After 5 long batches from last Fall we have decided on our favorite variation to saq's outstanding recipe. Most of our team from Candi Syrup, Inc concluded unanimously that this is as near perfect to an actual Westvletern 12 that we have tasted in our test batches using D180. Hats off to saq and team. Here is our adjusted recipe:
WESTVLETEREN 12 CLONE - VARIATION 005
Yeast: WLP530 or WY3787
Yeast Starter: 1.75L - 2.0L (Stir plate required)
Batch Size: 5.25 gal
Boil Size: 7.50 gal
Boil Time: 120 Minutes
9.00 Gallons spring water.
Primary: 7 days in glass @ 65F ramp controlled to 83F
Secondary: 7 days @ 65F
Additional: 49 days @ 50 - 52F
3.00 lbs D180 Belgian-style Candi Syrup (Candi Syrup, Inc.)
12.0 lbs Dingemann's Belgian Pilsner
4.00 lbs Dingemann's Belgian Pale
0.10 lbs Belgian Debittered black malt (very important addition here)
1.00 oz Brewers Gold [9.70 %] (60 min)
1.00 oz Hersbrucker [2.40 %] (30 min)
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [4.10 %] (25 min)
1 - Servomyces tab (optional)
Protein Rest: @ 132.0 F (9 gallons in), 30 min.
Low Saccharification: @152F. (Decoction), 35 min.
High Saccharification: @158F. (Decoction), 35 min.
Note, add syrup at 3 minutes prior to flame-out. Chill to 65F. Pitch and ramp temp from 65F to 82-83F over 5 days and hold at 83F for 2 days more. At this point you should be near a gravity of 1.020. Rack to secondary at 65f for another 7 days then let "languish" for 49 days at 55-60F in glass. If your yeast is strong and your candi syrup is premium, (we're biased), you should hit terminal gravity 1.012 in about 21 days. Bottle or keg after another 28 days (total 49 days). Fantastic after 5 months...getting better every month after.
Final notes: the Brewers Gold hops was a very good choice for authenticity in this ale. It added that slightly needed additional flavor profile for a perfect Westy 12 clone. Also, saccharification temps at first glance look high but we found over trial and error that the higher temps contribute to the unique "chewy" mouth-feel and texture and helps the flavors linger on the palate. Last but not least, we tried to keep this recipe simple with the candi syrup, yeast, and hops developing the flavors on a simple base of 2 grains, (w/ a pinch of black malt for aging stability). This ale is a genuine work of art.