Need feedback - Belgian Quad Recipe

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slynch1223

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Inspired by Ommegang's 3 Philosphers and St. Bernardus Abt 12, I have started to build my own recipe. I'm aiming for a dark, full bodied beer that while strong, remains smooth and almost creamy. I am trying to achieve a somewhat complex flavor mixed between a sweet/toasty bread and a raisin/plum. Also, I plan on using a bit more hops than I normally do to add a more robust flavor. Here is the recipe so far. Please provide any feedback you can, Thanks!

Ingredients
13 lbs Belgian Pilsner Malts
2 lbs Belgian Munich Malts
1.5 lbs Belgian Special B Malts
.5 lbs Belgian Biscuit Malts
.5 lbs Belgian Caramel Pils Malts
2 lbs Flaked Barley
1 lbs Belgian Amber Candi Syrup
1 bottle Lindeman’s Kriek @ bottling (optional)

Hops
1 oz Northern Brewer Hops (45 mins)
1 oz Kent Goldings Hops (20 mins)
1 oz Fuggles Hops (10 mins)

Yeast
2x Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity


Recipe Numbers
Batch size: 5.25 gallons
Boil Time: 90 mins (120 mins if needed)
Est Efficiency: 70%
Original Gravity: 1.100
Est Final Gravity: 1.024
Est ABV: 10.00%
IBU: 29.80 (medium dark in color)
SRM: 21.99 (medium-low bitterness)
Primary: 3 weeks
Secondary: 3 months
Bottle conditioning: 2 months

I plan on mashing in a 70qt cooler starting at about 149F for the first hour followed by 20 minutes at 160F. I'm expecting to start the boil with about 8 gallons. Also, I have had success with this sort of "step mash" which has helped us achieved above 75% efficiency on another Belgian Dark Strong recipe. However, I am open on feedback on both the recipe and out brewing technique. Thanks again for any help!:mug:
 

bigbeergeek

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What would I do with this? Drop the flaked barley and replace its gravity points with more sugar (table sugar, homemade candi syrup or more of the amber syrup). I'd probably drop the caramel pils also; the beer doesn't need more unfermentables and I don't think you're going to taste any flavor contribution from such a light crystal malt in this beer. Move the ounce of NB hops at *60* minutes and skip the fuggles addition. Edit: I'd mash a tad lower, more like 146 for 90 minutes. These beers are all about attenuation -- that's part of the secret of their relative drinkability. Double-Edit: do NOT add a whole bottle of kriek to the beer -- you'll ruin it. Lindeman’s Kriek is some sweet, potently-flavored stuff. You only want a nearly imperceptible TOUCH of cherry.
 

rgauthier20420

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I would agree with bigbeergeek on dropping the Flaked Barley. I would replace it either with table sugar or some dark candi sugar or D1 syrup.

Also, if you make a sufficient starter, you won't have to use 2 packages of Trappist High Gravity yeast (if I'm reading the 1st post right).

I've had a lot of success with adding a little Carapils to most of my brews for added mouth feel, so I would exchange that out for the Caramel Pils too. Over all though it looks like a great recipe. This is the style I'm next brewing....already got the yeast for it.

Good luck!
 

nathanthn

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I am a firm believer in simple grain bills for Belgians. I'd drop the flaked barley and caramel pils completely and reduce the special B to 1lb. More sugar of some type wouldn't hurt, I prefer to add simple sugars at high krausen to let the yeast get used to a maltose based environment first so they don't crap out too early. I'm not a fan of Lindeman’s personally so I'd leave that out too, you'd be better off adding some cherries to the secondary IMO. With that yeast step up a big starter, pitch in the low 60'sF and let the temp rise gradually over the first week or two of fermentation.
 
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slynch1223

slynch1223

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I like using Flaked Barley or even Flaked Oats to help add a smoother mouth feel. With this aiming towards 10% abv, a little extra smoothness would be nice. If I drop the barley, would adding sugar help with mouth feel?

I will change up the mash time/temp now that I realize Quads are supposed to be dry. Maybe do 146F for 45 mins and then 160F for the last 45 mins.

Then, for the Kriek, I wasn't sure how far a bottle would stretch. I'll probably mix a bit into a cup of beer until I get the right flavor. Then add the proportionate amount to the rest.

As for a yeast starter, never done/learned that. I know I should and perhaps now is the time. Also, what is the difference between Caramel Pils and Carapils?
 

bigbeergeek

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This beer will have plenty of mouthfeel. Your OG is 1.100. Flaked barley belongs in dry stouts, not quads. Add whatever you want to your homebrew, but I wouldn't use it.

The kriek will ferment. Add a small amount, but realize that it will ferment, dry out and it's character will dramatically change from your tasting glass experience.

Learn yeast starters. There's nothing to it!

:mug:
 
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slynch1223

slynch1223

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If I drop all the barley and replace it with sugar. what kind of sugar would be recommended? I want to keep a malty/caramel flavor. I am also starting to read that Belgian Candi syrup may not be the best and that I should look into other sugars. Do you have any advice on that maybe?
 
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slynch1223

slynch1223

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Using Google or searching this site for brewing related questions is practically the same thing ;) But hey, thanks for all the feedback!
 

rgauthier20420

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I use the Carapils for mouth feel and head retention. I used it in my last dubbel. Side note.....got 2nd place in the Dark Strong Belgian Ale category. If you remove the barley/oats, you could sub in more of the Belgian candy syrup you've already got in there. Use beer smith to be sure to sub in enough to account for the removed ABV from taking out the other grains though.

I've never made the syrup, but I've heard it's pretty easy. I use D90 or D180 for my Belgian's also. From reading the description and ingredients for it, it practically reads like what the Belgian Dubbel and dark ales should taste like. I like the dried raisin and fig flavors you get from it. Side note.....1lb of the D90 was in that same Belgian.

In the end, make it like you want and enjoy! Hope this stuff is helpful. I'm brewing a Dark Beglain Quad next, so please keep us updated because I do like the base for this recipe.

Cheers
 
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slynch1223

slynch1223

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With factoring feedback from here, Reddit, and reading "Brew Like a Monk," I have redesigned the recipe as follows:


Ingredients
14 lbs Belgian Pilsner Malts
2 lbs Belgian Munich Malts
.5 lbs Belgian Special B Malts
.5 lbs Belgian Biscuit Malts
2 lbs Belgian Dark Candi Syrup
Lindeman’s Kriek @ bottling (to taste)

Hops
1 oz Kent Goldings Hops (60 mins)
.5 oz Hallertauer Hops (15 mins)

Yeast
2x Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity


Recipe Numbers
Batch size: 5.25 gallons
Boil Time: 90 mins (120 mins if needed)
Est Efficiency: 70%
Original Gravity: 1.096
Est Final Gravity: 1.018
Est ABV: 10.24%
IBU: 31.74
SRM: 21.89
Primary: 3 weeks
Secondary: 3 months
Bottle conditioning: 2+ months


Mashing
I plan on using a step mash with the first step at 145F for about 45 minutes. I will then raise the temp up to 160F for another 30-45 minutes.

Fermentation
I'll pitch the yeast at about 65 and will keep it below 68F for the first 2 days. I will then allow it to rise to a max of 75F during the first week.. Hopefully. this will allow it to have a nice clean taste while achieving a higher attentuation. It should in theory still acquire that nice yeast flavor too without producing too many esters. For secondary, I will probably leave it in the basement which stays a constant 68F-70F.

If anyone sees anything I'm missing or could do better, please let me know!
 

hobbybob

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I just botteled (14 days ago )my fourth attempt for st Bernardus abt 12, and this one looks ( read taste ) very promising:

70% belgian pilsner
5% Special B srm 175
5% Cara srm 150
5% dark belgian candysugar (same as the D-180 )
1% chocolate srm 400
1% black srm 700
13% tablesugar

Hops: Saaz and Hallertau up to 24 IBU

Now on this batch I made some changes, although my other 3 attempts where quite good to drink they weren't abt 12 so I added some herbs for extra flavor also I changed the yeast into safbrew T58.

Added herbs:

- 5 grams off Coriander
- 15 grams orange-peel sweet
- 5 grams off liquorice root
 
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