First Belgian/High gravity brew

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

NicePelos

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Berwyn, IL
I'm planning on brewing the following from the Brew magazine website. It'll be my first high gravity batch. What is done differently when brewing the bigger beers vs. lower gravity ales? Also, they have a 1 pt. starter going into the batch. Does that mean a pint of wort and yeast or a pint of just the yeast slurry? Thanks!

Classic Belgian Tripel

Author Tess and Mark Szamatulski
Issue 2008
Online Date Wednesday, 31 December 1969
Classic Belgian Tripel
(5 gallons )
OG = 1.084 to 1.086
FG = 1.017 to 1.019
IBU = 25

Ingredients


4 oz. Belgian aromatic malt
3 oz. Belgian biscuit malt
8.5 lb. Muntons extra light dry malt extract (DME )
1.5 lb. Belgian clear candi sugar
7 AAU of Styrian Goldings bittering hops (60 min)
2.5 AAU Styrian Goldings flavor hops (15 min)
1 tsp. Irish moss (15 min)
1 AAU Czech Saaz aroma hops (2 min)
1 pt. starter of Belgian Strong Ale yeast (Wyeast 1388) or Abbey Ale yeast (White Labs WLP530)
1 cup corn sugar for priming
 

xxdcmast

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
223
Reaction score
0
I did a belgian about 2 months ago. I didnt really do anything different although im still pretty new to brewing.

Are you planning on making a starter for this batch? If not I would reccomend doubling or tripling the amount of yeat you use.

If I were to make another belgian strong I would probably go with 2 packs of dry yeast rehydrated before pitching, aerate the living hell out of the wort, and maybe add some yeast nutrient to it to make sure they get off to a good start.
 

syd138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
538
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
I did something similar a couple months ago.. using WLP530

Tastes ok, but its still in the secondary.

Im probably going to bottle it next week.
 

HairyDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
571
Reaction score
5
Location
Mechanicsburg, PA
Also, they have a 1 pt. starter going into the batch. Does that mean a pint of wort and yeast or a pint of just the yeast slurry?
A 1 pint starter is 1 pint of sterile wort, with gravity about 1.040, plus the contents of one White Labs vial (or Wyeast equivalent).
This is just enough to wake up yeast that has been refrigerated for awhile.

Because you're brewing at 1.080, you will need more yeast than that.
Check out the Mr Malty yeast pitching calculator and some of the other yeast starter threads on this site (there are lots and lots of them).
 

Grinder12000

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2008
Messages
2,996
Reaction score
50
Location
Columbus WI
One thing I have read is pitch the yeast at a cooler temp - like 64 and then raise the temp during fermentation (although I think that will happen naturally).

Also - be ready for a blow off.

Also age MUCH longer I would assume. I'm brewing a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and I expect to be drinking in next winter! LOL

Make sure you have a strong starter.
 

optimatored

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2008
Messages
349
Reaction score
2
Location
West Hartford
My next batch is going to be a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, similar to what you are brewing. As others have stated go with a larger starter... my OG should slightly higher and I plan on using a ~1L (prob a little less) starter and I my batch size is 2.5 gallon... good luck.
 

woollybugger2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
534
Reaction score
3
My first brew was a Belgian Trippel and from High Gravity and I pitched one smack pack into OG 1.088 started fermenting at 62* and raised it up to 72 over 10 days, racked it to secondary @ FG 1.016

I'm doing the exact same brew this week and will be using a 2L starter..
 

syd138

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2008
Messages
538
Reaction score
4
Location
Chicago, IL
My next batch is going to be a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, similar to what you are brewing. As others have stated go with a larger starter... my OG should slightly higher and I plan on using a ~1L (prob a little less) starter and I my batch size is 2.5 gallon... good luck.
hey you mind sharing the recipe for this?
 

beersydoesit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2008
Messages
330
Reaction score
6
Location
Madison, Wi
I agree that aeration is key in the bigger beers. I think that too little oxygen is an important contributor to stuck fermentation.

Shake that carboy!
 

carnevoodoo

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
4,258
Reaction score
25
Location
San Diego, CA
I agree that aeration is key in the bigger beers. I think that too little oxygen is an important contributor to stuck fermentation.

Shake that carboy!
Aeration helps with anything. I wouldn't even consider making a beer like this without a starter as well. I've been lazy from time to time and have aerated less than I perhaps should and I have never had a stuck fermentation, but I've also underpitched and always been fine too, so I can't say one way or the other. There's not relly one key to any of this though. It is a combination of all the best practices that turn out consistently good beer.

To the OP: I would skip the clear Belgian candy sugar and just use regular sugar. There's no real difference in taste profile and you'll save yourself some money. The only Belgian sugars I prefer are the syrups, but for a golden strong, plain sugar is just fine.
 
OP
N

NicePelos

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Location
Berwyn, IL
Thanks everyone for the advice. I was talking to my local homebrew shop owner and he said he gave brown sugar a shot in a triple with great results. He said it added a little rum flavor to the batch. Anybody tried this?
 

HairyDogBrewing

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
Messages
571
Reaction score
5
Location
Mechanicsburg, PA
Brown sugar = table sugar (sucrose) + molasses.
A lot of brewers frown upon sucrose in beer.
It's described as having a "cidery" effect.
Others say it gets a bad rap, just don't go overboard.

Many tripel recipes call for some kind of sugar.
The best is "candi syrup", a by-product of candy making.
It's authentic, but expensive.
The candy rocks are pure sucrose, like table sugar but much
more expensive.

Another option is to make your own invert sugar.
Heat and acid breaks the sucrose into glucose and dextrose,
which are better yeast food.
My recipe is 1.5 lbs table sugar, 1/8 tsp citric acid, water to dissolve.
Heat to 275 and hold 15 minutes for clear, 90 minutes for dark.
Carefully add a pint or so of water and pour into kettle or a mason jar.
 
Top