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Old 01-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #1
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Default Jamil's Belgian Strong Dark - Can You Brew It

So, I've got my 1st batch (Irish Red Extract kit) in bottles to be consumed in a few weeks.

My 2nd Batch (Belgian Dubbel from The Jamil Show-Can You Brew It) is in the carboy right now. This was my first AG brew and everything was very smooth.

The next thing I would like to get going is a Belgian Strong Dark/Quadrupel, in the 9-10.5% range.

Has anyone brewed the recipe given on the show (all grain)? I am really nervous about a BSDA coming out overly Sweet and cloying, which to me ruins the beer. 4% Sugar also seems on the low end of where the Trappists are brewing. (I've read Brew Like a Monk cover to cover)

I input the recipe into Hopville, and got a few variances from the show, notably the color being darker than the 20SRM mentioned.




He also mentioned mashing at 153 - how much would lowering the mash to 150 or so change the ferment-ability/Final Gravity? When I look at the commercial examples I really like Chimay Blue, St Bernadus 12, Rochefort 10 - these are all fairly dry in the 1.010 range FG - where Jamil's recipe finishes at 1.024.

I also have .5 Oz Tettanang Hops leftover (re-vacuum sealed and put in freezer) from my Dubbel - Could I buy a 2oz pack of Hallartau and add the Tettenang to make up the total 2 1/2 oz? I believe these hops are fairly similar. And it is only a 60min Bittering addition.

Any other tips for the BSDA? Beers like this are the reason I wanted to start brewing. Big, Expensive, and damn delicious. If I can make this for $1/12 oz bottle, I will be a happy man.


With the Blowoff the Dubbel did, I am not sure what to expect with the BSDA.

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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I just recently did a BDSA and learned quite a few thing from it. some recommendations I got that I will pass on to you are mash low and long (I did 90 min at 149) so you get the maximum fermentability so you don't end up with too sweet of a finished beer. Make a BIG starter, I ended up doing a 2 liter, decanting that and stepping up to a 4 liter. Expect BIG blowoff. Do your best to keep your fermentation temps in the mid 60s atleast during the first part of vigorous fermentation or you could end up with some serious fusel alcohol flavors. To achieve good balance in the beer try and get your BU:GU ratio somewhere around .28-.30. Have fun with it!

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Old 01-22-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
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-IBUs seem low to me, but preference I guess. I shoot for close to 30 on my Belgians (im doing golden strong and saisons though...)

-I use Tettnang a LOT cause I had a huge amount of them. No probs in this beer, plus .5 is very little.

-I'd lower your base malt a little and do more sugar. I believe my additions are usually 10%, and add that after the primary ferment seems to slow.

-you can actually mash quite low and dry it out. I wouldn't be afraid to mash at 145-149 ~75mns.

oh, and your color is coming mostly from that Special B and Caramunich. You may be able to leave out the caramunich and get you color closer without altering the flavor profile much at all.

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Old 01-22-2013, 06:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komodo View Post
-IBUs seem low to me, but preference I guess. I shoot for close to 30 on my Belgians (im doing golden strong and saisons though...)

-I use Tettnang a LOT cause I had a huge amount of them. No probs in this beer, plus .5 is very little.

-I'd lower your base malt a little and do more sugar. I believe my additions are usually 10%, and add that after the primary ferment seems to slow.

-you can actually mash quite low and dry it out. I wouldn't be afraid to mash at 145-149 ~75mns.

oh, and your color is coming mostly from that Special B and Caramunich. You may be able to leave out the caramunich and get you color closer without altering the flavor profile much at all.

Good points. Instead of looking at the # of IBU's, look at the BU:GU ratio. The recommended ratio is .297 ( that is average for the style) some go slightly higher and some go slightly lower. But I have found that is a pretty good ratio to shoot for.

To dry it out a little more, up the sugar and mash lower and longer. 10% or even more sugar is used often.

As for color, you can do what komodo suggest or keep it the same and don't worry about the color. I do some BDSA's that are pretty dark.

Make a big starter, aerate well. Pitch in the mid sixties and hold it ther for a day or two until things get started. If you let the temp get too hot too fast it is hard to control and trying to cool an already fermenting beer using Belgian yeast runs the risk of it stopping. Belgian yeasts do not like to be cooled after they start. Pitching low and then slowly raising the temp makes it much easier to control. If it gets too hot to fast you will end up with fusels.

Let it fully ferment and give it olenty of time to age.

enjoy.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:37 PM   #5
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Regarding IBUs, Ragar Calculation shows mid 30s, Tinseth shows that low number. Not sure why the difference is so pronounced, or why the Hopville software will not save it when I switch.

Does BU;GU Ratios expect a specific calculation for IBU? Jamil used the Ragar formula when talking about the recipe.

I've dropped some specialty malts down a bit and added more sugar.

http://hopville.com/recipe/1676884

Do you think adding the sugar late is worthwhile when sugar is less than 10% of the grain bill?

I used 1.25 Qts/Lb for the Dubbel Mash. Any reason to change that for a larger grain bill?

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:07 PM   #6
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the BU:GU ratio is simply your IBU(22.5) divided by the decimal portion of your OG (103) which would give 22.5/103= .22 which is low for the style. Beergolf's suggestions are all good and I can personally vouch for the fact that with similar suggestions he helped me formulate what I can already tell is going to be an amazing BDSA!

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Old 01-22-2013, 07:52 PM   #7
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From everything I have ever heard or read on the subject I would ne er formulate a BSD like Jamil did. I would go simpler grain bill and more sugar. Jamil himself said if he were to write that recipe today it would be very different. However he swears it works. So I tried it.

It was awesome. So malty and complex with lots of dark fruit flavors. It is a good recipe as is. The beauty of honebrewing is you can change it as you see fit.

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Old 01-22-2013, 09:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcwilcr View Post
the BU:GU ratio is simply your IBU(22.5) divided by the decimal portion of your OG (103) which would give 22.5/103= .22 which is low for the style. Beergolf's suggestions are all good and I can personally vouch for the fact that with similar suggestions he helped me formulate what I can already tell is going to be an amazing BDSA!
Yes, I understand the bu:GU ratio... what I don't get is how ibus calculated so wildly different between rager (36ibu) and tinseth (22ibu).

Jamil used rager on the show.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:05 AM   #9
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I find tinseth to be the most accurate, because rager seems to be too high.

Quote:
the BU:GU ratio is simply your IBU(22.5) divided by the decimal portion of your OG (103) which would give 22.5/103= .22 which is low for the style. Beergolf's suggestions are all good and I can personally vouch for the fact that with similar suggestions he helped me formulate what I can already tell is going to be an amazing BDSA!
Thanks for the props. Belgians are my passion and I brew them often. I am still learning, but every one is getting better. It is the little details, like BU:GU ratio that helps figure out the final product. Fermentation temps and how you control them is the other big factor.
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:13 AM   #10
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From what I am told tensing is more accurate for full boils but they are pretty close to one another for concentrated boils. I use the tinseth formula when formulating my recipes but you bring up a good question. If I were in your shoes trying to replicate Jamil's recipe I would probably figure out what his ratio was using the rager formula and try to get somewhere close to that with your hops using the same formula. Not to say its the right way to go but it's what I would do.

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