Belgian Dark Strong Ale Westvleteren 12 Clone - Multiple Award Winner

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
223
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark


I could not help myself and did a gravity measurement almost every day.. It went from 1.089 to 1.010 in six days, which gives an ABV of approx. 11 %. I am happy I did a big starter with servomyces in both starter and wort, I guess yeast health must have been good.

The taste on day six is a pretty strong alcohol flavor, but no unpleasant flavors. I really love the flavor of this yeast.. Before I have used it in Leffe Blonde clones at 17-19 C, but now at 19-28 C it has a very different and delicious profile.

I guess I have to wait for Christmas to drink this one, which will be hard with my impatience.. Will definitely swap a few bottles with you Mocda :mug:

How did it turn out with the dansukker sirup?
 

Jcpilot

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2014
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Location
Lafayette
I collected 300 ml of slurry from the krausen capture jar and added it back to the fermenter. Next time I will use a larger container.

IMG_7949.jpg
 

Gritsak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
601
Reaction score
16
In a genius move i bought all belgian pale malt instead of pilsen. Anyone brew this with 100% belgian pale?
 

Bottoms_Up

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
385
Reaction score
75
Location
Ontario, Canada
I collected 300 ml of slurry from the krausen capture jar and added it back to the fermenter. Next time I will use a larger container.
You might also want to consider lifting the collection bucket higher than the level of the wort. I've said this numerous times but nobody listens. Simple physics - make the overflow work uphill rather than downhill.
 

HausBrauerei_Harvey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2014
Messages
833
Reaction score
284
Location
Golden
I just thought others would be interested in hearing the results of a Quad tasting I did including this brew at my local brew club meeting last week.

Last week I opened my last bottle of westy 12 to share with my home-brew club. It was aged 6 years and I purchased it at the monistary when I lived in Germany. We compared the well-aged westy to this brew, which I made two years ago and cellered since then. We also compared to some other trappist quads, rochefort 10, chimay blue, and some american commercial versions. This clone was far and away the closest to the real westy and also the second-best tasting quad of the night.

This is an awesome recipe and I plan to brew it again soon, if only to keep my cellar well stocked. :)

Thanks to all for the great development of this recipe!
 

jtp137

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
616
Reaction score
92
Location
Pittsburgh
Just brewed my second batch of this and I'm hoping I solved my attenuation issue from my first batch. I started yeast banking and stepped up 1,000 billion cells of Wyeast 3787 from a slant for an 11 gallon batch. The second day of fermentation has been very aggressive and I had a chance to try out my krausen capture device. I need a bigger jar! I'm going to bottle condition this batch and let it age for eight months before trying one. This batch tested the limits of my mash tun.

Did you solve the fermentation issue
 

Jcpilot

Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2014
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Location
Lafayette
Did you solve the fermentation issue
Despite pitching 1 trillion cells and adding 700 ml of captured slurry back into the fermenter it stalled at 1.018. I propagated more yeast and pitched it and it's been bubbling for three days now. I'll take a gravity reading today and see where it is. The lessons learned are plenty of head space for this brew, and a larger capture system.
 

jtp137

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
616
Reaction score
92
Location
Pittsburgh
Despite pitching 1 trillion cells and adding 700 ml of captured slurry back into the fermenter it stalled at 1.018. I propagated more yeast and pitched it and it's been bubbling for three days now. I'll take a gravity reading today and see where it is. The lessons learned are plenty of head space for this brew, and a larger capture system.

I had similar experience damn this yeast I switched to wlp500 it taste a little different but it ferments down for me
 

ten80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
590
Reaction score
237
Location
Anchorage
...The lessons learned are plenty of head space for this brew, and a larger capture system.
After reading all of this, I'm planning a 6-gal batch in a 7.5-gal carboy, hopefully there will be no yeast lost to blowoff!
 

brew_darrymore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
346
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
After reading all of this, I'm planning a 6-gal batch in a 7.5-gal carboy, hopefully there will be no yeast lost to blowoff!
I don't think that's enough headspace. I have brewed this recipe three times and I've had three blowoffs. Every time I've brewed.

4 gallon batches in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy.
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
223
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Despite pitching 1 trillion cells and adding 700 ml of captured slurry back into the fermenter it stalled at 1.018. I propagated more yeast and pitched it and it's been bubbling for three days now. I'll take a gravity reading today and see where it is. The lessons learned are plenty of head space for this brew, and a larger capture system.

Seems like something is going wrong for you despite your extreme measures with the yeast.

Fermentation temp controlled effectively?
Any doubt on your mash temp?
 

duelerx

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
167
Reaction score
36
Does this yeast benefits of open fermentation?, i've heard pressure sensitive yeast stall at some gravity if using closed fermentation.
 

Gritsak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2009
Messages
601
Reaction score
16
Brewed this with 100% belgian pale malt and d180 7 days ago. Somehow undershot the gravity and started at 1.082. It's down to 1.014 now with still lots of activity, so i'm hoping it will drop another point or two. Taste is a little hot right now but good. I did a 6g batch that i'm planning to split 1/2 normal and 1/2 aged on sour cherries.
 

hobbybob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2013
Messages
47
Reaction score
19
Location
de Westereen
well had another bottle of my brew3 ( brewed @ 04-23-2016 ) and it's a amasing beer best one I ever brewed, mine will enter competition may 2017 when it's 12 monts old:D

Will brew another batch end 2016
 

Drynk

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2013
Messages
10
Reaction score
1
I have a problem with mine, i brewed it early october, og 1,093 it started fermenting well but the fermentation stucked at 1,040.
I brewed something else to to rack the stuck brew on the new yeast cake but, when fermentation slowed and i checked my gravity the beer was all ropy, it was the second time it happened to me in almost 20 years of fermenting things, did not know what it was and did not know much about internet the first time it happened. This time i did some research, learned it is a bacteria called Pediococus, it is used in purpose in some sour beers, produce lactic acids and some smells and flavors that can be pretty hard to describe in words. I've added some brett in this new beer and set it aside to forget it hopefully it will turn good or better in a few or several month.
Meanwhile i got a hold of 3787 yeast, added a bit of amylase, some nutriments roused the yeast to no avail, and tought about that infection (i take care to sanitize my stuff well so it made me think about it).

I brewed another batch with 3787 to try to restart fermentation. In 2 days fermentation went from 1,048 to 1.002. Day 5 i racked it and increased the temperature to 80f, wich was the temperature the yeast just fermented the last beer, the stuck beer was at 70 and took a day to heat up. When racking i found that the Westy 12 clone is now smelling sour and tasting a bit sour and horseish, but can't say if it's good or will be because it' way too sweet and the sweetness does not fit with the other flavors.

I know something else now, this one got pediococus in it too, and there is one place where it can come if i put it in 2 brews in a row and if it is my yeast, its a starter i stepped up from a bottle took almost a week to get enough yeast it may have gotten infected in that time, still have some left i think i'll keep it and label it as home pediococcus might be interesting later on.

Back to the stuck Westy 12 a week later it's still at 1,040. I'm wondering how come it did not ferment more, my only guess is that it's too acidic for the saccharomyces, sure there was a big lot of healthy yeast and should be enough nutriment, sugar should be fermentable too i did step mash with glucan, protein rest (i had a lot of unmalted grains)then 2 hour at 144 before climbing up staying for 20 min at 165 then mash out i also added a bit of amylase enzyme 2 or 3 weeks before racking just in case i've been wrong.

Wondering what to do next, i tought of 3 options to save it as a brew:
1-Make a third fermentartation restarter brew but this time with wlp 099,
2-pitch some orval dregs in and hope time and brett will do the job,
3-Same than 1 but with brett since there is still a lot left to ferment, or maybe i can top crop a good quantity of brett if i primary ferment a brew with it, i heard it ferment pretty fast but does not attenuate as much as brett in secondary but i've never been there...

I still need to brew a quad with that, my good ol 54l Damme Jeanne died in the process and i can't replace her so i now need a conical :(
 

ten80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
590
Reaction score
237
Location
Anchorage
I don't think that's enough headspace. I have brewed this recipe three times and I've had three blowoffs. Every time I've brewed.

4 gallon batches in a 6.5 gallon glass carboy.
I now see why everyone has trouble with blowoffs. I brewed 2.5 gallons of 1.056 "starter" beer (extract mini-mash) and pitched two packets of 3787 at about 70 F. 24 hours later the krausen has reached the top of the 5-gal carboy! The krausen only subsided after some vigorous swirling and chilling of the carboy down to 56 F. I'll ramp up the temperature slowly back to the mid 70's so that the yeast finishes out the starter.

I've never seen krausen this voluminous before. All of the yeast appeared to be suspended in the krausen as there was none at all on the bottom of the fermenter. I suspect that the generous 8-oz additions of flaked wheat and flaked oats contributed foam-forming proteins to the krausen.

20161228_201747_resized.jpg
 

catdaddy66

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
3,837
Reaction score
2,070
Location
Lugoff
Just pitched a 2L starter into 5 gallons this am. I brewed this a second time because the first came out SO good! I used the simpler grain bill (recipe 1) and hit my numbers on pre and post boil OG. Sample tasted great so we will see how this does in the next 2-3 weeks.
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
223
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
@susiQ I am going to brew this on Saturday with 100% Weyermann Pilsner and the Dansukker Mørk Sirup. I had to use two flasks to grow up enough yeast! Hah!

Anyone have thoughts on this?
"Stan Hieronymus, in his book “Brew Like a Monk,” tells of the method of Tomme Arthur (of Pizza Port in Solana Beach, California) where he states that he tends to overpitch and underoxygenate to bring out the flavors in his Belgian influenced ales."
source: http://byo.com/malt/item/1664-yeast-strains-for-belgian-strong-ales
 

ten80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
590
Reaction score
237
Location
Anchorage
.... he states that he tends to overpitch and underoxygenate to bring out the flavors in his Belgian influenced ales."
source: ....[/url]
I just did something like this.

Here's my process: pitched an active 1.5 gallon starter (2 packs of yeast) into 6-gal of 1.094 wort at 65F, aerated for 3 hours using an aquarium pump, then let it ferment at room temp (60F) for a week. Slowly ramped to 75F from day 7 to 10 and now I'm at a happy 1.010. No drama, just a tad of blowoff in my 8.5-gallon fermenter.

Just tasted a sample from the fermenter yesterday and there are some light banana notes with some typical Belgian yeast esters expected from this yeast. I think that even 3 hours of aeration (with a cheap, very coarse aeration stone) would be considered "under-oxygenating" for such a high starting gravity, especially given that aeration is not as effective as oxygenation with pure oxygen. The banana is a little strong for the style but should mellow a bit with some warm conditioning prior to bottling. I do remember Jamil Zainasheff stating something about increased production of banana flavors by Belgian yeast at cold temperatures.
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
223
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Yeah, 60F is pretty low. I am going to do 2 days at 18C (64F) and ramp a degree each day or so up to maybe 27C (81F) and hold there until completion.
 

ten80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
590
Reaction score
237
Location
Anchorage
Low indeed, but I needed to keep the krausen under control because I didn't have time to capture blow-off yeast to put it back into the fermenter. I thought about adding anti-foaming agent, however I try to avoid adding synthetic chemicals (i.e., polydimethylsiloxane) to my beers.

The yeast chugged through the beer in about 9 days below 70 F without stalling. Probably because I pitched the 1.5 gal starter when it was very active. The starter was at about 1.030 when I pitched it and originally began at about 1.055.
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
223
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Well for the record, Dansukker Mørk Sirup is not dark enough -- mine is going to be a Golden Very Strong.
I pitched 450-500b very fresh WLP530, though not at krausen, into 15L of 1.089. Let's see what kind of mess it makes!
 

brew_darrymore

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2014
Messages
346
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
Fortunately, I left it lots of headspace. I did dose it with a fair amount of simethicone
You're right about the colour, not dark at all, but who cares, you'll end up with a great beer.

I see the fermentation is past its peak as well; I also get these tiny streaks near the surface of yeast dropping back. I only get them when using WLP530.
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
223
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
You're right about the colour, not dark at all, but who cares, you'll end up with a great beer.

I see the fermentation is past its peak as well; I also get these tiny streaks near the surface of yeast dropping back. I only get them when using WLP530.
Cool, thanks. I swirled the carboy in order to get that thick, sticky krausen yeast back down into the beer but overnight it grew back up again. :D:rockin:
 

BrewerDon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2011
Messages
110
Reaction score
14
Location
Dallas
My fermentation frig is under repair so I am using my janky old fermentation box. But, what I want to show in the included picture is a method for capturing blow off yeast. Since the yeast for this recipe always seems to come out the top I rigged up a way to capture the blown off yeast so that I can reintroduce it after the krausen falls. It seems to be working. Nothing fancy, just 2 caps, a hose, and the flask that I use to make yeast starters. Since there is headspace between the wort and the tube I don't have to worry about keeping the flask higher than the level of the wort. The tubes wanted to slide off of the cap so I attached a little painters tape to hold them on. You can't see it in the picture but the tube is forced on over the cap ports. I did NOT put tape of the carboy cap so that if the hose does clog, the cap will blow off. Yeast comes out the top of the carboy, through the tube, and into the flask. The CO2 escapes through the airlock on top of the flask.

BlowOff2.jpg
 

BrewerDon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2011
Messages
110
Reaction score
14
Location
Dallas
I attached a picture to my previous post but I don't see it. Anyone know what I did wrong?
 

Mer-man

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
867
Reaction score
223
Location
Copenhagen, Denmark
Oh I'm not complaining. I'm just saying that it never gets that cheap, so good clones like this one by CSI are totally worth doing
 

catdaddy66

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
3,837
Reaction score
2,070
Location
Lugoff
I have said many times that my chances of getting to Belgium are very remote. Now I realize that even if I get there I probably can't afford more than two.

Making this recipe seems smarter every time I make it!
 
Top