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Old 08-10-2008, 03:25 AM   #1
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Default Recipe critique for strong dark belgian?

8 Lb. pale LME (58%)
3.3 lb. dark lme (23.9)
1.5 lb. dark belgian candi syrup (10.9)
1 lb. golden light dme (7.2)
.5 lb special b malt
.5 lb honey malt

OG 1.098


2 oz. spalt (3.2%) @ 60

Wyeast Belgian Abbey II (1762)



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Old 08-10-2008, 05:05 AM   #2
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Strong is an understatement! Are you doing a starter with the yeast or pitching a smackpack? The recipe seems like a lot of sugar, but I've never done a belgian strong ale.



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Old 08-10-2008, 01:35 PM   #3
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Liquid pack. It is a lot of sugar - I'll probably add a pound of honey and stretch it to 6 gallons.

It seems underhopped at first glance, but then I found this well-received brew that has only slightly more IBUs with a 1.1 OG

http://www.brewlikeamonk.com/2006/07/07/a-gold-medal-recipe/

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Old 08-10-2008, 01:38 PM   #4
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I've never done one either, but that's gonna be a real _ss kicker. Airate well, pitch heavy and hold on to your socks! A bit light on the hops maybe? I'd wait for more experienced "Belgians" to weigh in. Good luck

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Old 08-10-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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For something like this it might be worth trying what Chris White of Whitelabs recommends. He suggests for beers over 1.060 to give another 2 minutes of O2 between 10-12 hours after pitching your yeast. snce the yeasties are going to hava a lot of scenery to chew through, giving them some fresh oxygen after they've been working for a few hours might give them some invigoration.

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Old 08-10-2008, 06:57 PM   #6
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looks pretty good. i'd skip on the dark dme and use some carafa II and chocolate malts to get your color.

that's the right amount of sugar. i've been wanting to try that syrup for a long time...still haven't got to it.

the hops is a little high for the style. i'd make it 1.5 oz.

definitely aerate well, make a good starter, and don't be afraid to shake the fermenter if you yeast start to wimp out on you.

with my last dark strong, i added the sugar at the end of the initial fermentation to kick start the yeast. it worked wonderfully, i got great attenuation and the last sample tasted so good (clean and boozy). you may wish to do the same with your syrup.

be prepared to let this one sit for a while. my last belgian dark strong ale was in primary for almost two months before i racked it. i plan to leave it in secondary for several months before i bottle.

EDIT: Really you don't even need any dark malts. between the syrup and the special b, you are to style for color.

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Old 08-10-2008, 08:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post

the hops is a little high for the style. i'd make it 1.5 oz.
d'oh - i played it safe and hopped it up a little (but it's also 6+ gallons):

1 oz argentine cascades (3.5%) @ 60
1.75 spalt (3.2) @ 60
.25 spalt @ 0 minutes

OG was about 1.9, hoping the dark malt flavors stand up to the hops. will also let it sit for months in primary/secondary, and shake the fermenters each day.

thanks for the responses!
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
with my last dark strong, i added the sugar at the end of the initial fermentation to kick start the yeast. it worked wonderfully, i got great attenuation and the last sample tasted so good (clean and boozy). you may wish to do the same with your syrup.
That's an intriguing suggestion. Did you boil the sugar in water first, or just pour it straight into the fermenter? And were you taking hydrometer readings to gauge when the initial fermentation was slowing, or did you just make an educated guess about the timing?
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Old 08-11-2008, 05:14 PM   #9
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my friend made some inverted sugar for me and i boiled it up before adding. 2 lbs...i didn't bother cooling, just poured slowly.

i just guessed. i added it later than i wanted to, so i think initial fermentation was pretty much finished.

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Old 08-12-2008, 09:10 PM   #10
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quick update: i split the batch into 5 gallon and 2 gallon buckets, one with a liquid pack of 1762 and the smaller with dry t-58. the small one blew the top within 4 hours of pitching, and the big one blew the next day. i'm hoping that yeast and alcohol levels were high enough that contamination may not ruin it.

is this why you would add sugars in stages, rather than all during the boil? definitely my most explosive primary fermentation.

fwiw, the big bucket with the 1762 smells divine.



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