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Brewing a Belgian Quad

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guldalian

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Pretty shortly I will be brewing my 100th batch (yay!) and have decided it's going to be a Belgian Quad. Chimay Blue is one of my favorite beers in the world, and I enjoy many other belgian beers/styles, but I've never actually brewed a Belgian anything (besides witbier). I'm planning on reading Brew Like A Monk, but in the meantime, anyone have any advice for me?
 

Oldskewl

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Ditto! That Westvlelen 12 recipe makes a fabulous beer. Just need patience to let it age out. Belgian yeasts can get pretty wild in a beer this big. Make sure you have a huge blow off vessel and a way to reintroduce then east if necessary.
 

Big Monk

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What is your system like? Can you step mash?

I'd say Pils/Pale base, some Vienna, and D45.

Also remember to keep the original gravity lower, in the 1075-1.080 range. Chimay in particular let's the attenuation drive alcohol content. Keep it between 8-9%.

Don't go with the darker syrups for a Chimay clone. Grande Reserve is only about 17 SRM.
 
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guldalian

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I can step with infusions. I use a 10 gal Rubbermaid cooler and an 8 gal kettle. Although my OP made it seem like it, I'm not really looking to do a chimay blue clone. Just wanna make a solid Quad. And I kinda wanna do an OG of 1.100 since it's my 100th batch.
 

LLBeanJ

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I've been pretty disappointed with the usual Belgian liquid yeast strains (I've tried WLP500, 530, & 550). I tried varying pitch rates and ferm temps and they always seemed to come up lacking in Belgian character. Chimay Blue is my favorite quad, so on my last attempt to make one along that line, I harvested the yeast from a bottle of Chimay Red and built up a starter. Brewed the batch and fermented @ 57F for the first 5 days, then let it drift up to 65 or so and held it there for a few more days. Hands down, it was the best Belgian brew I've ever made and the first one (out of many attempts) that really seemed authentic. It's now my go-to Belgian strain.
 

Big Monk

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I can step with infusions. I use a 10 gal Rubbermaid cooler and an 8 gal kettle. Although my OP made it seem like it, I'm not really looking to do a chimay blue clone. Just wanna make a solid Quad. And I kinda wanna do an OG of 1.100 since it's my 100th batch.

Cool man. I'm the type that frowns upon gravities greater than 1.087 but I can definitely see the significance here.
 

Big Monk

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I've been pretty disappointed with the usual Belgian liquid yeast strains (I've tried WLP500, 530, & 550). I tried varying pitch rates and ferm temps and they always seemed to come up lacking in Belgian character. Chimay Blue is my favorite quad, so on my last attempt to make one along that line, I harvested the yeast from a bottle of Chimay Red and built up a starter. Brewed the batch and fermented @ 57F for the first 5 days, then let it drift up to 65 or so and held it there for a few more days. Hands down, it was the best Belgian brew I've ever made and the first one (out of many attempts) that really seemed authentic. It's now my go-to Belgian strain.

I only use the Wyeast strains and they are phenomenal. I've never had a dud using the big 3 (1214, 3787 and 1762). I'm surprised you never had any luck with the WL strains.

I'm doing some trials with the Lallemand Abbaye strain right now. It is supposedly a dry version of Chimay's yeast.
 

Big Monk

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That seems like quite an arbitrary number. Any significance?

It's typically the highest gravity I can achieve for my highest beer with a 12 °P grain wort plus 18% sugar.

Belgians, the Trappists in particular are about attenuation. Other than Westvleteren 12 and Rochefort 10, you won't see many Trappist Ales above 1.080.
 
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