Recipe Critique: new attempt at Kasteel Rouge clone

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Echoloc8

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Well, I forged ahead and worked up a Kasteel Rouge clone from bits and pieces I found around.

Here's the thread where I articulated some of my concerns: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/quest-accurate-kasteel-rouge-recipe-395558/

Here are my goals:
  • 8% ABV
  • Accurate color
  • Accurate flavor (duh)
  • Start with a Kasteel Donker/Bruin recipe, scale, and formulate to add cherry liqueur for flavoring
  • All-grain

I started with Ksosh's recipe here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/pl...n-brune-recipe-138822/index3.html#post1593645

...And tweaked it until it was 8% ABV on my system, AG, and in the neighborhood colorwise (I found a page or two online that mention it being ~28 SRM).

My priimary worries are:
  1. Use of Dark Candi syrup for coloration, and its impact on flavor
  2. Accuracy of the recipe - the original thread didn't have much commentary
  3. Application of cherry flavor - the temptation is to add at bottling, but some rumors have it that the flavor is incorporated months before consumption
Any thoughts? I'm really shooting in the dark here, basically grabbing a good-looking Donker clone and mangling it creatively. :fro: I'd love any commentary people have.

-Rich

------------------------------------------------------------------

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Kasteel Rouge Clone
Style: Belgian Dark Strong Ale(ish)
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 7.37 gal
Post Boil Volume: 5.72 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.03 gal
Estimated OG: 1.066 SG
Estimated Color: 25.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 26.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 66.4 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
9.38 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)
2.50 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
0.75 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM)
0.75 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM)
0.50 lb Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM)
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM)
0.63 lb Candi Sugar, Dark (275.0 SRM)
1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] - Boil 50.0 min
0.75 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Boil 50.0 min
0.50 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 5.0 mins)
1.0 pkg Belgian Ale (White Labs #WLP550) - 2L starter
3.50 oz Cherry Extract (Bottling 5.0 mins)


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 14.76 lb
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperat Step Time
Mash In Add 4.42 gal of water at 159.1 F 148.0 F 75 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 2 steps (1.09gal, 3.81gal) of 168.0 F water
 
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Echoloc8

Echoloc8

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*bump*

I do want to buy ingredients for this tomorrow. If anyone has any critique, I'd love to hear it.

-Rich
 

dhalse001

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I just bought a bottle of this yesterday (I'm in the UK) thinking about brewing a clone maybe in the summer. I've tried the stuff in Belgium on tap, and it's very nice. I don't have any knowledge or tips on how to brew this stuff, but I'll be keen to see how you get on.

Cheers,
Dave.
 
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Echoloc8

Echoloc8

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Brewed this yesterday, had a great brew day. Airlock is going nuts, will absolutely post my experiences.

-Rich
 
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Echoloc8

Echoloc8

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Fermentation has settled down greatly. The plan is to add the cherry liqueur and bottle a few Saturdays from now, April 6th.

-Rich
 

MX1

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Late to the party i know, but Kasteel Rouge is aged on sour cherries, IIRC from my years living in Belgium.

If this does not turn out, you might try going to secondary on fruit to get the color and flavor you are looking for.

Best of luck.

Tim
 
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Echoloc8

Echoloc8

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Late to the party i know, but Kasteel Rouge is aged on sour cherries, IIRC from my years living in Belgium.
This is one of the tough things I tried to reconcile while formulating the recipe. Many people talk about using actual cherries, but the actual Kasteel site says it uses "a blend of Kasteel Donker and cherry liqueur used in the confectionary world":

http://www.vanhonsebrouck.be/en/kasteelbier-rouge.php (requires language and age picker)

On top of that there are several mentions on the wider internet that the flavor changed and got simpler and sweeter a few years back. Since my wife and I only discovered the beer a year ago, it's this more recent flavor I want to go for, so I went with this approach. We'll see if I even get close.

-Rich

PS. Then again on the same site, under the "Brewing process" section, I found this quote: "For the preparation of our fruit beers we add fruits. During the 6 month lagering period the flesh of the fruit completely dissolves and the flavour of the fruit is absorbed into the beer." I'm not sure what to do, but I guess it'll be cheapest to try the liqueur option first. :drunk:
 

MX1

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it's all about if you like it our not.....

after all it is for YOU to drink.....

Let us know how it comes out

Tim
 
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Echoloc8

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One other thing I'm finding and being made to think about is the fact that liqueurs are very sugary, and I probably won't be adding enough to kill the yeast.

Since I want to avoid bottle bombs at all costs, I guess I'm left with two options:

A) kegging, or
B) trying to calculate the amount of sugar in the liqueur addition and have its sugar serve for bottle priming, which will inherently limit how much of it I can use. :(

I guess I'll find out; I was really looking to bottle this batch. And I really don't want to buy 10 lbs of cherries for my first try: pricey!

-Rich
 

MX1

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I would make a guess as to how fermtable it is, then make up the rest with priming sugar. Gonna be a crap shoot at best, but your not gonn ause that much liqure are ya?
 
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I would make a guess as to how fermtable it is, then make up the rest with priming sugar. Gonna be a crap shoot at best, but your not gonn ause that much liqure are ya?
Don't know yet. My plan when it gets close to bottling is to grab a 12-oz thief sample of the beer, chill it and maybe force-carb it with one of those 2-liter bottle-cap to CO2-quick-disconnect adapters that I have, and then add a few ml of the liqueur (I'm thinking "cherry cordial" of some sort) at a time until the taste is as close as I can get it.

Once I have the right amount in 12 oz for flavor, then I plan to scale it up and add that scaled amount to the batch for bottling, provided it's not too much sugar for a safe prime, which I'll have to calc ahead of time based on any bottle info I can find. I'll post that info here as I find it, or the guesses I make in the info's absence. :cross:

Of course once the yeast chews through it, its taste will have changed. It will likely be hit and miss.

Another option entirely is to make my own cherry cordial liqueur based on one of the many recipes I've found (basically take cherries, sugar and vodka and steep for weeks), and substitute something unfermentable like lactose for the table sugar in the recipe. That way I could prime as normal, add the liqueur to taste and not have to worry.

-Rich
 

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or, just add the right amout of sugar to the home made liqueur, that you want for priming....
 
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or, just add the right amout of sugar to the home made liqueur, that you want for priming....
Hard to know that ahead of time, when I don't know yet how much the recipe will require for taste.

Also, the final product I'm trying to match is actually pretty sweet, so making it so the sugar will be entirely consumed for CO2 would mean my clone wouldn't be sweet enough.

...I guess I just convinced myself. I'd better start on that custom liqueur, then. Some people online say that Splenda is the best for sugar-free liqueur, which makes sense. Lactose would add a milky note which probably wouldn't work as well.

...Or I could use K-meta and sorbate to stop the yeast, then use the liqueur for backsweetening, keg and force-carb, and try to bottle from the keg.

Dang, so many options.

-Rich
 

sathrovarr

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One other thing I'm finding and being made to think about is the fact that liqueurs are very sugary, and I probably won't be adding enough to kill the yeast.

Since I want to avoid bottle bombs at all costs, I guess I'm left with two options:

A) kegging, or
B) trying to calculate the amount of sugar in the liqueur addition and have its sugar serve for bottle priming, which will inherently limit how much of it I can use. :(

I guess I'll find out; I was really looking to bottle this batch. And I really don't want to buy 10 lbs of cherries for my first try: pricey!

-Rich
you can also try stove-top pasteurizing after it reaches the right carbonation
 
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Echoloc8

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you can also try stove-top pasteurizing after it reaches the right carbonation
I've read that thread. It scares me.

The proposition seems to go like this:
  • IF I've primed all bottles uniformly, and
  • IF there's no inequality of yeast among the primed bottles, and
  • IF I don't accidentally put an overcarbonated bottle in the hot water despite testing other bottles, and
  • IF there are no flawed bottles or flawed caps, and
  • IF I don't mismeasure my temperatures, volumes or time...

Then I can have safely carbed bottles, IF they survive the pasteurization process, with sugar that would otherwise have kept fermenting and become bottle bombs. Unless I don't, which I'll find out abruptly at a later unspecified date.

I know Pasteurization is hardly voodoo science, and I know the OP on that thread has never had a problem, but plenty of others in the thread have.

Not the same thing, but my brew buddy had a failed-stabilization situation with a cider he made over the holidays where a wine bottle shattered/exploded across the room from him. It was dumb luck neither he nor his wife was standing next to it at the time. Despite having bottled it all still and (he thought) stabilized, when he uncorked the remainder of the batch to dispose of it safely, each one sounded off like a champagne cork. :eek:

No thanks.

/rant

-Rich

[Edit: in case you can't tell, I'm a bit paranoid about backsweetening.]
 
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Echoloc8

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An update on this recipe:

Flavoring day!

I siphoned a liter of the beer out of primary into a 2L soda bottle, squeezed out all the air, and force-carbonated it with my CO2 tank and one of those carbonator caps.

I bought a 750ml bottle of nice cherry liqueur (really, almost a cherry port-style wine by the taste) from my local package store, and began making 2oz pours into snifters and putting in 1/4-tsp at a time, then tasting.

My wife and I arrived at the best flavor by putting 5 full teaspoons of liqueur into 2oz of beer. We needed to sharpen it up with some citric acid powder (the liqueur was pretty oxidized, basically like a tawny port instead of ruby), but came to a scary-good approximation of the real-deal Kasteel Rouge. Success! :rockin:

Problem is, 5 teaspoons of liqueur in 2 oz is almost a third by volume. This means for my 4 gals of remaining base beer I'd have had to add over a gallon of liqueur! Since the 750ml bottle I bought was over $30, this would have meant over $200.00 (7 bottles)! Whoops!

So the next plan is to make a gallon of my own cherry-cordial liqueur from cherries, vodka and sugar per this recipe, and redo the taste test. This should prove much cheaper, but I have no idea how much almost 20 lbs of cherries will run. I might be stuck either way.

And it'll take another month to steep the cherries. Ill update when I have the chance.

-Rich
 
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looneybomber

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So I just discovered this beer - Kasteel Rogue. I am half way through my first glass and it's fantastic. Knowing I wanted this beer again and again, when looking for a "clone" recipe, I found your post. Any progress thus far?

Have you tried cherry puree from various sources including vinter's harvest? I added 36-48oz (I think, I'll have to check my notes) of cherry puree from a local source to my latest begian quad. After tasting this Kasteel, it might be more appropriate to age it on the cherry puree and add tart cherry juice? I can get 32oz locally for $6.99.
 
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Echoloc8

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So I just discovered this beer - Kasteel Rogue. I am half way through my first glass and it's fantastic. Knowing I wanted this beer again and again, when looking for a "clone" recipe, I found your post. Any progress thus far?

Have you tried cherry puree from various sources including vinter's harvest? I added 36-48oz (I think, I'll have to check my notes) of cherry puree from a local source to my latest begian quad. After tasting this Kasteel, it might be more appropriate to age it on the cherry puree and add tart cherry juice? I can get 32oz locally for $6.99.
Some progress, but I'm not done yet.

I decided not to go with fresh cherries or puree in secondary when I found that Kasteel itself uses "confectioner-grade" cherry liqueur, and most of the local fresh-cherry sources were either out of cherries (since they're out of season here), or wanted crazy-money for them.

I went with frozen cherries (only slightly less crazy-expensive), and have been steeping them in cheapo vodka to make my own liqueur for about a month now. I tasted the liqueur with my wife over the weekend, and it was excellent, if still pretty boozy.

Only problem is... No free kegs to do the mixing! I have two cornies, and they're currently hosting a Bombardier clone and a honey Kolsch. It'll be a few more weeks before either of them kicks, since they're both still aging themselves into drinkability.

Once that's done, my wife and I will redo the formulation and I'll post about it here. :rockin:

For reference, here's the recipe I used for the liqueur:

Wisniak (Cherry Cordial)

Base Recipe:
1 pound cherries
2 cups sugar
3 cups vodka

Scaled to 4 liters (1 gallon):
5.7 lbs cherries
11.25 cups sugar (I used 5 lbs even)
4 L vodka

-Rich
 

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Where did you find that they used a cherry liquor? The bottle I have says "Belgian ale with cherries and cherry juice added". Adding a cherry syrup/liquor to taste at bottling sure would make things a LOT easier!
 

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Have you ever had the regular Kasteel Donker? If so, I'm wondering how close the "base" Donker recipe (before the liqueur addition) is to the real thing.

I really enjoy the Donker and Cuvée du Chateau, which is just aged Donker. I'd really like to try to clone that stuff. The price of it here really prevents me from buying it more often, sadly.
 
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Have you ever had the regular Kasteel Donker? If so, I'm wondering how close the "base" Donker recipe (before the liqueur addition) is to the real thing.

I really enjoy the Donker and Cuvée du Chateau, which is just aged Donker. I'd really like to try to clone that stuff. The price of it here really prevents me from buying it more often, sadly.
Sadly, no; it's hard to find around here. Makes the whole thing more difficult, obviously. I have had a number of good abbey-style ales before, though, and this recipe makes a good, tasty dark one.

-Rich
 

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Echoloc8

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The beer wound up very good, especially with some citric acid added to make it good and sharp. The process of extracting the cherries in vodka dulled the taste a bit.

Only issue is that the ABV is entirely out of whack. Original KR is 8% ABV, and this one wound up being north of 14%. I used 4 gals of base beer at 8% ABV + 1 gallon (!) of cherry liqueur at 40% ABV = ((4 * 0.08) + (1 * 0.40))/5 = 14.4% ABV, which is way too high, but still damn tasty. :)

The liqueur is also good (I had about a liter left over). It's very obviously natural cherry, nothing chemical or synthetic to it. It has a pretty heavy alcohol heat, though, which I'm glad was moderated by mixing with the beer.

If I make it again (and I may not; it's a lot of money to buy all those cherries and vodka, and has to be kegged instead of bottled, so it takes up a keg), I would experiment with a long steep of just the cherries in secondary, but I don't have any idea how it would work out. Someone mentioned kirschwasser in the thread; I honestly don't know how well it would work.

-Rich
 

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Echoloc8, i brewed this beer a week ago on my induction BIAB setup, about 2.5 gallons. Temp controlled at 68 for the week, and now upstairs trying to warm it up to 72 for the rest of the fermentation. I added the candi sugar in liquid form about 4 or 5 days after pitch.

It had literally the biggest krausen that ive ever seen. With 2.5 gallons in a 6.5 gal better bottle, the krausen filled the rest of the carboy.

I brewed this for a friend, who, i'm assuming, has never had Rouge, so it'll remain devoid of the cherry liqueur so i can ship it safely.

Thanks for the recipe!:mug:
 
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Acetylcholine, thanks! I hope it turns out well.

If you wanted to buy or make some liqueur and ship it along for adding in the glass, I imagine it would work great. Enjoy!

-Rich
 

acetylcholine

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Well, this turned out to be my biggest beer attempted by about 100%.

I took this recipe and adapted it for my 3 gallon batch size. I added 1 lb of DME and ended up with a 1.085 wort. Then, after a few days of primary fermentation, which was vigourous, I added 14 oz of candi sugar dissolved in water on the stove. Tossing that into the recipe in BeerSmith gave me an estimated starting gravity of 1.104.

Well, yesterday, i took a sample and its right at 1.008. Yep, that's 12.8% and its actually drinkable as is, flat. This beer is going to be dangerous.

What it ISN'T is close on color. Beersmith said i was looking at like 37 SRM, which is probably close to the commercial beer, but mine is more like the mid teens or so.

My local shop gets my grain for me and double mills it for my brew in a bag setup, and i had my 1 yr old with me, so i didn't go watch. I'm wondering if they forgot something.
 

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Well, this turned out to be my biggest beer attempted by about 100%.

I took this recipe and adapted it for my 3 gallon batch size. I added 1 lb of DME and ended up with a 1.085 wort. Then, after a few days of primary fermentation, which was vigourous, I added 14 oz of candi sugar dissolved in water on the stove. Tossing that into the recipe in BeerSmith gave me an estimated starting gravity of 1.104.

Well, yesterday, i took a sample and its right at 1.008. Yep, that's 12.8% and its actually drinkable as is, flat. This beer is going to be dangerous.

What it ISN'T is close on color. Beersmith said i was looking at like 37 SRM, which is probably close to the commercial beer, but mine is more like the mid teens or so.

My local shop gets my grain for me and double mills it for my brew in a bag setup, and i had my 1 yr old with me, so i didn't go watch. I'm wondering if they forgot something.
Best thing about all of this....

It is still beer, and you may have found a new house favourite!!! :ban:
 
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Well, this turned out to be my biggest beer attempted by about 100%.

I took this recipe and adapted it for my 3 gallon batch size. I added 1 lb of DME and ended up with a 1.085 wort. Then, after a few days of primary fermentation, which was vigourous, I added 14 oz of candi sugar dissolved in water on the stove. Tossing that into the recipe in BeerSmith gave me an estimated starting gravity of 1.104.

Well, yesterday, i took a sample and its right at 1.008. Yep, that's 12.8% and its actually drinkable as is, flat. This beer is going to be dangerous.

What it ISN'T is close on color. Beersmith said i was looking at like 37 SRM, which is probably close to the commercial beer, but mine is more like the mid teens or so.

My local shop gets my grain for me and double mills it for my brew in a bag setup, and i had my 1 yr old with me, so i didn't go watch. I'm wondering if they forgot something.
Hmm, a few things I'd check... Was it *dark* candi sugar? Also, 14 oz seems mistakenly scaled from the 0.63 lbs (9 oz?) in my original recipe. Wait... was the sugar and the DME in *addition* to scaled values (dark candi sugar, etc.) from the original, maybe to offset the lack of the liqueur?

You know what, I'd love to just see a recipe-like list of what all you put in. :) Sounds like it'll be delicious anyway, but I'm all curious now.

-Rich
 

acetylcholine

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Hmm, a few things I'd check... Was it *dark* candi sugar? Also, 14 oz seems mistakenly scaled from the 0.63 lbs (9 oz?) in my original recipe. Wait... was the sugar and the DME in *addition* to scaled values (dark candi sugar, etc.) from the original, maybe to offset the lack of the liqueur?

You know what, I'd love to just see a recipe-like list of what all you put in. :) Sounds like it'll be delicious anyway, but I'm all curious now.

-Rich
hehe, honestly I was just experimenting and seeing what i could do with my system. That brew was only like beer #6 or so for me.

It was dark candi sugar for sure. And the pound of light DME was to get the gravity up to the degree that I thought it should be.

The beer is still sitting on the yeast for now, but i'll pull it off when i go snag another carboy soon. Im not sure yet when i'll bottle it and start mailing it all over the place. :mug:
 

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The can also says they use stevia which is a sugar substitute and not fermentable.
 
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