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Old 09-09-2009, 11:39 AM   #1
BA_from_GA
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Default critique please... Belgain Strong Dark recipe

Ok, So this will be the first brew i do based on a recipe i've put together. I've done kits, then non-kits of others' recipes, and have done a couple slightly altered recipes, but i just wanna make sure that i'm not gonna screw this up.

I wanna do a Belgian Strong Dark or Quad-esque beer for SHMBO. I've looked at lots of recipes both here and other places online and this is what i've come up with.

6.5# Amber LME
4# Munich LME
1/2 # Caravine
1/2 # Special B
1/4 # Chocolate Malt
1/2 # Belgian Pale Ale Malt
1.5 # Dark 2 Belgian Candy Syrup (really excited about using this particular ingredient)

1 oz nugget @ 60 min.
1 oz Styrian Golding @ 15 min.

I'd specifically appreciate suggestions on the specialty grains and hop choices. I don't really know which hops are best for which style beers, much less desired intricacies within styles.

thanks in advance.

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Old 09-09-2009, 01:26 PM   #2
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My opinion:
I never, ever use any extract other than pale or pilsner extract. If you use a generic "Dark" or "Amber" extract, how do you know what's in it? Does the amber extract have crystal malt in it, or munich, or pale malt and just enough roasted malt to make it amber? All three would be drastically different. And beyond that, the amount of specialty malt you have here, plus dark candy syrup, is more than enough to get a strong dark beer with just a pale extract. My homebrew shop doesn't carry a Munich extract, but assuming it is an extract made from 100% munich malt that sounds great for this beer.
So first thing i'd switch the amber extract to light or even extra light/pilsner extract.
Other than that you have an awful lot of specialty malt in there. Many of our favorite belgian breweries (St Bernardus, Rochefort, and more) claim to only use base malt and dark candy sugar as fermentalbes (to what extent they consider Munich base malt, I'm not sure). What you have might be a little cloying in such a big beer. Personally I'd cut the Special B to 1/4 lb and take out the chocolate completely. The dark syrup and special B will give you plenty of color.
My 2 cents.

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Old 09-09-2009, 01:42 PM   #3
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I have never heard of Munich in LME, but other than that.. you look ok. I agree that you probably don't need Amber extract.. just use light or extra light DME. Many Belgians use a pale malt as the base.

Heres a Belgian Dark Strong I did a few months back:

6.00 lb Light Dry Extract (8.0 SRM) Dry Extract 52.75 %
2.00 lb Munich Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM) Grain 17.58 %
1.00 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 8.79 %
0.75 lb Wheat, Torrified (1.7 SRM) Grain 6.59 %
0.13 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.10 %
1.50 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (60 min) Hops 20.1 IBU
1.50 lb Candi Sugar, Amber (75.0 SRM) Sugar 13.19 %
WLP 570

Est Original Gravity: 1.084 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.021 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.19 %
Bitterness: 20.1 IBU
Est Color: 21.9 SRM

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Old 09-09-2009, 01:58 PM   #4
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Munich LME is fairly new on the market. Briess just started with it. Here's the scoop, straight from the horse's mouth. It's mashed from 50% 2-row Pale and 50% Munich.

I concur: replace the Amber extract with Light/Pale (or Briess's "Gold").

Other notes: If you're set on using the Dark Candi Syrup, I'd omit the Chocolate Malt. I'd also tone down the Special B. Four ounces should be more than sufficient in this grist. I think you'll be okay with your hops profile. For yeast, you have a wide variety of options. Any Trappist yeast ought to perform nicely.

Cheers!

Bob

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Old 10-27-2009, 12:19 AM   #5
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brewed this 2 weeks ago. So far the samples i've taken taste fantastic.

I also added .5 oz of simcoe hops at 30 min. A buddy had them left over from his brew we did just before mine, so i just tossed them in.

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