Please critique my Kasteelbier Bruin-Brune Recipe

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Ksosh

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So I just had Kasteelbier Bruin-Brune (aka Bière du Chateau Donker), and I'm in love. I want to try and brew this huge, heavy, sweet/malty Belgian Quad(?). Never made a Belgian anything before (not a fan of the Ommegang dirty-foot taste), but the Kasteel was amazing (and not footy at all), so I'll give it a shot.

Here's what I have so far, please critique/suggest changes (but with keeping the 2-row base and hopefully within the 18E BJCP guidelines):

11 lbs Pale Malt (2-row)
5 lbs Munich Malt
2 pounds Aromatic Malt
1 lb 8 oz Biscuit Malt
8 oz Special B
1 oz Styrian Goldings (5.4%) @ 60 mins
1 oz Saaz (4%) @ 35 mins
1.5 oz Saaz (4%) @ 25 mins
1 lb Candi Sugar (Clear)
Belgian Ale yeast (Wyeast 1214)

Single infusion, batch sparge @ 70% efficiency
OG: 1.109
FG: 1.026
Color: 21.5
IBU: 32.5
ABV: 10.9%

Thoughts/suggestions?
 

MVKTR2

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Your recipe stinks!!!

why?

Because it doesn't have a name! :D

Seriously I'm no Belgian expert and I hardly know that much about their biers... sorry I'm just high on codine cough syrup. No really now I'm serious, I'm not an expert on Belgian brews but did just finish 'Brew Like a Monk' and would say you'd need to replace the 2 row with Pilsner to be authentic. Also make sure your sugar % is 8-15%. Don't be afraid, I'd shoot for 12%. I'll let someone more experienced or familiar witht the brew you're cloning critique the yeast strain or add what they will. Hope I was of some service.

Schlante,
Phillip
 

Oldsock

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I would tone down the specialty malts, 3.5 lbs of biscuit + aromatic is more than you need. The Munich will provide plenty of maltiness on its own. I wouldn't worry about switching to pils, you won't miss it in such a complex beer (a paler style would be a different story).

I would get rid of the clear candi and go with 1.5 lbs of the dark syrup, loads of flavor to compliment the special B.

Make sure to make a huge starter and keep you fermentation temperature in control at the start. Nothing worse than a fusely headache bomb.

Good luck.
 
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Ksosh

Ksosh

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Oldsock: When you say 'dark syrup', do you mean dark candi sugar or something like treacle?

Thanks to both of you for your input.
 

Oldsock

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Dark Candi Syrup. Either the D or the D2 would do great in this recipe.
 
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Ksosh

Ksosh

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Ahh, found it. Would Molasses give the same type of flavor?
 

Oldsock

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Nope, candi sugar is made from refined sugar that is caramelized, then centrifuged. Molasses is the byproduct of sugar refining, so its flavor is completely different.
 

Oldsock

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I've had pretty good luck making candi sugar myself, but I have never been able to get it as dark and flavorful as the commercial stuff (and that is with 3+ hours of cooking).
 

bierhaus15

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If you intend on entering this in comps or keeping it BJCP, I would forget the flavor hops additions and keep all hops at 60min. The guidelines say a slight hop flavor is acceptable, but more often than not you will get dinged for that flavor. Yeast and malt flavors are much more important.

Also, concerning malts, you may want to look into using caramunich and melanoiden malt for a portion of the grist (around 4% and 3% respectively). Caramunich will add complexity and the melanoiden malt will help the malt flavors/aromas really pop. Special B should be included. Sugar will help dry the beer out and can be up to 10% of the grist.

Regarding dark candi syrup, I have done beers with and without it and personally I find it's not really necessary if you expect to get those flavors from malt. Remember most belgian's are made from 1 or 2 malts with most of the flavors coming from the sugar syrup and yeast. Therefore, don't muck up the beer with tons of specialty grains and a whole mess of dark candi syrup.

As for yeast, I like WY3787 (Rochefort strain) as it gives great spice flavors, attenuates great, and doesn't throw off lots of hot alcohols.
 
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Ksosh

Ksosh

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As for yeast, I like WY3787 (Rochefort strain) as it gives great spice flavors, attenuates great, and doesn't throw off lots of hot alcohols.
Alright, somebody school me on attenuation... As I understand it, higher attenuation = more sugar converted into alcohol, which means that if you compare two beers with the same OG, the one with the yeast that attenuates more will have less sugar remaining, and therefore will be drier... am I getting this right?

The reason I ask, is the WY3787 looks to be a little higher attenuation than the 1214, and since I'm shooting for a very malty beer, wouldn't less attenuation be better?
 

bierhaus15

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Yeah, the more attenuative the yeast, the more it will dry out the beer.

Though remember that there is a difference between being malty and sweet. Considering you are starting with an OG around 1.100, you don't want the beer (especially since it's a dark strong) to stop at 1.030 or higher. That would leave to many residual sugars, which would make it cloyingly sweet, unbalanced, and hard to drink. Use whatever yeast you want, though just make sure the yeast will at least attenuate to a level that is within range for the style, and work in a high alcohol environment (especially if you plan to bottle condition). As this is a dark strong, I would want to get it below 1.024 at least.
 
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Ksosh

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Thanks, I'm still trying to nail down the sweet vs. malty difference.
I'll go with your recommended yeast, as my original 1214 gives an estimate of 1.027 (after some tweaks to the recipe)
 

s3n8

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most real Belgian beers are fairly dry. I would mash this one at 150 or 152 and aim for 1.016. Most tripels I shoot for 1.008 from a similar OG. I know quads are not as dry, but 1.024 sounds awfully sweet to me. Look around at other Belgian recipes, a re-occurring theme you will see is high attenuation and a fairly low FG. It is your recipe, but with an OG that high, I would mash low.
 

bierhaus15

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I brew a dark strong (award winner) that starts at 1.095 and gets down to around 1.010; I mash for 60 min at 150. If you do use 3787, just make sure your temp isn't too low at the start of fermentation (best around 68-70) and make sure to feed it sugar during fermentation to keep it from stalling.
 
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Ksosh

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...make sure to feed it sugar during fermentation to keep it from stalling.
Table sugar or something else? Never did the sugar-during-fermentation thing before, so how much are we talking about?

Also, should I keep some champagne yeast around in case it stalls too high?
 
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Ksosh

Ksosh

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I would mash this one at 150 or 152 and aim for 1.016. ...It is your recipe, but with an OG that high, I would mash low.
Mashing low = less unfermentable sugars = less sweet... right? So this would lower the OG, but should also lower the FG by the same amount... right?
 

bierhaus15

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Mashing low = less unfermentable sugars = less sweet... right? So this would lower the OG, but should also lower the FG by the same amount... right?
A 149 mash temp should give you the same OG as the same mashed at 154. I don't know the exact science behind it, but a lower mash temp will generally give you a more fermentable wort versus a higher mash temp that gives you more dextrins(?) and a less fermentable one. Therefore, if you want a dry beer, mash low.

Concerning adding sugar during fermentation, this is done to prevent the yeast from quitting early. When i do this, i just add my sugar addition (be it sucrose, dextrose, or candi syrup) in steps during fermentation. If my recipe calls for 1lb of sucrose, I would leave it out of the boil and add it to the beer when it was at or after high krausen. Or half of it one day and the other another. I wouldn't worry about doing this... as long as you give the yeast plenty of time, room, and the proper temp you can be confident it will attenuate well enough.
 
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Ksosh

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That explains why my baltic porter is sitting at 1.012 instead of 1.017... mashed a little lower than I expected to.
 

s3n8

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Mashing low = less unfermentable sugars = less sweet... right? So this would lower the OG, but should also lower the FG by the same amount... right?
No. Mash temp dictates how fermentable the wort will be. The higher the mash the higher the FG will be. Likewise, lower == lower FG. Mash temp has no discernable impact on the OG.

Higher mash, the more body, more malty, more sweet.

Lower mash, dryer.

With an OG ~1.100 you are going to have approximately a metric f-ton of malt flavor, and very little hop bitterness to balance it out. For that reason, I would mash low.
 
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Ksosh

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Thanks again to everyone for their comments. I'll post the finalized recipe just before i brew, but I've got a lot to think about between now and then.


*edit* adding this malt-hops chart so I can find it in the future:
 
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Ksosh

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Alright, final recipe, brewing now:
12 lbs pale 2-row malt
5 lbs munich malt
1 lb aromatic malt
14.5 oz caramunich malt
11 oz melanoiden malt
8 oz special b malt
1.25 oz styrian goldings (50 mins)
1.5 oz saaz (50 mins)
1 TBSP ph 5.2 stabilizer
Belgian Ale (WLP550)

Had to sub WLP550 because they were out of Wyeast trappist high gravity.
Single infusion of 26 qts @ 170.5 degrees (ended up ~157 degrees in MLT)
Left for ~90 minutes
Sparged 3 gallons @ 168 degrees
Ended up with ~7.5 gallons, boiled down to ~6.5, then started timer
80 minute "boil" from 6.5 gallons
Final OG of 1.087, but also have more than 5 gallons (~5.5-6 gallons it appears), so it's a little watered down.

Going to ferment for at least 3 weeks in primary @ ~70 degrees, adding a little sugar (2 TBSP?) every couple days for the first week or so.

Debating priming with treacle (8 oz)...
 

AmandaK

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Any update on how this turned out? I'm hoping to use this recipe as a base for a Kasteel Rouge.
 

jfr1111

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The guy last posted in April, not sure if you will ever get an update.
 
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Ksosh

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It turned out well, though probably could have used more boil time to increase the gravity. Doesn't taste like what I was going for, probably because it's not high enough alcohol.
Haven't had a chance to brew in the last 6 months or so due to circumstances beyond my control.
 
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