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Old 01-12-2011, 01:44 AM   #1
chemnitz
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Default A Year of Belgians

I am announcing my brewing project for 2011--a year of Belgians. I got this idea from another post (which I can no longer find--anyone know where it is?). Over the course of this year, I'm going to brew a full line of Trappist-inspired beers: single, dubbel, tripel, quad. I'll brew the quad in January, the tripel in April, the dubbel in July, and the single in October. Then, at Christmas I'll be able to host a grand tasting through the entire line, which will have (hopefully) reached their respective peaks. I plan for this to be a major highlight in my brewing career.

So, first of all, the quad: I'll be brewing this one on January 17th. I'm very thankful for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. I'd like to try an "old world" grain bill with a couple "new world" touches. I'm doing a double decoction mash and a long boil, and there will be plenty of homemade double-dark Belgian candy syrup involved. Also, I've already cultured the yeast strain from a couple of bottles of Westmalle Dubbel. I'm pulling out all the stops for this one.

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"Das Wort hat, ... als ich Wittenbergisch Bier mit meinem Philipp und Amsdorf getrunken hab, also viel getan..." - Martin Luther

On Deck: American IPA, Märzen
Fermenting: None
In Bottles: Prime Abbey Singel, Vespers Abbey Dubbel, Terce Abbey Tripel, Compline Abbey Quad, Dragon's Tail Barleywine, Boyne Mead

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:40 AM   #2
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Hmmm this sounds pretty epic!!! Look forward to seeing some recipes and other updates.

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Old 01-12-2011, 02:44 PM   #3
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Default Quad recipe

Here is the first recipe (updated after the brew day):

Compline Quadrupel
6 gallons
OG 1.092 (at 70% efficiency)
IBU 33

8.5 lb. Belgian pale malt
8.5 lb. Pilsner
0.5 lb. Special B
2 oz. Carafa II special

3 lb. double-dark Belgian candy syrup (see link - sugar #5)
(1 lb. @ start of boil, 1 lb. @ 5 min., 1 lb. after fermentation slows)

1.5 oz. Saaz (5.5% AA) - First Wort Hop
1 oz. Saaz (5.5% AA) @ 20 min.

Yeast - cultured from Westmalle Dubbel (substitute - WLP530); added 1/3 pack of US-05 to help attenuation

Double decoction mash - rests at 122, 147, and 158; mash out at 168

Boil for 120 minutes.

Link for making candy syrup: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-l...trient-114837/

Begin fermentation at 62 degrees. Allow to gradually warm to 68. Long primary, no secondary. Age majority of the batch until Christmas.

Any suggestions?

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"Das Wort hat, ... als ich Wittenbergisch Bier mit meinem Philipp und Amsdorf getrunken hab, also viel getan..." - Martin Luther

On Deck: American IPA, Märzen
Fermenting: None
In Bottles: Prime Abbey Singel, Vespers Abbey Dubbel, Terce Abbey Tripel, Compline Abbey Quad, Dragon's Tail Barleywine, Boyne Mead

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Old 01-12-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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That's a cool idea and you have a good time line with brewing the beers. I should do something similar!

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Old 01-18-2011, 07:12 PM   #5
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Well, the most over-the-top brew day in my 2 year career is over. I am still exhausted the next day after 9 hours of brewing. It was my first decoction mash, and I still have a lot to learn. I missed all of my temps and had to add more boiling water to compensate. I also forgot to check for full conversion, so hopefully that works out alright. Also, my yeast starter didn't seem to have much yeast in it (stepped up four times; 3 quarts on the last one), so I tossed in a 1/3 pack of US-05 to assure that I got the attenuation that I wanted. I also ended up with too much liquid--6 gallons instead of 5. Thankfully, my efficiency was higher than estimated, so I ended up with roughly the OG that I wanted. Oh, and I had a massive boil-over at one point.

That said, I think that I made beer. Today it is aggressively bubbling away. I separated the batch into a 5 gallon bucket and a 1 gallon bottle, and the smaller fermenter has already bubbled over and required a blow-off tube. The OG (without the final sugar addition) was 1.086, which means that I should have a hefty 1.092 for the final product. I'd like to get it down to a FG of 1.015, which would yield just over 10% ABV.

More news to follow, including tasting notes once it is finished.

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"Das Wort hat, ... als ich Wittenbergisch Bier mit meinem Philipp und Amsdorf getrunken hab, also viel getan..." - Martin Luther

On Deck: American IPA, Märzen
Fermenting: None
In Bottles: Prime Abbey Singel, Vespers Abbey Dubbel, Terce Abbey Tripel, Compline Abbey Quad, Dragon's Tail Barleywine, Boyne Mead

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Old 01-18-2011, 07:20 PM   #6
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Sounds like you fought your way with that one! The beer will taste better knowing the sweat and blood you put into it!

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Old 01-19-2011, 08:25 PM   #7
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Ya sounds like quite the battle, good to hear your numbers came out relativley well I'm sure come Decmeber all the hard work will pay off.

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Old 01-19-2011, 10:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemnitz View Post
there will be plenty of homemade double-dark Belgian candy syrup involved.
Do yourself a favor and buy some D2 syrup, and then do a side by side test and tell us honestly they taste the same.

Nobody has yet to make candy syrup that taste anything like the real stuff, not even the lighter D syrup.

But hey if you do you could be a very rich person
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Houblon View Post
Do yourself a favor and buy some D2 syrup, and then do a side by side test and tell us honestly they taste the same.

Nobody has yet to make candy syrup that taste anything like the real stuff, not even the lighter D syrup.

But hey if you do you could be a very rich person
A side by side comparison of the syrup or the beer? The syrup may taste a bit different but I would imagine the beer wouldn't taste too much off. I think The Mad Fermentationist did a blog where he made several batches of beer with only differences in what sugar he used (cane, beat, Belgian candi...) and the results didn't bare much difference.
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bknifefight View Post
A side by side comparison of the syrup or the beer? The syrup may taste a bit different but I would imagine the beer wouldn't taste too much off.
The syrups, this topic has been beaten to death and yet nobody has yet done a copy of the D2 syrup, can't be done on the homebrew scale. The flavor in the beer does indeed carry over from the syrups, so if they(syrups) don't taste the same then the beer won't taste the same.

Heres a company that makes specialities for breweries:
http://www.belgosuc.be/EN/productgamma.asp?groep=4




Yeah anybody can & should make candi but don't expect it to be like the real deal.

Thats why I will always say try them side by side and give an honest reply.
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