Westvleteren 12 Group Brew & Swap

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Post it in the thread designated for the judging and swappage please! :)
 

KingBrianI

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How many volumes are you guys carbonating to? I can't remember if we've discussed it yet. I think I'll aim for 3 volumes unless someone tells me otherwise.
 

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It's in the first thread at the bottom:
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.
 
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2.8 volumes might also be acceptable. Its hard to estimate, take your pick and we'll let the judging rule out.
 

KingBrianI

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Cool, also, how much yeast are you guys gonna add back at bottling? I saved a little bit I skimmed off at high krausen before the sugar additions. I'll probably make a small starter with it to get it going again and make sure it's healthy, then pitch a small amount of that and save the rest. But how much?
 

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Not sure about the yeast, I didn't save any from the original. But I am thinking of washing the yeast when I transfer to secondary for the lagering for the next 8 weeks. So I will have some on hand to try a couple different versions of this beer...

I'm interested in what tasting notes are from everyone around day 7.
 
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Did a little bit of taste testing today with my girlfriend, since I got these new awesome Carbonator Caps and I can force carbonate a small amount at a time.

My 9 week old (now "finished") New World recipe tasted pretty killer! MUCH more interesting than when I tasted it about 3 weeks ago where it seemed kind of boring and lifeless compared to the traditional recipe & the real deal. I think its much closer to the real deal than the traditional now.

My 7 week old Traditional recipe was interesting, with some major burnt banana ester going on and a little bit of alcohol burn in the background. Super carmelly action, probably from putting the belgian candi syrup in the boil at the start, a little biscuity aroma, but practically no chocolate. The color is getting closer too.

With my remaining samples I did a 3-1 mix of new world & traditional and it tasted amazing. I think the lesson for me here is two-fold.
1: The monks probably use a decoction or two in the mash.
2: They use VERY dark sugar with some roasty/burnt characteristics, when it blends in with the rest of the beer it probably gives some of the chocolate flavors.

I highly recommend the Carbonator Cap btw. I'm bringing 20oz of my westy blend and 20oz of The Minstrel in water bottles to the park for bocce and they will stay pressurized.
 
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I had a glass of the new world recipe yesterday after it was fully chilled and carboned in the keg. It is drinking mighty nice! The chocolate flavors have really developed significantly, and also strangely in the traditional! I'm going to chill & carb the traditional before too long so I'll get a good comparison.

In a related note, who wants to start a Cuvee De Tomme clone? Cuvee De Tomme is their quadrupel, Judgement Day, which is then taken and put in a bourbon barrel with some of the bugs from their sours like duck duck gooze, with sour cherries added as well. The end result is an absolutely amazing beer which IMO is one of the best I've ever had.

I'm thinking I take my revised Westvleteren 12 traditional recipe (darker sugar, double decoction) and add a sour blend like WLP655, roeselare or wyeast 3278 to it, some sour cherry juice and aging it with some bourbon char and letting it sit down for a year or so.

Anyone else down for the next project and wants to go the distance? :)
 

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Alright, I've never had the real thing, but my clone is great. I tried it back to back with a westmalle dubbel and preferred mine. It's very interesting in how it is dry, but has the sweetness of the candi syrup, with the rich caramel flavor and slight chocolate roasty flavors making an appearance in the finish. I'm excited to put a few of these away to age for a while!
 
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Due to a grain mishap at the LHBS, I wasn't able to brew Hopinator v4 today as planned so I decided to call an audible and brew The Pious v3 as I had just gotten in my D2 dark candi syrup.

Here is the runsheet. *** The original post for this recipe got subsumed for my Cuvee De Tomme project, the real The Pious #3 recipe has been updated below (minor adjustment)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.27 gal
Estimated OG: 1.092 SG
Estimated Color: 33.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.2 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 42.11 %
8.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.11 %
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops 25.7 IBU
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [4.10 %] (20 min) Hops 7.0 IBU
0.50 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [2.80 %] (20 min)Hops 2.4 IBU
3.00 lb Dark 2 Belgian Candi Syrup (160.0 SRM) Sugar 15.79 %
1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) Yeast-Ale
1lbs sugar added to beginning of boil, 1lbs added to last 5, 1lbs added in secondary.

Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Double
Total Grain Weight: 16.00 lb
----------------------------
Decoction Mash, Double
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
10 min Protein Rest Add 32.00 qt of water at 137.5 F 132.0 F
30 min Saccharification Decoct 8.79 qt of mash and boil it 151.0 F
30 min Saccharification Decoct 4.85 qt of mash and boil it 159.0 F
 
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I got a little bit higher OG than expected. 1.090 before the final pound of D2 which I'm putting in tomorrow. Should be 11.2%ish.
Also, I am drinking juvinious' westy 8 right now and it is quite good! If there is sufficient interest for a Westvleteren clone competition next year maybe I'll make it a mandatory 8/12 partigyle style :)
 

juvinious

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....In a related note, who wants to start a Cuvee De Tomme clone? Cuvee De Tomme is their quadrupel, Judgement Day, which is then taken and put in a bourbon barrel with some of the bugs from their sours like duck duck gooze, with sour cherries added as well. The end result is an absolutely amazing beer which IMO is one of the best I've ever had.....
Anyone else down for the next project and wants to go the distance? :)

That sounds wonderful. I was out at the Belgian Beer Fest this weekend in Boston. I missed the night of the funk, but I was at the next session. Blew me away...
Anyhow I wandered over to the Lost Abbey booth (manned by Tomme himself), by the time I got there, Cuvee De Tomme was gone!!!!! I did however get to try the duck duck gooze, I had to go back 3-4 more times to make sure I got a good feel for it. ;)
The project sounds fun nonetheless, I think I might be down if I can get a hold of a vessel I can use for long time maturing.

[edit]
Oh and I also saw your tweet the other night when you were trying my 8. I'm glad you liked it, I'm quite surprised as I feel that it needs work. I also get hints of an off hand astringent flavor. But maybe that's my imagination, I'd like to hear about Freeze's 8. :)
 
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What kind of water profile did you use? I think tweaking the water profile is all thats needed to make a really close replica.
As far as aging vessel for making a Cuvee De Tomme, here ya go!
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f16/used-corn-whiskey-barrels-group-buy-141631/

That sounds wonderful. I was out at the Belgian Beer Fest this weekend in Boston. I missed the night of the funk, but I was at the next session. Blew me away...
Anyhow I wandered over to the Lost Abbey booth (manned by Tomme himself), by the time I got there, Cuvee De Tomme was gone!!!!! I did however get to try the duck duck gooze, I had to go back 3-4 more times to make sure I got a good feel for it. ;)
The project sounds fun nonetheless, I think I might be down if I can get a hold of a vessel I can use for long time maturing.

[edit]
Oh and I also saw your tweet the other night when you were trying my 8. I'm glad you liked it, I'm quite surprised as I feel that it needs work. I also get hints of an off hand astringent flavor. But maybe that's my imagination, I'd like to hear about Freeze's 8. :)
 

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I remember from last time I had the westvleterens that I thought the 8 had a ritcher taste, while the 12 was stronger. I imagine they would have fermented differently maybe, because the 8 has definatly got more variety of flavour-componants. Not more fruity, but maybe slightly spicy. As wrong as it may sound, I thought the 8 was better than the 12.

I am not a good brewer, just a good drinker, so i thought it may be of some help to some of you top brewers.

Thank you and good luck.

Marius
 

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Just let the yeast heat it up naturally, usually takes about 8-12 hours from 65f pitching temp.
Also, this thread is more about the competition :) Recipe kind of stuff should go over in the other Westvleteren thread :)

I am just ordering the hops to your revised traditional recipe (The Pious #3 recipe {?}) now.

I have always been of the opinion that the Westvleterens (including the Westvleteren Blond I am drinking just now, to double check) that it is much less estery than say Rochefort 8* & 10* and particularly the ester bombs from Scourmont Abbey (the monastery that makes Chimay), and in particular the bleue and rouge.

I would like to propose a question and let you more experienced brewers consider it.

Do you think escalating the temp from pitch temp to the 82-84*F, as Brother Joris kindly has let us know, at a slower rate would make it closer to the authentic beer?

I was thinking increasing it to 82-84*F over maybe 3 days, was a competitive idea.

Your input is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Marius
 

KingBrianI

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Marius, I let it naturally ramp up to 84 degrees without trying to slow it down and the esters were still relatively low. I think the yeast just doesn't throw as many as a lot of the other belgian yeasts. In the HBT competition the judges biggest complaint was that it needed a bigger ester profile and should have been fermented hotter! :D I already did it at 84 guys! But that's another story, I think they were mostly confused the whole time. I say let it ramp up naturally and you'll get a good ester profile.
 
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I think the kind of esters that a lot of people typically associate with belgian beers don't show up in Westvleteren/beers fermented with the Westmalle yeast. The yeast gives it some smooth dried fig, raisin, plum fruity esters, and then some like really pleasant cocoa candied banana phenolics. Spiciness and earthiness are fairly low and its not going to compete with the spicy ester characters of say Allagash Tripel Reserve, Affligem, Duvel, Leffe, De Konick etc
 
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Do you think escalating the temp from pitch temp to the 82-84*F, as Brother Joris kindly has let us know, at a slower rate would make it closer to the authentic beer?

I was thinking increasing it to 82-84*F over maybe 3 days, was a competitive idea.

If you use the right amount of Westmalle yeast (white labs WLP530, wyeast 3787) the beer will be nearly done fermenting in 3 days. Just chill your wort to 65f after the boil is over, pitch your yeast, and let it rise naturally and try to keep it from going over 84f.
 

KingBrianI

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Having a bottle of my clone for the first time in several months right now. It's aging beautifully. Any hotness from the alcohol has died down leaving only a wonderful malty, caramel-y body with fig and raisin overtones and a smooth, long, dry finish. The aroma is much stronger than I remember, a dark, malty perfume coming off and suggesting a thick caramel richness.

How are everyone else's doing?
 

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I'm drinking the clone I made based on all your collaborative efforts. It's a great beer with a rich raisin taste and chocolatey hint at the end. Definitely has a dry taste like yours at the end the makes you want to come back for more. The head retention on this thing is a beast. I wish I would have bottled some but I had just got my kegging setup finished and wanted to keg it as I was sooooo tired of dealing with bottles. I realized it was a no no for a beer like this but decided I didn't care that day.

Thanks again for all the info guys. I used Snickasauraus rex recipes for malliard sugars to make a candi syrup knock off (search for 20# of sugar and yeast nutrient). It tasted great before I added it to the fermentor. Although I've never tasted the real product I was happy with how it turned out. However, if I had to do it over again I would add 3 pounds of the dark recipe rather than 1.5# of dark and 1.5# of amber.

Thanks again for all the help guys..... an awesome beer.
 
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No problem, this was an awesome project. One thing we learned from the competition is to experiment! You can get lots of good flavors with this base recipe.
My next brewing will be the 4th that I've not intended for other souring projects and I think its going to be something like this.
The big changes is the D1 and D2 being a 50/50 mix as I think you need both of them to get the flavors right. The Caramunich and SpecialB are there to add a little bit of extra complexity.

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.54 gal
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 29.2 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.4 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
7.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 39.44 %
7.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 39.44 %
0.50 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 2.82 %
0.25 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 1.41 %
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops 24.8 IBU
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [4.10 %] (30 min) Hops 8.6 IBU
1.00 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [2.40 %] (30 min)Hops 5.0 IBU
1.00 items Servomyces (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
1.00 items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
6.00 oz Malto-Dextrine (Boil 5.0 min) Misc
2.00 lb Dark 1 Belgian Candi Syrup (80.0 SRM) Sugar 11.27 %
1.00 lb Dark 2 Belgian Candi Syrup (160.0 SRM) Sugar 5.63 %
1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) Yeast-Ale


Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Double
Total Grain Weight: 14.75 lb
----------------------------
Decoction Mash, Double
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
35 min Protein Rest Add 25.81 qt of water at 127.2 F 122.0 F
20 min Saccharification Decoct 8.45 qt of mash and boil it 147.0 F
20 min Saccharification Decoct 5.15 qt of mash and boil it 158.0 F
10 min Mash Out Heat to 168.0 F over 10 min 168.0 F
 

Scut_Monkey

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If I had to do it over again I would try the Belgian candi syrup just to see what it tastes like compared to what I was able to make. I would also ferment at a slightly higher temp as I wasn't able to hit the right temp.
 

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If you use the right amount of Westmalle yeast (white labs WLP530, wyeast 3787) the beer will be nearly done fermenting in 3 days. Just chill your wort to 65f after the boil is over, pitch your yeast, and let it rise naturally and try to keep it from going over 84f.

I pitched at 63 and let it rise naturally; I am currently at about 60 hours. At 52 hours it started to go over 82 deg. so fermentation freezer kicked in to hold temp. My question is it is starting to drop temp because the most active part of fermentation is done, should I hold the 82 deg temp. or let it fall naturally?
 
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BLAM quotes Brother Joris of Westvleteren saying they pitch at 68f and let it rise to 82-84f. When apparant attenuation reaches 78-80% he starts cooling the beer to 68f. He says primary fermentation usually takes 4 to 6 days before they start cooling to "lagering" temperatures where they age the beer at 50f for 8 to 10 weeks.
 

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OK. I think I will let it cool down to 68, let it sit their for a while for yeast to clean up, then drop down to lager temps.

Thanks
 

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Mine only got to about 74F due to ambient air and my inability to control it at the time. I think the beer would have had more flavor had I been able to reach the higher ferment temps. Could only do what I could do at the time. Sounds like yours is coming along well Enid.
 

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I just brewed this beer and it went crazy in the primary. I have it in a bucket with a blow off tube in there. Up until recently I did not know about ferm cap and I do not have any. I noticed there is a ton of trub on the sides of the bucket of course. This is a stupid ?, but would it be ok to scrape some of that back in there to keep the yeast count up. I am worried I am loosing too much yeast through the blow off tube and it is going to quit on me. There has to be a pretty good amount of yeast in that.

Thanks,

The FNG
 

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I wouldn't touch it. There's plenty of yeast left there for the beer to do its thing. The belgian breweries actually harvest the yeast off the top of the beer as it ferments for the next batch.
 
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Yeah this yeast doesn't really need your assistance very much, just let it do its thing.
 

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Thanks for the replies. I decided it no longer needed the blow off tube and put in an air lock. Got up this morning and the top to the bucket had blown off and there was %$#! All over the walls. What an idiot. Won't do that again. Hopefully it still turns out. Can't wait to drink this. Think I am going to brew another batch and do the new world recipe.

Thanks again, scott...
 

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Sorry to bother you guys again, but I have another question about this beer. Never brewed a beer that still has such a high krausen after three days. I would like to test the gravity, but I usually sterilize my hydrometer and put it in the top of the bucket. I could open the spout on the bottom and pour some off, but I figured it will be mostly crap. What do you guys do?
 

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I wouldn't bother checking the gravity. I know what it's like wanting to check it every ten minutes, but until primary fermentation is done and the krausen drops there's really not much point.

It's obviously fermenting quite well, so I don't think you have anything to worry about :)
 

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That's pretty much how I feel. Makes sense that it doesn't need to be checked though. Thanks for the reply. I can't wait until this is drinkable.

Scott...
 
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