Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sour Belgian Dubbel Project

For the past three years I have been getting together with my friend Jesse to brew some sort of sour beer. We always brew some sort of a 10 gallon batch of Belgian Ale, and then split the batch. One half ferments out with a standard Belgian ale strain, the second half we then transfer to a secondary and send it through some sort of extended fermentation to sour the beer.

Today we got together and bottled last years version. See the summary here. In addition we brewed this years batch. A more traditional style Belgian Dubbel. For the "sour" half we plan to transfer into secondary in about 7-10 days and sour using Wyeast 3763 Roselare Blend yeast. In addition we plan to incorporate some sort of oak into the process, potentially Cabernet soaked french oak...but we are still working out those details. Well here is the recipe.

10 Gallon Batch
90 Minute Boil

21 lbs of Belgian Pilsner Malt
2 lbs of Munich Malt
2 lbs of Weyerman Pale Wheat Malt
1 lb Aromatic Malt
1 lb Caravienne Malt
1 lb Special B Malt

Hop/Sugar Additions:
2.5 oz Styrian Goldings [4.6% ] (60 min)
0.5 oz Sytrian Goldings [4.6% ] (30 min)
1 oz Saaz, Czech [3.2 %] (15 min)
1 oz Saaz, Czech [3.2 %] (0 min) Hops
2.00 lb Candi Sugar (Dark Candi Inc Liquid) - end of boil

Wyeast 1762 (2 packs with starter)


Pre-Boil Gravity = 1.050 (takes into account just the grain bill)
OG = 1.082
FG = 1.015
ABV = 9%
IBU = 22

We had a little better efficiency than I was expecting and our OG was a little higher then expected. Might put the ABV just outside of the style guidelines, although a 9% Belgian Dubbel should be fine especially since we will be controlling the initial fermentation temp below 70.

8 gallons @ 152 for 90 minutes. As you can see from the picture above...we were pushing the limit on my all grain cooler system with 28 lbs of grain. If I brewed this again I would probably cut back the Pilsner malt to 18 lbs.

10 gallons @ 200 for 60 minutes

Below is a photo of our Belgian Single Project (...which we were saying today is more like a Belgian Sour Blonde project). Will have to see what some carbonation does to the final soured version of the beer. My initial thought is the brett is certainly there, the beer is as dry as a bone, it just didn't turn out super sour/funky. I still think it's going to be one nice tasting beer though.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Christmas Ale 2010

I forgot to post about the annual Christmas Ale I have brewed with my good friend Tommy G for the past 5 years. This years version has been brewed, fermented and is currently bottle conditioning. The brew day went pretty well, with one kind of somewhat major mistake. Hopefully that mistake doesn't have too much impact on the final beer. So, what was the mistake you ask? Well the recipe we designed calls for 2 lbs of brown sugar. I typically I buy 1 lb bags of brown sugar. This time around I didn't realize the bags I picked up were actually 2 lb bags. So we go ahead and empty the two bags into the last 10 minutes of the boil and then sit back to relax while the boil finishes. I'm sitting there a glance over at the bags we just put in the trash...2 lb value pack! Ughhh, oh well. So this years version has 4 lbs of brown sugar (in a 10 gallon batch). Initial taste shows that the beer dried out some more and may be a little thinner then we typically like. Our efficiency was a little off though so somehow the OG ended up around the same, with the FG dropping a little lower then expected. So who knows, could make for a fun Christmas.

22 lb of American Two Row
1 lb of Wheat Malt
1 lb of Crystal 20
1 lb of Crystal 80
1 lb of Victory
1/2 lb of Chocolate Malt
2 lb of Brown Sugar (Beet Sugar) (made a mistake and 4 lbs ended up in the kettle). Added the last 10 minutes of the boil.

3 lbs of Extra Light DME

1.5 oz of Tomahawk @ 60 minutes
1 oz of Amarillo @ 30 minutes
2 oz of Simcoe @ 15 minutes
2 oz of Simcoe @ KO

6 sticks of Cinnamon
2 Vanilla Bean Split
3 tsp of Nutmeg (Whole ground on brew day)
3 tsp of All Spice (Ground)
1 tsp of Madagascar Clove (Ground)
Zest of 6 Navel Oranges
All added at 1 minute left in boil.

Wyeast 1028 London Ale Yeast – large starter. 2 packs

Pre-Boil Gravity = 1.051 (takes into account just the grain bill)
OG = 1.081
FG = 1.010-1-020
ABV = 8.2-9.5%
IBU = 34

All Grain Steps

Mash with 8 Gallons of Water @ 152 degrees. Hold as close to 152 as possible for one hour. Keep 1 gallon of cold water around to adjust temp.

Sparge with 10 Gallons of Water @ 200 degrees.

Final Numbers
OG = 1.079
FG = 1.015
ABV = 8.3%