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-   -   Belgian Quad SG 1.094 to 1.010 in 1 week....how I did it...if you want to know. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/belgian-quad-sg-1-094-1-010-1-week-how-i-did-if-you-want-know-93035/)

B-Dub 12-14-2008 04:00 PM

Belgian Quad SG 1.094 to 1.010 in 1 week....how I did it...if you want to know.
 
For what it's worth, I have been brewing some Belgian beers over the last year and have finally reached a point where my FG is down where I want it.

The last Quad (1.094 with 27% simple sugar by extract, not weight) got 1 minute of pure O2 though a stone, mashed at 147-149 for 90 min, built up 1 vial of yeast on a stir plate 1500mls....dump beer then 2000mls more, added yeast nutrient, fermented wlp530 at 66 deg for 2 days (with a blow off tube because it was making a huge mess) then ramped the temp up to 82 (fridge with heating pad). Some will debate the high temp, but I was going with advice from a friend who has been to Belgium and what Brew Like a Monk states some brewers temps get up to. The FG was 1.010 after 1 week.

Tasted great going to conditioning fridge where it will spend 1 month at 34 deg. Then transfer to clean keg, warm up for 2 days to 72 in warm fridge, add fresh yeast and sugar and bottle.

Belgian yeasts are not like any other yeasts I have used and need a different approach to pitching amounts and temperature. Finally have the FG down to a nice dry level, but it took me a year to figure it out and some sweet beers.

Sorry to be so long winded, but I love brewing Belgian beers. I also love the Dark Candi sugars for darker styles.

Happy Brewing,

B-Dub

I reposted this from the bottom of another thread because I thought some might like to hear what is working for me. Hope it helps.

scinerd3000 12-14-2008 06:49 PM

do you have any off flavors from fermenting that warm or was the 2 day waiting period long enough to get the majority of fermentation done?

B-Dub 12-14-2008 09:40 PM

2 days was long enough at 66. It was after 48 hours that I turned the heater up in the fridge to 82. I do not know how long the 5.5 gallons took to reach 82.

Next time I might go 3 days before ramping it up. I just want to avoid unattenuated beer. My pet peeve.

Low fusel and no higher alcohols. Nice clove and spice aromas. A little bottle conditioning and aging will take this right where it needs to go.

gxm 12-14-2008 11:03 PM

Thanks for the info B-Dub. I've also ramped up some belgians that warm with no issues, though I still have higher FGs than I expect, but not sweet, just not dry.

I'm curious, do you rack out of the primary before putting in your conditioning fridge?

Also, what is the point of the double starter?

Sixbillionethans 12-15-2008 01:17 AM

+1 on the temperature ramp (as discussed in Brew Like a Monk).

I've started most of my Belgians in the 64-68 range, then ramp from there. A typical ramp might be:
64 for 1 day
66 for 1 day
70 for 1 day
74 until done.

Start low to keep the higher alcohols in check, then crank 'er up to make sure it finishes dry enough. I've gotten a tripel from 1.090 to 1.010 and several big Saisons down to 1.002-4

After about 2 days, as things start to settle out, I will also pop the airlock off and swirl the carboy pretty vigorously to help re-aerate the wort. Seems to keep things going.

B-Dub 12-15-2008 01:53 AM

Quote:

I'm curious, do you rack out of the primary before putting in your conditioning fridge?

Also, what is the point of the double starter?
Yes, I transfer off the yeast before conditioning. No need to keep all that trub and yeast around at 34 deg. Also, I can fit more kegs in my cold fridge than 5 or 6.5 gallon carboys.

The double starter builds more yeast for a larger cell count. I can add a little wort at a time until it is all in and working, or I get a mess and lose some yeast. The stir plate is new for me and I am just getting the hang of it. I am sure there are guys here who have more experience than me.

Sixbillionethans, I would caution against the addition of any O2 after fermentation starts. You could be looking at a shorter shelf life or worse. Just my 2c.

:D

dontman 12-15-2008 02:54 AM

The Belgian Strong I have in secondary started at 094 and went down to 014. I used some dark candi and some honey as well.

Also, I kept mine at 68 for about a week and then did the temp rise up to 82 for maybe 24 hours or so.

I tasted the sample as I racked and was really surprised at the almost zero fusels this young. When I planned on waiting 3 months to start drinking this batch I thought I would be waiting for the hot alcohol to fade. Apparently not.

I'm curious B-Dub what is your hop profile like on this? I went fairly low, down around 30 IBUs and I have been second guessing myself.

B-Dub 12-15-2008 03:02 PM

For hops I went with Syrian Goldings at 40 IBU. For now I am trying to make a Westy type and that beer is fairly bitter. BLAM lists the IBUS in the 40 range.

Next few brews I plan to come down to 30 or 35 IBU. So I think you will be in a great spot to see if you want more bitterness or if you like it the way it is.

I know what you are saying about expecting to wait before drinking. Some times you do not have to wait 3 months before these beers are great.

dontman - What yeast did you use? I find the WLP530 to be fairly finicky about finishing.

dontman 12-15-2008 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by B-Dub (Post 1010027)

dontman - What yeast did you use? I find the WLP530 to be fairly finicky about finishing.

Good to hear on the hops. The big Belgians are my current favorites and I have been very excited about this particular beer.

I used EKG and Saaz.

I used WL 500.

BTW, that 82 degree ferment that I hit was an accident. I wanted to heat it just to 75 and it got away from me.

510brew 12-15-2008 08:01 PM

Thanks for the post B-Dub. I just got into homebrewing, and I'm in it mainly to brew good Belgian style beers. I have only done a few non-Belgians just to get the basics down, and I'm busy studying how to do the Belgians justice before I try one.

I have a question about your fermentation temperatures, it sounds like you are referring to air temperature when you mention your temps. I read in Brew Like a Monk that they measure the temperature of the wort. Do you have any thoughts on that? I am planning my fermentation temperature control and any thoughts on this would be appreciated, thanks.


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