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Old 01-16-2010, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Belgian Strong Ale Comments Please

I am planning on making a Belgian Strong Ale in the near future (already have the ingredients). I am looking for idea's on what might improve this package.
Ingredient list
6# Golden LME (Northern Brewer)
2# Amber DME
1# Clear Candi Sugar
1# Blonde Candi Sugar
1# Brown Candi Sugar
2oz Golding Hop
2oz Saaz Hop
3packs WYeast-1388 Belgian Strong Ale

Given this list I was looking for idea's to help with staying close to a belgian ale.. One suggestion was to add grains of paradise. Any other ideas?

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Old 01-16-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert on this style but wonder about the 3 lbs of sugar. If you look around the recipe database here, under Belgian Strong Ale, I suspect you'll find that most of the recipes use less than that, between 1 - 2 lbs. If you browse the other recipes, it may also give you ideas on other ingredients, like the grains of paradise you mentioned. Cheers!

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Old 01-16-2010, 03:04 PM   #3
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Definately way too much sugar. Special B is another good addition you can make.

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Old 01-18-2010, 03:48 AM   #4
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I am wondering about 3 packs of yeast. Seems like overkill. Don't you know there's a recession on? I would save the expense. My wyeast guide says 1388 will tolerate 12-13% ABV. You would have to have an OG of 1.09 or 1.10, something like that to get 12-13% ABV. I don't know if you would get there with 8# of extract.

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Old 01-20-2010, 12:55 AM   #5
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OK so what I am hearing is that taking the sugar down to 1# of cani sugar and adding a 1# of pilsner DME would be preferred and using 1 smack pack vs 3 (which seemed like overkill to me BUT that is what the recipe called for) would be better??

{{Still looking for input as the original recipe seems as odd to other as it did to me this is why I asked}}

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Old 01-20-2010, 01:42 AM   #6
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I would also say take out at least 1# of sugar. As far as what sugar to take out, it comes down to your own personal preferance for this recipe whether you want a lighter strong ale with the plain candi sugar or a little more color and flavor with the darker sugar. 1 package of yeast should be plenty, just make a starter to give it a headstart. Good luck!

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Old 01-20-2010, 03:27 AM   #7
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I would say either make a starter of go forth with 3 packages of liquid yeast. That's a big beer. A starter is cheaper of course.

Also, you can save by making your own candi sugar (search the forums) or even using table sugae for at least part of it.

Spices: grains of paradise, cardamom, star anise...you have several options.

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Old 01-22-2010, 12:23 AM   #8
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So now I am really confused..
Sugar down to roughly 1# to 1.5# in total...Right
What about adding the additional 1# of DME to makeup for the decrease in sugar??

Never had luck with Starters, but could I go with 2 smack packs vs all 3 smack packs?
Looking for just a little more assistance here.. Thanks.

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Old 01-22-2010, 03:09 AM   #9
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Do you have a recipe you are using that lists a target OG? It might help to know that. McGarnigle is right, it is a big beer at 8# of extract. Sorry brewing isn't an exact science. I just don't think its 3-smack-pack-big and 1388 is made for it. You might look up some recipes on the site and see what other people have done for yeast on Belgian Strong Ales.

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Old 01-22-2010, 06:02 PM   #10
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Agreed with one pounder of candi sugar - from the list you had I'd stick with the brown, though the Dark 2 syrup is my personal favorite for a Dark Strong. You could use all of those sugars, but you would end up with a very sweet beer that would have some muddled flavors. Those syrups and sugars are very flavorful, and a blend like that will not do what I think you want it to do.

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