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Old 07-19-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default First Belgium Dark Strong Ale.

Im trying to put together a recipe for a Belgium Dark Strong.

Here is the recipe


BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Ryan Belgian dark strong
Brewer: Ryan Kipping
Asst Brewer:
Style: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 8.76 gal
Post Boil Volume: 6.76 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.50 gal
Bottling Volume: 4.75 gal
Estimated OG: 1.096 SG
Estimated Color: 11.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 36.1 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 95.6 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
1 lbs Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM) Grain 1 5.8 %
4.0 oz Melanoidin (Weyermann) (30.0 SRM) Grain 2 1.4 %
15 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM) Grain 3 87.0 %
1 lbs Candi Sugar, Amber (75.0 SRM) Sugar 4 5.8 %
1.00 oz Warrior [15.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 5 36.1 IBUs
1.10 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 6 -



The color is a little light. Should I used Dark Sugar or stick with Amber. Also Im not to sure about the grains. I was thinking about using Melanoidin but Im not really sure if its the right place for it. As for the Base malt. Is Maris Otter ok or should I use just a Pale Malt. I read somewhere that Warrior would be good. 36 IBU's looks a bit high for the style. Please let me know what you think. I might brew this up tomorrow. Also how much head space do you think I need a in my fermentor for Krusen (SP) I have an 8 gallon fermentor but I dont want to have to worry about it making a huge mess.



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Old 07-20-2013, 04:26 AM   #2
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What yeast are you using, and at what temperatures? That is key. Generally you want to chill to the mid 60s and then let free rise.

A Belgian, or at least German, base malt is traditional, rather than maris otter. But I haven't personally tried MO as a base malt for a BDS. what I would definitely recommend, though, is using a greater percentage of sugar. You could use both amber and dark sugars, but more importantly, 15 to 20% is a typical amount. That keeps the final gravity low even in a high alcohol beer. Some of the sugar can just be plain table sugar.

I wouldn't worry about 36 ibu, at least if you plan to age it a bit (as you should). But if it bugs you or you want to drink it younger, move the addition to slightly later on.



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Old 07-20-2013, 11:45 AM   #3
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I would probably use a little less 2 row, then go with 2 lbs D2 syrup and use Wyeast 3787. Check the Pious clone below as a reference:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f73/pious-westvleteren-12-style-quad-multiple-147815/

I made a 2.5 gallon batch of the original version a few months back- tried a bottle a few days ago and it was unbelievably good!

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Old 07-20-2013, 12:46 PM   #4
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I haven't decided on a yeast yet. My son had a fever yesterday so I didn't get a chance to go to the brew store yet. I'll get rid of MO and find something else. Also I didn't realize sugar was that high in these. My pantry is about 65 right now. And I usually have my fermentors on the concrete floor so that might help keep it a little cooler. So I should change my hops up a bit too?

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Old 07-20-2013, 01:53 PM   #5
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Don't necessarily get rid of the Maris Otter. There was an article in the May/June 2008 issue of Zymurgy, "A Saison for Every Season." One of the recipes is for an autumn saison using mostly Maris Otter and biscuit malts.

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Old 07-21-2013, 01:40 AM   #6
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I don't think MO will ruin the beer, but I think it's better saved for something paler. You can make a nice quad with just 2-row (or pils or whatever) and dark syrup, but mixing in some specialty malts can add some complexity. 3787 will certainly work well for this. It's far from the only choice, but it may be the best. The only thing I'd definitely change would be to add a pound of D2 syrup and cut the base malt to compensate. You can switch the Amber to D2 if you want more dark fruit flavors, or leave it as is.

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Old 07-21-2013, 01:39 PM   #7
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You do have options, which is a nice thing about BDS. On the yeast in particular, there are several strains available that are of trappist origin. Check it out here: http://www.mrmalty.com/yeast.htm. If you want to do some fun "research" on this, you could buy a bottle of each of those trappist breweries' darker beer, and then see what you like in terms of yeast profile. There are a bunch of other strains that will work too, though.

If you are interested in these kinds of beers and haven't already picked up a coy of Brew Like A Monk, I'd definitely recommend that. It's not indispensable, but it really helps point out some of the key differences between Belgian (especially Trappist) beers and American beers from a recipe design and process perspective. For example, you might not guess it from drinking (at first, anyway), but most of the dark strongs coming from Trappists use essentially just pils or pale base malt and dark sugar to get their flavor profile.

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Old 10-30-2013, 07:33 PM   #8
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I did end up making this and it's awesome. Kegged 2 weeks ago and it's great. Came out to 10.3 percent.



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