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Old 06-27-2013, 03:57 AM   #1
motorneuron
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Default Strong Like Animal (Belgian dark strong)

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WL 500 (Trappist)
Batch Size (Gallons): 6
Original Gravity: 1.084
Final Gravity: 1.012
IBU: 26
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 20L
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): until done; start cooler, say 65F and let rise
Tasting Notes: dark fruit, some light banana and bubblegum, licorice; then malt, a little sweetness

This may be my best batch to date. It's delicious and balanced. Despite some initial gravity samples that seemed too dry, I now understand that this beer achieves a delicate balance between its fruity esters, bitterness, and residual sweetness. The low final gravity means it's drinkable, and it wears its 9.4% (!!) abv very well. In other words, because it lacks the cloying sugary finish that some similar beers have, this one is dangerous.

GRAINS (assuming 70% efficiency)
12 lbs Belgian pils
1 lb carapils or flaked wheat (meant to use flaked wheat, but LHBS was out; either way, it's for body and head retention, so use as you see fit)
5 oz aromatic
4 oz caramel 20L
4 oz caramel 40L
4 oz Special B
4 oz debittered black
3 oz Belgian chocolate malt
*3 lbs piloncillo/panela (added at high kraeusen--see below)

MASH at 152F. You could go higher or lower depending on your preference.

BOIL 90 minutes:
1 oz Meridian pellets (6.5% AA) @ 60 mins [just what I had on hand; anything moderate would work as a bittering addition]
2 oz Styrian Golding (4.0% AA) @ 20 mins
2 whole star anise @ 5 mins

FERMENT with WL 500, which I believe is the Chimay strain and is identical to Wyeast 1214. At high kraeusen, add 3 lbs of piloncillo/panela, boiled (and then cooled) in a trivial amount of water. I started at 65F. The temperature rose gradually, with some control by me. Eventually a heat wave hit, which allowed final temperature near 80F; that helped the attenuation!

The flavor will improve with age. I can't tell you how much it improves with serious age, since I haven't had it for that long yet!

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Old 01-27-2014, 12:20 AM   #2
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How long did this take to carbonate in the bottle? I'm having to wait almost 4 months for the one I currently have to carbonate and I made one of similar style and strength.

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Old 01-27-2014, 03:14 PM   #3
motorneuron
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Wow. No, it didn't take an especially long time to carbonate--carbed around 10 days, reasonable flavor stability at about 3 weeks.

How long did you keep yours in the primary for? If you kept it in primary for a long time (say, more than four weeks) and its strength exceeds about 8%, you might need to repitch some alcohol-tolerant yeast at bottling, because the original yeast may be dead. I personally did not have that problem, though. (Most Trappist strains are pretty hardy.) Only one beer of mine has failed to carbonate, and that was a barley wine that I made early in my career.

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Old 01-28-2014, 12:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hokieguy95 View Post
How long did this take to carbonate in the bottle? I'm having to wait almost 4 months for the one I currently have to carbonate and I made one of similar style and strength.

I used to have the same problems with bottle conditioning. Then i read this

http://byo.com/stories/item/1207-on-...uide-to-bottle

I use 1/2 pack of T-58 dry yeast with the starter and keep bottles at 75 degrees for a week. They will be carbed up but age them for atleast a month
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