Belgian Dark Strong Ale Westvleteren 12 Clone - Multiple Award Winner

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GnenieGone

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Just tasting mine for the first time in the keg since Sept last year. Not bad, still seems a little under carbed though. What are you guys running for c02 pressure? I around 30lbs and still not bubbly enough for my palette.
That doesn't seem right to me. Sure you don't have a keg leak? I don't run anymore then 9-11psi for any beer.
 

ThatVideoKid

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Just tasting mine for the first time in the keg since Sept last year. Not bad, still seems a little under carbed though. What are you guys running for c02 pressure? I around 30lbs and still not bubbly enough for my palette.
What temperature are you at? At 38F that would be like 4.3 volumes... which seems like more than enough to me!

Any chance your gauge is borked? How fast in the beer flowing from the tap? Should be pretty darn fast if its actually at 30psi.
 

jturman35

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Seems like my gauge is a little off, beer comes out very fast of picnic tap. Could pouring too fast causing half glass of foam knock out some of the carbonation? 9-11psi on my set up would yield under carbonated beer on any of my 5 kegs.
 

ThatVideoKid

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Seems like my gauge is a little off, beer comes out very fast of picnic tap. Could pouring too fast causing half glass of foam knock out some of the carbonation? 9-11psi on my set up would yield under carbonated beer on any of my 5 kegs.
Yeah that can knock down a lot of carbonation. I mimic nitro by aggressively pouring the first half pint of stout.

I'd set it to 12-15psi, release the extra pressure in the keg, and try gently pouring a beer to see how the carbonation is. Also of note that the first ~4-6oz (depending on line type and diameter) may be undercarbed as line beer sometimes seems to foam up more or just lose carbonation in general.
 

ThatVideoKid

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And yeah, I'd say 9-11psi would be undercarbed for belgians (and for me personally, a lot of styles) as that would only give you ~2.25 volumes at 38F.

Especially for first pours of the day where its generally a touch less carbonated due to foaming.
 

Corey22

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Hello all! Frustrating problem I need some help with.

This was my 2nd batch I've made, I made the Centennial Blonde first.

BOTH reached 1.002 FG, which neither is supposed to go that low. There's no off flavors or scents, and they taste and look fine, but are super low.

The equipment is used from a good friend, but he's never used Brett, and never had my issue. I use PBW and star san, and I even soaked everything in a strong bleach solution solution for an hour, then obviously rinsed and sanitized again before using.

For this recipe, I used the Saq version with additional adjuncts, did a large 3.2L starter, and oxygenated (boiled the stone and tubing), and mashed (on accident) a little lower at 147F.

My og was low at 1.074 but not awful.

After 7 days of vigorous fermentation it sat at 1.013 and I racked to secondary. I had extra that didn't fit in my main fermenter, so I used a smaller 1gal carboy and racked half a gallon into there.

As an experiment I decided to bottle that half gal after 2 weeks when the main batch was dropping to 50F. I took the SG and it was 1.000

I'm almost certain I'm using the hydrometer correct, and the OG readings are correct.

What could be going wrong, or where would an infection (?) Come from. Both my beers did this with no bad smell or off flavors. Definitely taste dry though.
 

Corey22

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You say your friend didn't use any brett.
What yeast(s) did he use before you took over the equipment?
Any Diastaticus strains like Bell Saison for example?
Sorry, forgot to include that as well. He only ever made stouts, and IPAs, and he says he never used any weird strains... but he may not know that he used a diast. strain. He also says he's never had a beer go that low, but has had under attenuated beers before - like most people at some point.
Can you get/borrow a different hydrometer and check the gravity again?
I can find that. It reads 1.000 for distilled/RO water though, and it also read perfectly on target for the Blonde.
 

Kee

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Sorry, forgot to include that as well. He only ever made stouts, and IPAs, and he says he never used any weird strains... but he may not know that he used a diast. strain. He also says he's never had a beer go that low, but has had under attenuated beers before - like most people at some point.


I can find that. It reads 1.000 for distilled/RO water though, and it also read perfectly on target for the Blonde.
What yeast did you use when your final gravity was 1.002?
 

Oldskewl

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I fought an issue like this after using Saison yeasts. But the mild bleach solutions solved the problems. Did you soak everything in the bleach solution or replace?(i.e. tubing, transfer valves, racking arm/siphon, starter flask, bottling bucket, etc.)
 

Corey22

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I fought an issue like this after using Saison yeasts. But the mild bleach solutions solved the problems. Did you soak everything in the bleach solution or replace?(i.e. tubing, transfer valves, racking arm/siphon, starter flask, bottling bucket, etc.)
I soaked everything, but didn't replace anything.
 

brewNYC

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Using distilled, the lowest I can get the mash PH is 5.58 with a reasonable amount of salts. Has anyone used lactic acid with this recepie? I use it often with saisons, but I’m a little afraid it may add a tangy flavor here, which would not go well with a plummy, malty beer..
 

BrewingAroundtheRrealm

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Using distilled, the lowest I can get the mash PH is 5.58 with a reasonable amount of salts. Has anyone used lactic acid with this recepie? I use it often with saisons, but I’m a little afraid it may add a tangy flavor here, which would not go well with a plummy, malty beer..
The tiny amount of lactic acid you would need to get down to 5.4 will not affect the flavor of the final beer.
 

brewNYC

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Noticed the OP ages this at 50F after a couple of weeks. Wondering if that’s too cold?

I’m planning to let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks to clean up, then age in a keg with O2 purged out. I’m thinking more like “cellar” temp of 58-60, rather than 50F. What temp do you guys usually shoot for?
 

Kee

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Noticed the OP ages this at 50F after a couple of weeks. Wondering if that’s too cold?

I’m planning to let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks to clean up, then age in a keg with O2 purged out. I’m thinking more like “cellar” temp of 58-60, rather than 50F. What temp do you guys usually shoot for?
The chemical reactions needed for aging, in my way of thinking would occur slower at colder temperatures. Or maybe that's just my justification for aging at room temperatures. 58-60 sounds more reasonable than 50, unless someone is aging beer for a long, long time.
 

Bobo1898

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I’m planning to let it sit in the primary for 3 weeks to clean up, then age in a keg with O2 purged out. I’m thinking more like “cellar” temp of 58-60, rather than 50F. What temp do you guys usually shoot for?
With Wyeast 3787, I start at 68 and get it up towards 85 within a week. If the gravity proves terminal by day 10 or 11, then I let it naturally drop to room temp and let it sit for a week or two. So by week three or four, I'll slowly bring it down to 50. Then it'll age at that temp for 8 weeks. After those 8 weeks, I'll let it work it's way back up to room temp, which is about a week. Then I'll bottle condition at room temp for 6 months minimum--it's actually really fascinating to try bottles over the course of the year because the beer really takes a journey. I think a year is the recommendation and I think that is when it has been around it's best for me--definitely around a year but I've had some good ones as early as 8 months.

The reason I do 50 is because that's what Westvleteren does, according to Brew Like a Monk. I understood it was to drop the yeast out from primary. St. Bernardus may do 45 degrees (and maybe a shorter time). But Rochefort 10 is 7 days for primary and 3 days at 46 and then bottles for 6 weeks and Westmalle Dubbel's secondary is six weeks at 46. Obviously different yeast is at play (Westmalle and Westvleteren are supposed to be the same yeast).
 
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jturman35

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Anyone have suggestions for bottling from a Keg using a beer gun? Last time i tried bottling i got foam for days. I turned down co2 and froze bottles and still had half bottle of foam. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
 

Uranus_Sun_1

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Grist/Fermentables
----------------------------------
8.00 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Belgian (2.0 SRM)
7.00 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) Belgian (3.0 SRM)
2.50 lbs D-180 Candi Syrup (180.0 SRM)

Mash Steps
---------------
Mash at 149.0 F 90 min
Fly or batch sparge 168.0 F

Boil Steps
---------------
Boil 90 minutes
Add hops and Servomyces per schedule, (make sure to open the Servomyces cap).
Stir-in adjuncts at 10 minutes prior to flame-out, (alternatively, stir in adjuncts at flame-out)

Boil Ingredients
---------------------
1.00 oz Brewer's Gold [8.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
1.00 oz Hallertau Mittelfrueh [5.00%] - Boil 30 minutes
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [4.10 %] - Boil 15.0 min
1.00 Items Servomyces - Boil 5.0 mins


Yeast Ingredients
----------------------------------
320 Billion cells or 3200 ml stir-plate starter seeded with 1.0 vial Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530)
***Krausen yeast method to be added here


Clear wort boil-down notes (Optional Step):
-------------------
(Optionally) perform a separate boil-down of 1.00 gallon of vorlaufed wort into a syrup using the following steps:
1. Extract 1.0 gallon of wort at the beginning of clear runoff into a 3-5 gallon pot.
2. Boil the wort down until it becomes a dark mahogany brown and is bubbling with large bubbles.
3. Be careful NOT to burn the maltose syrup.
4. The result will be approximately 24-26 ounces of syrup.
5. Re-crash the syrup by adding wort from the ongoing main boil.
6. Pour the dissolved liquid back in to the main boil.


Fermentation Pitch Notes:
---------------------
Chill wort to 63-64F
Oxygenate chilled wort to 8-10PPM by diffusing pure O2 via .05 micron diffuser for 90-120 seconds.
Pitch decanted yeast starter, adding chilled wort to the yeast flask to clear remaining yeast as necessary.
Ramp fermentation temp (evenly over time) from 63 - 80F over 7 days.


Fermentation Process Notes
---------------------
1/5/2012 - Primary Fermentation (7 days at 63F ending at 80.0 F)
1/23/2012 - Secondary Fermentation (3 -10 days at 78.0 F ending at 60.0 F)
1/26/2012 - Tertiary Fermentation (40 days at 50.0 F ending at 50.0 F)

Final Aged Ale
---------------------
In the end you should have a mohagany dark ale that is fragrant, malty, plummy, with a pillowy tan head and considerable Belgian lace. Like the pic below:

View attachment 233391

I apologize if someone has already asked this question, and it has been answered, but I couldn't find it in this thread. When do you add the candi syrup?
 

Kee

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I apologize if someone has already asked this question, and it has been answered, but I couldn't find it in this thread. When do you add the candi syrup?
The OP, CSI, suggested adding the candi syrup 10 minutes before flameout. I usually add it right at flameout (the syrup should be sanitary enough).
 

Bobo1898

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The OP, CSI, suggested adding the candi syrup 10 minutes before flameout. I usually add it right at flameout (the syrup should be sanitary enough).
+1 on 10 minutes. Nothing wrong with flame out either, so long as you adjust for your fermenter volume.

I've also read of people distributing this out---some at the end of the boil and then some during primary so the yeast doesn't burn out.

I'm not sure if that's something Westvleteren does or not.
 
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PCABrewing

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Anyone have suggestions for bottling from a Keg using a beer gun? Last time i tried bottling i got foam for days. I turned down co2 and froze bottles and still had half bottle of foam. Is there something I'm doing wrong?
I think this is not the right forum for this question but I'll offer my input since you already posted the Q.

Is the keg already cold?
You say you turned-down the CO2, what PSI are you pushing the keg with?
 

jturman35

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I think this is not the right forum for this question but I'll offer my input since you already posted the Q.

Is the keg already cold?
You say you turned-down the CO2, what PSI are you pushing the keg with?

It's the right forum as im trying to bottle my 1 year old Westy from the serving keg which is still in the keezer. I'm probably somewhere in the 5-10 psi range on the serving keg pressure when trying to bottle. Turned down the co2 pressure as in released from the keg so im not hitting the bottles with two much pressure. This style is somewhat carbonated so it has been way harder to bottle using the beer gun when compared to other beers. Im using cold bottles, cold beer gun and still get half a bottle of foam.

I have thought about releasing all of the c02 from the keg over time and trying to bottle condition using priming sugar or yeast method. I am just nervous if i do not get all of the co2 out i will create bottle bombs.
 

PCABrewing

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It's the right forum as im trying to bottle my 1 year old Westy from the serving keg which is still in the keezer. I'm probably somewhere in the 5-10 psi range on the serving keg pressure when trying to bottle. Turned down the co2 pressure as in released from the keg so im not hitting the bottles with two much pressure. This style is somewhat carbonated so it has been way harder to bottle using the beer gun when compared to other beers. Im using cold bottles, cold beer gun and still get half a bottle of foam.

I have thought about releasing all of the c02 from the keg over time and trying to bottle condition using priming sugar or yeast method. I am just nervous if i do not get all of the co2 out i will create bottle bombs.
I bought a piece for by bottle filler from NB called a "Foamless Finish". Link: Foamless Finish: Last Straw® Counterpressure Filler
It is basically a fancy stopper that fits around the filler tubes and seals to the top of the bottle.
This allows you to keep pressure (counter-pressure) on the beer in the bottle while filling.
Sounds great in theory, I haven't tried it yet though. Maybe in a couple weeks when I have a batch ready to bottle.

Hope you find a solution.
 
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