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Old 05-17-2012, 02:59 AM   #1
StusBrew
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Default Belgian Golden Strong Ale

I had a 'Golden Ale' from Dick's brewing. It was something like 4.5 % ABV. So not actually a Strong Golden Ale. Like the flavor and got me curious. So now want to brew a Belgian Strong Golden Ale. I haven't brewed anything over about 6% ABV. So all I've done is pitch dry yeast.
This will be 2nd all-grain. Did Witbier last and it's still in 1st week of bottle conditioning. Mash temp was higher than wanted so thinking that's what affected FG/attenuation. So calibrating thermometer before brew it!!!!
Mashing in a Zappap. Loved it. Batch sparged, etc.
Anyway, on with it. I want to do a starter for this one for sure since OG I'll be getting will be 1.080 - 1.081. But I was searching for more information and saw somewhere about the thought being that wanted a particular character from the yeast the fermentation temp. should be high. But (wherever I saw it) said that Belgians usually start low in temps. for fermenting and then raise temperature after 3 - 4 days. Does anyone agree with this???
Also saw somewhere about underpitching, for instance 1.8 L instead of 2 L starter. I guess also contributes to the character. I would think with OG this high, you'd want as much yeast as possible?!?!?!
Then I'm going to try this Venturi tube thing I saw on here. Seems excellent to aerate wort before pitching. But what were results??? Everyting fine, not overoxygenated???

12 lb. Belgian Pilsner
0.25 lb. Belgian Caramel Pils (CaraPils ???)
0.25 lb. Biscuit malt
1 oz. Saaz (60 min.)
1 oz. Saaz (15 min.)
Going to try Servomyces (15 min.)
Wyeast Belgian Strong Ale strain (# ??)


When I last did all-grain in Zappap I got 72 % batch sparging. So assuming the 72%.
1 way was to do a protein rest, then beta rest and then the alpha rest. But another suggestion was a single saccharification rest at 154 degrees F or something. (Seems high.) Seems I would need higher fermentability so lower mash temp.???
Like I said, I can't direct heat my mash tun. Or other thought is decoction to get to those temps. for the steps.

Any thoughts or ideas? Should this thread really be in recipes/Ingredients?? Help me affirm or adjust ideas/thoughts I have.

Stu

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Old 05-17-2012, 03:11 AM   #2
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I would mash low...147 for 75-90 minutes. I would get rid of the specialty malt and go with only Pilsner malt. It is important to this beer to finish dry enough so I would use at least 2lbs of plain table sugar in the kettle as well. I wouldn't worry about over oxygenating. I start my BGSA at 66-68 degrees for two days and ramp up the temperature 2 degrees per day until I hit 80 degrees.

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Old 05-17-2012, 10:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phunhog
I would mash low...147 for 75-90 minutes. I would get rid of the specialty malt and go with only Pilsner malt. It is important to this beer to finish dry enough so I would use at least 2lbs of plain table sugar in the kettle as well. I wouldn't worry about over oxygenating. I start my BGSA at 66-68 degrees for two days and ramp up the temperature 2 degrees per day until I hit 80 degrees.
Pretty much my suggestions, as well. Make sure you sub the 2# sugar for 2# malt or your OG will go even higher. It's almost impossible to over oxygenate w/o using pure O2 and def pitch cool then let rise.
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Old 05-17-2012, 12:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phunhog View Post
I would mash low...147 for 75-90 minutes. I would get rid of the specialty malt and go with only Pilsner malt. It is important to this beer to finish dry enough so I would use at least 2lbs of plain table sugar in the kettle as well. I wouldn't worry about over oxygenating. I start my BGSA at 66-68 degrees for two days and ramp up the temperature 2 degrees per day until I hit 80 degrees.

I agree with this as well. Up to 20% sugar will help dry the beer out and make it more "digestible" as the Belgians would say. Just be sure to not let the temp get too hot too fast. I usually pitch even a little lower and then slowly raise the temp. The first couple of days the temp can rise very fast if you are not careful. I had one get away from me and the temp rose too quickly and it produced some fusels.

Be sure to give it plenty of time to finish up. Belgian yeasts can slow down after the initial fermentation and take a long time to get the final few points down. Here is a great quote from Brew Like a Monk.....

"Let the fermentation finish, perhaps at a higher temperature. It can take as long to get the last few points of attenuation as it does for the first 80%."

After it is bottled be sure to let it age. I know you will want to drink it soon. It will taste pretty good after it is carbed up but will continue to improve with age. I have some that have been in bottles for over a year and they continue to change, and change for the better. So set some aside and forget about them for a long while.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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Well, went to bed last night realizing I forgot to include the 2 lb. of table sugar in the recipe.
Everything I've seen is to add the table sugar the last 10 minutes of boil. What about a little bit more sugar saaaay 4 - 5 days after into fermentation?? Because right now, according to my BeerTools, FG would only be 1.019. According to style, I'm still a few point high. Anyway, not too worried about going to style, just want to brew it. I imagine it would work both ways right?? 2 lb. into fermenter after 4 - 5 days or into kettle for last 15 minutes??

Thanks guys.

Also, I had planned 21 days sitting in primary (or actually if it's still dropping in gravity, I'll let it dictate). Then sit a while in keg I have for 21 days (though have no Co2 tank or regulator).

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Old 05-17-2012, 02:56 PM   #6
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If you're using plain white table sugar, be sure to invert it first. It will be more fermentable than regular white sugar and if you cook it with enough care you can impart some nice caramel flavors into your ale.

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Old 05-17-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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If you're using plain white table sugar, be sure to invert it first. It will be more fermentable than regular white sugar and if you cook it with enough care you can impart some nice caramel flavors into your ale.
Which is a great idea but....caramel flavors aren't really what you want in a Belgian Golden Strong Ale.
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Old 05-17-2012, 04:55 PM   #8
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Table sugar inverts when you throw it into boiling, acidic wort.
Throwing it in earlier (say with your 60 min hops charge) can get you some carmelization, but like Phundog says, a golden strong should be golden.

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Old 05-17-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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Do we do the same with Belgian candy sugar or can I add that later, adding it to the secondary instead?

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Old 05-17-2012, 06:20 PM   #10
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Now I remember why I stopped posting on this BB. Too many experts on here who think they know it all.

For those who are interested:

http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2...ert-sugar.html

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