuit, bready flavor. I also considered adding 8 oz of belgian biscuit malt but dont want to overcomplicate the grist. also, I could shift a little more of the base grain to munich to improve this as well.

__________________
mcwilcr is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-09-2012, 06:04 PM   #4
jpoder
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 224
Liked 13 Times on 11 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

sounds like a good plan. he he...people have obsessed about cloning the Westy beer...tons of good info in there, but the thread has grown to the point where the signal to noise is pretty low.

I've only had to drastically raise the temp once...a beer that really stalled out and needed it HOT to keep fermenting down. All of the others got there on their own. Not sure why there seems to be folks who's beers stall our at 1.030 without cranking up the heat! I'd use that as a somewhat last resort. you will get plenty of yeast derived flavor/aroma without doing that.

I've done the home-made sugar ( I posted quite a few times to the thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-l...trient-114837/) the #5 will make a good beer, but after LOTS of attempts, I just don't feel it is quite in the same ballpark as the D180. Mine never get the chocolate/caramel notes. I continue to try on occasion when I hear someone with a new idea / technique, but none have achieved the same level. Give it a try, though. it's fun to do and cheap enough. Try doing a side-by-side taste test with D2 or D180 before brewing, though to make sure you are happy with it.

__________________
jpoder is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #5
mcwilcr
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 885
Liked 78 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 42

Default

I've made a few tweaks to the recipe in order to balance out the beer a little bit better. first, I have reduced the mash temp to 149F in order to dry the beer out a bit so I dont end up with something so sweet I cant even drink it. Second, I went ahead and swapped out another pound of the base malt with munich malt to hopefully get a little more bread character in the finished beer.

One thing that I have been looking a lot at is the Belgian Candi sugar. I really want to make this myself because I feel like most or in the very least a significant portion of the personality in the finished beer is going to come from this. Originally I was going to do the sugar #5 from the thread I linked to in a previous post but with significantly more research I think I have come across some explination as to why none of those recipes seem to get quite the same complexity as the D2 or D180 that is available from the homebrew stores. I'm going to have to do some experimenting I think but here is what I'm thinking. The maillard reaction performs best with a higher PH than most of us get naturally so to up the PH of my candi I will be adding some pickling lime to the recipe. The amino acids produced in the refining process of sugar are critical to the complexity of the belgian candi sugar and the white table sugar we use to make ours has intentionally been stripped of many of these. in order to re introduce some amino acids into the candi I will be adding either some molasses or more than likely some treacle to the recipe. Hopefully this will improve the chocolate and caramel notes when compared to the commercial stuff.

Has anyone tried to play with PH and amino acid content when making Candi? I searched around and only was able to find one mention of using pickling lime for this in the other thread and I wasn't able to find much in the way of results from this other than to say that there seems to be some agreement that higher PH gives better results.


Code:
Belgian (Quad) Dark Strond - AG - Belgian Dark Strong Ale
================================================================================
Batch Size: 5.500 gal
Boil Size: 6.394 gal
Boil Time: 60.000 min
Efficiency: 75%%
OG: 1.094
FG: 1.023
ABV: 9.3%%
Bitterness: 25.1 IBUs (Tinseth)
Color: 24 SRM (Morey)

Fermentables
================================================================================
                 Name  Type    Amount Mashed Late Yield Color
      Caramunich Malt Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No  72%%  56 L
      Caravienne Malt Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No  74%%  22 L
       Special B Malt Grain  8.000 oz    Yes   No  65%% 160 L
 Pale Malt (2 Row) US Grain 11.000 lb    Yes   No  79%%   2 L
          Munich Malt Grain  4.000 lb    Yes   No  80%%   9 L
   Candi Sugar, Dark Sugar  2.000 lb    Yes   No  78%%  75 L
Total grain: 18.500 lb

Hops
================================================================================
      Name Alpha   Amount  Use       Time   Form  IBU
 Hallertau 4.5%% 2.500 oz Boil 60.000 min Pellet 25.1

Yeast
================================================================================
                 Name Type   Form   Amount   Stage
 Wyeast - Belgian Ale  Ale Liquid 1.057 qt Primary

Mash
================================================================================
               Name     Type    Amount      Temp    Target       Time
         Conversion Infusion 4.950 gal 165.133 F 149.000 F 90.000 min
 Final Batch Sparge Infusion 3.649 gal 195.355 F 168.000 F 15.000 min
__________________
mcwilcr is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
beergolf
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
beergolf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: collingswood, nj
Posts: 3,950
Liked 358 Times on 294 Posts
Likes Given: 109

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoder View Post
Belgian Dark Strong is my favorite style too (both to drink and to brew). I won a gold medal recently with my BDS using the recipe for Westvleteren 12 that has a massive thread on Homebrew Talk (search for 'The Pious') I used the 'New World' recipe that derives a lot of flavor from specialty malts. Traditional BDS recipes typically use a very simple grain bill and derive all of their flavor from the dark candi syrup and the yeast.

Traditionally the base malt for these beers is pilsner malt. Using 2 row you just won't get the biscuity, bready flavor/aroma that is typical of the style.

Tradition aside, I like grain derived character, so I use a pilsner base and specialty grains like the addition of caramunich II, aromatic malt and biscuit malt as well as Special B.

Candi Syrup (the dark stuff either D180 or D2 depending on vendor) is the key to this beer. The amber syrup doesn't have the same flavor profile and will disappoint, IMHO. You just won't get the raisiny, dark cherry, dark fruit, chocolate, leather character that defines this style without it.

I usually mash low (typically around 149) to try to get these as dry as possible. I don't like my BDS to be cloyingly sweet, which can happen. You can mash higher if you prefer a sweeter BDS with more mouthfeel. This is really a personal preference. lots of good commercial examples at either end of the spectrum.

Make sure you pitch a proper amount of yeast. Either multiple packs/vials, a large starter, or a yeast cake from a previous batch. if you pitch a single vial or a small starter you will be disappointed...LOTS of off flavors. I've had good luck with many different yeasts in BDS beers. on a recommendation I recently used a wit beer yeast and LOVE the results! Obviously the results will differ as different yeasts will result in different esters, will attenuate differently, etc, but there is no single *best*. I've used WLP 530 with great success in this style, I've used Fermentis T-58 with great success, I've used WLP 500, but don't like it as much.

Don't fall for the fallacy of hot ferments. especially early on in the fermentation. if you can manage it, start in the mid-60's and only ramp above 70 after a few days of vigorous fermentation. it is too easy to let it blow into the 80's, but you will get lots of fusels and higher alcohols. I find it really harsh and undesirable. some recover after LONG periods of aging, some never recover.

Let this puppy age! my BDS beers are almost undrinkable younger than 6 months old. They start getting good around 9 months old, and my 2 and 3 year old versions are GREAT (and award winning).

Best of luck on brewing this fantastic style! Get yourself a copy of Brew Like A Monk for lots of great info!
Excellent post. My favorite style also and the advice this post give is exactly what I would have posted.

You BU:GU ratios is a little low. You might want to up the IBU's slightly.

Pils is a good choice.

The D-180 or D2 does have a flavor that really makes a good Belgian.

Proper sized starter.

The advice to ferment Belgians hot comes from people that have never done it.The advice of pitching in the 60's and holding it there before letting it rise is perfect. Belgian yeasts fermented hot can easily get out of control.

A lot of the flavor of Belgians does come from the yeast, so try a few and see which ones you like. I like 3787 a lot, but have made good brews using others too.

Then letting them age is what really makes these brews.

If you like these brews definitely get a copy of Brew Like a Monk.

Enjoy.
__________________
beergolf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
mcwilcr
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 885
Liked 78 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 42

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpoder View Post

Best of luck on brewing this fantastic style! Get yourself a copy of Brew Like A Monk for lots of great info!
Quote:
Originally Posted by beergolf View Post

If you like these brews definitely get a copy of Brew Like a Monk.

Enjoy.
Placed an order through Amazon yesterday!

Quote:
Originally Posted by beergolf View Post
You BU:GU ratios is a little low. You might want to up the IBU's slightly.
This is a good point that I didn't look at too deeply. Currently I'm at .26 and if I average out the style range from BJCP thats kinda low. would it be reasonable to shoot for something like 0.3? does that seem like a well ballanced BU:GU ratio?
__________________
mcwilcr is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #8
beergolf
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
beergolf's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: collingswood, nj
Posts: 3,950
Liked 358 Times on 294 Posts
Likes Given: 109

Default

Quote:
This is a good point that I didn't look at too deeply. Currently I'm at .26 and if I average out the style range from BJCP thats kinda low. would it be reasonable to shoot for something like 0.3? does that seem like a well ballanced BU:GU ratio?
.28-30 is good for the style. There are BDSA's that are lower and some that are higher. Depends on how you like them.
__________________
beergolf is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-12-2012, 07:35 PM   #9
mcwilcr
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 885
Liked 78 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 42

Default

I tend to prefer maltier examples of most styles so maybe I will shoot closer to the low end of the ratio for the style.

__________________
Mcwilcr Keezer build
mcwilcr is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-26-2012, 02:31 PM   #10
mcwilcr
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 885
Liked 78 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 42

Default

UPDATE: I brewed this yesterday! Brew day went great, hit my temps dead on the nose and my pre-boil volume was exactly what I thought I needed. In reality though I boiled off about a quarter gallon more than I usually do so I was a rich low. Got slightly better efficiency than I expected so I ended up with a 1.100 starting gravity. I also bumped up my ibu's to 27 for an intended BU/GU ratio of about 28 but actually ended up being 27 which I'm fine with. I didn't end up using the candi that I made because it didnt come out like I had hoped. I still have another recipe to try but didn't want to wait any longer to brew and I bought 2 lbs of D-180 as backup anyway. For a starter I ended up pitching close to 400B cells of 3787 by doing a 2 liter starter and stepping up to a 3 liter. Fermentation took off quick and stronger than expected. My poor small diameter blowoff tube was for the first time not going to handle the job. I woke up to a yeast monster this morning after only about 10 hours since pitching my yeast.

image-259093820.jpg  
__________________
Mcwilcr Keezer build
mcwilcr is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Belgian Strong Dark Recipe Feedback 8link Recipes/Ingredients 4 12-18-2011 09:07 PM
Belgian strong dark ale recipe jrm59 Recipes/Ingredients 4 03-09-2011 11:28 AM
Help With Belgian Strong Dark Ale Recipe Ouroboros General Beer Discussion 9 07-06-2010 09:41 PM
Jamil's Belgian Strong Dark Ale recipe Casey27 Recipes/Ingredients 1 06-17-2010 04:00 AM
Recipe critique for strong dark belgian? soontobepcv Recipes/Ingredients 10 08-12-2008 09:17 PM



Newest Threads