Belgian Dark Strong Ale Westvleteren 12 Clone - Multiple Award Winner

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Elkaybay

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I always repitch now, after one batch that didn't carbonate after several months in the bottle. It's cheap insurance.
Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I'll repitch a bit of yeast when bottling.

Is it safe to use crown caps 33cl bottles this way (like for the original Westvleteren)?
 

Kee

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Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I'll repitch a bit of yeast when bottling.

Is it safe to use crown caps 33cl bottles this way (like for the original Westvleteren)?
Are those standard size? I'm sure someone here knows. I use an assortment of Belgian bottles of that size from different brands and they all work well with standard caps.
 

Bottoms_Up

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Are those standard size? I'm sure someone here knows. I use an assortment of Belgian bottles of that size from different brands and they all work well with standard caps.
I used an assortment of bottles, but mostly Grolsch snap top bottles. They work very well, even after a year and a half.
 

Kee

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I used an assortment of bottles, but mostly Grolsch snap top bottles. They work very well, even after a year and a half.
I usually use an assortment. Some small bottles I cap. Some pint flip top. Some 750 ml Belgian bottles that I cork. I think that it's personal preference. I feel more secure with corked bottles (Belgian corks) with wire cages, but all of the above will work.
 

brew_darrymore

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I used an assortment of bottles, but mostly Grolsch snap top bottles
My choice of bottles as well, Grolsch swing tops. Easy to package and last a long time. Oldest batch is 1.5 years old and I still get gushers due to over-carbonation.
 

Mocda

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I am well aware of the WY3787 and/or WLP530 recommended using with this brew, but as i stumbled upon this dry yeast called "SAFBREW BE-256" (earlier called Safbrew Abbaye as i understand it) I could not help but wondering if any of you fine people out there has tried this yeast with this brew?
Just thinking that dry yeast is alot easier to work with, but not convinced, so wanted to check with you experienced guys for input.

I am planning on doing this brew soon, so I do not want to ruin it with a "bad" yeast, so any input/experience will be most welcome.

Link for product spec: http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Safbrew-BE-256-en.pdf
 

tellyho

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Can't imagine you could ruin this recipe. Always used 530 myself , but I would totally try the SAF yeast. You can always split a batch and try both.
 

jtp137

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Can't imagine you could ruin this recipe. Always used 530 myself , but I would totally try the SAF yeast. You can always split a batch and try both.

Try it report back it would be nice to make an awesome dark strong with dry yeast next to bottling making yeast starters is my least favorite De Struise uses T-58 for panepot and it rocks
 

Mocda

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See your points there. My problem is that I have no reference point regarding taste, so I will not know if this yeast produces some off-flavors of any kind.

First time I am going to try this and had to get the syrup from afar since there are no dealers of these products here in Norway. Would hate to ruin the brew, but would love to be able to use dry yeast though.

If I decide to try, it is still a year of lagering before we would know the result on how it tastes, right? Would make a long wait, but I am seriously considering it because of ease of use.

Would love to hear from anyone else if you have any more input on this matter😊
 

Kee

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See your points there. My problem is that I have no reference point regarding taste, so I will not know if this yeast produces some off-flavors of any kind.

First time I am going to try this and had to get the syrup from afar since there are no dealers of these products here in Norway. Would hate to ruin the brew, but would love to be able to use dry yeast though.

If I decide to try, it is still a year of lagering before we would know the result on how it tastes, right? Would make a long wait, but I am seriously considering it because of ease of use.

Would love to hear from anyone else if you have any more input on this matter😊
I don't know the yeast you mentioned, but using other than the recommended yeast is a major departure from the recipe that could really impact the flavor. Exactly how that would work out, who knows?

As far as aging, CSI and others recommend a year (or more!) but you will have a terrific beer long before that. I always try at least a bottle every month or two to see how it's coming along. It does keep getting better and better.
 

tellyho

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It's true. The yeast character really doesn't come through until after month 6 or so - flavor of the Candi syrup dominates.
 

BrewerDon

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The recipe found in the first post of this thread says that the IBUs = 36.
My software comes up with a different number but that could be due to my settings.

I'm curious. Does this 36 IBUs calculation take into account that the syrup is added at the end of the boil. The choice to add syrup at the beginning versus the end will affect the final IBUs.

Thanks!
 

cyanmonkey

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The recipe found in the first post of this thread says that the IBUs = 36.
My software comes up with a different number but that could be due to my settings.

I'm curious. Does this 36 IBUs calculation take into account that the syrup is added at the end of the boil. The choice to add syrup at the beginning versus the end will affect the final IBUs.

Thanks!
It could, but I'm guessing AA% variation is more at play than wort isomerization.
 

BrewerDon

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It could, but I'm guessing AA% variation is more at play than wort isomerization.
No, it's not AA% variation. With my software, I entered the same AA% as the recipe on the first post with the O.G. set to 1.090 like in the recipe.

If the D-180 is added at the beginning of the boil I get 36.7 IBUs. If it is added at the end of the boil I get 40.6 IBUs.

If you are trying to clone a recipe and you know the IBUs of the recipe you are cloning I would think that you would want to take this into consideration.

4 IBUs is substantial enough be considered when formulating a recipe.
 

cyanmonkey

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No, it's not AA% variation. With my software, I entered the same AA% as the recipe on the first post with the O.G. set to 1.090 like in the recipe.



If the D-180 is added at the beginning of the boil I get 36.7 IBUs. If it is added at the end of the boil I get 40.6 IBUs.



If you are trying to clone a recipe and you know the IBUs of the recipe you are cloning I would think that you would want to take this into consideration.



4 IBUs is substantial enough be considered when formulating a recipe.

Well then I suppose your answer is a difference of isomerization with a higher gravity wort.
 

BrewerDon

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Well then I suppose your answer is a difference of isomerization with a higher gravity wort.
Yes, that has been my point all along.

But what I have been trying to get at is this:
Is the recipe shooting for 36 or 40 IBUs?
The description says 36 IBUs but based on the instructions (to dump the syrup at the end of the boil) it is actually yielding 40 IBUs.
 

hobbybob

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Brewed a 11 gallon batch of this recipe yesterday ended up with 1092.
Now fermentation is going for the moon man I used 530 many times before but I never saw/heard this :)
 

mclaughlindw4

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Yes, that has been my point all along.

But what I have been trying to get at is this:
Is the recipe shooting for 36 or 40 IBUs?
The description says 36 IBUs but based on the instructions (to dump the syrup at the end of the boil) it is actually yielding 40 IBUs.
I really wouldn't be worried myself over 4 IBUs. You have a huge beer that your going to age for a year, you're not going to notice the difference. Regardless if you go with the calculated 36 or the 40, you're not actually going to get that anyways. To many other factors like boil intensity and wort composition, etc. Not to mention, I don't know that the %AA on the bags are really that accurate anyways.

All that being said, I would guess that the recipe is set up to be 36 and that it has taken into account the post boil addition. Perhaps you have a different volume of pre boil wort that is causing the difference. Or perhaps you are using different formulas.

Personally I would shoot for the 36.
 

hobbybob

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I went for 40 IBU, it's a strong beer so it can handle some IBU.
Added the candy-syrup at the end off the boil.

Fermentation is slowing down rapidly temp now is 77 F
 

mbbransc

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There are a couple of factors that have affected our head retention in the past, (we corrected them early on):

Too much protease creation from stressed yeast or using a yeast cake as the pitch, (the most common cause).
Remedy: Use krausen with good counts for pitching in high ABV recipes.

High production of fusels due to fermentation temps above 84-85F
Remedy: Keep primary temps controlled at or around 80-81F in the Westy clone.

Other factors might be surfactants (soaps mentioned above), low protein grist, acidity problems (< pH 5.0), and mashing too low (below 144F).

Just my .02
This is coming back around on my brew calendar soon so I wanted to touch on this head issue again. I have the same problem with a dubbel I brewed (CSI's Rochefort 8 recipe) last year, even though it just took 3rd in a contest last weekend.

This time, I'd planned on brewing a 1.064 dubbel and using the yeast cake for the Westy XII recipe. Sounds like you think that's a bad idea?

I plan to pitch around 65° and not let it over 70° for the first day or two, and then let it go how ever high it wants. Sounds like I'll cap that at 80°.

I mashed this last time at 148°, and planned similarly this time.

I generally need to add 0.25# acid malt to my light mashes to get it down in the 5.3-5.4 pH range. <5.0 shouldn't be an option here with an all pils & pale mash.

Thanks CSI!
 

hobbybob

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After 4 days it's @ 80F still a bubble every 5 to 8 sec.

When using yeastcake be sure not to pitch too much that will give the most problems ( pitching too much yeast cake ) with head problems
 

mclaughlindw4

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For a 5 gallon batch you need about 300 ml thick slurry
I'm making 5.5 this weekend. I'm gonna use about 300 mL slurry harvested from a patersbier I made.

I'm gonna make a Small 1 liter starter in the morning and pitch at night. Not looking for growth, just getting the yeast a kick start. This is what I did last time and it seemed to work well (although my beer has no head, but that could be a different problem).

It's the best I can do to make up for the not krausening thing.

Are they any flaws in this plan?
 

mbbransc

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I'm making 5.5 this weekend. I'm gonna use about 300 mL slurry harvested from a patersbier I made.

I'm gonna make a Small 1 liter starter in the morning and pitch at night. Not looking for growth, just getting the yeast a kick start. This is what I did last time and it seemed to work well (although my beer has no head, but that could be a different problem).

It's the best I can do to make up for the not krausening thing.

Are they any flaws in this plan?
HAHA!! This is exactly what I'm trying to fix!! My Belgian beers fizzle out like a soda!
 

hobbybob

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Could be a fermantation temp problem don't go over 69F in the first 48 hours
After that you're safe to reach the 80F

The way I harvest yeast cakes:

- catch the cake in a large bottle ( I use a 2 ltr bottle)
- Leave it in the bottle for about 20 minutes
- gently pour it over to a jar or bottle, beshure it's full
 

hobbybob

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Update:

Messured it's @10,8 brix thats 1012 dropping back temperture now to 68F ( from 80F) for 2 days then will go back to 50F for 5 days and then bottling.
 

hobbybob

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I'm making 5.5 this weekend. I'm gonna use about 300 mL slurry harvested from a patersbier I made.

I'm gonna make a Small 1 liter starter in the morning and pitch at night. Not looking for growth, just getting the yeast a kick start. This is what I did last time and it seemed to work well (although my beer has no head, but that could be a different problem).

It's the best I can do to make up for the not krausening thing.

Are they any flaws in this plan?
Well in my experience your 1 liter starter will be overkrausing within 1 hour.

Here's what I always do:

When starting to boil I get my slurry out of the cooler.

Leave it on the sink, after cooling down the wort I catch 1/2 liter off the cooled down wort.

Decant the slurry and add the 1/2 liter wort and shake the suspension.

Then add it all to the fermentor.

Mostly at the end off the boil my slurry is already awake on the kitchen sink. ( depends how old the slurry is )
 

mclaughlindw4

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Well in my experience your 1 liter starter will be overkrausing within 1 hour.

Here's what I always do:

When starting to boil I get my slurry out of the cooler.

Leave it on the sink, after cooling down the wort I catch 1/2 liter off the cooled down wort.

Decant the slurry and add the 1/2 liter wort and shake the suspension.

Then add it all to the fermentor.

Mostly at the end off the boil my slurry is already awake on the kitchen sink. ( depends how old the slurry is )
Good point. Here's what I'll do. I'm still going to "wake" the starter up with starter wort, but I'll just give it an hour or so instead of half a day.
 

mclaughlindw4

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Should have gone with my original plan. Yeast could have used 8 hours or so. Here is what the portion leftover that I am saving looked like the following morning.

This is what I wanted to pitch, instead I pitched just barely waking up yeast.

View attachment 1462128397077.jpg
 

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The worst part of brewing this beer is the wait! So I didn't...:D

I ended up with a full 5G keg plus 2+G in a second keg, so I put the second one on gas and am sampling over time to see if it changes. It is really good and I am expecting it to just get better. Complex, tasty, with a kick! I will be patient with the main keg and will let that sit for at least 60 days as 45-50F before carbing, but I am really glad to be getting into this beer a little early!! Cheers!
 

Kee

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The worst part of brewing this beer is the wait! So I didn't...:D

I ended up with a full 5G keg plus 2+G in a second keg, so I put the second one on gas and am sampling over time to see if it changes. It is really good and I am expecting it to just get better. Complex, tasty, with a kick! I will be patient with the main keg and will let that sit for at least 60 days as 45-50F before carbing, but I am really glad to be getting into this beer a little early!! Cheers!
I admire brewers that can put a whole batch away for a year before taking a sample. I've never been able to do that. So I finally starting brewing this recipe over and over. It's really nice to have many batches of different ages to compare.
 

Bottoms_Up

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I admire brewers that can put a whole batch away for a year before taking a sample. I've never been able to do that. So I finally starting brewing this recipe over and over. It's really nice to have many batches of different ages to compare.
You can have it both ways. I bottled mine, and every month or two I sample a bottle. I bottled mine almost a year and a half ago, and still have lots of bottles. I plan to drink another bottle every month or two, but leave the rest for at least two years. There was a very noticeable improvement after a year.
 
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Hi, I have been brewing saq's and CSI's recipe for the Westy 12 clone from back when it was revision 001a. I like the Chimay yeast for this however. I must say I'm a bit intrigued by the latest rev to CSI's recipe.

Anyway, my homebrew club is looking to do another whiskey barrel project, and we have voted to do a Quad. I might be considered the Quad expert in my club. I'm not sure how I feel about an oaky Quad, but I'm willing to experiment. Can anyone provide any suggestions or tips specific to barrel aging a Quad? Aside from my concerns about this being a lot of the team's first quad, I've never done a barrel quad before.

This will be a fresh barrel donated by a local distillery. About 11 of us will be brewing 5 or 10g batches to fill & top up a 50g oak whisky barrel.

I was wondering if we'd secondary in the barrel, or let everyone lager it for two months before we put it in the barrel. With a fresh barrel, I don't think we can leave it in there very long before we have to take it back out.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
 

mbbransc

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I don't have experience barreling beers, especially full size bourbon barrel (53 or 55 gallons), but I enjoy barrel aged quads. Check out Boulevard's BBQ for a reference. Locally, Olde Hickory recently release Magnus Caralus, another bourbon barreled quad which I really loved.

I would ferment like normal and secondary in the barrel. Being fresh, you're probably right, it won't take so long. But I think most breweries still go for at least 4-6 months in fresh barrels.
 

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Hi, I have been brewing saq's and CSI's recipe for the Westy 12 clone from back when it was revision 001a. I like the Chimay yeast for this however. I must say I'm a bit intrigued by the latest rev to CSI's recipe.

Anyway, my homebrew club is looking to do another whiskey barrel project, and we have voted to do a Quad. I might be considered the Quad expert in my club. I'm not sure how I feel about an oaky Quad, but I'm willing to experiment. Can anyone provide any suggestions or tips specific to barrel aging a Quad? Aside from my concerns about this being a lot of the team's first quad, I've never done a barrel quad before.

This will be a fresh barrel donated by a local distillery. About 11 of us will be brewing 5 or 10g batches to fill & top up a 50g oak whisky barrel.

I was wondering if we'd secondary in the barrel, or let everyone lager it for two months before we put it in the barrel. With a fresh barrel, I don't think we can leave it in there very long before we have to take it back out.

Any help is greatly appreciated.
Haven't read it yet but the new Zymurgy has a cover story on barrel aging beer!
 

mclaughlindw4

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Weyerbacher makes a barrel aged quad. Not sure if you can get those. It could give you an idea of what one might taste like.
 

wyowolf

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Brewed this last night, all went well except I only got 1.070 :( efficiency issues :(. Hopefully will turn out well, I did get about 6+ gallons into the fermentor though.

Does everyone bottle this? or just keg it? I havent bottled in awhile now and was thinking of just leaving this in a keg in the basement?
 
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