Belgian Quad Recipe Help

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biomed

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Greetings All, I am currently smoothing out the details regarding an all-grain quad I plan on brewing in a few months when I can allocate the resources to do so (read: I'm broke as hell). Everything as far as hops, fermentation schedule, mash schedule is open for debate/suggestion.

The mix of candi syrups and crystal malts was for a more complex dark fruit profile. First, I halved the listed srm for the syrups (180 is 90 and 90 is 45) as people say they arent accurate. Is that appropriate?

My main concern: using only 2 lbs of D-180 will not lend enough roasty (dark chocolate & coffee) flavors and the specialty grains will not compensate. I am considering switching some or all of the crystal malts for a small amount of roasted grain (chocolate maybe) . I didnt want to just use all d-180 as it would make the beer too much like clones for westy 12 & rochefort 10. Not that it would be bad, I would just like it to be a little different.

Also, do you think there is enough sugar? I have amylase enzyme (and salivary amylase for good luck) on hand as well. I intended on using it during the mash to help attenuation. Is this necessary?

batch size (gal) 6
Yeast - Unibroue (Wyeast 3864) its what I have on hand
Anticipated attenuation - 85%
OG 1.0961
FG 1.0144
ABV 10.70
IBUS 25.829
SRM 29.316

malt type lb % grain bill

belgian pils base 13 62.908
munich base 3 14.517
d-180 sugar 2 9.678
d-90 sugar 1 4.839
carawheat crystal 0.625 3.223
special b crystal 0.375 1.611

hops oz time purpose %aa AAU IBU
brewers gold 0.5 60 Bittering 10.4 5.2 10.77
hallertau 0.5 30 flavor 5.4 2.7 4.30


Protein rest @ 125F for 20 min
Saccharification rest @ 147F for 90 min via decoction
Mash out @ 170F for 10 min via decoction

Pitch @ 64F
Hold for 2 days, free rise to 70 ~ a degree/day
Bob's your uncle
 

motorneuron

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This looks like a great base. Thoughts in no particular order.

Attenuation is key in a quad. It's not necessary to use amylase--that's what your pils is for. But to get proper attenuation, you may want to increase your sugar percentage. The simplest way to do it is to use a little plain sucrose in place of some of the pils. Up to 20% is standard in actual Belgian beers, especially strong ones.

I don't personally know anything about 3864. The Belgian trappist yeasts tend to be extremely attenuative and robust. If it's not like that, though, you should consider dropping the OG a little or definitely using more sugar, so as to get proper attenuation (i.e. FG of 1.016 or even less).

You don't really need a protein rest here. I would recommend a 90-minute boil given your large percentage of pils, though. 90 minute boils are good for strong beers anyway, since you need to gather a lot of wort in order to get a decent efficiency.

As to the point you identify about roastiness--the classic quads don't have much roast. They focus much more on dark fruit. It's not a stout or a porter kind of darkness. You know this, since you mention the classic quads. If it were up to me, I wouldn't use any truly roasted grain; I like your mix here (although I'm not sure about the carawheat). IMHO, if you want a roasty beer, you might as well just make a stout; it's easy to blow past the delicate balance of quads when you start adding dark grain. But if you are committed to adding some roast, pale chocolate or debittered black (dehusked carafa from Weyermann) is a good choice. That will add some roast without going nuts.
 
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biomed

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Thanks for the advice. So the carawheat (~50L) is in the place of typical caramunich as I only have access to caramunich I (~35L). I felt the latter was too light and the carawheat might be a better fit since classic interpretations generally include wheat anyway.

Do you have any experience with soft candi sugars like Brun Foncé (22L) and Brun Léger(6-7L). I had considered using 0.5-1 lb of one in place of crystal malts as well. It seems like they might be a good compromise.
 

motorneuron

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Yeah, wheat makes sense, although I would probably go with a small amount of unmalted for head retention and body. This isn't a big deal, though.

Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with those sugars. If they taste good, though, I bet they'd be good for a little layering. There's nothing wrong with plain old sucrose, though, which has the advantage of being dirt cheap.

(BTW, I think the disparity on the numbering for D-180 is the difference between SRM and EBC color scales. As a very good approximation, color in EBC is about double the color in SRM.)
 
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biomed

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Ok so if I drop a lb of pils for an extra pound of some light sugar and switch the carawheat for caramunich, my og is 1.093 with 20% sugar and 1-1.5 (5-7.5%) lbs crystal malts. Ill let the wallet decide about the sucrose later.

Do you think anything less than 0.5 lbs special b will be noticeable? I've seen opinions that candi syrup alone doesnt provide the level of complexity that a combination of syrup and crystal malts, particularly special B, achieves. Also, does 1 lb of caramunich and 0.5 lb spec b sound like too much crystal to go with the syrup?
 

fabiofighter

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Any update? How did it / is it turning out? Putting a Quad recipe together now.
 
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biomed

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wound up using a much more complex mash bill. Also did a double decoction and made my own candi syrup too. Still aging it. The sample i had when i tranferred over to secondary was delicious tho haha. i will follow up when its ready to drink.

11.5 gal
OG 1.092
FG 1.013
ABV 10.3ish

malt type lb
belgian pils base 12
munich base 2
rye adjunct 2
med crystal crystal 1
special b crystal 2
roasted barley roast 0.25
Victory kiln 1
Aromatic kiln 1
flaked rye adjunct 0.5
flaked wheat adjunct 0.5

Homemade amber candi sugar 2.25
d-180 candi syrup sugar 1
turbinado sugar 1.5
 
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biomed

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It is pretty delicious, honestly. A few people think the rye is out of character for the style, but I enjoy it. Overall its got nice malt character, but its a tad sweet... If I brewed it again, I would cut the crystal back. I will have one this weekend and give a more detailed description haha.
 
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