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-   -   Fermented Belgian Golden Strong too high (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/fermented-belgian-golden-strong-too-high-214105/)

chandlervdw 12-28-2010 05:23 PM

Fermented Belgian Golden Strong too high
So, I tried to make an all-grain belgian golden strong using 2-row, table sugar, saaz hops and Wyeast 1388. I had some issues with mash temperature being a bit too high but then it ended up fermenting well and dropped down from 1.082 to 1.007. BUT, I realized after the fact that I had started fermentation at 68F and bumped it up to 80F over the course of a week. I was supposed to start at 64F. So, basically I created a bunch of phenol alcohols and it tastes really "rubbing alcoholish."

I know that Belgians are usually aged for a long time. My question is, how long it would take to age this for those hot alcohols to mellow out, or if they even would. If I do age it, how long and at what temperature?

Otherwise, I might be trying to convert this brew to liquor.

pompeiisneaks 12-28-2010 05:44 PM

It takes any big beer more time... how much is really up to your palate I'd say. Some people don't mind that kind of harsher alcohol flavor, others hate it. I'm a bit mid ground. If you're thinking of entering it in a competition, then definitely age it longer. As far as I've seen personally and read, it always mellows with age. I had an IIPA that was pretty harsh after 4 weeks, (fermentation done but it was still 'green') but only 2 weeks later it had mellowed significantly and w/ me and my band mates it was gone in about 3 more... by the end of that 3 more weeks it was almost gone entirely. Every beer, though, is different, so I'd give it 2-4 more weeks and do a taster... see what you think. I'd also say that due to it finishing so dry, the lack of sweetness will increase the perceived alcohol. Oh, btw, high mash temps tend to reduce dryness and increase malt flavors. What was 'too high'? I usually mash around 149 for a moderate to dry beer, and in the mid 150's for a nice malty one. i.e. 154-155. Yours finishing down to 1.007 is awesome but will definitely make for a very dry beer.

ReverseApacheMaster 12-28-2010 09:27 PM

Give it 6-8 months and it will be very mellow

chandlervdw 12-28-2010 09:30 PM

ReverseApacheMaster - at what temp?

rjwhite41 12-28-2010 10:23 PM

Cellar temps are fine for aging.

Dr. Fedwell 12-29-2010 02:42 AM

Just tapping a very similar beer. Brewed in April. Had one bottle as a sample in September. Good, but still a little hot. Now December, and very smooth. As folks say here in Hawaii, Try wait? Also, what kind of liquor would you "Imagine" from hopped beer? Just curious.

Calder 12-29-2010 04:35 AM

If anything I would say you fermented too low. You want to start a Belgian at 70+ and ramp up to 80. Dupont ferments at 90; thats' to get the ferment over quick .... commercial to get beer to the store.

I'm starting to ferment my Belgians at 75 to get as much flavor out of them as possible.

Yes, it's dry, at 1.007. It is also alcoholic at almost 10%. What did you expect from a 10% beer? I think it is just the high alcohol you tasted, that gives you the impression of a problem.

I do find high abv Belgians get some character after a couple of months in the bottle.

ReverseApacheMaster 12-29-2010 02:54 PM

Those first few days are important in determining whether you are producing hot alcohols that stick around for months. It's better to ferment the first 2-3 days in the 60s and then ramp up through the 70s (or higher) after that to help dry the beer and produce some fruity flavors.

Phunhog 12-30-2010 02:59 AM

I just brewed a BGSA and followed a similar fermentation schedule. The difference in mine is that after 3 weeks I cold crashed mine for 2 weeks @ 35F before kegging. It came out sooooo smooth. I brewed it at the end of October and the keg is gone. It was that good!! I think the 2 weeks of "lagering" really helped to smooth it out.

dwarven_stout 12-30-2010 03:52 AM


Originally Posted by Calder (Post 2507808)
If anything I would say you fermented too low. You want to start a Belgian at 70+ and ramp up to 80. Dupont ferments at 90; thats' to get the ferment over quick .... commercial to get beer to the store.

Bit of a difference between Wyeast 1388 and the Dupont strain. 80 is pretty warm for 1388- maybe too warm, and if that was the ambient temp then it was definitely too warm. It's much better to start at 65 and let it rise naturally to 75 and hold it.

Still, extended cool aging could take some of the bite off of it. I brewed a BSG too hot last year, and it's mellowed some. Better yet, I learned my lesson on temp control in early ferm, so I don't do it wrong anymore.

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