Belgian Golden Strong Ale Pink Elephant (Delirium Tremens clone)

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jesseb

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Last weekend I've decided to brew this beer again. I had all of the ingredients on hand, so why not. Back then, this recipe was actually my first AG ever and I wasn't really satisfied with the results. It was 'ok', but far from the beer I had hope to brew. With the knowledge I have today I know I made a lot of mistakes back then; no starter, too much spices, a lot of splashing/shaking of the beer and no proper maturation time.
The recipe I used is as follows:

3.1 kg (6,8 lb) Pilsener
500 g (1.1 lb) Clear candy sugar

30 g (1.05 oz) Styrian Goldings @ 60 min
15 g (0.53 oz) Saaz @ 15 min

2.4 g Grains of Paradise
2.4 g Fresh grated ginger
7.2 g Coriander seeds
(All added at 10 min)

Mash: 10 @ 52C, 45 @ 62C, 30 @ 70C, 77 mashout.
Yeast: Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale

Sparged untill 16L was collected. Pre-boil gravity of 1.048, boiled it down to about 12.5L and a gravity of 1.061. Didn't added the sugar yet. I used only one yeast. The Wyeast 1388 should be the same as the WLP570. Calculated the desired yeast count and made a 1L starter two days in advance. Added half of the sugar, 250 g on day three of primary and the other half on day four. With the starter combined I ended up with 13L in the fermenter.

I kept the temperature the first two days at 19C/66F. After adding the first sugar, I let the temp rise. It kept itself at a steady 24C/75C. The temp started to decrease slowly around day 7 or 8. Today, day 10, it sat at 21C/70F. The gravity now is 1.009.

Racked it to a 10L glass flask, and bottled the rest. As the picture shows, it was still quite cloudy. The bottles will be used for a comparison between bulk and bottle conditioning.

I didn't use the second yeast because I want to collect and reuse this yeast (and I didn't had the S-04 on hand :mug:). The S-04 is only used to get to the low gravity right? I've use this strain of yeast before in a Duvel clone and that one ended at 1.006, so no worries. Adding the sugar in stages during fermentation also supposed to reduce the stress on the yeast and therefore results in a lower gravity.

The taste is actually quite nice, fairly light and sweet with a smell of pineapple. Most of my Belgians at this stage are more or less disgusting, so I'm confident it will turn out nice.

PS: Some of you may wonder why I used candy sugar. Well, simply because it is sold in the grocery stores here and it cost only a wee bit more than regular sugar. I don't think it matters in terms of taste, but as far as I understand candy sugar is easier digested by the yeast (less stress, lower FG).

20170509_172149.jpg
 

Sudz

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Just discovered DT on a trip. Eager to give this a try.
Does anyone know what the hop AA percentages were on the original recipe?
 

Sudz

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Just popped a cap of this brew after about five weeks in the bottle. Fantastic....
I made this from the original posted recipe and must say, it's spot on as a clone of DT. Early samples were too sweet but then again they hadn't been aged. The sweetness has subsided at this point and the beer is very good even though it is still very young for this style.

Thanks jkarp for this most excellent clone.
 

Mateusz

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Hanks jkarp for this recipe.
I am planning to brew Delirium soon.
I have an important question: should I take out the spices after 10 minutes of cooking or leave them for cooling?

cheers
 

Sudz

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I leave mine in. No problem as far as I can tell and... I've been brewing for about 10 years and this has been my favorite brew of all. Getting it to finish out has been the only challenge I've encountered.
 

jzimpleman

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I brewed this yesterday and my OG came in at 1.055. Not sure what I did wrong, but I suspect a didn’t get as much boil off as usual since I have almost 6 gallons in the fermentor. It’s bubbling away, but I’m worried about missing my numbers.

Should I add in some boiled sugar water?
 

Kee

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I brewed this yesterday and my OG came in at 1.055. Not sure what I did wrong, but I suspect a didn’t get as much boil off as usual since I have almost 6 gallons in the fermentor. It’s bubbling away, but I’m worried about missing my numbers.

Should I add in some boiled sugar water?
That's one of those 50/50 questions, with no right or wrong answers. When I miss my numbers, I usually just go with it.
 

Sudz

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+1. Generally you do more harm than good with a fix. You'll have a decent beer at 1.055, just light on the alcohol...
 
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Chicago_Eric_

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Just moved this to secondary. OG 1.072 to 1.004. Problem is that it's hot as hell here in Spain. Going to be 95-100 the over the next week. I'm loading up the cooler with frozen water bottles but so far have only been able to get it down to the high 50s. Am I doing anything productive trying to lager at that temp? What should I do if I can't get it low enough.
 

BrewCityBaller

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Just moved this to secondary. OG 1.072 to 1.004. Problem is that it's hot as hell here in Spain. Going to be 95-100 the over the next week. I'm loading up the cooler with frozen water bottles but so far have only been able to get it down to the high 50s. Am I doing anything productive trying to lager at that temp? What should I do if I can't get it low enough.
I had to double check what thread I was replying to! I had no idea the original poster recommended a lager... and I have no idea why.

WLP570 has an optimal ferm temp of 68-75*F. Other than crashing out the yeast, I can't fathom what a two week "lager" will do when using ale yeast.

If it were me I wouldn't bother bringing it an lower. Save yourself the ice.
 
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cgoldberg3

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The fact that homebrewing isn't economical seems to be a running joke. But this recipe looks like it actually could be, considering that the stores where I live charge $25 for a 4-pack of 12oz bottles of Delirium! Might make this for my next batch.
 

cgoldberg3

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Brewed this today as a 5 gallon batch. Used OP’s revised directions to just do a protein test and 156f mash, plus a 172 mash out. Used Wyeast 3787 because that was the only one my grain source had available, and skipped the S04 yeast since most people who’ve made this recipe seem not to like the taste of it. Pitched yeast at 68f and I’m letting it ride at ambient temp in a closet like OP.

Edit: forgot my OG was 1.085 with the hydrometer and refractometer read 18.5 brix. If this finishes dry it’s gonna be like a wine lol. Hopefully the 156 mash is high enough to keep it from getting too dry.
 
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Kee

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Edit: forgot my OG was 1.085 with the hydrometer and refractometer read 18.5 brix. If this finishes dry it’s gonna be like a wine lol. Hopefully the 156 mash is high enough to keep it from getting too dry.
I would expect the WY3787 to bring it down to around 1.012, give or take. And you are doing the right thing to let the temperature rise, especially at that OG,. Should be a good brew that will improve with a little aging.
 

cgoldberg3

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After about 24 hrs after pitching, the carboy blew the blowoff tube + rubber stopper off, and puked krausen all over the carboy exterior and floor. Never seen a blowoff tube fail but I guess it was too much gas for too small of a tube. Wiped it off, let it open ferment for a few hours to calm down, and put the blowoff tube back on.

12 hours later it was still attached though it clearly has been forcing krausen through the tube and into the bucket of sanitizer, which now looks like muddy water. Carboy looks like it has at least 2 pints less liquid than it did at pitch. Never had such a vigorous fermentation, but this is my first Belgian so maybe that's normal. I will definitely either brew a smaller batch next time, or brew it in a larger vessel because this recipe needs at least a full gallon of headspace to expand into.
 

cgoldberg3

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10 days on, completely simmered down. Starting to clear up just a little bit, and the krausen has completely fallen. Carboy is sitting on a heating pad that has brought it up to the 72-75F range. I thought I could let it go ambient the entire time but spring decided to take a vacation around the time I started the batch and from what I've read here, getting the fermentation chamber into the 70s is necessary for proper Belgian flavor. Probably won't bother taking gravity readings till day 14 at the earliest.

PS this whole process reeks, never made such a farty-smelling beer before.
 
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cgoldberg3

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21 days on, first gravity reading is 1.012, for 85% apparent attentuation and 9.5% abv. Spot on to what Kee estimated. Think I’ll call this good and cold crash + gelatin fine. Either gonna bottle this coming week (if I have enough empties) or keg.
 

Trevor Mack

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Even if you keg, I'd throw some into any empty bottle you have and store off somewhere and forget about em for several months to the better half of a year. I'm sure you will thank me in 2022 when you crack one open.
 
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cgoldberg3

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Even if you keg, I'd throw see into any empty bottle you have and store off somewhere and forget about em for several months to the better half of a year. I'm sure you will thank me in 2022 when you crack one open.
That’s probably a good idea. I’m gonna “lager” this ale for probably a month after it finishes carbonation anyway since most people complain about the beer tasting green when it’s young.
 

cgoldberg3

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Found exactly enough empties to bottle the whole batch today. Between lost volume from blow-offs and the sizeable trub, I got about 3.7 gallons in the bottling bucket. Primed with about 4.7 ounces of white table sugar, which is hopefully enough to make it a strongly carbonated Belgian but not too much so for my bottles to handle. Currently sitting at 70F in a closet, where they’ll stay for the next 3 weeks.

I’m happy with the color of the beer and the results of the gelatin fining so far, which you can see in the pics below.
 

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cgoldberg3

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Three weeks in the bottle and they are completely uncarbonated. Like, not even a tiny bit. IDK what went wrong here. It's like the yeast just totally died. Really wishing I would have kegged right about now.

How do I salvage this? Pitch more yeast into each bottle?
 

Kee

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Three weeks in the bottle and they are completely uncarbonated. Like, not even a tiny bit. IDK what went wrong here. It's like the yeast just totally died. Really wishing I would have kegged right about now.

How do I salvage this? Pitch more yeast into each bottle?
The method I use is to uncap the bottles and sprinkle in some dry yeast, something like Lavin EC-1118 that works on simple sugars but not so much on maltose.
 
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