Westvleteren 12 Group Brew & Swap

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saq

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OLD STUFF, see below for updates.

My 1 year brewing anniversary is coming up June 14th, and so to commemorate this occasion I'm going to brew the a beer I've so wanted to brew but have been putting off for a long time, Westvleteren 12.

I have had the opporitunity to try this beer once under a very fortunate circumstance where we did a Westy 8 & 12 vertical tasting. 2 bottles of each 8 and 12, one fresh and the other aged 4 years. The beer definitely lives up to its reputation.

Since I am a regular of the incredible awesome HomeBrewTalk.Com Official Chat I've been kicking the idea around of doing a group brew and swap that was met with great enthusiasm around exploring the different ideas of how to replicate this bad boy.

There are a few opinions around for how this beer is made, the one I plan on doing first is one which I believe is featured in Beer Captured is posted here by Displaced Masshole.

There are other opinions on how this is made, with some people claiming its 50% pale & 50% pils followed by the dark candi. I'll leave that part open for debate. See below for more better info

The other thing discussed is a bunch of us from chat was people brewing it up, perhaps using some varying recipes/processes and doing a swap and comparison. I have a bottle of Westvleteren 12 myself, so I would love to do a side by side comparison of my home brew & others compared to the real thing. I got my bottle from a reputable beer trader on ratebeer trading forums in exchange for some of my own rare stuff.
I highly recommend it if you are interested in getting beers you just can't get in your area.

So, here is the thread for a brew discussion & swap. Lets get it going! Lets set a target date for trading starting on 9/15/09. That should give people plenty of time to brew, ferment, bottle & condition this beer, and then recipients can determine when they perform their own comparison tasting.


Edit: UPDATES!

Lets start a list of everyone who is dedicated to brewing this beer within the next two weeks for the brew & swap, and also for getting on chat at the same time (at an undetermined date in the future) and do a live group tasting.

I think the number should be small so we don't get wasted during the tasting. I also think we should be looking at only all-grain brews since the main mission of this project is to replicate the famous Westy 12.

I'll edit the first post later for more info on the two recipe guidelines we will be using, along with the concrete information known about this beer.

I'll start the list of people that have said they are in that will be doing all grain. Please confirm that you are down for brewing this soon and swapping with the other people in about 4 months. I think we should limit this to 10 people.
1: saq (confirmed)
2: Freezeblade
3: Bokonon
4: Saccharomyces
5: KingBrianI (confirmed)
6: Displaced Masshole
7: bashe

More coming soon.

Edit: More Updates! Recipes, hop info, etc.

Recipe

Through some good convo and research by myself and other people in this thread we have come up with some pretty good info. There are two recipes, one that is an approximated recipe from Beer Captured which uses specialty malts which I will call New World, and another that is estimated as close as possible to the authentic (and still current) recipe, which will just be called Traditional.

New World Recipe

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.54 gal
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 27.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
12.50 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 70.34 %
1.00 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 5.63 %
0.50 lb Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2.81 %
0.33 lb Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 1.86 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.41 %
0.19 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 1.07 %
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops 24.8 IBU
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (15 min) Hops 7.3 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (15 min) Hops 6.5 IBU
1.50 lb Amber Belgian Candi Syrup (40.0 SRM) Sugar 8.44 %
1.50 lb Dark Belgian Candi Syrup (80.0 SRM) Sugar 8.44 %

Single infusion 90 minute mash @ 148

Traditional Recipe

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.27 gal
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 21.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 40.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 120 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.25 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 41.43 %
7.25 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 41.43 %
0.75 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (120 min) Hops 19.9 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [4.00 %] (25 min)Hops 8.0 IBU
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] (25 min) Hops 10.8 IBU
3.00 lb Dark Belgian Candi Syrup (80.0 SRM) Sugar 17.14 %

Different mash options. Decoction, single/dual infusion, etc. We don't know much here.

Hops

Michael Jackson wrote (and BLAM re-wrote) that Northern Brewer was used for bittering (which has since been replaced by a hop extract) and Styrian Goldings and Hersbrucker for flavor. Amounts and schedules aren't very clear, my best estimations are above. I suppose substitute if you have to, but since we know this information I would try and stick close to it if possible.

Yeast

This one we have solid info on. Westvleteren uses yeast they get from Westmalle, and they pitch fresh on every batch. This means White Labs 530 Abbey Ale Yeast or Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity.

Fermentation Schedule
Brother Joris said:
Fermentation begins at 68f and then rises to at least 82f (even in the winter). After apparant attenuation reaches 76-80% he begins cooling the beer to 68f.
Westvleteren 12 spend four to six days in primary before lagering to clarify (crash cooling at 50f) for 8-10 weeks.
Bottle conditioning occurs at 79f and takes 12 days and they pitch more sugar and yeast to do so.
It is mentioned that they add yeast taken from high krausen, but not directly for bottle conditioning. The next line says that a secular worker drives to Westmalle on the brewing day to pick up the yeast, so they probably pitch fresh yeast for ferment.

They also say that Brother Joris can come in at the middle of the night (probably around the 36 hour mark when yeast population will max out) and makes sure the temp doesn't get above 84. So 82-84 degrees is our target fermentation temperature.

For this volume & gravity MrMalty says 2.91 liters from a stir plate will be sufficient, however, many people report the monks underpitch intentionally to get some of the good esters present. So I'll be pitching about 2.5 liters worth.

Carbonation
Volumes of carbonation. Unknown, though I think anywhere from 3.0 to 3.3 is probably going to be pretty spot on. Note: This may mean you need stronger bottles. Many 12oz/22oz bottles cannot handle as low as 3 volumes.

The Sugar
This is one of the monks secrets they are not willing to share. The most that Michael Jackson (and Stan from BLAM) have reported is that its a 'carmelized sugar'. Other people have reported that Dark Candi Syrup goes a long way for reproducing that special something. There is a good thread on HBT on about making your own sugar right here.
Alternatively there is a company called Dark Candi Inc which BLAM endorses. BLAM also states that between 15 and 20% of the fermentables can be sugar, which for a 5g batch is going to be between 2.75lbs and 4lbs.


Update 3

Water Profile
Brew Like A Monk reports that Westvleteren has a water profile that is not the most desirable for brewing, and specifically states that they treat their water because its high in bicarbonates, sodium, sulfate and chloride. The profile of Westvleteren's water profile is as such.

Westvleteren Water Profile
Calcium: 114
Bicarbonate: 370
Magnesium: 10
Sodium: 125
Sulfate: 145
Chloride: 139

I was thinking about how I would want to treat it, and remember reading that Chimay has a wonderful water profile, and several brewing chemists consider it "perfect for brewing". I think this might be pretty damn close to what Westvleteren shoots for when they treat it.

Chimay Water Profile
Calcium: 96
Bicarbonate: 287
Magnesium: 4
Sodium: 6
Sulfate: 32
Chloride: 13

This fits in with what water chemistry I know about water profiles for dark beers that is also confirmed by BLAM as being desirable for a Belgian Dark Strong Ale.

Please post your intention to participate in the judging/swapping in the following thread. This thread will remain dedicated to the discussion of brewing this particular beer, please do not discuss swapping or the judging event anymore in this thread.

Westvleteren 12 clone competition & swap - Home Brew Forums
 

Freezeblade

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Sounds like a plan, I'm going to toy around with the recipe and get some of the local micro-brew's ideas about it (Lost Abbey comes to mind). I can't brew until school is out though, which is in 3 weeks.
 

Bokonon

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This has been on my to-brew list also. I'd jump in on this. I'm thinking it will be one of my next 2-3 brews, which would probably be in the next 2 months or so. I was planning on making my own dark syrup for this and using something like the recipe from BLAM and beer captured. I'll do some more research and figure out what I'm actually going to do.

Lets set a target date for trading starting on 9/15/09

Rockin, thats my birthday.
 
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saq

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If you did it in 2 months or so you wouldn't have much time before our trading deadline. Last Call brew date should probably be 6/30. Bottle 9/1 and start shipping out 9/15 or so.
Thoughts?
 

Bokonon

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If you did it in 2 months or so you wouldn't have much time before our trading deadline. Last Call brew date should probably be 6/30. Bottle 9/1 and start shipping out 9/15 or so.
Thoughts?

I missed the deadline the first time I read the post. I'll definitely shoot for brewing it within the next month, hopefully within maybe 2 weeks
 

Freezeblade

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Ok, after some playing around in Beersmith and some consulting brew lit. I think this is where I'm heading:

Westvleteren 12 clone
9.25# Belgian Pils
9.25# Belgian Pale
.75# Toasted Malt (1/1 pils/pale toasted @350 for 10 mins)
.25# Special B
.19# Carafa II
1 Jar of Dark syrup (1.5#, added at 3rd day of fermentation)
.25# amber candi sugar (added at 3rd day of fermentation, dissolved in water)

Double Decoction Mash: 122F, 147, 158
120 min boil

My theory is that the crystal malts can be replaced by kettle carmelization, hence the 120 min boil (I was still afraid to get rid of the Special B though, it has a certain flavor) and the biscuit/aromatic components are there to increase the breadyness/maltyness, which I have found (In my english ales at least) can be done by toasting a percentage of your malt.

I have read and heard much about how the grain bills on most belgians are very simple, and so I viewed all the crystal malts, biscuit, aromatic, etc. as additions for home-brewers to approximate for the flavors lost in not using techniques such as decoct and long boils, in order to make for a much simpler and shorter brew day. I'm still going to run this by a few breweries around to see what they think.
 

Displaced MassHole

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What the heck I'll brew that again, I'd love to taste someone else's version. Plus I've still got a bottle of candi syrup in my pantry.
 

Saccharomyces

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I'm thinking ...

60% Belgian Pils
39% 2-row, toasted ~5 min at 350*F for some color/nuttiness
1% Carafa-III
1.5# Dark-2 Candi Sugar per 5 gal
1# Table Sugar per 5 gal

Mash a few years at 148*F... Boil two hours for plenty of caramelization. Mt Hood for bittering and finishing with .3:1 IBU/SG. Sugar goes in a few days into fermentation along with Fermaid-K at which point I boost the temp from room temp to 80*F until attenuation is reached. If this Westmalle yeast is like the Duvel yeast I'll need to rouse it every few days for a couple of weeks to convince it to complete its job. I appreciate why the Belgians like to use shallow fermenters!

WY3787, 1M cells/mL/*P pitch rate with a 15s injection of pure O2 into 2.5 gal. 3 weeks primary, ~3 weeks secondary, repitch at bottling time with a pack of fresh, rehydrated S-04 yeast, bottle condition ~3 volumes, let most of it age for a few years...

Only question is ... Shoot for OG of, what'ya think... 1.092??? Assuming 85% attentuation (to 1.012), that would give me about 10.5% ABV which is close to what I've seen listed as the %EtOH v/v.

I'm planning to do 2.5 gallons, and I'll slant the yeast. If I find another recipe that is convincing (haven't seen one yet...) I can use the rest of the jar of Candi sugar for another small batch and pitch some yeast built up from a slant.

Oh yeah almost forgot. We'll need a spiffy name for this brew. 'Westvletteren 12* clone' is cheesy...
 
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saq

saq

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I didn't mean this as a "lets all get together in the same place and brew it" but more of a "lets have a bunch of people brew their shot at westy 12 and do a trade on the results". Opens it up to a bigger audience that way :)

I picked up Brew Like A Monk so I'll be doing some research on the "historically accurate" version of this recipe which I will brew second. First I'm going to use Displaced MassHole's posted "modern approximation" recipe, which I can confirm is from Beer Captured. That recipe is probably easier given the access us homebrewers have to well-modified malts, and different processed/carmelized malts.
One interesting thing beer captured states is that the OG of Westy12 is 1.090, but I think that doesn't take into account the sugars.
 

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I have read and heard much about how the grain bills on most belgians are very simple, and so I viewed all the crystal malts, biscuit, aromatic, etc. as additions for home-brewers to approximate for the flavors lost in not using techniques such as decoct and long boils, in order to make for a much simpler and shorter brew day. I'm still going to run this by a few breweries around to see what they think.

I agree 100%. Less is more, IMO, it's more about the process than the ingredients...
 

Bokonon

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I'm leaning towards the simple recipe now. 50% Pale, 50% Pils, sugar, and a long boil. I've got a tube of WLP530 already, I think I'll get a starter of that going today or tomorrow.

I'm kind of tempted to mash enough pale/pils for 10 gal and do a split batch and steep the other grains for 5 gal.
 
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saq

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I found the page in BLAM from Brother Joris, who is currently the head brewer at Westvleteren, regarding their recipes, confirming they only use Dingemans Pale & Pilsner in all their beers.
Some other interesting things are also stated next.

When he brews the 8 and 12 at the same time (the 12 comprises about 50% of production, the 8 35%), the bulk of the high-gravity runnings go to the 34-hectoliter (29 barrel) kettle with the 12.
Then it goes on to say the monks won't reveal how the dark beers obtain their color/flavors. Michael Jackson reported the use of caramelized sugar and a longer boil.
Additionally, primary fermentation and clearing takes 8-10 weeks. Bottle conditioning is at 79f for 12 days.

This information is current as of 2004. The question is do they get undermodified malts from Dingemans, or is the majority of their secret in the way they caramelize their sugar?

The biscuity flavors may come from the way they mash, while the cararmel comes from the long boil (2 hours?) and the chocolate from the sugar?

Additionally, Apparant Attenuation can achieve 88% ABV. Wow! That probably includes enough sugar for carbonation as well thats not measured against the OG.
 

Displaced MassHole

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So more like.....

8.5# pale
8.5# pils
1.5# Dark Syrup
.25# Amber Candi Sugar

with 70% eff. that gets 1.090

At what volume?


I think I'm gonna try toasting 1lb of a 50/50 mix pale/pils for this and leave out the specialty malts. I've read BLAM before and I know they say to keep it simple so this time around I will.

I'm also gonna try taking a crack at making my own candi syrup, as I know that's where a lot of the "secret" flavors come from.
 

Displaced MassHole

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Yup that settles it, I'm going to go get a jar of DAP today and start making some different syrups.

I'm getting excited about this brew! :ban:
 

Saccharomyces

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Thanks Saq... BLAM is about the only book I have *not* read yet. :) Good information.

Revised, here's my plan:
60% Belgian Pils
40% 2-row, toasted ~5 min at 350*F for some color/nuttiness
1.5# dark Candi Sugar per 5 gal made using the yeast nutrient/boil method
1# Table Sugar per 5 gal

OG 1.090 (including late sugar addition to fermenter with 1 qt of water)
FG 1.011 (target, 87% AA)

Mashin at 146*F for 60 minutes, then slowly ramp to 158*F. Boil two hours. Mt Hood for bittering and finishing to 30 IBU. Sugar goes in a few days into fermentation along with Fermaid-K at which point I boost the temp from room temp to 80*F until attenuation is reached. 3 weeks primary rousing yeast until FG achieved, 5 weeks secondary. Repitch at bottling time with a pack of fresh, rehydrated S-04 yeast, bottle condition ~3 volumes, let most of it age for a few years...
 
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saq

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Looks like a good plan Saccharomyces, you going to go with your own fermentation schedule even though Brother Joris from Westvleteren spilled the beans on the fermentation schedule for this beer? I think some experimentation with reproducing this beer would be a good but this is the one step we know the most about.

Brother Joris the head brewer of Westvleteren said:
Fermentation begins at 68f and then rises to 82-84f (even in the winter). After apparant attenuation reaches 76-80% he begins cooling the beer to 68f.
The dark beers spend four to six days in primary before lagering to clarify (crash cooling at 50f), with Westy 12 taking 8-10 weeks.
Bottle conditioning occurs at 79f and takes 12 days.

Obviously we will need to adapt it to our equipment, but this seems easy to duplicate.
Is Brother Joris using the term "lagering" correctly? Can the Westmalle yeast actually survive and function at 50f? I'm guessing he just meant crash cooling because they talk about clarifying with it.
 

remilard

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Looks like a good plan Saccharomyces, you going to go with your own fermentation schedule even though Brother Joris from Westvleteren spilled the beans on the fermentation schedule for this beer? I think some experimentation with reproducing this beer would be a good but this is the one step we know the most about.



Obviously we will need to adapt it to our equipment, but this seems easy to duplicate.
Is Brother Joris using the term "lagering" correctly? Can the Westmalle yeast actually survive and function at 50f? I'm guessing he just meant crash cooling because they talk about clarifying with it.

Brother Joris's English is probably colored by the other languages he speaks, but they are using an ale yeast and cold conditioning for a period of time. The yeast is not active but in literal terms they are storing, or lagering, the beer.
 
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saq

saq

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Thats what I figured. I wasn't about to put it past some of those belgian yeasts to do amazing feats like that though ;)

As a side note, Brew Like A Monk is fantastic.
 

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Ok, after some google-fu, searching on this forum, and lots of time with a calculator and beersmith, I think I've figured out how to get the Westy 12 and 8 the traditional way, from the same mash, partigyle style.

preamble: 2/3 of your sugars are taken out of your mash with the first half of your runnings, and as I batch sparge, I figured the calculations for this, with an efficiency of 70% (which is what I normally get for slightly bigger beers). So assuming this, you take 2/3 of 70 and you're left with 47% and 23%, about. It has been said that the amount of beer made from one mash is mostly 12 and a bit of 8, I toyed with the volumes, and here is the result.

12.75# Pale Malt (Bel)
12.75# Pilsner Malt (Bel)

Mash at whatever you use (judging by the darker color and toastyness, a decoctation is probably needed), then add enough sparge water in order to collect 7 Gallons of wort. Once drained, add enough sparge water to collect another 4.13 Gallons, then let drain.

hop additions as discussed, 120 min boil, etc. This should leave you with (accounting for 20% boil off):

5.5 Gallons of 1.080 Wort (This will become the 12 after sugar additions)
3.25 Gallons of 1.066 Wort (This will become the 8 after sugar additions)

You can add the sugar whenever you want, boil or at high krausen (what I'm probably going to do) sugar is as follows (12 then 8)

1.5# (one jar) D2 syrup, .25# Amber Sugar. (This will leave the 12 at OG 1.090)
1# Dark Syrup, 3oz Amber Sugar. (This would leave the 8 at OG 1.078)

Disclaimer: I could be wrong, I'd love for bob to come in here and see what he thinks, or someone else more qualified than me.
 
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saq

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Excellent work Freeze. One thing they don't go into very much in BLAM is how they mash, just that they get the 12 and the 8 from the same mash.
We know the 12 and the 8 both use the same proportion of belgianpils and belgian pale (Dingemans specifically), we know they both use sugar, the IBUs and SRMs, and the westmalle yeast.
We know the fermentation schedule and temperatures.

What we don't know very much about:
1: The mash
2: The sugar
3: Hopping amounts (we know the hops though)
4: Carbonation level

Lets see what else we can find out about these. Input anyone?
 

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Is Brother Joris using the term "lagering" correctly? Can the Westmalle yeast actually survive and function at 50f? I'm guessing he just meant crash cooling because they talk about clarifying with it.

I always pitch around 68*F, once it gets going I'll take it out to the garage where it's 80-90*F and let it ride there. Once it slows I'd bring it back inside where it's about 70*F and let it sit, then rack to a keg for secondary of 5 weeks. Dump in the kegerator to crash cool, once it drops clear I can push with CO2 to another keg where I mix in the bottling yeast and priming sugar and then bottle from that.

1M cells/mL/*P is a ***load of yeast... Unlike somebody I don't have a 5L flask for my stirplate...
 

KingBrianI

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Alright, so I'm planning on going very simple in my recipe. Here's what I have so far:

OG (after sugar additions) 1.095
IBU 30
SRM (not counting kettle caramelization) 16.2

based on 80% eff (I usually get 85-90% but with the bigger grain bill I'll be conservative, although if I sparge enough to have a volume needed for the 2 hr boil, I'll probably still be at 85-90%)

8 lbs. dingeman's pils
8 lbs. dingeman's pale

1.5 lbs. homemade dark candi syrup (using the recipe for "sugar #5 from https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-lb-sugar-jar-yeast-nutrient-114837/)
0.25 lbs amber candi sugar (using one of the amber recipes from that page but not adding the water after it gets to temp and just pouring onto a cold sheet pan for it to harden)

Using the hop schedule from the recipe linked to in the first post, but with enough perle at 60 to bring the IBUs to 30.

I was thinking about doing a decoction mash to include an acid, protein and sacc rest with mashout for some extra flavor. Sugars will be added 3 days into the primary. Using the wyeast trappist high gravity yeast.

So how does it look? I'm mainly concerned about the IBUs, color, and alcohol % since I've never had the real thing and will be just going off what's been posted in this thread.
 
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saq

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The SRM of the 12 is 40, the IBU is 38, the OG is 1.090 including sugar additions.
Yeast is Westmalle yeast, fermentation temp is at least 80f, closer to 82-84f.
Hops are Northern Brewer for bittering, Styrian Goldings and Hallertau Hersbrucker for flavor (from BLAM).

Assuming a 5.5g batch @ 1.090 boiled for 120 minutes that would be 0.5oz Northern Brewer @ 120, 1oz Styrian Goldings @ 40 and 1oz Hallertau Hersrucker @ 40.

My Westvleteren 12 Traditionale recipe is looking like this so far.
75% eff boiled 120 minute
7.25lbs belgian pils
7.25lbs belgian pale 2 row
2 bottles (3lbs) of Dark2 Candi Syrup
0.5oz Northern Brewer @ 120, 1oz Styrian Goldings @ 40 and 1oz Hallertau Hersrucker @ 40
2L starter of WLP530 (MrMalty says a stir plated slurry needs about 2.5-3L)
Mild aeration

That gets me to about 37.8 IBU but only 22 SRM. With a vigorous 2 hour boil it will probably catch up some. Anyone know if there is any math for calculating or at least estimating an SRM increase from a vigorous long boil?
 

KingBrianI

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40 SRM, holy damn! I'm gonna have to add some dark candi sugar I guess. I'll sub some northern brewer for the bittering hops and take it to 38. And I'll adjust the OG to 1.090.
 

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that's crazy, I tried making a clone of this a few weeks back. It's currently about 3-4 weeks in in the secondary. I had an OG around 1.1 though, not 1.09, and after 3 weeks in the primary, I was down to 1.020.

Maybe I'll have to set a couple bottles aside, just to send out.
 
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that's crazy, I tried making a clone of this a few weeks back. It's currently about 3-4 weeks in in the secondary. I had an OG around 1.1 though, not 1.09, and after 3 weeks in the primary, I was down to 1.020.

Maybe I'll have to set a couple bottles aside, just to send out.

What recipe did you use? What did you mash at? What yeast did you use? How much did you pitch? What was your fermentation temperature?
 

PSmurf78

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I did just a PM batch,
7 lbs belgium pils
6 lbs x-light DME
2 lbs dark candi sugar
1 lb belgium Caramunich
8 oz biscuit
5 oz aromatic
4 oz special b
3 oz chocolate

Mash temps @ 154 for 75 mins, trying for 1.75qt/lb. Ended up with 5.5G going into the bucket

I used the wyeast Trappist strain (3787), multi step starter that I decanted twice, ending up with a heavy slurry that was close to a 1/4 gallon. Had really good activity within a few hours, popped the top (with a blow off tube installed) about 9 hrs later.

1st 1 lb sugar addition went in at about the 36 hr mark, and the 2nd 1 lb addition followed about 24 hours after that.
 
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saq

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What temperature did you ferment at? That is pretty key to the high (88% AA) attenuation rates Westvleteren gets.
 

PSmurf78

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I started at 66 for about 4 days, then ramped up (used a 12"x28" heating pad) to about 82 degrees over the next 7 days. I would give the bucket a slight swirl about once a day. Once it sat at 82 for about 2 days, I then let it fall back down and let everything settle for another week or so. After that it went into a clearing vessel.
 

Bokonon

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I think I'm going to brew this on sunday. Still haven't finalized my recipe yet, I'm going to try to hit LHBS tonight to find some hops to use. I haven't bought hops in forever since I have a nice stockpile, but most of them are good for american beers.

I think I'm going to go for a long boil and I thought I'd look at my 2007 barleywine notes to see what it took for the long boil. Thought the numbers might help someone else going to do a long boil.

I use a converted keg for my kettle and that brew was in november so the temp and humidity are a bit different but at least its a data point.

I had 23.5 lbs of grain (22lbs was base malt). At the time this was my biggest beer so I wasn't sure what kind of efficiency I would get.

I ended up doing 3 batch sparges to get what I needed. Collected 12.5 gallons total and boiled it down to get 6 gal in the fermenter. This took 4 hours once it hit the kettle. I missed my planned OG by 3 points, but I was happy with the 1.110 that I got. 2lbs of turbinado sugar went into the kettle when I started boiling

That beer turned out great and I won a bunch of awards with it. It will be at the GABF pro-am this year.

I don't think I would do another 4 hour boil again, I'd just use a bit more grain. I think a 2-2.5 hour boil would be a reasonable tradeoff.
 
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