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Old 09-23-2008, 01:16 AM   #1
steelerguy
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Default Need patience with a Belgian Golden Strong Ale

So back on May 4th I brewed this:

Grains:
1. 1 lb. Dingeman’s Pilsen Malt
2. .5 lbs. Munton's CaraPils 12L
Extracts:
1. 8 lbs. Briess Pilsen DME 2L
Adjuncts:
1. 2 lbs. Belgian Candi Sugar Light
Boil: 60 minutes
Hop schedule:
1. 1 oz. Styrian Goldings 3.5% AA - 60 mins
2. 1 oz. Willamette 4.6% AA - 60 mins
3. 1 oz. Czech Saaz 3.2% AA - 15 mins
4. .5 oz. Czech Saaz 3.2% AA - 10 mins
5. .5 oz. Czech Saaz 3.2% AA – 5 min

Now that I look back...not nearly enough grain, but anyway... When I racked this to the secondary after 3 weeks in the fermentor I thought it tasted like pears, not entirely bad, but very fruity. When I bottled it a couple months later, it tasted harsh and well...just not very good. I waited a couple weeks, chilled a couple bottles and...damn, just not a good beer. Ya sure, it needed to age a few more months but it would taste good now if it was going to and it didn't....very disappointed.

Well my APA and brown ale are now gone, I hame some beers bottled but carbing, a beer in the secondary, and another in the primary. How about I chill a few bottles of the crappy Belgian since I need to drink it. Crack one open and it forms and amazing head, smells good too. Take my first sip and a big smile crosses my face. Holy crap, two months in the bottle (5 months total) and this beer is tasting good now. Finished the first and had to enjoy another...simply amazing the transformation this beer has made. I can't wait to see how it ages, so far it is aging with amazing grace!f

Just thought I would share my experience with some people who perhaps have judged their beer too quickly...especially a high gravity beer.



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Old 09-23-2008, 01:26 PM   #2
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What was the OG and FG of the beer?



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Old 04-01-2009, 04:18 AM   #3
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Okay, a bit late with my answer but 1.087 and 1.016 looking back through my notes. Have been slowly drinking the last few bottles while my AG version of this ages.

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:12 PM   #4
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Just last night I pulled a 10-day sample from my first BGSA and it's very similar gravity to yours, OG was 1.088.

I almost always taste the hydro sample but I just couldn't bring myself to drink that stuff. Smelled awful...and pretty hot.

Yesterday I was reading something about aging/conditioning Doppelbocks (Kaiser's recipe page) and there was mention of a chemical process between the higher alcohols (prevalent in high grav fermentations) and the acidic beer that form some dark/ripe fruit notes. This is something that apparently happens very late in the conditioning (several months in). Did you notice anything like that?

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Old 04-01-2009, 12:32 PM   #5
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Early on my Tripel was very alcohol hot and a little thin tasting with little in the way of that fruity Tripel character. As it has aged I have noticed the fruitiness you mention coming out more and more, and the alcohol heat is now gone (last one I tried was as drinkable as a session beer!).

I oaked mine so I don't plan on drinking most of it until it's at least a year in the bottles. It has been in the bottle since September now so I'm due to pop another one and try it, stuck one in the fridge last night in fact... Last sample was in February.

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Old 04-01-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post
Just last night I pulled a 10-day sample from my first BGSA and it's very similar gravity to yours, OG was 1.088.

I almost always taste the hydro sample but I just couldn't bring myself to drink that stuff. Smelled awful...and pretty hot.

Yesterday I was reading something about aging/conditioning Doppelbocks (Kaiser's recipe page) and there was mention of a chemical process between the higher alcohols (prevalent in high grav fermentations) and the acidic beer that form some dark/ripe fruit notes. This is something that apparently happens very late in the conditioning (several months in). Did you notice anything like that?
I absolutely noticed some ripe fruit notes come out...not so much dark fruit though, although that is probably a yeast strain and no dark crystal thing. It was quite hot, after carbing, not pleasant at all. After a couple months the harsh alcohol tones completely disappeared, there is still some alcohol warmth, but in a good way, not harsh at all. The fruit notes were typical pear flavor with some lychee or something...succulent fruit flavors I guess is the best description. It took 5 months for this to develop and got better over the next couple. I would say after 8 months there was no noticeable change in character, at least not without having a younger sample handy...which of course I didn't.

On a side note, the AG version I did of this is going through the same thing. It is about 3 months old now and just carbed. Hot and lacks complexity, would be worried other than I have been through this before. Actually tastes better than the extract version did at 3 months, but not going to drink anymore for another couple months since I know it will continue to develop.


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