Advice on Belgian

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Jloewe

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Looking to do a Belgian on my next brew. Here’s what I’ve come down with so far

partial mash biab

6lbs LME pislener
4lbs Pilsner malt BIAB
.5 120 crystal for color
2lbs diy candi syrup

mash grain 155 for an hour

make syrup with a cup of wort

add 3lbs Pilsner LME at 60
1oz tettering at 60

3lbs Pilsner LME at 10
1oz tettering at 10

1oz saaz at flameout

pitch around 60 or so either t58 or dry abbey. Depending on gravity possible 2 packs

ambient in basement is currently 66 probably a little lower come brew day.

How am I looking?
 

Velnerj

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Any idea what the expected gravity/ABV is going to be? A lot of Belgians (i.e. tripels and BGS) use (table) sugar to dry it out a bit, but not sure what you are going for.... Might want to consider lowering the ME and substitute some sugar instead. Can be up to 20% of the fermentables, though I think that's too high... maybe aim for around 10%?
 
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Jloewe

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No didn’t look for expected gravity. But I like ‘em big for the most part. Which is what I’m aiming for.
 
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Jloewe

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Any idea what the expected gravity/ABV is going to be? A lot of Belgians (i.e. tripels and BGS) use (table) sugar to dry it out a bit, but not sure what you are going for.... Might want to consider lowering the ME and substitute some sugar instead. Can be up to 20% of the fermentables, though I think that's too high... maybe aim for around 10%?
Also forgot to mention it’s going to be dark candi syrup.
 

Gusso

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One pack of Abbaye got my last Tripel from 1.090 to 1.010. That was all grain, though.
 

broot

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I would change the 4# of Pilsner malt to abbey malt or at least marris otter for some more malty flavor.
 

SRJHops

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I brew a lot of Belgians, but I do all grain, so I'm not very familiar with the partial mash biab process. But whatever the process, the recipes and many of the processes are similar. So here's my two cents:

What style are you making? Looks like maybe a dubbel? I would agree with broot that you need more malt flavor. My dubbel has Pils, Maris Otter, Munich, Victory, Special B, and a bit of Black Patent. My quad is similar.

155 mash is quite high for a Belgian. I would recommend researching that a bit. I mash most of my Belgians closer to 150. Most Belgians are quite dry and better for it. The sugar will help drive the FG down too.

I assume making the syrup is to make sure the sugar is dissolved. (You can also just buy the sugar in syrup form.) That seems like it would work pretty well. Most people put their sugar in at the end of the boil. I however recommend adding it at First Wort, so you don't have to worry if it all dissolves. (I've found clumps in the bottom of the kettle. I also have a lot going on at the end of the boil and don't want to add worrying about sugar to the list.)

Your fermentation temp seems low. I don't know the range for the yeast you are using, but a lot of Belgians range from 65 - 75. And many do well in the 80's. I recommend pitching on the low end of the range, then ramping up to the high end during active fermentation. I highly recommend getting temperature control. Purchasing a heating system for $50 was the best investment I've made for my brewing.

You won't regret using two packs of yeast. I generally pitch both a slurry and a dry and have had great results.

Good luck with your brew!
 
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Jloewe

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I heard that you need a little bit of wort to add protein to make the syrup. I was looking for prob a dubble/quad idea. Working on temp control, I even have a chest freezer but currently I have in-laws living at my apartment so I brew at my parents house and won’t have temp control just ambient basement temps until I buy a house early next year. I can’t wait for this though. I’m honestly thinking of putting a pin in this one until winter when the wood stove gets lit up and trying to go more of a saison rout. And doing a brown instead. Decisions decisions
 

Cloud Surfer

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Belgian Dark Strong Ales are my favourite, and what I brew often. I’m getting my yeast ready for a Rochefort 10 clone on the weekend.

Apart from the good advice already, there’s a couple of points I could add. I like dry yeast and use it a lot, but for genuine Belgians it doesn’t get you where the authentic liquid yeasts can. Wyeast 3787 and 1764 are my favourites for BDSA’s. I would consider buying some Candi Syrup packs rather than make it yourself. The commercial stuff is better than what you’ll make at home and only costs a few bucks and comes in a variety of styles. The D180 is great in the big quads, and the D90 and D45 equally good in the lighter quads.

It’s a real journey learning how to make big Belgians, and the guys who are good at it have had a few hundred years head start.
 

madscientist451

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The C-120 seems out of place to me. Check out the free Belgian recipes on Candi-Syrup.com and tweak one that fits the ingredients you have. Since you are already doing a partial mash, just skip the extract and do an all-grain mash.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I am a huge fan of Belgians...though "do a Belgian" is a pretty broad term!

My first try on brewing a Dubbel was based on this recipe: Dubbel Entendre Recipe. I swapped out the "Riverbend Heritage malt" with a mix of Vienna and Munich. It made a wonderful beer. I have tweaked the recipe over a couple batches, but not that much. Your recipe is putting a lot of weight into the quality of your diy candi syrup. If your syrup add a lot of complexity, then great. Otherwise, the syrups from "Candi Syrup, Inc" are wonderful.

I am not sure exactly which yeast you are using. I recently made a Blond with Lallemand Abbaye and it was wonderful.
 

jmichalicek

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The C-120 seems out of place to me. Check out the free Belgian recipes on Candi-Syrup.com and tweak one that fits the ingredients you have. Since you are already doing a partial mash, just skip the extract and do an all-grain mash.
Their St. Bernardus Abt 12 recipe is pretty close to this one. Tons of pilsner, some dark candi syrup, and a bit of debittered black malt around Carafa II's color.

I brewed it as a 3 gallon partial mash awhile back with pilsner malt and pilsner extract. I did he partial mash because even at 3 gallons it was going to need too much grain and water to be safe for a BIAB on my stove top as all grain. I used 50/50 D-180 and D-90 for the syrup since they leave a bit of detail out there. I mashed around 150 but would possibly go 148 next time, if I use the same yeast. I fermented with T-58, pitched around 62F into a fermentation chamber made out of foam board insulation with a couple frozen 2 liters in my garage over the summer. I kept the ice in and frozen for a few days where it hit 68-70F. At that point I didn't both keeping ice in the chamber and just let nature take its course where it topped out about 77F.

It turned out really well. A bit higher FG and sweeter than St. Bernardus Abt 12 due to the lower attenuation of the T-58 + probably slighly lower attenuation of the malt extract.
 
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