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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Belgian Quad SG 1.094 to 1.010 in 1 week....how I did it...if you want to know.

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Old 12-14-2008, 04:00 PM   #1
B-Dub
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Default 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.

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Old 12-14-2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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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?

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Old 12-14-2008, 09:40 PM   #3
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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.

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Old 12-14-2008, 11:03 PM   #4
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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?

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Old 12-15-2008, 01:17 AM   #5
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+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.

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Old 12-15-2008, 01:53 AM   #6
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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.

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Old 12-15-2008, 02:54 AM   #7
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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.

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Old 12-15-2008, 03:02 PM   #8
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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.

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Old 12-15-2008, 05:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Dub View Post

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.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:01 PM   #10
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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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