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Old 12-16-2008, 04:42 AM   #1
jerryalan
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Default Belgian Golden Strong Ale

Good evening home brewers.

I brewed a belgian golden strong ale with the following ingredients:
6 Lbs DME (15 min)
3.5 Lbs Durste. Pils 2-row
.25 Lbs Durste. Carapils
.25 Lbs Durste. Biscuit
2 Lbs Clear Candi
10% Saaz (60 min)
5% Saaz (15 min)
1 tsp Irish Moss (15 min)
Wyeast 1388

My OG was 1.088. I left it in the primary for a total of 19 days and when I racked it to the secondary the gravity was at 1.016. I think at 1.016 it's close to being done but when I drank the sample it was still very sweet. I know this type of beer should sit in the fermenter for a few months so I'm in no hurry to start drinking it but should it still be that sweet at 1.016? Should I pitch more yeast or just let it be?

Thanks!

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Old 12-16-2008, 01:05 PM   #2
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That might be all you'll get. The original golden strong ale (Duvel) has an OG of 1.069 and and FG of 1.005. That's 93% attenuation. They go through great lengths to get that (step-mash temps, yeast health, specific fermentation temps at specific timing, etc.). Wyeast 1388 is only expected to get up to 78% attenuation and you got 82%. I think it's done.

Thats probably one of the biggest troubles with trying to make a golden strong ale or many other Belgian styles... it's difficult to get the attenuation they get.

Oh... welcome to the forum!

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Old 12-16-2008, 01:37 PM   #3
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It's almost certainly done.

I mashed an all-grain tripel at 149*F for 90 minutes, used 2# of turbinado, and pitched a gallon starter of the same yeast. OG was 1.090 and it finished at 1.014 which is about 85% AA.

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Old 12-16-2008, 02:05 PM   #4
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I just did a partial mash Belgian kit from AHS. Went from 1.105 to 1.019, which works out to around 82% attenuation, i was pretty happy with that. I used Wyeast 3787.

Its still bulk aging in the secondary. Its a little sweet, but still tastes pretty damn good!

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Old 12-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #5
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It might taste sweet because it may be a bit underhopped. I don't see how many IBUs that calculated out to, but that's a big beer. When you have an OG of 1.088, you'd need to have enough IBUs to not make it sweet. What did you have for IBUs with the Saaz hops?

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Old 12-16-2008, 02:20 PM   #6
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What yeast did you use? I've got a similar all grain beer 75% Pils, 20% Vienna, 5% carapils that I fermented with WLP Saison II (566). OG was 1.084 and the FG is 1.008. I force carbed. Mine also tastes "sweet", although I had a little sample last night and the beer is fairly silky on the tongue and I think that is contributing to the sweetness sensation, making it seem sweeter than it really is.

Mine also clocks in at 50 IBU, but you don't notice it until the very end. I'm quite amazed this beer tastes as sweet as it does. I haven't had a Duvel in a while but my recollection is that it too seemed kinda sweet, especially given it's FG.

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Old 12-16-2008, 04:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menschmaschine View Post
That might be all you'll get. The original golden strong ale (Duvel) has an OG of 1.069 and and FG of 1.005. That's 93% attenuation. They go through great lengths to get that (step-mash temps, yeast health, specific fermentation temps at specific timing, etc.). Wyeast 1388 is only expected to get up to 78% attenuation and you got 82%. I think it's done.

Thats probably one of the biggest troubles with trying to make a golden strong ale or many other Belgian styles... it's difficult to get the attenuation they get.

Oh... welcome to the forum!
Thanks for the heads-up and thanks for the welcome! I'll probably let it sit in the secondary for a month and then let it sit in bottles for another month or so to condition. I've been saving my Duvel bottles for this one.

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Old 12-16-2008, 04:39 PM   #8
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What did you have for IBUs with the Saaz hops?
I'll check my notes when I get home tonight. I can't remember.

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Old 12-16-2008, 04:40 PM   #9
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What yeast did you use?
Wyeast 1388

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Old 12-16-2008, 05:09 PM   #10
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I've noticed the same types of things you are describing, the sweet taste and the same level of attenuation. I used the same yeast, 1388, and JZs AG recipe. Its been sitting for a little over three months now in a keg and i am still getting CO2 forming which i let out every couple days. I am going to let it sit a while

One thing i heard on JZs tripple show, i think, was that when you use a good amount of simple sugars, such as candi sugar or in my case table sugar, you want to add it during primary rather than during the boil. Yeast will want to take the easiest route to feed, so if you give them the easy stuff right away(the simple sugars) they will focus on that and leave the harder to break down sugars untouched. If i ever brew this or similar style again thats what I am going to do.

That said, i think you have the right idea to just let it sit, hope it turns out nice, good luck!

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