Belgian Golden Strong and American IPA (Medal Winners at Door County)

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Pappers_

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stpug

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WOW!!! Congratulations man!! I've been thinking of a belgian beer lately.... I think you hit the nail on the head.

Cheers :mug:
 
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Pappers_

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WOW!!! Congratulations man!! I've been thinking of a belgian beer lately.... I think you hit the nail on the head.

Cheers :mug:
Thanks, Pug. It was my son's idea to brew the Belgian Golden Strong, and he was co-brewer on it.
 

stpug

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I'm planning on doing my first non-saison belgian beer soon. Of the several commercial belgians I've tried I would say that I've liked the golden strong and dark stong ales the most - granted I've only had a small sampling of the available options. Regardless, like I said, I've been thinking of doing a belgian beer soon and your gold medal winning golden strong is as good a place to start as any, but I have a couple questions for you or your son :):

1) I noticed your DME additions to both the golden and IPA, and I'm wondering what purpose they serve that could not be accomplished by grain alone. In the GS recipe, I understand the cane sugar and even the wheat malt, but not the DME. Could the same recipe characteristic be accomplished by substituting ~1.67 lb of dingemans 2-row pale male with maybe a bump of 1 degree mash temp? Just wondering your thoughts on this. More importantly, what the DME brings to the table in a mostly all grain recipe (I've never played with such small additions of DME to AG recipes)..... maybe they are there just to boost OG??

2) In your opinion, how much "play" is there in the yeast choice? And, do you think a blend is what MADE this recipe? I have a couple belgian strains on-hand but nothing I'd consider a classic belgian strain. I have the very subtle WLP515 Antwerp Ale and the fruity 3726 Farmhouse Ale. I'm wondering if you think using a blend of these and starting the fermentation low for a couple days (low-mid 70s) and then ending fairly high (mid-80s) would approximate similar characteristics. My biggest concern would be the FG getting to 1.004 but maybe the table sugar would be enough to get it there. Any advice on this would be great - I'd prefer use what I have on hand but might be swayed into buying a new strain :D

3) One other possibility is that I have a westmalle tripel sitting in my fridge that I could harvest the dregs from to blend with one of the aforementioned yeasts (seems like maybe a good Abbey Ale yeast sub). Do you think this would be a better choice than what I proposed above? Maybe farmhouse and westmalle dregs?

Any thoughts you have on this would be great. Thanks again for the recipes!!
 
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Pappers_

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1) I noticed your DME additions to both the golden and IPA, and I'm wondering what purpose they serve that could not be accomplished by grain alone. In the GS recipe, I understand the cane sugar and even the wheat malt, but not the DME. Could the same recipe characteristic be accomplished by substituting ~1.67 lb of dingemans 2-row pale male with maybe a bump of 1 degree mash temp? Just wondering your thoughts on this. More importantly, what the DME brings to the table in a mostly all grain recipe (I've never played with such small additions of DME to AG recipes)..... maybe they are there just to boost OG??
The DME addition is only because I use a five-gallon mash tun and when I brew bigger beers, I need to add DME to reach my target original gravity. Its a substitute for the Pilsner malt that I couldn't fit into my mash tun. If your equipment allows, increase the Pilsner and omit the DME.

2) In your opinion, how much "play" is there in the yeast choice? And, do you think a blend is what MADE this recipe? I have a couple belgian strains on-hand but nothing I'd consider a classic belgian strain. I have the very subtle WLP515 Antwerp Ale and the fruity 3726 Farmhouse Ale. I'm wondering if you think using a blend of these and starting the fermentation low for a couple days (low-mid 70s) and then ending fairly high (mid-80s) would approximate similar characteristics. My biggest concern would be the FG getting to 1.004 but maybe the table sugar would be enough to get it there. Any advice on this would be great - I'd prefer use what I have on hand but might be swayed into buying a new strain :D
I've never used Antwerp so can't speak from experience. But, you want to get this beer dry (maybe not 1.004, but certainly below 1.010) and there are four steps that I took to do that: 1) mash low, 2) use significant percentage of table sugar, 3) make two yeast starters or one big starter, and 4) ramp the fermentation temps up over time, to keep the yeast working.

3) One other possibility is that I have a westmalle tripel sitting in my fridge that I could harvest the dregs from to blend with one of the aforementioned yeasts (seems like maybe a good Abbey Ale yeast sub). Do you think this would be a better choice than what I proposed above? Maybe farmhouse and westmalle dregs?
Sounds right to me.
 

stpug

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Thanks pappers, that helped a lot! I think I'll go the all-grain route, same mash temp as you, bottle dregs plus saison. I think I should be able to hit 1.010 at least with the two bugs working together - 3726 might be able to do it alone but I don't want purely saison characteristics.
 
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