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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Tips for brewing a strong belgian ale
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:04 PM   #21
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Seems I remember some folks recommending aging the beer in the low 50's dF for about a month after the secondary fermentation is completed or nearly completed.

Anyone tried that? If so, is it worth the time to do so?

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Old 06-13-2010, 06:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilGnome6 View Post
Theory is that the yeast prefer to eat the simple sugars and will get lazy before they finish off the complex sugars. With incremental feeding you force them to eat the complex sugars first. It also helps since the yeast don't see the full gravity of the wort right away.

Boil the sugar in water (2 cups of water per pound works) and chill it down. Then just pour it into your primary.
My local homebrew store guy also suggested this method, so I tried it. Boiled my sugar, put it in an ice bath, and in my case, added it 48 hours after pitching the yeast.

FG still came out exactly on target. It seems like it did affect the fermentation, though I'm not exactly sure why. I'll bet someone here does. First this thing was a bubbling and blowing off mega-furiously, but that seemed to slow down to just furiously after adding the sugar syrup.

Do you think there a reason to add it early in the fermentation rather than later as you suggest?
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Old 02-24-2011, 04:10 PM   #23
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Rezing this thread. For those of you who did a Dark Strong Ale, how long did you age it? I have one in the primary right now and I am trying to decide if I should rack to secondary or just rack it to a keg and let it sit.

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:23 PM   #24
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Seems like strong darks really benefit from a nice long sit in the primary and it the cask. My most recent one I let sit in primary for 6 weeks and bottled. Just cracked one this last weekend that bottle conditioned for 6 months and it was fantastic. Made me realize that the ones I drank before, even at 3 months in the bottle and tasting good, were still green by comparison.

I just bottled a tripel that I let sit for 10 weeks in primary and it tastes pretty fantastic going into the bottle. My thought is the longer you let it sit the better.

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Old 02-26-2011, 06:32 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminBier View Post
My local homebrew store guy also suggested this method, so I tried it. Boiled my sugar, put it in an ice bath, and in my case, added it 48 hours after pitching the yeast.

FG still came out exactly on target. It seems like it did affect the fermentation, though I'm not exactly sure why. I'll bet someone here does. First this thing was a bubbling and blowing off mega-furiously, but that seemed to slow down to just furiously after adding the sugar syrup.

Do you think there a reason to add it early in the fermentation rather than later as you suggest?
Typically, I add the extra simple sugar a week into fermentation and let it sit another week before transferring to the secondary where I may let it sit for 3-6 weeks clearing out.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:35 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenjaminBier View Post
Seems like strong darks really benefit from a nice long sit in the primary and it the cask. My most recent one I let sit in primary for 6 weeks and bottled. Just cracked one this last weekend that bottle conditioned for 6 months and it was fantastic. Made me realize that the ones I drank before, even at 3 months in the bottle and tasting good, were still green by comparison.

I just bottled a tripel that I let sit for 10 weeks in primary and it tastes pretty fantastic going into the bottle. My thought is the longer you let it sit the better.
I had a Belgian Golden Strong Ale that I let sit that long in the secondary to clear out. The problem I found was that it took 4 weeks to carbonate as a lot of yeast dropped out and what was left was in hibernation. So instead I went 2 weeks primary, 3 in the secondary and then let it sit in bottles for a bit trying the first one after 2 weeks. Didn't notice much difference.
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:38 PM   #27
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After fermentation completes, put it in a cold place for about a month (30-50*F). It helps the flavors smooth and meld. Then bottle/keg and carbonate.

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Old 03-01-2011, 08:45 PM   #28
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I was browsing through the "Brew Like a Monk" book today over my lunch break, and noted a section near the end of the book where he briefly addresses extract brewing. It is about a page long, and I would summarize the author's comments by saying he essentially doesn't think you can brew good strong belgian ales using extract. A bit disappointing, as I am exclusively an extract homebrewer for now and expect that to be the case for the foreseeable future. I brewed a Houblon clone (trippel IPA - Northern Brewer extract kit) and it turned out very good in my opinion. Got a strong belgian ale in the bottles now (NB's "Number 8" extract kit) and am hoping for similarly good results, but I think I might do a few basic ales and maybe a stout for my next few batches.

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