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ST's BIG Belgian Recipe Challenge

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stormtracker

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I thought it would be fun to tap the expertise here at HBT and make a small challenge to the experts.

I would like to make a clone of one of my current favorites. I realize there is alot of talent here and this may or may not be easy.

Ok so I like many others enjoy and favor the Belgian BIG beers.

One of my newest favorites is a local brewery that has proliferated the midwestern states. You may or may not have heard of.

Boulevard Brewery

The recipe in question is: ( drumroll )

"The Sixth Glass" Belgian Quadrupel.

Now, I will provide the clues needed to create the clone recipe for this challenge.

Brewery Intro text for this beer:

Drawing inspiration from the great Trappist ales of Belgium, the term ‘quadrupel’ is often used by Americans to describe a strong but approachable beer, one the Belgians would most likely call ‘Abt’ or Abbot. The storied abbey breweries of Rochefort, La Trappe, Chimay, and Westvleteren each brew in their own unique version of this robust and warming brew.

Brewers notes for this beer:

This devilishly strong ale is dark auburn in color, with a creamy tan head. Fruity aromas of date and fig precede flavors of prune, raisin, and subtle hints of chocolate. This malty, full-bodied beer finishes with a warming Madeira essence that begs for another taste. As it ages, the Port flavors will further develop. Stored upright in a cool, dark place, this beer will mature for up to 10 years. Drink the Sixth Glass from a goblet at 50 degrees to 58 degrees F.

Each 35-barrel brew uses 2,300 pounds of grain, consisting of two-row pales, light caramel, and Special B malts, and a measure of malted wheat. An extra 350 pounds of golden and dark brown sugars help with the wort reach a starting Plato of 21 degrees, yielding 10.5% alcohol by volume. We use only the noble Styrian Goldings hop from Slovenia.

IBUs 25
OG 21 degree Plato
FG 3.6 degree Plato
Alc by vol 10.5%

Here is the link. I have typed basically word for word here of what the information about this particular beer.

http://www.boulevard.com/smokestack/

Now,
Another element to this challenge. I will be purchasing the ingredients from Northern Brewer in Bulk to save some cash.

I will be doing a partial mash. In particular using their LME in a 33 lb jerry can so I can make 4 brews. ( note: I may need to add some DME to get 4 out of it ??? )

That aside. Here are the links to make it easy for you guys.

LME:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/malt-extract.html

Grain Malts:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/grainmalts.html

Sugar:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/sugars.html

Yeast:

http://www.northernbrewer.com/wyeast.html


Im hoping to have some participation by some seasoned brewers here. Trust me a clone of this beer would be heavenly. Boulevard is raising their price of this beer and the cheapest retail I can find is about $ 7.99 ( 750 ml ) with the new price increase.

The ability to brew a similar product at $2 - $3 a bottle really appeals to me.

So what ye say? How about some recipe ideas for this brew.
 
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stormtracker

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VermVerm said:
Is this out of St. Louis? It's a very interesting idea. Do you know if they sell it in IN?

KC MO

Im unsure where exactly they are distrubiting their smokestack series. My understanding is that it is a limited geographical distribution.
 

Jacob

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Right now it is only being sold in KC, it's supposed to get a wider release later this year. I think how wide that release is depends on how much is made and will probably be limited to Missouri and Kansas. I had a chance to try this and the other ones that are available right now, the double wide IPA is fantastic.
 

DeathBrewer

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do you have any styrian goldings? that may be hard to find right now.

looks like a good beer. brewed a few big belgians myself and i can tell you they can be a PITA.

pitch alot of yeast, keep an eye on them, raise the temperature slowly over their fermentation (creating the fruity notes without too much fusel alcohol.) don't transfer before your fermentation is finished. if you use a secondary, repitch before bottling. store the bottles for at least 6 months.

how many pounds are you going to mash? i'll give the recipe a shot...at least get you started.
 
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stormtracker

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Hey Death Brewer.. I was going to buy the 33# jerrycan LME that Northern Brewer has. unless of course it takes me down a road that will not duplicate.

Can you look at their offerings of LME and make up a recipe from there?

I think Styrian goldings may be had at a LHBS. Is there a good sub if not?
 

DeathBrewer

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it looks like they don't have the 33# cans of the 2-row. the Gold will probably work well, it's 2-row with a mixture of carapils.

so what is the maximum amount of grains you can mash?
 

DeathBrewer

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the most important part of this will be the yeast and the temperature. you have several belgian yeasts available from NB (Wyeast)

i usually prefer White Labs 550 for belgian ales, which is supposed to be the same as this guy:

3522 Belgian Ardennes Yeast. One of many great beer yeasts to produce classic Belgian ales. Phenolics develop with increased fermentation temperatures, mild fuitiness and complex spicy character. Apparent attenuation: 72-76%. Flocculation: high. Optimum temp: 65°-85° F

here are some other options:

1388 Belgian Strong Ale. Robust flavor yeast with moderate to high alcohol tolerance. Fruity nose and palate, dry, tart finish. Apparent attenuation: 73-77%. Flocculation: low. Optimum temp: 65°-75° F

1762 Belgian Abbey II. High gravity yeast with distinct warming character from ethanol production. Slightly fruity with dry finish. Apparent attenuation: 73-77%. Flocculation: medium. Optimum temp: 65°-75° F

3787 Trappist High Gravity. Robust top cropping yeast with phenolic character. Alcohol tolerance to 12%. Ideal for Biere de Garde. Ferments dry with rich ester profile and malty palate. Apparent attenuation: 75-80%. Flocculation: medium. Optimum temp: 64°-78° F

i'll post the recipe in a bit and we'll see if we can get some additional feedback. maybe i'll brew this one too :D
 

DeathBrewer

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alright...this should get us started...i usually make 5.5 gallon batches so i get a better yield. let me know if you would like any changes made. :mug:

ST's BIG Belgian Recipe Challenge

A ProMash Recipe Report

BJCP Style and Style Guidelines
-------------------------------

16-E Belgian & French Ale, Belgian Specialty Ale

Min OG: 1.040 Max OG: 1.070
Min IBU: 20 Max IBU: 40
Min Clr: 3 Max Clr: 8 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics
----------------

Batch Size (Gal): 5.50 Wort Size (Gal): 5.50
Total Grain (Lbs): 14.40
Anticipated OG: 1.088 Plato: 21.21
Anticipated SRM: 10.5
Anticipated IBU: 25.4
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75 %
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes


Grain/Extract/Sugar

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
52.1 7.50 lbs. Generic LME - Light Generic 1.035 7
20.8 3.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) Belgium 1.037 3
5.2 0.75 lbs. Caramel Pils Malt Belgium 1.034 2
6.9 1.00 lbs. Wheat Malt America 1.038 2
1.7 0.25 lbs. Special B Malt Belgian 1.030 120
6.9 1.00 lbs. Brown Sugar Generic 1.046 4
6.3 0.90 lbs. Turbinado Sugar Generic 1.046 0

Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.


Hops

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1.25 oz. Styrian Goldings Whole 5.25 22.4 60 min.
0.50 oz. Styrian Goldings Whole 5.25 3.0 20 min.


Yeast
-----

WYeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes
 
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stormtracker

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Death Brewer.. Awesome!

Thank you soo much for your help.

My next recipe challenge was going to be their trippel.

I wanted to get 2 trippels and 2 of these Quads out of the 33# jerry can of LME.

Will that gold LME work for the Trippel as well?

Thanks again for your help.

ST
 
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stormtracker

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Hey Death,

Looking at yoru recipe it calls for brown sugar.. NB has Belgian brown sugar. They have some fancy sugars over there. Would there be much of a difference? Should I go for the cheaper route?

What is turbinado sugar? is that something you get at the supermarket?
 

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If you are going to be making a ~$40-50/5gal batch of brew... I'd suggest using the authentic sugar for it. Yeah its a little more cash, but I don't think you want to mess around.

See my Pistoles Clone recipe in my signature... great beer! I added a little extra LME to the last two batches which pushed them up to ~10% ABV. Its a great dark chocolate brown belgian, great apricot, cherry, fig, raisin flavors.... its like a freakin belgian barleywine. I love it!
 

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We are a Boulevard-heavy state, being so close to KC, but we're NOT in the distro area for this beer.

I'm a little late..... but I know a relative of the owners of Boulevard. I can ask tomorrow @ work if I can get the "inside scoop" on this recipe. It looks like DeathBrewer's got the recipe pretty damn well finished, I can't think of anything that's missing. Might not even be worth it to try to get in touch with them.

I look forward to seeing your results!!!
 

DeathBrewer

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the belgian soft brown candy sugar might work well. not TOO expensive, either...sounds like a plan.

i have some turbinado sugar at home...that's why i used it. i bought mine at trader joes. it was mentioned in Randy Mosher's book and i've been meaning to use it. i think you should be able to find it at most grocery stores. it won't impart a whole lot of flavor, but was recommended over cane sugar or dextrose.

i've used the rock candi sugar in the past, but didn't really like it. i've also read that it basically ferments all the way out, adding no flavor and it's just pretty much an expensive gimmick.

i really have been meaning to use the belgian candi syrup. it would add some nice color and flavor...the only issue is that it is not mentioned in this specific recipe so i'm leaving it out of this batch.

Also, the color is more of a light auburn, but with my experience from using LME, i think it will be darker than specified in ProMash.

:mug:
 

sirsloop

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DeathBrewer said:
i've used the rock candi sugar in the past, but didn't really like it. i've also read that it basically ferments all the way out, adding no flavor and it's just pretty much an expensive gimmick.
Thats the idea... malts are only partially fermentable... so if you add a couple pounds of honey/candi sugars to the mix you will end up with a slightly dryer beer. When you are talking about a 10%+ ABV beer, having even decent (75%) attenuation can result in A CRAP LOAD of residual sugars! Also, just because they are highly fermentable, doesn't mean that they impart no flavor. If that was the case, mead would taste like straight alcohol.
 

DeathBrewer

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yes, but i've heard you will get a slight amount of flavor and color from other sugars, which could be beneficial in addition to making it drier.

just like adding honey without boiling it so that it is less fermentable and imparts more flavor.

also, it's stated in the recipe we're trying to clone ;)
 
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stormtracker

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Hey Death,

Will that gold LME work for my trippel Im wanting to make out of that bulk LME purchase as well?
 

DeathBrewer

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sure, it would work ok...may be a little dark.

i personally would go with a pilsner extract for a trippel. you could use the pilsner extract in this recipe as well, but again...their description said 2-row.
 
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stormtracker

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chriso said:
We are a Boulevard-heavy state, being so close to KC, but we're NOT in the distro area for this beer.

I'm a little late..... but I know a relative of the owners of Boulevard. I can ask tomorrow @ work if I can get the "inside scoop" on this recipe. It looks like DeathBrewer's got the recipe pretty damn well finished, I can't think of anything that's missing. Might not even be worth it to try to get in touch with them.

I look forward to seeing your results!!!
Any additional notes or info would be wonderful.
 

DeathBrewer

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chriso said:
We are a Boulevard-heavy state, being so close to KC, but we're NOT in the distro area for this beer.

I'm a little late..... but I know a relative of the owners of Boulevard. I can ask tomorrow @ work if I can get the "inside scoop" on this recipe. It looks like DeathBrewer's got the recipe pretty damn well finished, I can't think of anything that's missing. Might not even be worth it to try to get in touch with them.

I look forward to seeing your results!!!
dude, see if you can get some yeast! :D
 
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stormtracker

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Ok I made my purchase tonight from Northern Brewer for bulk ingredients. 2 Tripels and 2 Quadrupels. $173 shipped + $26 for 7 ounces of Styrian Goldings at my local LHBS. Bought him out basically.

That equals $50 per brew. I did invest in the fancy sugars.

$50 for aprox. 20 + 750 ml bottles. $2.50 a bottle .. Woooo hooooo!

Im easily spending between $8 - $10 per bottle for good Belgian Beer.

There are 3 of us in our office that I have basically enslaved. Between us we easily drink 4 or 5 bottles per day. So basically we are going broke spending $40 a day on beer.

If we can cut it down to 1 bottle per day per person this will last us a month easily.
 

DeathBrewer

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awesome. just remember, this beer needs to spend a lot of time in the primary and secondary and even more time in the bottles...so you won't save money for a while. but hell, by the time you drink it, it'll seem free! :D

what yeast did you decide on? be sure to make AT LEAST a 2 liter starter. Mr. Malty actually recommends 3.63L with 1 vial and intermittent shaking (this is what i will be doing.) and aerate the sh!t outta that sonuvabiatch.

i should be able to free up some space over the next couple of weeks to get this in the fermenter. i'll let you know how it goes :mug:
 
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stormtracker

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DeathBrewer said:
awesome. just remember, this beer needs to spend a lot of time in the primary and secondary and even more time in the bottles...so you won't save money for a while. but hell, by the time you drink it, it'll seem free! :D

what yeast did you decide on? be sure to make AT LEAST a 2 liter starter. Mr. Malty actually recommends 3.63L with 1 vial and intermittent shaking (this is what i will be doing.) and aerate the sh!t outta that sonuvabiatch.

i should be able to free up some space over the next couple of weeks to get this in the fermenter. i'll let you know how it goes :mug:

I chose one of the Ardeness at your recommendation and an Abbey II for the second batch.

For the Tripel I have an Abbey and an Abbey II.

I got the smack packs. Are you saying other than activating them and pitching them I should do something in addition to that?
 

DeathBrewer

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Yes, you HAVE to make a starter. There is not enough yeast in this smack pack to handle that high gravity a beer.

here's how you go about it:

1. boil 1/2 cup of DME (light would be fine) in 2 cups of water for about 10 minutes, then cool to room temperature
2. sanitize a small vessel (i use a 1L flask) and dump it in. add sanitized water to make 800mL.
3. add your yeast (which should also be at room temp), cover with aluminum foil and shake for a day or two.
4. this is then ready to pour into your wort.
5. do this again, but use 1 cup of DME and a larger vessel (2L flask)
5a. if you want, you can put it in the fridge for a day after it's done fermenting. that way you can pour off all the liquid and not have it in your wort (pouring pretty much only the yeast)

let me know if you have any questions.

EDIT: read more in the wiki here
 
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