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Old 05-29-2009, 08:36 PM   #11
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Freeze-
Your recipe looks good but what about hops?
Same hops as the original recipe you posed, @60, 15, and flameout. Although I might just go All Styr, because I don't have any Haller.

How about making a group brew out of this? I know you're down in SD as well.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:39 PM   #12
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Yeah I'm down for a group brew if someone can come up with a time and a place.

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Old 05-29-2009, 09:23 PM   #13
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I'm thinking ...

60% Belgian Pils
39% 2-row, toasted ~5 min at 350*F for some color/nuttiness
1% Carafa-III
1.5# Dark-2 Candi Sugar per 5 gal
1# Table Sugar per 5 gal

Mash a few years at 148*F... Boil two hours for plenty of caramelization. Mt Hood for bittering and finishing with .3:1 IBU/SG. Sugar goes in a few days into fermentation along with Fermaid-K at which point I boost the temp from room temp to 80*F until attenuation is reached. If this Westmalle yeast is like the Duvel yeast I'll need to rouse it every few days for a couple of weeks to convince it to complete its job. I appreciate why the Belgians like to use shallow fermenters!

WY3787, 1M cells/mL/*P pitch rate with a 15s injection of pure O2 into 2.5 gal. 3 weeks primary, ~3 weeks secondary, repitch at bottling time with a pack of fresh, rehydrated S-04 yeast, bottle condition ~3 volumes, let most of it age for a few years...

Only question is ... Shoot for OG of, what'ya think... 1.092??? Assuming 85% attentuation (to 1.012), that would give me about 10.5% ABV which is close to what I've seen listed as the %EtOH v/v.

I'm planning to do 2.5 gallons, and I'll slant the yeast. If I find another recipe that is convincing (haven't seen one yet...) I can use the rest of the jar of Candi sugar for another small batch and pitch some yeast built up from a slant.

Oh yeah almost forgot. We'll need a spiffy name for this brew. 'Westvletteren 12* clone' is cheesy...

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Old 05-29-2009, 09:24 PM   #14
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I didn't mean this as a "lets all get together in the same place and brew it" but more of a "lets have a bunch of people brew their shot at westy 12 and do a trade on the results". Opens it up to a bigger audience that way

I picked up Brew Like A Monk so I'll be doing some research on the "historically accurate" version of this recipe which I will brew second. First I'm going to use Displaced MassHole's posted "modern approximation" recipe, which I can confirm is from Beer Captured. That recipe is probably easier given the access us homebrewers have to well-modified malts, and different processed/carmelized malts.
One interesting thing beer captured states is that the OG of Westy12 is 1.090, but I think that doesn't take into account the sugars.

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Old 05-29-2009, 09:32 PM   #15
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I have read and heard much about how the grain bills on most belgians are very simple, and so I viewed all the crystal malts, biscuit, aromatic, etc. as additions for home-brewers to approximate for the flavors lost in not using techniques such as decoct and long boils, in order to make for a much simpler and shorter brew day. I'm still going to run this by a few breweries around to see what they think.
I agree 100%. Less is more, IMO, it's more about the process than the ingredients...
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:02 PM   #16
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I didn't mean this as a "lets all get together in the same place and brew it"
Sorry when I read "How about making a group brew of this?" I thought you meant, "lets make a group brew of this."
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:19 PM   #17
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I'm leaning towards the simple recipe now. 50% Pale, 50% Pils, sugar, and a long boil. I've got a tube of WLP530 already, I think I'll get a starter of that going today or tomorrow.

I'm kind of tempted to mash enough pale/pils for 10 gal and do a split batch and steep the other grains for 5 gal.

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Old 05-30-2009, 12:28 AM   #18
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I found the page in BLAM from Brother Joris, who is currently the head brewer at Westvleteren, regarding their recipes, confirming they only use Dingemans Pale & Pilsner in all their beers.
Some other interesting things are also stated next.

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When he brews the 8 and 12 at the same time (the 12 comprises about 50% of production, the 8 35%), the bulk of the high-gravity runnings go to the 34-hectoliter (29 barrel) kettle with the 12.
Then it goes on to say the monks won't reveal how the dark beers obtain their color/flavors. Michael Jackson reported the use of caramelized sugar and a longer boil.
Additionally, primary fermentation and clearing takes 8-10 weeks. Bottle conditioning is at 79f for 12 days.

This information is current as of 2004. The question is do they get undermodified malts from Dingemans, or is the majority of their secret in the way they caramelize their sugar?

The biscuity flavors may come from the way they mash, while the cararmel comes from the long boil (2 hours?) and the chocolate from the sugar?

Additionally, Apparant Attenuation can achieve 88% ABV. Wow! That probably includes enough sugar for carbonation as well thats not measured against the OG.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:59 AM   #19
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So more like.....

8.5# pale
8.5# pils
1.5# Dark Syrup
.25# Amber Candi Sugar

with 70% eff. that gets 1.090

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Old 05-30-2009, 04:51 PM   #20
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So more like.....

8.5# pale
8.5# pils
1.5# Dark Syrup
.25# Amber Candi Sugar

with 70% eff. that gets 1.090
At what volume?


I think I'm gonna try toasting 1lb of a 50/50 mix pale/pils for this and leave out the specialty malts. I've read BLAM before and I know they say to keep it simple so this time around I will.

I'm also gonna try taking a crack at making my own candi syrup, as I know that's where a lot of the "secret" flavors come from.
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