Belgian Strong Ale II

Don't need a question to start a thread here. The weather is hot, it would be nice to know when the next brew is coming.

Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby keat » 29 Nov 2008, 00:47

spud wrote:Forgive me but didnt I read that eff is dependant on grain crush and sparge timing.. the other things are of minor concern, important but the first two are the ones that have the biggest effects for the smallest change..


the water pH makes a difference too. If you're in the ballpark of 5.2 - 5.4 at mash temp, it should be at optimum efficiency (for mash pH).
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby htkm » 31 Dec 2008, 00:35

Alright lads. After nearly 2 months (Thread started on 11 Nov'08), finally finally managed to brew this.

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This recipe is from Jamil's Belgian Dark Strong ale >> http://beerdujour.com/Recipes/Jamil/Jamils_BelgianStrongDarkAle.html

Had to substitute a few malts cause they were not available. Again the target OG fell short. Had to do with the Belgian "Candi" sugar as the mash OG was about there at 66%. Still fine tuning the mill/crasher. I'll close the gap till I get 80% mash efficiency. Then again might not as I don't want to have a stuck mash. Rather add more malt and have coarse crash than have a fine crash and get stuck mash.

I must say the new pot and mash tun were just nice for high gravity. Fits 10kg of grain (Dry) with mash:water ratio @ 2.5Lt per kg.

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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby htkm » 31 Dec 2008, 01:05

Continue>> Add 1/2 tsp of pH5.2 to mash and sparge water. Over did it on the amount of sparge water also. New equipment so Shit Happens! LOL!

Not to happy with the Belgian "Candi" sugar though. First time was off target OG now second time same. Looks like I'll need to add a few pounds of it. :? Was so pose to get 1.080 but end it up 1.070.

Boiling was a disappointment! More like the current stove at fault. With the new pot looks like I'll have to get a single high pressure burner because with the current one it's just small little bubbles coming up to the surface. Don't talk about roll boil.... :x

Cooling was also another issue cause for the first time I cooled it straight away after boil. Off course I did let the trubs sink to the bottom first. Under estimated the amount of ice needed to cool a 70C wort compared to a 40C one.

Finally the liquid yeast. This was a real stress'er. Made a 2Lt starter about 3 weeks ago. Was planning to brew since then..... Boiled 200g of LME with 2Lt of water and added 1/4tsp of yeast starter at 20C till a few days ago when I forgot to change ice in the cool box. :shock: The temp went up to 24~26C. The yeast suddenly started moving again but this time I could see velvet like white stuff on the surface. Doesn't look like Krausen. (See Photo)
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Had a sniff and boy was it strong. A bit of off smell with lots of spice and alcohol at the end. Didn't try a taste as I wasn't drunk. No beer to drink actually. Crossed me fingers, decant it and poured the slug into the wort. It started less then 18hrs. Started to form Krausen now. Smells a bit *skung'ke* though.
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby keat » 31 Dec 2008, 11:58

looks like yeast to me. Some yeast float more to the top than others, so nothing to worry about. I would also have a taste (and spit if too funky), but usually a sniff test is good enough.
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby spud » 03 Jan 2009, 11:31

Hi there HT,
Happy New Year & many more to come.
1 Question re cooler, U think U able to get the mash vol to cope with say a 9.0% Brew.

cheers spud
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby htkm » 03 Jan 2009, 15:31

spud wrote:Hi there HT,
Happy New Year & many more to come.
1 Question re cooler, U think U able to get the mash vol to cope with say a 9.0% Brew.

cheers spud


Hi Spud,
Happy New Year to you too.

Should not be a problem. 10kg of grain is more then enough for a 9% ABV. Just need to fine tune the mill crash to hit 70¬80% efficiency.
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby keat » 04 Jan 2009, 07:54

66% efficiency is quite low. I noticed some grains still floating in your mash, are those uncrushed grains or just the grain husks? If it is uncrushed grains, you really need to adjust your mill.
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby htkm » 05 Jan 2009, 02:44

keat wrote:66% efficiency is quite low. I noticed some grains still floating in your mash, are those uncrushed grains or just the grain husks? If it is uncrushed grains, you really need to adjust your mill.


Hi Keat. Happy new year. Those are just grain husks. I prefer it that way cause it helps when sparging time. Less likely to get a stuck sparge. But as you can see, the efficiency is reduced. Next round I'll do the crash more finer.

Had a measure and a taste. OG still at 1.032. but tasted great! Taste something like Chimay but sweeter and less tart than the first brew. Don't know if I want it that way. Prefer Duvel than Chimay. Brewing belgian is more complex and require more attention. Especially need to watch the temp. too cold and the yeast sleeps. too high temp. and the yeast will start killing itself.
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby Hunty » 05 Jan 2009, 14:20

htkm wrote:
keat wrote:66% efficiency is quite low. I noticed some grains still floating in your mash, are those uncrushed grains or just the grain husks? If it is uncrushed grains, you really need to adjust your mill.


Hi Keat. Happy new year. Those are just grain husks. I prefer it that way cause it helps when sparging time. Less likely to get a stuck sparge. But as you can see, the efficiency is reduced. Next round I'll do the crash more finer.

Had a measure and a taste. OG still at 1.032. but tasted great! Taste something like Chimay but sweeter and less tart than the first brew. Don't know if I want it that way. Prefer Duvel than Chimay. Brewing belgian is more complex and require more attention. Especially need to watch the temp. too cold and the yeast sleeps. too high temp. and the yeast will start killing itself.



Happy New Year HT, yes agree with Keat, reckon 66% is way too low. We have the same mill right ? I am using mine on first setting and getting > 82%. I also dont see those husks that you do for some reason.... suggest tweaking the mill a bit...

look forward to a taste of this fuel ;)

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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby htkm » 10 Jan 2009, 11:42

Had a FG measured and taste test. FG @ 1.010 from 1.070. So Alcohol %: 8.77%. Taste.... wow! strong with spices. Looking forward to it.
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby keat » 10 Jan 2009, 22:13

htkm wrote:Had a FG measured and taste test. FG @ 1.010 from 1.070. So Alcohol %: 8.77%. Taste.... wow! strong with spices. Looking forward to it.


nice, thats very good attenuation. Now you need to age it for another 3 months before drinking :D
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby Hunty » 11 Jan 2009, 08:36

keat wrote:
htkm wrote:Had a FG measured and taste test. FG @ 1.010 from 1.070. So Alcohol %: 8.77%. Taste.... wow! strong with spices. Looking forward to it.


nice, thats very good attenuation. Now you need to age it for another 3 months before drinking :D


Can I have a few litres, want to see if it will power my car :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby htkm » 29 May 2009, 08:53

Hunty wrote:
keat wrote:
htkm wrote:Had a FG measured and taste test. FG @ 1.010 from 1.070. So Alcohol %: 8.77%. Taste.... wow! strong with spices. Looking forward to it.


nice, thats very good attenuation. Now you need to age it for another 3 months before drinking :D


Can I have a few litres, want to see if it will power my car :lol: :lol: :lol:


No problem. Had a glass last night. 4 months in the fridge and it's strong than before. This ones a strong one I tell yeah. One glass / pint and I get hang over the next day. Can't drink like you drink normal beer which you take a month full. Need to sip.
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby craigev » 30 May 2009, 17:12

Hey Keat, where to find calcium carbonate in singapore ?
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Re: Belgian Strong Ale II

Postby keat » 31 May 2009, 10:24

craigev wrote:Hey Keat, where to find calcium carbonate in singapore ?


In schools....loads of them on the chalkboard .. just kidding :lol: :lol: :lol:

I got mine mail ordered from morebeer... not sure where to get in sg
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