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Old 05-19-2008, 02:41 AM   #1
EinGutesBier
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Default Input on Celebration Trappist-Style Strong Dark Ale Recipe

Okay, here's my tentative recipe, folks:

6 gallon batch:

10 lbs. Belgian Pilsner Malt

1 lbs. Biscuit Malt

1 lbs. Caramunich Malt

1 lbs. Special Roast Malt

.5 lbs. Special B Malt

.5 lbs Chocolate Wheat Malt

3 oz. German Smoked Malt

3 lbs. Amber Belgian Candi Syrup/Sugar


.5 oz. Glacier at 90 minutes

.5 oz. Glacier at 60 minutes

.5 oz Syrian Goldings at 30 minutes

.5 oz. Styrian Goldings at 15 minutes

? .oz at FO?

Wyeast Trappist High Gravity Yeast


So there you have it. I'm thinking of fortifying the grain bill with 4-8 oz. of 90L Crystal Malt. I think that my 120L would be a bit too much. Can any of you tell me if I have too much German Smoked malt in the grainbill? Also, I have up to a full pound of Special B that I can use if needed, but I was afraid that'd take the SRM too far. I pretty much have leeway with just about anything on the list that's listed at less than a pound. I'm hoping for something deep and raisiny, hopefully a little phenolic with a hint of smokiness (hence the smoked malt...though I do have peated malt too) but ultimately that's palatable and drinkable.

Since I'm using pilsner malt, I want to do a nice 90 minute boil, so if I have to change things up with my hop schedule is fine...but it's at 25 IBUs as it is. Not sure if I should put in some Hallertauer in place of the first Styrian Golding addition and then use half of the SG addition for 15 minutes and the rest at flame out.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, folks, since this is the one I'm doing for my fiancee's company's picnic. It's gotta be ready by the 26th of June...close, baby!

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Old 05-19-2008, 03:14 AM   #2
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Sounds damn tasty to me. I would stay away from the peated malt and go light on the smoked malt, although 3 oz. isn't much. I wouldn't think that you would want too much smokiness to come through and with your tight timeline the flavor won't have much time mellow.

As for the 120L that will give a nice roasty, caramel flavor and will contribute to that raisiny finish that you are looking for. If you have Hallertauer available, I would use that in place of the Glacier and then stick with the Styrians. Those are more traditional hops for the style, if that matters to you, if not go with the Glacier.

Should be a good beer just be sure to ramp your temperature up over a couple of days during primary into the high 70's or even up to 80. You want this ferment out completely and the high temps. will help you achieve that. Then after primary fermentation is complete cool age it. Let us know how it turns out.

What's your expected O.G.?

Cheers

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Old 05-19-2008, 03:21 AM   #3
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Give or take a couple points, my OG should be about 1.084 with an efficiency of 77%...which I'll hopefully get with the help of my 5.2 mash stabilizer.

I wanted to play it safe with the smoked malt. Any guess on what'll be enough to get a hint of smokiness to show through all those strong malts without going overboard? With the 120L, should I simply throw some into the grain bill on top of my existing ingredients?

The reason I chose the Glacier is because it's a higher AA hop that's supposedly similar to Styrians Goldings. My Hallertaus are just aroma hops, so I can't really do any bittering with them and my actual Styrian Goldings are also low AA...like 2% or something. : / I have some good 'ol Hop Suey, which I usually guess to be about 7 or 8% AA, which I can substitute in to artificially ramp up the IBUs if needed.

Thanks!

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:01 AM   #4
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Just keep your hops they way they are with the Glacier and Styrians. You could maybe through a few Hals in at flameout for some slight aroma but not alot is needed for this style.

With the smoked malt, IMO most smoky flavor comes from grains such as Special B or 120L. The smoked malt is not a very traditional malt for the style you're making, again that doesn't matter unless you care about that. Usually smoked malt is used to make true smoke beers with a very distinct flavor, although in small quantities it can be used to achieve the effect you are going for. Unfortunately I couldn't say with any certainty what that quantity would be, I think that it would be a trial and error type of thing over multiple batches. If you are going for a slight smoky character you might just swap out the 120L for your Special B and you can achieve both the percieved smokiness and get that dark, caramelly, toastiness as well.

These are just me opinions and my experiences, others I'm sure have other thoughts but I think that you will end up with a nice beer. If you have the resources be sure to ramp up your fermentation temps. You don't want the beer to stall out and not ferment out completely. This will give you an overly sweet belgian ale, it will probably still be good but these should finish fairly dry. Good luck.

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfbrewer View Post
Just keep your hops they way they are with the Glacier and Styrians. You could maybe through a few Hals in at flameout for some slight aroma but not alot is needed for this style.

With the smoked malt, IMO most smoky flavor comes from grains such as Special B or 120L. The smoked malt is not a very traditional malt for the style you're making, again that doesn't matter unless you care about that. Usually smoked malt is used to make true smoke beers with a very distinct flavor, although in small quantities it can be used to achieve the effect you are going for. Unfortunately I couldn't say with any certainty what that quantity would be, I think that it would be a trial and error type of thing over multiple batches. If you are going for a slight smoky character you might just swap out the 120L for your Special B and you can achieve both the percieved smokiness and get that dark, caramelly, toastiness as well.

These are just me opinions and my experiences, others I'm sure have other thoughts but I think that you will end up with a nice beer. If you have the resources be sure to ramp up your fermentation temps. You don't want the beer to stall out and not ferment out completely. This will give you an overly sweet belgian ale, it will probably still be good but these should finish fairly dry. Good luck.
Great info, thanks.

Luckily, I do have a heating pad that helped me keep my Saison fermentation from crapping out, so I think that will achieve the goal here too. Typically, I mash at about 149 or 150 to get the most fermentables, but I'm wondering if I would want to mash between that number and, say 158, for an average of 153 or 154 to get a balanced beer. Thoughts on that?
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Old 05-19-2008, 04:13 AM   #6
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I would drop a lot of the specialty grains if it where me. True Trappist beers are kept simple , nothing complicated. I have read a few articles from people that have gone to Westy's brewery that say the only grains in the brewery where Pil's and 2-row. I would go with something simpler, and use the D2 dark candi syrup. But thats just me, I have had some great results lately with a 50-50 use of pils and 2 row in my Belgians.

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:22 AM   #7
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you may have some trouble with less than two months until deadline. Havent done a trappist yet but from what i understand they do best with lots of time to age...

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:22 AM   #8
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On a strong dark like this I personally would mash at 150 -152. Like you said you want to get fermentables out of your mash. These beers should not be full bodied like a barley wine although they may rival them in abv. They shouldn't be thin but they should definently ferment out well and finish fairly dry, that is how they achieve the alcohol content without being fruity and overly sweet. You will also want to carbonate this beer at a higher level than other british style ales.

I can't wait to hear how it turns out. I'm getting thirsty just talking about it, Belgian Strong Dark is one of my all time favorite styles.

Cheers

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:24 AM   #9
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Side note: Happy Birthday Ryanh1801!

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Old 05-19-2008, 04:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surfbrewer View Post
On a strong dark like this I personally would mash at 150 -152. Like you said you want to get fermentables out of your mash. These beers should not be full bodied like a barley wine although they may rival them in abv. They shouldn't be thin but they should definently ferment out well and finish fairly dry, that is how they achieve the alcohol content without being fruity and overly sweet. You will also want to carbonate this beer at a higher level than other british style ales.

I can't wait to hear how it turns out. I'm getting thirsty just talking about it, Belgian Strong Dark is one of my all time favorite styles.

Cheers
I appreciate the input - it answers a lot of my questions and reinforces what I think ought to work. I'll have to update this when it's done...in any case, I believe that I can get a quick fermentation out of this by heating the vessel and use kreusening to speed up the carbing process.

Btw, surfbrewer, if you like strong dark ales, I have a recipe for a really good one. I had bought some ingredients to make an oatmeal stout but decided I wanted a strong Belgian beer. So I altered my recipe and made what's essentially an oatmeal stout/Belgian strong dark ale hybrid. If you would like the recipe, please PM me. It's aged for three weeks and I can tell you it is, without a doubt, professional quality and damn tasty.
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