Thursday, March 17, 2011

Belgian Quad Brewday

Holy mother of grain bills! Actually, this one was was pretty much the same as the last two Dubbels—the grain bill just got amped up and the water got dropped down. After all, double up on the Dubbel, and what do you get? A Quad. And yes, even I think that is a lame ass joke.

Serving due diligence...

85. Belgian Quad (brewed with Jeff Fortney)
18 lbs. Castle Pils
6 lbs. Weyerman Dark Munich
2 lbs. Dingemans Special B
2 lbs. Dingemans Cara 45 (Caramunich)
1 lb. Dingemans Biscuit
1 lb. Dingemans Aromatic
1 lb. Dingemans Cara 8 (Carapils)
2 oz. Dingemans Belgian Chocolate

Mashed w/ 10 gallons of RO water (plus chemical additions)
@130° F for 15 minutes (from 133-128° F)
@146° F for 30 minutes (from 154-146° F; extra 10 minutes)
@156° F for 35 minutes (from 158-154° F)
@166° F for 10 minutes

Batch sparged w/5 gallons of RO water (plus chemical additions) @168° F for 15 minutes

Added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (90 minute), and added:
w/60 to go: 3 oz. Styrian Golding pellet 5.25% AA

w/15 to go: 2 Whirlfloc tablets

w/10 to go: ½ oz. Styrian Golding pellet 5.25% AA

w/5 to go: 1.5 lb. Belgian Dark Candi Syrup & 2.5 lb. Belgian Dark 2 Candi Syrup

@ removal from heat: ½ oz. Styrian Golding pellet 5.25% AA

Chilled to 60° F and split into two 4 ½ gallons batches; I used White Labs WLP550 yeast slurry from 82. Belgian Dubbel II, while Jeff pitched on the Wyeast 3787 pancake; initial fermentation took its sweet time getting started, so I pitched a fresh vial of WLP550 Friday evening to help it along. A little extra yeast won’t hurt in a beer this size; by Saturday morning there was a decent head of krausen on the beer.

Brewed: 3/17/2011
Secondary: 3/28/2011 @ 1.024
Bottled: 5/12/2011 w/ 3 oz. table sugar (3 gallons) @ 70° F; racked one gallon onto ¾ oz. Hungarian oak cubes (house toast); bottled on 7/15/2011 w/ ¾ oz table sugar

OG: 1.094
FG: 1.020

Tasting Notes (11/25/2011): Another beer I’ve been meaning to try; I was rather surprised that it had been in the bottle for six month already. Fleeting time, you rapscallion. The beer pours a rich, dark brown with plenty of orange in it—it certainly looks Belgian, if nothing else. The head is tan and rather ephemeral—it hangs out and slowly reduces, and while it never offers much it way of covering, the fleeting arabesques are a pleasant component of the beer. It also rouses rather easily, especially as it warms; when it was first opened, it appeared to be almost flat. The nose features toast and bread crust malt aromatics plus dark fruit and Belgian candy, with fig, plum, and date making themselves most prevalent. As it warms, it bleeds a delicious rum raisin. Flavors start sweet but restrained; there is Belgian candy, fig, and caramel in the front, followed by raisin and toast in the aftertaste. The middle features grape, fig, and plum flavors that lead into the warming finish of raisin and fig. The fruit flavors slowly rise over the course of the beer, finishing stronger and more emphatically than at the start. There is still a touch too much alcohol warmth in the finish, but the creamy dark fruit and candy covers some of it. The body is chewy, smooth, and rounded—it is good now, but I think it is on the cusp of something greater. I’d like to imagine that this beer is gonna go places, and that I’m going to be there to see it happen. Here’s hoping that this beer blows up and that I don’t become a helicopter parent. I’ll let you know how it tastes in another six months.

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