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Old 01-22-2009, 01:51 AM   #1
Jan 2009
Posts: 8

Gentleman, I was wondering if anyone has any tips on brewing my first strong Belgian ale. I am using Abey ale yeast from white labs. Is a blow off a must any tips on not to have a stuck ferm. Much appreciated .


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Old 01-22-2009, 01:54 AM   #2
Parker36's Avatar
Sep 2007
Posts: 4,742
Liked 23 Times on 21 Posts

Blow off is good idea - my first Belgian Golden Strong got pretty messy. You have any recipe ideas or anything? How are you at maintaining fermentation temps?

The best advice I can give when brewing any Belgian brew is to read "Brew Like a Monk" cover to cover. Very interesting book, lots of history along with recipes, malt/hop/yeast profiles, when to use what, etc

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Old 01-22-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
Jan 2009
Posts: 8

My house usually stays at 68. I am following a recipe from Clone Beers. The recipe does call to ferment from 70-72 . Maybe time to buy a aquarium heater?Do you know how long you have to ferment the damn thing before you could guzzle?. Thanx in advance

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Old 01-22-2009, 05:27 AM   #4
Sep 2006
Sacramento, CA
Posts: 362
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

If you want to learn a lot about the style and the optimal fermentation, I'd recommend giving a listen to the "Belgian Golden Strong Ale" episode of the Jamil Show on The Brewing Network.

The Brewing - :

Jamil's recipes are usually pretty good too, if you're looking for any other recipe ideas.

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Old 01-22-2009, 05:40 AM   #5
Sep 2007
Central Coast
Posts: 544
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

Look at Mr Malty Pitching Rate Calculator to get your starter right.

Use pure O2 for 1 to 2 min through an aeration stone.

Have a way to warm it up after the first 2/3rds of fermentation.

Use 20% to 30% simple sugar. dark candi, inc. This is the stuff to use for Dark Strong Ale.

For Golden you can use clear syrup, table sugar, honey, or a few other kinds if you look around.

Mash in the 147-149 range for 60-90 min and then mash out at 168-170.

And like others have stated read Brew Like a Monk Not everything in the book is true, but it will get you started.

Good luck

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Old 01-22-2009, 12:51 PM   #6
jkarp's Avatar
Jun 2008
Elizabeth, CO
Posts: 2,112
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B-Dub nailed all my Belgian secrets.

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Old 01-22-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
Wild Duk
Mar 2008
Posts: 317

Would this be a good beer to brew now, age, then be drinkable in the summer.....

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Old 01-22-2009, 02:26 PM   #8
Jan 2009
Posts: 8

Thank you gentleman for all the generous feedback. I hope i do this one right . The ingredients where about 80 beans.

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Old 01-22-2009, 03:41 PM   #9
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pjj2ba's Avatar
Jul 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,379
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Originally Posted by Wild Duk View Post
Would this be a good beer to brew now, age, then be drinkable in the summer.....
Brew now, age, and drink in the fall.......... While it may be refreshing, it certainly isn't light. I generally don't like to drink sipping beers in the summer. I want something I can quaff, and a Belgian strong I don't think fits into that category. One the plus side more aging = better flavor for this kind of beer. I've just tapped into a keg that has been aging for a year and it is very fine!
On Tap: Doppelbock O'fest, Pale Ale, cider
Kegged and Aging/Lagering: CAP, Ger. Pils, OKZ (std Amer. lager), CZ Pils, Amer. Wheat, Rye IPA, Saison
Primary: Ger Pils, CAP
Brewing soon: Pale lager, Amer. wheat
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Old 01-22-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
Mar 2007
Posts: 456
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I just brewed a dark Belgian a few weeks ago. I used wlp500 and kept the carboy near my hot water heater to get the ferm temp in the high 60s (I know some belgian strains like it much warmer). I did use a blowoff-and needed it. The guy at the LHBS recommended turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw) as a substitute for candi sugar-a lot cheaper and according to him-very similar.

The only real problem I had was that I under-sparged, and under-boiled. I was low on my OG because I should have collected around 10 gallons-but I only have a 10 gal BK. Until I have a bigger mash tun and BK, I think I'll have this same problem with any big beers though-not just Belgians.

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