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Attempting a belgian stout

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carnevoodoo

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So I'm making a Belgian stout on Monday. Here's what I'm thinking and I'd love any suggestions...

12 lb. Maris Otter
1 lb. white wheat malt
1.5 lb belgian chocolate malt
.75 lb roasted barley
.5 lb. special b
.5 honey
.5 munich
.5 lb brown sugar
1 tsp coriander (end of boil)

Mash at 154

1 oz galena @ 60
1 oz EKG @ 30
1 oz EKG @ 0

White Labs Abbey ale yeast (WLP530)
 

landhoney

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I'd lose the coriander(enough character from the yeast), and ferment on the cool side of the temp range for that yeast, especially at the beggining. You don't want hot alc/fusels in any beer, but especially in a stout(to me at least). You could raise the temp after a couple days if you want. My .02, good luck.
 
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carnevoodoo

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landhoney said:
I'd lose the coriander(enough character from the yeast), and ferment on the cool side of the temp range for that yeast, especially at the beggining. You don't want hot alc/fusels in any beer, but especially in a stout(to me at least). You could raise the temp after a couple days if you want. My .02, good luck.
Yeah. The two things that were sort of questionable in my mind were the coriander and the munich. Also, I chose the 530 because it is less fruity than the 500 and will be fermenting as low as I can.
 

EinGutesBier

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landhoney: in regard to fermentation temps with Belgian yeasts, is there a general difference in temperature within the carboy versus the ambient temperature around it? I had my Belgian wheat yeast doing its thing and wanted to be sure to get all of the esters I could from it, so I had a heater in the room keeping the ambient temp between 70-75 degrees. I hope that I hadn't helped create fusels in this one and in the future would like to play it safer in regard to temp. I'm just not sure what the difference in temp is. We could all probably benefit from that bit of knowledge.
 
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carnevoodoo

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EinGutesBier said:
landhoney: in regard to fermentation temps with Belgian yeasts, is there a general difference in temperature within the carboy versus the ambient temperature around it? I had my Belgian wheat yeast doing its thing and wanted to be sure to get all of the esters I could from it, so I had a heater in the room keeping the ambient temp between 70-75 degrees. I hope that I hadn't helped create fusels in this one and in the future would like to play it safer in regard to temp. I'm just not sure what the difference in temp is. We could all probably benefit from that bit of knowledge.
I think that during fermentation you can expect the internal temperature to be a couple of degrees higher than the ambient temp of the room. With all the yeast activity comes heat.
 

landhoney

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EinGutesBier said:
landhoney: in regard to fermentation temps with Belgian yeasts, is there a general difference in temperature within the carboy versus the ambient temperature around it?
Yeah, what carnevoodoo said is correct, it can be quite a few degrees higher. One way to avoid this is to start at the lower end the first day or two, and then ramp up to the upper range for the yeast. This is a good way to avoid fusels/hotness and still get the good character and attenuation from the yeast.
 

the_bird

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I did the whole "start low, then ramp" with my Belgian and got attenuation north of 90% (without fusels). Harder to do (at least around here) in winter, though.
 

TexLaw

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You may as well drop the coriander, as I doubt 1 teaspoon will even show up in that beer, and I agree that it seems a little iffy in there.

What Belgian aspects and what stout aspects do you want in this beer? It seems like you have competing elements in this recipe, rather than complimentary ones. The recipe reads like you took a stout recipe and threw in some things that sound "Belgian," such as wheat malt, Special B, and the yeast. What do you want your beer to taste, smell, feel, and look like, and how do those ingredients get you there?


TL
 

DeathBrewer

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agree with dropping the coriander, but definitely keep the munich ;)

i love me some EKG in a stout :mug:

btw...you ever tried "buffalo belgian stout"? i almost didn't buy it because of the name, but it was a fantastic beer!
 
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carnevoodoo

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Well, after reading a lot of sites and getting some additional information, I've changed a lot of it around. I took a lot of the initial grain from a dubbel recipe I have, but then realized that I should start simple. I typically like going totally experimental on brews and then working backwards to something more refined, but this time we're going with the less is more theory.

12 lb. maris otter
1 lb. white wheat malt
1 lb belgian chocolate malt
.75 lb roasted barley
1 lb. special b
2 lb munich

That way, I get the caramel from the special b which is a flavor I love, the munich which I also think will add greatly to a stout, and then the rest is sort of obvious in a stout. I cut back the chocolate malt and upped the special b and munich a little to balance things out.

No more sugar, no coriander.
 

TexLaw

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Now, I'm just wondering out loud here, but are you able to lay your hands on any Belgian pale malt? That could work very well instead of some or all of the Marris Otter.


TL
 
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carnevoodoo

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TexLaw said:
Now, I'm just wondering out loud here, but are you able to lay your hands on any Belgian pale malt? That could work very well instead of some or all of the Marris Otter.


TL
I probably could, yeah. I think that maris will work very well with this, though.
 

DeathBrewer

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either would be great. no american 2-row in this beer! ;)

damnit...now i want to make a belgian stout. i love the idea of that roasty flavor with the fruity belgian notes...
 

brewt00l

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Lil inspiration:

http://www.allagash.com/black.htm
Allagash Black

Allagash Black, our new Belgian style stout, is brewed with German 2 row barley, Torrified wheat and oats, balanced by a large addition of Belgian dark candi to give the Black a full and silky mouthfeel. Roasted malts give this stout its classic chocolate, toast and malty taste, and contribute to chocolate notes and a hint of roasted coffee in the aroma. The Black is fermented with a Belgian yeast strain and refermented in the bottle with the methode champenoise to make this beer truly unique.
 

the_bird

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I'd cut back on the roasted malts so as to not hide the more-subtle characters from the yeast and the other malts. A pound of chocolate and 3/4# of RB is a lot.
 

kaj030201

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I am obviously bucking the trend here, but for me, homebrewing is all about experimenting with new and different things. I say leave the coriander! Maybe even up the quantity a bit. You obviously want to create something uniquely yours, and coriander in a stout would be unique.
The way I look at it, if you can buy a beer at the store, then why not just do that. A stout with coriander isn't something you could find at a store, so go for it! If it sucks, then don't make it again, and you're only out $40. But at least you'd have tried it.
 

DeathBrewer

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i would go for a different route. try it without it, and if it turns out to be a good brew, THEN try it with the coriander if you want. sure, you're only out $40 but you're also wasting several months and an otherwise fantastic brew.

IMNSHO...coriander should never go in a stout (although rye is nice :D)
 
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carnevoodoo

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What I think I'll do is brew it without the coriander and then play around with the flavor once it is done. That way I can see what the overall flavor ends up like without it, and then adding a bit in to say, a gallon will let me know if I might want to do so next time.

I was also considering cinnamon. But I'm weird. :)
 

sirsloop

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I'd ditch the coriander, replace the brown sugar with light colored honey (or lyles golden syrup), reduce the roasted barley to .25oz, add .25oz black patent, reduce each of the hop additions to .75oz.
 

DeathBrewer

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oooh, yeah...looking back at the recipe, 1.5 lbs of belgian chocolate malt is ALOT. i'd drop that to 0.5 lbs and maybe reduce the roasted barley a bit so you don't have so much roasted malt in your recipe.
 

B-Dub

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Be careful with cinnamon. A little can go a long way and you would want just a hint so a person could not put a finger on the flavor, but would know something was there.

I love the idea of a Belgian stout! Lossing some of the roast and adding 4 oz or so of black would insure the color was there. You might think about some dark candi sugar for complexity and color before using honey.

Let us know how it turns out and the final draft.
 

RockfordWhite

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What i like to do when i decide to make a spiced beverage is brew it sans the spicing first, then once i have a complete understanding of what the entire base recipe tastes like i have alot better of an idea on what types of spices and how much will work with the other flavors
 
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