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frumguzzler 01-22-2009 12:51 AM

Tips for brewing a strong belgian ale
Gentleman, I was wondering if anyone has any tips on brewing my first strong Belgian ale. I am using Abey ale yeast from white labs. Is a blow off a must any tips on not to have a stuck ferm. Much appreciated .


Parker36 01-22-2009 12:54 AM

Blow off is good idea - my first Belgian Golden Strong got pretty messy. You have any recipe ideas or anything? How are you at maintaining fermentation temps?

The best advice I can give when brewing any Belgian brew is to read "Brew Like a Monk" cover to cover. Very interesting book, lots of history along with recipes, malt/hop/yeast profiles, when to use what, etc

frumguzzler 01-22-2009 01:00 AM

My house usually stays at 68. I am following a recipe from Clone Beers. The recipe does call to ferment from 70-72 . Maybe time to buy a aquarium heater?Do you know how long you have to ferment the damn thing before you could guzzle?. Thanx in advance

cdburg 01-22-2009 04:27 AM

If you want to learn a lot about the style and the optimal fermentation, I'd recommend giving a listen to the "Belgian Golden Strong Ale" episode of the Jamil Show on The Brewing Network.

The Brewing Network.com - :

Jamil's recipes are usually pretty good too, if you're looking for any other recipe ideas.

B-Dub 01-22-2009 04:40 AM

Look at Mr Malty Pitching Rate Calculator to get your starter right.

Use pure O2 for 1 to 2 min through an aeration stone.

Have a way to warm it up after the first 2/3rds of fermentation.

Use 20% to 30% simple sugar. dark candi, inc. This is the stuff to use for Dark Strong Ale.

For Golden you can use clear syrup, table sugar, honey, or a few other kinds if you look around.

Mash in the 147-149 range for 60-90 min and then mash out at 168-170.

And like others have stated read Brew Like a Monk http://www.brewlikeamonk.com/. Not everything in the book is true, but it will get you started.

Good luck

jkarp 01-22-2009 11:51 AM

B-Dub nailed all my Belgian secrets.

Wild Duk 01-22-2009 12:24 PM

Would this be a good beer to brew now, age, then be drinkable in the summer.....

frumguzzler 01-22-2009 01:26 PM

Thank you gentleman for all the generous feedback. I hope i do this one right . The ingredients where about 80 beans.

pjj2ba 01-22-2009 02:41 PM


Originally Posted by Wild Duk (Post 1082166)
Would this be a good beer to brew now, age, then be drinkable in the summer.....

Brew now, age, and drink in the fall.......... While it may be refreshing, it certainly isn't light. I generally don't like to drink sipping beers in the summer. I want something I can quaff, and a Belgian strong I don't think fits into that category. One the plus side more aging = better flavor for this kind of beer. I've just tapped into a keg that has been aging for a year and it is very fine!

BrewDey 01-22-2009 04:28 PM

I just brewed a dark Belgian a few weeks ago. I used wlp500 and kept the carboy near my hot water heater to get the ferm temp in the high 60s (I know some belgian strains like it much warmer). I did use a blowoff-and needed it. The guy at the LHBS recommended turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) as a substitute for candi sugar-a lot cheaper and according to him-very similar.

The only real problem I had was that I under-sparged, and under-boiled. I was low on my OG because I should have collected around 10 gallons-but I only have a 10 gal BK. Until I have a bigger mash tun and BK, I think I'll have this same problem with any big beers though-not just Belgians.

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