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Old 02-27-2010, 03:45 AM   #1
Brewster2256
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Default Bone dry, strong Belgian pale

If anyone has tried a strong Belgian with such high attenuation, that it left your mouth puckered and begging for moisture, then you know what I mean; that is my goal, a beer so dry that it borders on wine. I'm thinking in the 9% range and at the lowest final gravity possible.

A few ideas: Obviously a low mash temperatures, perhaps a step mash starting at around 145-147, and ending around 152 before mash-out. Next a high level of adjuncts, perhaps around 20-25% grain bill, likely inverted sugar. After that, a highly attenuation yeast, such as WL550, and bottling conditioning with Brettanomyces (like Orval does). The fermentation would start in the low 60's and allow to heat via fermentation, followed by temperature control in the high 70s until final gravity is reached.

Any other ideas?



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Old 02-27-2010, 05:30 AM   #2
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I pretty much did the same thing you are thinking of, except not as much sugar as you are thinking.

I just did a big belgian, 1.100 OG.

15.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 76.92 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 5.13 %
0.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 2.56 %
0.50 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 2.56 %
0.25 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 1.28 %
0.25 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 1.28 %
2.00 oz Williamette [4.80 %] (60 min) Hops 21.9 IBU
1.00 oz Argentine Cascade [3.70 %] (15 min) Hops 4.2 IBU
1.00 oz Argentine Cascade [3.70 %] (5 min) Hops 1.7 IBU
2.00 lb Candi Sugar, Amber (75.0 SRM) Sugar 10.26 %



I mashed at 146 for 30 minutes and then 150 for an hour. I pitched on a chimay cake and it is currently sitting in 60 degrees ambient at 67 degrees......just waiting for fermentation to take off. I will let it ferment at 60 ambient for 4-5 days until it starts to wind down..then I will shake the fermenter, rouse the yeast and move it to 72-74 ambient to dry it out. I am hoping, best case to get 1.018...but would be satisfied with 1.023-1.024.

%10 ABV would be crazy. ..... I am looking for the same thing you are.



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Old 02-27-2010, 03:56 PM   #3
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I'd ferment it higher than 72-74. If you want it dry, get it up to the mid-80s where those yeasties really like it. They're designed to work optimally at those temps. But, pitch cool, of course.

You'll need to oxygenate the heck out of it (though, too much can result in fusels, so...) I'd also consider bubbling pure O2 through a couple times DURING ferment.
Add lots of yeast nutrient.
In essence, you'll need to baby these yeast along.

In essence, get those condi

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Old 02-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #4
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I did a light Golden Strong Ale that currently is sitting below 1.010 with an SG of 1.079 (9% ABV)... I did a step mash that consisted of the following:

10 min @ 115
20 min @ 125
20 min @ 135
75 min @ 147
20 min @ 150
15 min @ 155

79% efficiency (which isn't great for me) but it got the beer very dry using Wyeast 1388. My biggest concern using the above was keeping the mash tun from overflowing... If you do it, it may be helpful to work backward with a final volume in mind for your setup.

Also, you could potentially use Amalyse Enzyme to help dry it out (both during the mash and during the ferment after it dies down). It may not help much but it can help some.

Another couple of tips... Don't boil too long or add any sugars until after the boil is done. And, of course, the longer the boil, the more maillard reactions and/or caramelization and so the more unfermentable sugars you'll wind up with. I've been experimenting with doing 45 minute boils and, so far so good but I've not done it using Pilsner yet...

Hope that helps!

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Old 02-27-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barc View Post
Don't boil too long or add any sugars until after the boil is done.
A variation on this theme. Jamil always claims that yeast are lazy and won't fully ferment complex sugars in wort if simple sugars are present. So, I think he only adds in sugars after the primary fermentation has completely finished.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wendelgee2 View Post
A variation on this theme. Jamil always claims that yeast are lazy and won't fully ferment complex sugars in wort if simple sugars are present. So, I think he only adds in sugars after the primary fermentation has completely finished.

Not to discount what he says, as I've yet to write a book or host a podcast so I'm sure he is more in the know that I am, but I've never had a problem putting them in at the end of the boil. I've done this several times and never had problems. I could agree, however, if your SG is very high or if they are a significant portion of your grist (say over 25%) you could run into problems, stuck fermentation being a likely one.

I don't think yeast get "lazy" but, I would agree, they're offspring can have a dominant trait of consuming simple sugars as opposed to more complex sugars (i.e. sucrose, glucose, fructose vs. maltose). That could provide a problem if the fermentation is extended (i.e. a high SG) and the simple sugar yeasts dominate and cause a stuck fermentation since the yeasts that prefer maltose may already be dormant, dead, or otherwise insufficient in quantity to finish the beer. I'd argue, however, 90% of the time, most worts are low enough in gravity and finish quickly enough so that it isn't a problem... Belgian breweries, including Trappist breweries, prove time and time again that dumping massive amounts of plain sugar into a wort can still provide a finished beer without stuck fermentation. Of course, some of them have a lot of technology on their side. This may also be due to the strain of yeast used and may be more to the point.
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Old 02-27-2010, 06:05 PM   #7
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Brilliant everyone. I'm taking notes.

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Old 02-27-2010, 06:11 PM   #8
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I mentioned using Brettanomyces for bottling conditioning which supposedly has the potential of increasing the abv by another 1/2%, as the bugs eat away at unfermentables. Does anyone have any experience with this process? I've only read about it vaguely from Brewing Like a Monk. How would this effect the carbonation?

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Old 02-27-2010, 06:20 PM   #9
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I did a saison much like you describe last summer. Finished right about 1.000 for just under 9% abv. It's supa-superdry and you can't tell it has that much alcohol in it so it sneaks right up on you. I used my mash temps and a lb of sugar to dry it out. The 3711 saison yeast certainly helped. It's a monster.

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Old 02-27-2010, 06:26 PM   #10
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I concur, Saison yeast is another good one to dry a beer out.



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