Anglo-Belgian Quad/Barleywine mash temp

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Crustovsky

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Greetings,

I'm brewing up a sort of Belgian quad/English barleywine thing (essentially a Belgian quad with a whole lot of English hops) next week and would like some opinions on the mash temp. While I would like a relatively full body for this beer I'd like to avoid that annoying overly big sweetness a lot of big beers end up with (think Gulden Draak). I know the styles I'm melding here are generally pretty sweet to begin with but for my personal taste drying this sucker out a little would be super duper. As a result of my desire to dry the thing out (and because I really like the stuff) fully 20% of the fermentables are going to be coming from candi syrup while the rest is going to be nothing more than 50% Munich malt, 25% 2-row, and 25% Pilsner malt. I might drop the pilsner in favour of 2-row if it'll help limit the sweetness I suspect I'll be getting from the Munich anyway. This has all kind of left me scratching my head about just where I should be mashing. I've seen a lot of people mash their barleywines and quads rather low and still end up with a final gravity around 1.020 but I'm concerned if I do the same I'll end up with a FG significantly lower. At the same time I'm concerned if I mash higher I'm going to have the beer finishing way too high and end up syrupy. Advice anyone? If it matters I'm using wyeast strain #3522 Belgian Ardennes (I <3 Achouffe) and am shooting for an OG around 1.100.

Don't know if it'll matter or not but I also plan on making use of some oak chips for this batch as well. Won't be much though as I only want subtle hints of oakiness in this beer; perhaps half an ounce for a few days. I've heard conflicting things on how the addition of oak changes the mouthfeel and body of a beer.

All advice on this matter appreciated.

Thanks in advance, gentlefolk.

Edit: My apologies if this is supposed to go in the "General Techniques", I felt this would be most appropriate since I'll likely tweak the recipe based on feedback.
 

Nateo

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I'd mash @ 149* and aim (hope) for an FG around 1.015.

Munich won't add much sweetness, it's more of a "malty" thing. I think your grain bill sounds fine as-is.

Your fermentation control is going to be a lot more important than anything else going on in that recipe. I'd start the ferment @ 60*F and let it climb a few degrees per day until it hit around 70*, then hold it there until it's done fermenting.
 
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Crustovsky

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Even with all that candi syrup you don't think mashing that low will run the risk of drying it out too much? If I could hit 1.014-1.018 for a FG I'd be pretty pleased, hopefully that temp for mashing will get it for me.

I'm not overly worried about temperature. I've been using this yeast a lot lately and have had great success keeping the temperature just right with the aid of a sleeping bag. Great results so far. Again, love this yeast.
 

KraphtBier

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What has your average apparent attenuation been between the batches you have used this yeast for? That should give you an idea where the beer will end up if you take into account your grist composition and mash temps, I'm thinking you could make a pretty darn good guess.
 

Nateo

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Even with all that candi syrup you don't think mashing that low will run the risk of drying it out too much? If I could hit 1.014-1.018 for a FG I'd be pretty pleased, hopefully that temp for mashing will get it for me.
Candi syrup is more fermentable than wort, but the higher your OG the lower your attenuation. You're making the yeast work a lot harder to ferment the beer with a higher OG. I would mash at 149*.
 
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