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Old 09-27-2010, 08:12 PM   #1
xeerohour
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Default Boulevard Smokestack Sixth Glass/Bourbon Barrel Quad

So, I'm attempting to formulate a clone recipe for my first belgian beer.

Specifically, I'm attempting to mimic Boulevard's Bourbon Barrel Quad, which is their Sixth Glass Quad aged in Bourbon Barrels over some cherries.

Nice simple place to start, right?

Per their website (boulevard.com), I have a pretty solid idea how to pull off the sixth glass, the only question is what quantities I need for each of the relative ingredients.

Here's what I had in mind for a five gallon batch:

15lb Pale 2-Row
2lb Pale Wheat
.5lb CaraVienne
.5lb Special B
1lb Belgian Dark Candi Sugar
1lb Brown Sugar

.67oz Magnum - 60min
1oz Saphir - 10min

They list the sixth glass at 22 IBUs, and per my calculations this hits exactly.

They list the color as 73.2 EBC, which is basically 28 SRM, and I calculate this out at 30 SRM, so it's just a touch too dark. To get around this, I could probably pull some of the brown or belgian sugars in favor of some corn sugar, but I'm not sure if that's really necessary.

I've dropped the belgian dark candi syrup as I can't get ahold of that locally - I'm trying to get the sugar/flavor/color out of that by bumping up the belgian dark crystal to a full pound.

I'm thinking I'll probably give this a shot this coming weekend - the only real question I had is whether to scale down the 2-row in favor of some additional sugars, or if I'm comfortable with the current proportions.


After about 2-3 weeks in primary, I was planning on racking this over onto some bourbon (about a cup), a few ounces of oak chips, and some cherries, in order to pull in that aged flavor that boulevard does so well with this beer.

Those of you with some additional experience with Quads have any suggestions?

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Old 09-27-2010, 11:42 PM   #2
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The biggest thing I've learned from brewing Quads is you're going to be fighting attenuation more than you would for other styles with the same starting gravity. I'd aim for 80-85% attenuation.

http://beerdujour.com/Howtobrewabigbeer.htm

That site is awesome if you haven't seen it. I would use Turbinado instead of brown sugar if you can find it. If not, it's not a big deal.

I agree with bumping up the amount of sugar to more like 20%.

I haven't had the Boulevard quad, but most authentic Belgian beers get a lot of their flavor from the syrups they use. You can make your own with some table sugar and DAP, but it's hard to get the really dark chocolatey flavors from homemade candi syrup.

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Old 09-28-2010, 01:43 AM   #3
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Interesting - I hadn't realized my attenuation would drop like that. Good to know.

I'll pitch a starter - haven't actually ever done that before, even on other large (8%+) beers, but this one will be by far the biggest.

As to the sugars - your recommendation would be to add a pound of corn sugar to bump up the sugars, and use a pound of belgian candi syrup as well?

Doing that, I could shorten the 2-row down to 13 pounds, and still get an OG of around 1.110

The only problem with that is that I bump the color up to around 34 SRM, which is darker than I was shooting for (wanted around 28).

I'd wonder if I might not be better off simply dropping the hard candi sugar and using the syrup instead. I could shorten the quantities on both, but I'd prefer not to have to buy spend the extra if I could avoid it.

Then, I wind up with something like the following:
13lb 2-row
2lb Wheat
.5lb CaraVienne
.5lb Special B
2lb Brown Sugar
1lb Dark Candi Syrup
1lb Corn sugar

which gets me roughly 1.115 post boil. Even at 70% attenuation, I'm between 10-11% ABV, which is what I'm shooting for.

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Old 09-28-2010, 02:47 AM   #4
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Quadruples are the hardest beer I've ever brewed, and the only beer I've tried to make that turned out undrinkable (twice).

A 1.115 OG with only 70% attenuation would be undrinkably sweet to me. That's an FG of like 1.035. For the style, you'll want an FG between 1.010 – 1.024, but I'd try to get it under 1.020.

Avery's Quad is 10%ABV, but their OG is only 1.093. From Boulevard's site, their OG is 21 and their FG is 2.6 Plato. That's about 1.087 for the OG and 1.010 for the FG. Those are pretty typical of commercial versions. Very high attenuation, which is hard by itself, and also a pretty high OG, which makes the yeast have to work harder.

To replicate those stats at home, that means a long mash, a cold mash (149F), a thin mash (2qt/#), and a very long boil. In my setup, that much mash liquor takes about 4 hours to boil down to my target volume.

You'll also want a big starter. Like 8 liters big. You really can't pitch too much.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

I'd scale the gravity way down from where you are, keep the sugars (corn or table, either works) at around 20% of the grist. Add the sugar when fermentation starts to lag to squeeze the most attenuation you can get out of it.

If you can get the candi syrup, use it. I wouldn't worry about SRM going too high. St. Bernardus 12 is like 37 SRM.

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Old 09-28-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
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Good luck. BBQ is a great beer!

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Old 09-28-2010, 03:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the advice, Nateo. Especially thanks for noticing the gravity numbers on their site which I completely overlooked!

I did some research on yeast strains and attenuation last night, and it seems like I might actually have a shot at approaching boulevard's gravity numbers.

However, since I KNOW my efficiency will be lower, and I suspect my attenuation will be lower, I'm going to build myself in a little bit of "fluff".

Toward that end, I think the following grain bill will hit me an OG of 1.089 (assuming efficiency of 71%, which was the result on my last big beer):

10lb 2-row
2lb Wheat
.5lb CaraVienne
.5lb Special B
1lb Brown Sugar
1lb Dark Candi Crystal
1lb Dark Candi Syrup

.67oz Magnum 60 mins
1oz Hallertauer (sub for Saphir) 10min

Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity Yeast (with a nice big starter)

If I do a step mash of 146 for 45 minutes, then 156 for 45 minutes, it appears I'll get the best results as well.

One thing I can't do is mash real thin - I have a 30 quart mash tun/brewpot combo, which means at 13 pounds of grain, I can only do about 5 gallons of water, max. Depending on how it looks, I may sparge extra to accumulate some additional runnings I'll boil down.

I plan on adding the candi syrup as fermentation starts to slow as that should mix in nicely, but I wasn't sure about the other sugars - wouldn't I need to add them during the boil in order to get them mixed into suspension properly?

On that note- to agitate a fermentation that's active, what do people normally do? Simply shake the carboy? Or do people sanitize something like a wooden dowel and use that to stir?

Even if I don't hit this exactly, I'm just really excited to be trying something so completely new for me. That, and the fact that as SevenFields says, the BBQ IS an awesome beer. If I can get anywhere close, it'll be a great winter warmer. The trick will be having the patience to let it age properly

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Old 09-29-2010, 03:59 AM   #7
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On my big beers I'll do 3.3g batches because of the volume limitations. That also makes it easier to get a high pitch rate from a single smack pack.

The step mash is a good way to go if you can't do a thinner mash.

You can add the sugar once fermentation is going by reserving a small amount of water from the boil, and then dissolving the sugar in that in a boil later. I wouldn't add more than a pound at a time. You wouldn't need to dissolve the syrup, if you're using something to stir it you may not need to pre-dissolve the brown sugar. You will definitely have to dissolve the rock candy.

As to how much water you need, I don't have real solid numbers. I've read that you need at least 750ml of water to dissolve 1000g of sugar.

To agitate it, I just kinda swirl it around. It's easy with a bucket, you just twirl it on edge a little.

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Old 09-30-2010, 05:11 PM   #8
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Just picked up all the supplies at the local shop - going to be brewing this one on Sunday. I haven't been this excited about a beer in a while

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Old 09-30-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
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Cool! keep us updated on your progress

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Old 10-01-2010, 02:23 AM   #10
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To get your FG lower (1.012-1.016 range), could you pitch a champagne yeast and a bit of sugar if the gravity gets stuck too high ?

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