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Old 12-01-2010, 04:59 PM   #1
jeffcosgrove
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Default Belgian Golden Strong question

I made Jamil's Belgian Golden Strong Ale from Brewing Classic Styles. I pitched Wyeast 1388 at 64 F and raised the temperature to 82 F over 7 days. I am planning on letting this sit in the primary for at least 3 weeks and I'm wondering if I should let it stay at 82 F for that time or let it fall to ambient in my basement (66 F) before I cold condition it. In Brew Like a Monk it says they go right to 27 F after primary fermentation is complete.

It isn't finished yet, my OG was 1.072 and I am at 1.011 right now and still have some krausen.

I'm worried about letting it sit that warm for a couple weeks, but I would think the yeast are happier finishing and then cleaning up at this temperature rather than dropping down to 66 F. What are your recommendations?

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:08 PM   #2
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I let my BGS sit at about 75F and it takes about 3-4 weeks to reach FG. I use WLP570 and it is a slow fermenter. The yeast is ideal for the style though. The reason they drop the temp is to clarify it. If you don't have the ability to do that, you should do a month fermentation (or longer if it needs it) and bottle it and let the bottles sit for at least 3-4 months before drinking any. This is for two reasons. One, the beer tastes terrible before the 3 month mark in bottles because of the high alcohol and simple sugar quantity. Two, the yeast is an awful flocculator and needs a lot of time to settle and get a clear beer.

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:09 PM   #3
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let it stay at 82 until fermentation is complete.

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Old 12-02-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input. I'll let it stay at 82 for another couple of weeks and then drop it to 30F.

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Old 12-10-2010, 05:55 PM   #5
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Jeff, I brewed that same thing a week ago and I'm already dropping the temp tonight. I ended up using 2-Row instead of Pilsener malt (all grain) because I had it on hand. My OG was low (1.076) but a few hours short of a week and I'm down to 1.007 (9%). I'm about to drop the temp down to 45°F for a few days then rack to secondary and hold it at 45°F for a week or two before bottling or kegging.

I was curious - why does it taste so bad at first and then not so bad later? What does aging it at low temps do for it? I'm just curious cause I'm a little disheartened currently. I've done a Dubbel before with a friend and it was pretty rough, too but it's just so sad when it doesn't taste like an IPA does right out of fermentation.

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Old 12-10-2010, 09:28 PM   #6
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I gotta say, when I brewed Jamil's BGS, I did the 60-ish to 80-ish rise over a week or two, left it to sit at 80-ish for another week. It spent a total of 3 weeks in the fermenter, then I kegged it, chilled, and carbed it, and 48 hours later it was fantastic. I did not have the "nasty out of the fermenter" experience at all.

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Old 12-10-2010, 09:36 PM   #7
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I tasted my hydrometer sample last night after I cooled it down a bit and I thought it was really good. I used Belgian Pilsner malt. Jamil's recipe called for a 1.072 OG and 1.007 FG. I'm at 1.006 as of last night. I mashed at 149 for 90 minutes.

Do you think I can wash this yeast for my next batch? I've read some people say no due to the high gravity of this beer that it just did. I made a 3.5 L starter with 2 Activator packs.

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Old 12-10-2010, 10:39 PM   #8
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Save a little bit from your starter if you are wanting to save some yeast.

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Old 12-10-2010, 11:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffcosgrove View Post
I tasted my hydrometer sample last night after I cooled it down a bit and I thought it was really good. I used Belgian Pilsner malt. Jamil's recipe called for a 1.072 OG and 1.007 FG. I'm at 1.006 as of last night. I mashed at 149 for 90 minutes.

Do you think I can wash this yeast for my next batch? I've read some people say no due to the high gravity of this beer that it just did. I made a 3.5 L starter with 2 Activator packs.
You can use it. 1.072 is not that high. I regularly wash yeast from batches in the mid 60s.

..... And yes, I also save some of the starter. I go through a few generations of washing the yeast, and then revive the saved starter to run he yeast again.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:37 PM   #10
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Reading through "Brew Like a Monk", you'll find as many fermentation regimens as there are labels, and then a few. Each will presumably deliver a different resulting flavor, and one's preference for one or the other is a matter of taste, so... as is so often the case... there is no right answer. Particularly when talking about a Belgian fermentation regimen!

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