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Belgian Strong Recipe Build
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308
    Ok, so I'm commited to brewing on Saturday, but with all the craziness in my life over the last few weeks, I haven't had time to really research and develop a recipe.

    So I wanted to reach out to all of you.

    I'm looking to create a very clean crisp Belgian Drak Strong Ale.

    My preference is to use a 2-row base malt, so if you can come up with something using 2-row it would be helpful.

    Thanks for you help!
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,968
    well, you have your yeast all picked out, so half the battle is done.

    unfortunately, i'm not familiar with the style, so i can't give too much input on how to build one.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308

    well, you have your yeast all picked out, so half the battle is done.

    unfortunately, i'm not familiar with the style, so i can't give too much input on how to build one.



    Yes, yeast is picked, westvleteren dregs. Now for all that grain and hops stuff.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,968
    from what little i know of the style, some munich would do well.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,690
    Pilsner is typically used but ...... if you put in a big bunch of 2 row .... a good bit of light munich .... some caramunich .. and some special B you can get close ...mash around 149.. add between 10 and 20% sugars ...I like turbinado in em ... if you want it good and dark throw a little carafa III in there too .....
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ceanntceannt
    Posts: 48,690
    Look at my Apocalypse Ale recipe for a little inspiration .... its not quite to style but will give you the idea
    In wine there is wisdom.
    In beer there is freedom.
    In water there is bacteria.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308
    Good start
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    I found this as part of a BYO article. Not sure if you like Westmalle? If not it might give you something to think about.

    Westmalle Abbey Tripel clone

    Ingredients:

    5.5 lbs. pale malt
    1 lb. light caramel malt (10° Lovibond)
    4 lbs. unhopped extra-light dry malt extract (DME)
    1 lb. clear candi sugar
    3 AAU Styrian Goldings hops (1 oz. at 3% alpha acid)
    3 AAU Tettnang hops (0.75 oz. at 4% alpha acid)
    3 AAU Fuggle hops (0.5 oz. at 6% alpha acid)
    2 AAU Saaz hops (0.5 oz. at 4% alpha acid)

    Step by Step:
    Heat 12 quarts water to 163° F. Crush grains and add to liquor. Hold mash at 152° F for 90 minutes. Runoff and sparge with 15 quarts water at 170° F. Add DME and candi sugar, stir well, bring to a boil. Add Styrian Goldings hops, boil 30 minutes. Add Tettnang hops, boil 30 minutes. Add Fuggle hops, boil 25 minutes. Add Saaz hops, boil 5 minutes (90 minutes total boil). Remove from heat. Add to fermenter along with enough pre-boiled and chilled water to make up 5.25 gallons (if necessary). Cool to 70° F, pitch yeast. Ferment at 68° F for two weeks, rack to secondary and condition cool (50° F) for three to four weeks. Prime with DME, bottle and age eight to ten weeks at 45° to 50° F. Will improve with more aging, up to about a year. Serve at 50° F in a wide-mouthed, stemmed chalice.

    http://byo.com/belgian-strong-ale/item/1744-westmalle-abbey-tripel-clone

  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Here is another...



    http://www.brewlikeamonk.com/?p=35

    OK, that was humbling.

    Since you are at this site you probably know I wrote a book about brewing Trappist and abbey style beers. And if you read the book you know that I came back from Belgium pounding my fist – on the desk, on corked bottles, on old brewing texts, just about anywhere – about the simplicity of Trappist recipes.

    And the importance of sugar.

    So what was the recipe like in the beer I helped judge as the gold medal winner for Strong Belgian Ales in the 2006 National Homebrew Contest? It contained seven malts, and sugar (white, nothing dark) contributed less than 5% of the fermentables. Winner Jamil Zainasheff surely is happy I didn’t help him with this recipe.

    The point, up front, is that you can brew beers like those in this family without following a Belgian blueprint; that it’s OK to take a different route when the result is a beer that tastes as good as Zainasheff’s strong dark ale.

    He provided details about the recipe in an exchange of e-mails, first writing:

    “It was really my first attempt at the style and more indicative of a homebrewer reading the BJCP style guide than anything else. I’m not sure I would formulate it the same way today.” He brewed the beer 11/27/2002.

    The batch size was six gallons. Here’s the recipe:

    15 pounds pilsener
    1 pound aromatic
    3 pounds Munich
    1 pound caramunich
    1 pound Special B
    1/2 pound wheat
    1/2 pound melanoidin
    1 pound Cane sugar

    2.2 ounces Hallertauer (4.4 AAs) for 60 minutes

    Fermented with White Labs WLP570 Belgian Golden Ale, repitched from a Golden Strong Ale. The beer fermented at about 70 ºF.

    Original gravity was 1.103 (24.4 ºP). The FG was 1.022 on 1/12/03. At that time it went into a keg. Zainasheff doesn’t conduct a seconday fermentation. “I don’t do them anymore except for meads and fruit beers,” he wrote. “I find healthy yeast really doesn’t break down so fast that there is a need to separate the beer quickly.”

    The beer didn’t exactly hide the fact it was 10.5% or so abv, but unlike some other entries it also didn’t taste first of alcohol. Start judging Belgian Strongs at 8:30 in the morning and you won’t be volunteering for afternoon judging sessions. One of my most frequent suggestions on score sheets was that less alcohol would allow more flavor to come through.

    In an exchange about the grain bill, Zainasheff wrote:

    “I really tend to prefer the simpler route as well, but I keep finding examples that make me admit there are times when you can get away with insane grain bills. For example, I have a scottish ale recipe that includes all sorts of grains. I never thought it would have worked, but it really does turn out as authentic a scottish light ale as I’ve ever had. I was quite embarrassed about it at first, but then if the results are right…”

    He certainly shouldn’t apologize for his Strong Dark. It wasn’t only as rich and complex as the recipe would suggest, but nicely rounded, integrating what could have been a jumble of flavors in a way others on the table didn’t. I’d be thrilled to brew a beer like his.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308
    Looks like a good startting point.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,901
    Nice work JLW.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308
    Thanks everybody
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,968
    Lakewood said:

    Thanks everybody



    recipe? mash temp? expected og?

    Time is running out!
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,901

    Lakewood said:

    Thanks everybody



    recipe? mash temp? expected og?

    Time is running out!


    This! All of this!
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308
    basing this off of JLW's second post

    grain bill:

    Pilsner Malt, Belgian 26
    Carastan (Crystal), 15 2
    Munich Malt (GWM) 6
    Caramunich Malt 2
    Special B Malt 2
    Wheat Malt (GWM) 1
    melanoidin 1
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,901
    EDIT: Nevermind. I stupid.

    Looks good. I like that you went with pilsner instead of 2-row.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308
    Bought a full sack of the belgian pilsner. Yay.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,901
    Lakewood said:

    Bought a full sack of the belgian pilsner. Yay.



    Yay!
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,968
    halfway done, what's in the mix as far as hops?
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    The grain bill looks great. Can't wait to try this one. ;)
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308

    halfway done, what's in the mix as far as hops?



    3.5 oz Hallertuer at 60
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,901
    Lakewood said:

    halfway done, what's in the mix as far as hops?



    3.5 oz Hallertuer at 60


    Simple. I like it. I also like Hallertuer so that works for me (as of you cared). How many IBUs does that give you?
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 104,308
    I'll have to answer this in the morning when I have my laptop.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • scoobscoob
    Posts: 16,617
    I should post my caramelized fig BDSA recipe sometime, need to dig it out of my backup files on the external drive on the desktop.
    Jesus didn't wear pants
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,901
    We tapped this keg while I was in Cali.

    It
    Is
    Amazing.

    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    C_B said:

    We tapped this keg while I was in Cali.

    It
    Is
    Amazing.



    Name dropper.