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Hey all!
So I jumped for the Northern Brewer Belgian GSA extract kit and I've never done any sort of Belgian before. I know that yeast choice is important, but I also understand that fermentation temps are too. I ferment with a Catalyst, but don't have super fantastic temp control(if a sheet foam box with hot/frozen water jugs count), so you know what I'm working with I'm planning on using Wyeast 1388, two packs. Wyeast guidance shows a temp range of 64-80 degrees and the NB directions state to ferment at the yeast temperature as defined by that manufacturer. The directions state to finish primary in 2-3 weeks and rack to secondary for 2-3 months and then bottle condition. I know that some Belgian brewers reinoculate their beer with a shot of fresh yeast at the time of priming and bottling. Should I still have enough active yeast in suspension at this point or would some saved yeast (from brew day) added then, be a good idea? I'm planning on bottle aging this for a good four to six months. I am sure some of you have done this kit, any input?
 

jrgtr42

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I haven't seen or used that kit, but I'm brewing a Tripel - style right now. |A|ll grain, so take this as it is.
I'm using the Wyeast 3787 high gravity Belgian strain for mine. I like fermenting on the cool side, so I did this as well. Reading up in the meantime, that and most other Belgian strains like to be a bit warmer, this will get some of the spicy flavors and aromas out of it.
|That said, |I'm pretty happy with it so far, and |I'm looking forward to having it ready to drink.
I'm at 4 weeks primary. I typically do 3 weeks, but the gravity was still higher than I like at that point. Presuming it's settled down by now, (I tested yesterday, and planning on testing tomorrow - if it's done I'll be kegging, and I like to give a few weeks there to carb settle before drinking.
|Most kit instructions still say to secondary - that is unneccesary in most cases (unless souring or bulk aging for some reason) and |I doubt several months will do anything for this style - IMO these are best relatively fresh, while Dubbels and Quads will age nicely.
 
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I haven't seen or used that kit, but I'm brewing a Tripel - style right now. |A|ll grain, so take this as it is.
I'm using the Wyeast 3787 high gravity Belgian strain for mine. I like fermenting on the cool side, so I did this as well. Reading up in the meantime, that and most other Belgian strains like to be a bit warmer, this will get some of the spicy flavors and aromas out of it.
|That said, |I'm pretty happy with it so far, and |I'm looking forward to having it ready to drink.
I'm at 4 weeks primary. I typically do 3 weeks, but the gravity was still higher than I like at that point. Presuming it's settled down by now, (I tested yesterday, and planning on testing tomorrow - if it's done I'll be kegging, and I like to give a few weeks there to carb settle before drinking.
|Most kit instructions still say to secondary - that is unneccesary in most cases (unless souring or bulk aging for some reason) and |I doubt several months will do anything for this style - IMO these are best relatively fresh, while Dubbels and Quads will age nicely.
Thank you! 1388 has a large fermentation temperature range, so I'm just not sure sure where to start it at, let it ride at or finish at.
 

jrgtr42

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Thank you! 1388 has a large fermentation temperature range, so I'm just not sure sure where to start it at, let it ride at or finish at.
I'd probably say to let it start mid-60s or a degree or two hight, then let it do it's thing - but keep an eye on it; don't let it go too high. It'll naturally rise, then fall back when it's about done.
 

cmac62

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Keizer, I'd also hold onto some of that yeast when your done so you can make a BOMM (Brey's one month mead) LOL :mug:
 

Bobo1898

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I have not done this kit, but with Belgian beers, I tend to bottle condition as opposed to keg. Anything that has been aged more than 4 weeks, I will re-pitch yeast at bottling time.

As far as fermentation goes, I start around 64-68 with Wyeast 3787. I hold it there for a few days and then let it free rise. I've let it go as high as 85 with good results. I have not used 1388 and am unfamiliar with that strain and how far you can push it, and wouldn't recommend it without further research. Regardless, Primary is usually a week or two, maybe three if it's bigger. If it's a smaller beer, I'll bottle it and condition it for a month. If it's a bigger beer, I'll put into a secondary vessel for 2 months and condition it at 50 degrees during this stage to drop yeast out. If I couldn't lager it, I'd probably let it sit in secondary for another month.
 
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I have not done this kit, but with Belgian beers, I tend to bottle condition as opposed to keg. Anything that has been aged more than 4 weeks, I will re-pitch yeast at bottling time.

As far as fermentation goes, I start around 64-68 with Wyeast 3787. I hold it there for a few days and then let it free rise. I've let it go as high as 85 with good results. I have not used 1388 and am unfamiliar with that strain and how far you can push it, and wouldn't recommend it without further research. Regardless, Primary is usually a week or two, maybe three if it's bigger. If it's a smaller beer, I'll bottle it and condition it for a month. If it's a bigger beer, I'll put into a secondary vessel for 2 months and condition it at 50 degrees during this stage to drop yeast out. If I couldn't lager it, I'd probably let it sit in secondary for another month.
Thank you! 1388 is supposed to be the Duvel yeast strain, supposedly. The estimated OG is around 1.080. I've read that 1388 can stall and a bit of agitation helps rouse it to finish. Planning on 3 weeks primary and then a couple weeks in secondary. I'll be doing it in my garage, which is in 60's this time of year. I'll move it indoors(low 70s) for the final week in primary. Then back to the garage for a cool nap in secondary. Then will probably reinoculate with some more 1388 at bottling. That's the plan though.
 

MikeCo

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I always use 1388 for my BGSA and start fermentation at 65 and ramp to 80 over 7 days. I have not had it stall. I have typically racked it to secondary after 2 weeks and aged it 4 weeks or so. I have used BE-256 and CBC-1 for bottling yeast with good results.
 

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Been using Wyeast’s similar high alc tolerant Y1214 exclusively for 15 yrs (just moved to MJ’s M47&31 3 yrs ago) found that if let FV temps get into high range, more phenols just take longer to mellow in secondary and bottle. Low-med range seems good sweet spot, but just don’t worry. (Doing 1bbl brews too hard to control temp much so I just brew when weather cool in garage) I like a 1 month secondary so yeast still active. Have left 2-3 months, but definitely would reinoculate if leaving 2 months (usually just crop from recent batch) to be sure to get viable yeast for bottle conditioning. Let it age 1-2 years in bottle and notice how you almost get a whole different beer with so much complexity. Don’t worry, have a home brew ;-)
 
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Finally got my pouch of fresh 1388 Friday. Got the ball rolling for the starter last night. Making a two-step 1.5L starter to get to the needed 430 billion cells to innoculate my batch that I will be brewing on Sunday morning.
 

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Clearly change of plans. The starter was completed almost two weeks ago. Did a vitality starter to get a bit more action over the weekend, currently crashing in the fridge now. Will be doing brew day on New Years Eve.
 
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Completed brew day New Years Eve. Went off without a hitch, the kit called for 5 gallons, but I ended up doing 5.75 gallons to account for boil off and equipment loss. The Estimated gravity was 1.081, actual OG 1.077, not bad. Pitched the big yeast starter at 64°F at 11:00pm, woke up the next morning and went to the garage at 8 and it was rocking. Went on a couple errands with the Wife and girls came back to the airlock filling with krausen. Quickly dropped that like a bad habit and installed my O-K blow off tube. The krausen has since subsided and went back to an airlock(did that on Saturday evening). Gonna let it slow rise in my poor man fermentation chamber over the next week.
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Day 12 of fermentation. Dumped trub last night. Fermenter is at 80°, then day 14, the temp controller gets shut off to ride the ambient temp in the garage for a week(54°).
 
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Checked gravity. 1.010. I think it's basically done. Today is day 13. Bumped the temp to 82° to finish up. Thankfully didn't stall.
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Bottling day! Figured I would get them into the bottle now so they can spend a month warm conditioning, then into the cold garage for a couple months to lager. OG 1.077, FG 1.010. 8.7%ABV. It is really good! Next time will ramp up the temperature sooner, but is so drinkable and that is just while it's still. Primed to 3.6 volumes. The next time these babies come out is when my still unborn newborn is 3 months old!
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Checked on the sleeping babies last night and no bottle bombs, all is looking good. Will move them to the cool garage on Saturday to false lager them the rest of the month(that way nothing temperature related could go wrong with them once the baby shows up.
 

Shalenkur

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Hi, nice job on beer. I use kegs but just did 5 gallons of saison into bottles. There is something very satisfying about having homebrew beer in bottles conditioning. Totally worth the time if you can make it!
Cheers!
 

Shalenkur

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+2 on the BOMM recipe, but used my yeast cake for this one:


Smells awesome
 
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Well, got the first sample well enjoyed on Saturday. It's killer! With the birth of our third girl early Wednesday morning I was worried I wouldn't be able to get to sample it this weekend. Will move the cases to the garage to cold condition for a few months to help it clear up.
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The Wife and I are thrilled with how it turned out, it is very reminiscent of Duvel. This yeast will be sticking around as well as this recipe.
 

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