Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: WL 500 (Trappist)
Batch Size (Gallons): 6
Original Gravity: 1.084
Final Gravity: 1.012
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
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!