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Old 03-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #611
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What do you guys recommend as far as a fermentation temperature schedule? I ask because I made the old world version, pitched at 64F, and let it free rise to 75F. I then applied external heat to get it to 82F within 12 hours.

I got dinged by 4 different judges for the beer being too solventy/harsh, and I can detect it as well. They all blame it on too hot of a fermentation, and I have to agree.

I know the stated practice of Westvelteren in BLAM is to get it up into the 80's, but I'm not so sure this can be directly correlated to a home setup due to differences in fermentor geometry, open vs. closed, etc.

Any experience/guidance/advice would be appreciated.
All I can tell you is what I do. When I brew belgians that I want to run at high temps I use a water bath and an aquarium heater controlled by a temp controller. That way I can see the temp easily of the whole shebang which because of the thermal conductivity of water should be very similar to the center of the fermentation. Then I slowly increase the temp a few degrees after the third day. I go up 3-5 degrees until I stop at 85 on the controller which the highest I got the temp was 82 I think. Then I age it for an extended period of time at room temp and do a week or two of cold conditioning in my beer fridge before I bottle.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #612
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Thanks for the replies. The beer was 6 months old when I entered it in the first contest.

I recently made a dubbel at 1.068 using WLP530, and I tried a fermentation schedule closer to what some are recommending. I pitched at 64F and held it there for 3 days, then increased up to 74F over three days, then held it there for another 3 days. After 4 weeks, I'm going to keg it this weekend.

The few samples I've had don't seem to have noticeable hot alcohol character, but I will reserve judgment until it is ready to serve. I would say though, that the fermentation was considerably more sluggish this way, and it took about 10 days for the beer to reach FG (1.012). My Old World BDS based on this thread went from 1.095 to 1.012 in 6 days.

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Old 03-29-2012, 03:43 PM   #613
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Although someone else had a different experience. The alcohol burn does age out in my beers. 6 months should be good though. I did the old world and it had that hot alcohol at first at about 6 months it aged out, now it's a year old, smooth as could be and delicious. If you are worried about fusels maintaining lower temps during the growth phase is the way to control them. You will get fewer esters though.

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Old 03-31-2012, 12:26 AM   #614
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Just did the traditional. 8.8 Gallons. Pre fermenter it tastes incredible. I also did the 3/4 gallons reduction but made it 1.5 G. WOW was that incredible.

Ended with a 1.094 SG after boil.

Thank you all.

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Old 03-31-2012, 03:35 AM   #615
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Brewed this beer a few months ago. Did a 6 gallon batch. When I put it in the chest freezer to ferment I had no problems hitting and maintaining 82F for a good while. The beer has turned out to be the best I have ever brewed.

It's currently 2 months in the bottle. I did a blog entry about the process if anyone is interested: http://www.goallgrain.com/2012/03/30/brewabelgian/

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Old 03-31-2012, 04:13 AM   #616
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Man, my one has only been in the fermenter for a week. Currently sitting at 1.014 and the hydro samples are promising. Cant wait to sip this. Only a few months to go...

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Old 03-31-2012, 05:33 AM   #617
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Has anyone done natural carbonation with this brew? I canned the final 5/8 G and plan on adding it at bottling.

Any thoughts?

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Old 04-02-2012, 08:49 PM   #618
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I was planning on brewing this up tomorrow, but just realized I forgot to make my starter. I have a vial of 530 in the fridge. I can whip up a starter real quick, but don't think I'll have enough time to step it up. If I make a 1.5l starter now, that will give me about 30 hours until pitching time. Do you think this will work? A quick response is appreciated

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Old 04-02-2012, 09:50 PM   #619
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Yes, I would make a 2 liter starter, and roll with it.

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Old 04-03-2012, 08:32 PM   #620
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Quote:
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I was planning on brewing this up tomorrow, but just realized I forgot to make my starter. I have a vial of 530 in the fridge. I can whip up a starter real quick, but don't think I'll have enough time to step it up. If I make a 1.5l starter now, that will give me about 30 hours until pitching time. Do you think this will work? A quick response is appreciated
I've made a 4 gallon batch without any starter at all. I can't say whether it is as good as the real Westy, but it's pretty darn good by my standards. Very smooth, no off flavors. saq mentioned that underpitching might actually be a good thing with this beer, assuming that you don't overdo it and follow the fermentation schedule carefully.
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