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Old 10-12-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
LeClerkWannaBe
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Default Refermentation in Carboys?

I am experimenting with Belgian style ales and am trying to put together a plan for my first refermentation, using a different yeast strain and a fresh dose of candi syrup after completing primary to add a bit of complexity to my brew. My goal is to bring in different attributes (esthers, phenolics and such) to create a more unique flavor profile, e.g. banana nose, spicy and earthy middle and dry finish. I know several of the Belgian breweries referment in bottles, but I am wondering if it's possible to achieve similar results refermenting in a carboy. Process might look something like this:

- Mash to ~ 1.075 OG. Aerate and add first strain.
- Primary ferment ~ 10 days. Rack to bucket to, add sugar and fresh yeast (different strain)
- Run a second primary fermentation for ~ 10 days. Rack to another carboy.
- Secondary ferment for 2 weeks.
- Bottle as usual

Has anyone had experience with something like this and achieved either good or bad results? Seems like an intriguing idea, but I don't like the idea of botching the dosing before bottling and ending up with bottle grenades.

Has anyone found a better way to draw out the complex and dynamic flavor profiles in their favorite Belgian ales?

All thoughts/tips appreciated.

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Old 10-12-2009, 10:19 PM   #2
bierbrauer
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I have never heard of this before. When I make my belgian Dubbel recipe I just use a number of different malts to make the brew more complex, always include some kind of candi sugar or brown sugar in the boil and use nothing less than a true belgian ale yeast at the proper fermentation temperature. I've always ended up with a complex spicy brew with lots of different fruity esters etc. and long ageing capability.

Lots of belgian breweries use a different yeast at bottling but this is either to protect their strain of yeast from being propagated or because the beer is so strong that they use a champagne yeast or some other high alcohol tolerant strain so it actually carbonates the beer.

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