Monday, November 16, 2015

Belgian Quadruple | Meditation 32

Brew date: Sept. 18, 2015
#42 - 6 gal

I often find brewing to be a meditative experience. Spending the day outside, just enjoying the process and taking in the natural scene from my driveway. Apples quietly dropping from our tree. Birds chirping. The occasional passerby. Peaceful. A great way to kick off my birthday weekend and the perfect setting for this beer.

I've wanted to brew a Belgian quadruple ever since my first taste in 2007 at Brasserie V in Madison -- a great place for discovering Belgian and other European beers. The recipe is loosely inspired by several that I found, including clones for St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Westvleteren 12.

Brewing this batch did come with difficulties. The week leading up to brew day, I dutifully made a yeast starter, but to little visible effect. After a couple of days, I purchased another White Labs vial and added it to the starter, again with seemingly little effect. Finally, I pitched a pack of Wyeast 3787 Trappist yeast directly to the wort. It's now fermenting away, but I'm still not sure if that's due to the White Labs starter or the Wyeast pack.

Moreover, a hose slipped at the end of chilling and whirlpooling, causing a loss of almost a gallon of wort. Extremely unmeditative. I need to start using clamps to keep the hose in place.

10 lb Pilsner malt (Avangard)
6 lb Pale ale malt (Briess)
8 oz Aromatic (Dingemans)
4 oz Special B (Dingemans)
4 oz Debittered black malt (Dingemans)

1 oz Northern brewer (7% pellet) (60)
0.25 oz Fuggle (5.3% pellet) (60)
1 t Irish moss (15)
1 lb Dark candi syrup 180L (10)
1 lb Medium candi syrup 90L (10)
0.5 lb Light candi sugar (10)
1 oz Styrian golding  (3.7% pellet) (3)
1 oz Hersbrucker (2% pellet) (3)

1.8L White Laps 500 Trappist ale starter w/ two vials
1 pack Wyeast 3787 Trappist high gravity

5.25 gal filtered
5 gal RO
4 g Gypsum
Profile calculator

Mash in 6.25 gal @ 130F
Protein rest @ 125F (15)
Sac rest @ 150F (30)
Sac rest @ 156F (30)
Mash out @ 168F (10)
Batch sparge 4 gal
Boil (75)

OG: 1.092
FG: 1.023
ABV: 9.15%
IBU: 28
Efficiency: 70%

1st running: 4 gal @ 1.084
Preboil: 8 gal @ 1.069
OG: 5.5 gal @ 1.104
Add 1 gal sparge water to sac rest to cool to 156F
Lost ~1gal when hose slipped out of boil kettle during whirlpool

Chill to 70F and pitch
Ferment at 66F
Keep below 72F and above 64F