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JonV1027

Newbie Belgian Golden Strong

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Hello everyone! My wife got me a Mr Beer kit for Christmas and I am starting to get addicted to Home Brewing (Like there was an option). I am conditioning my first batch (Grand Bohemian Czech Pils) and about to bottle my second (Aztec Cerveza). I just recently bought two new LBKs so I could get a pipe line established (the addiction, it's growing). I've been reading "How to Brew" by John Palmer and it has been a great resource for me to really understand the process.

Now, to the meat of my question. I'm attempting to brew a Belgian Golden Strong (Belgians are my favorite). I figure if I brew it soon it will condition nicely for October (birthday month for my brother and I).

My idea for the recipe is as follows:
4lb Northern Brewer Pilsner LME
1.25 lb Pure Cane Sugar
.5oz Saaz @ 60
.5oz Saaz @ 45
.5oz Palisade @ 10

Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity

Recipe Gravity: 1.095
Estimate FG: 1.024
IBU: 29
Color: 4
ABV: 9.2%
ABW: 7.2%

The plan is: Bring initial 4 cups to boil. Remove from heat and add 2lb of the LME. Bring slowly to boil again and boil the hops at their respective intervals. Remove from heat after 60 minutes and stir in the second half of the LME in. I was thinking about "feeding" the cane sugar into the LBK in intervals because I know high gravity brews can be tough for the LBK, no? I was thinking: first half of the sugar after the first week of fermentation and then the second after the second week. Letting it ferment for a total of 4 weeks before bottling.

Does this sound like a good plan? Any suggestions for improvement!

Thanks,
Jon

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Doesn't look too bad. The only thought I have is that I wonder if 1.25 pounds of sugar is too much for an LBK sized batch???? I've got a Belgian Golden Strong waiting in the wings and I only have 1 lb of candi sugar in it for a 5 gallon batch. I don't know if there is a difference between the two sugars either. And who knows...I may not have enough sugar in mine, so you may be OK. I'm sure others will chime in.

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Thanks BlackDuck! I used QBrew to come up with the recipe (tried to stay within the guidelines pretty strictly). I figured that's less than 1/3 of the ABV coming from simple sugars, right? I'm still new so I could be confused. :)

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Do you have a LHBS near you?

I would use Belgian Candi not Pure cane sugar.

--- Edit ---

I would do atleast 2quarts min for the boil to get more out of the hops and less watered down.

Really if it was me 1 gallon water for boil, I also would do a grain steep with Cara or Crystle malt (1/2# max)

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I do have a smaller LHBS near me. They have Dark, Clear, and Amber Candi Sugar. It doesn't specifically say "Belgian Candi Sugar" is it the same stuff?

If I were to use Candi Sugar over Pure Cane Sugar would I need to add more/less/same?

Taking your suggestions Trollby, how does this look?
4lb Northern Brewer Pilsner LME
1.25 lb Clear Belgian Candi Sugar
.5 lb Briess Carapils steeped
.5oz Saaz @ 60
.5oz Saaz @ 45
.5oz Palisade @ 10

Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity

Recipe Gravity: 1.095
Estimate FG: 1.024
IBU: 29
Color: 5
ABV: 9.1%
ABW: 7.2%

Boiling a full gallon of the wort instead of the 4 cups. Should I still "feed" the Candi Sugar in intervals or should I just boil it into the wort?

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Guest System Admin

I believe the Candi syrup (what I have used) is sold in 1# bags.

Fpr best belgian style you shoud add the Candi syrup after primary fermentation slows (day 5-7 or so)

Boil about 1 cup water add candi and cool, add to LBK.

Yeast will get vry active again, LBK puking happens if not enough head space.

DO NOT AERATE the addition, pour as clean as possible

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Awesome! I really appreciate all of your help. Is there any trick to avoid aeration while adding the Candi Syrup mix or should I just be REALLY careful whilst pouring?

I'm hoping to brew this one up next weekend after I get paid. I'd do it this weekend but SWMBO and I are celebrating our anniversary and going out of town.

Thanks again for all of the help!

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Just pour it as carefully as you can. And be sure to post back after you brewed this. I'm curious to know how it ends up for you.

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Ok, sounds good. I'll make sure to keep you guys updated as it comes along.

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~20% sugar is not too much for a strong golden. Your a little bit over but not by a lot. I'd go with a full pound of sugar for sure.

You can use the cane, but clear candi would be "better" as other have mentioned.

Feeding the sugar in 2 intervals of 1/2# each will give you the best possible fermentation with the 3787 with your gravity and since you are using extract. It will get the yeast all rowdy and attenuate better and that's a good thing for a strong golden. Just feed it a day or so after the krausen starts to fall a bit, then feed it again a day or so after that new krausen starts to fall a bit.

Do not be surprised if the krausen doesn't fall totally. It may not fall completely even before the beer is actually done fermenting. 3787 is like that. So when I say "falls" it's relative, as in it's no longer spewing out your lid.

If you want the best flavor with 3787, pitch it in the 60, but let it warm up into the 70s during active fermentation. Then when it settles down after your feedings bring it back down into the 60s, or even 50s if you can and keep it there for a few weeks.

You should seriously consider under-filling your fermenter and adjusting your recipe as needed for that volume. As in maybe only an 8Q batch. Because you will need a lot of head space, if you fill higher you will probably blow off a lot, and likely end up with only that much by the time your done anyways along with a big mess.

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mashani....thanks for the recommendations on fermenting temp for this. It will help this summer when I can do mine. Basement is too cool right now. I knew it had to be fermented a little on the warmer side, but didn't know it was best to bring back down after the feedings.

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Wow Mashani, thanks for all the advice! I was actually going to ask about under-filling to avoid LBK pukes. Glad you covered it! :chug:

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Your welcome. It will at least keep any LBK pukes more sane.

Back in the day making a big tripel where pitched on a yeast cake and did 3 feedings, I literally lost a gallon of wort due to blowoff of a 5 gallon batch in a 6.5 gallon carboy using Westmalle yeast. Which is what 3787 is derived from.

Unless you are using a huge starter or a yeast cake it's not going to be that bad, but still, this yeast likes to make big krausen when it's happy so it's best to give it some room.

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I promised to keep you guys updated. So, I ordered the necessary ingredients from Northern Brewer. My LHBS charges $3-4 more per item. Pretty insane. Plus their options are limited :(.

Anyway, it is supposed to arrive on Thursday so I'll throw the hops in the freezer and the LME in the fridge because I'll be brewing up this delicious monster on Saturday.

More pics then!

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the 1.25 of sugar needs to be added after the primary fermentation I also think it is too much for this batch size
Also remember that candi syrup or candi sugar is just beet sugar. clear = no carmelization the colored one is caramelized to what degree you want candi sugar crystals is rock candy

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"haerbob3" post=345814 said:

the 1.25 of sugar needs to be added after the primary fermentation I also think it is too much for this batch size


I was thinking the same thing.

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Roger. I ended up just getting one packet of Golden Candi Syrup from Northern Brewer so I will only be using the 1# bag and adding it in two intervals. I forgot to edit that in the posted recipe. Sorry about that.

Thanks again for all the helpful advice gents. This board is very receptive of new brewers. It makes asking for help much easier. I should have known a group of avid beer drinkers would be a cool bunch.

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with this brew you may want to get a 3 gallon carboy. It will make your feedings a lot easier. When you do the second feeding add the syrup to a cup of water bring to a boil to sanitize cool before adding to the beer. I brew a DeuS style Christmas ale with this yeast (Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity). Now here is where the twist comes in. After the sugar solution for the first feeding cools add wine yeast, for the second add champagne yeast. You can get near 20% ABV with this technique. Here is what happens the (Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity) will fement the majority of maltose. Wine yeast will ferment a lot of the more complex sugars that the ale yeast can't. The champagne yeast will ferment even more of these complex sugars. Rack as necessary to ensure clarity. I do it with each feeding. Bottle when the gravity is 1.000. Let bottle condition for at least 1 year. My first batch reached its peak at 5 years. This has now become a 10 gallon batch. I hope to have some of this next batch for when my oldest grandson reaches 21 :)

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That's really cool, haerbob3. I'm impressed you were able to let it condition for 5 years. Talk about patience! Your grandson is a lucky guy.

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That is why it is a Christmas Ale two 750 ml bottles on Christmas day the rest just stays in the basement doing its thang.

BobH

PS: I am brewing up a batch of a Belgium Strong Ale today. The water in the ole HERMS is heating up once it hits 135* I'll dough in. When mash temp reaches the 148* to 150* I'll mash for 90 min, drain, do a recirculated sparge, first wort hopping and a 90 min boil. Two sugar feedings of a pound each with house made vanilla & orange candi sugar syrup

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Hey guys! Quick update. I brewed up the Belgian Golden Strong today. I got an OG (little low) of 1.062. According to QBrew that's still low even without the Candi Sugar. After adding the Candi Sugar I should be close to 8%. I just hope it tastes good! Thanks for all the advice!

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Morning after update. I was kind of in a rush last night and didn't end up adding enough LME. I weighed my leftover LME and I was almost a pound (.8) off from what I should have put in the wort. So this morning I boiled a cup and half and added the extra LME. I tried to minimize the additional volume because I know I will also be adding more when I feed in the Candi Syrup.


The good news is the 3787 yeasties are working their butts off! High Krausen and very active fermentation. When I poured in the additional LME the smell was heavenly. I have very high hopes for this one. Here is to hoping I can contain the LBK pukes while I bring the fermentation temp up! :lol:

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Well the 3787 is winning it's fight. I had my first LBK puke on this batch. Cleaned up all the lovely gunk. Wiped down the lid with a sanitized paper towel and put it back in the cooler with a single frozen water bottle.

This yeast is crazy. I'm really excited about how this beer turns out.

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"JonV1027" post=348985 said:

Well the 3787 is winning it's fight. I had my first LBK puke on this batch. Cleaned up all the lovely gunk. Wiped down the lid with a sanitized paper towel and put it back in the cooler with a single frozen water bottle.

This yeast is crazy. I'm really excited about how this beer turns out.

3787 always makes good beer. It's very forgiving. You will like it as long as you like Belgians.

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Thanks Mashani. I have high hopes for this one. Quick question though. I lost control of fermentation temperature on the first night. It shot up to about 78ish. I have since slowly backed it down to 68.

I know that you said to keep it at around 68ish for the first few days (yeast replication I assume) and then slowly bring it up to mid 70s. I was planning on warming it up to around ~74 slowly over the next few days before doing my first sugar feeding.

Do you think the short time at 78 would produce too many fusel alcohols and ruin the batch? I know it is supposed to get hotter but I'm a little worried it got hot too early/quickly.

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you are fine this yeast will often go into the 80's (actual fermentation temp of the wort). If you like Belgium beers I highly recommend the book "How to Brew Like A Monk" Belgium beers are unique as you learn more about them you will see that the general brew "turths" do not apply to these beers

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Thanks Haer. I really want this one to be tasty. It is going to be aged until my dang birthday after all!! :laugh:

I will definitely check out that book. Once I get a little better I'd like to attempt a Quad similar to the Ommegang Three Philosophers but maybe with actual cherries added after primary rather than mixed with a Kriek.

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You will be fine, I've fermented with 3787 with the wort temps @74-80 for extended time in the summer and made good beer. As long as you like Belgians you will like it. You can get a bit more complexity by letting it ramp up and down more slowly, where being more stable at a lower or higher temp will favor the spice or the fruit more, that's all. I tell people to try to keep it closer to 78 at max, just because it can go nuts when warm, not because 80 will make bad beer. You might get some spicy alcohol flavors, but they are not inappropriate and they will mellow out over time, and they are not like the "fusel" flavors you'd get using an American yeast at those temps.

RE: the cherries, you can use real cherries, or there is a tart cherry candi syrup that MoreBeer sells which would probably work excellently, and would kill 2 birds with one stone ( you NEED candi sugar in a Quad and I think a mixture of the cherry candi syrup and some 180-L would rock ).

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Thanks mashani. Cherry Candi Syrup sounds like it would be awesome. I'm going to start on some Partial Mash brews in the near future (probably after a couple more extract with specialty grain batches). After I get the hang of it and ensure my efficiency is good maybe I'll work on a partial mash quad and use the Cherry Candi Syrup.

I really appreciate the help mash/haer. You guys are great.

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My Christmas ale is based on Belgium brews. I use Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity for this. With careful sugar feedings and the additions of wine and champagne yeasts you can get the ABV close to 20%. Check out DeuS clone recipes for the technique. Will take a year of conditioning to become a respectable beer. My first batch reach its peak at 5 years. This is a great capper for doing the Belgiums Colonna Capper/Corker

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I did my first Candi feeding last night. The Krausen had "fallen" (you're right Mashani, compared to other brews fallen is a relative term). MAN does it smell good in there. I checked on the temperature this morning and it was already pukin' on me again :lol:

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That's awesome...I can't wait to brew my Belgian Golden Strong this summer. I've got this thread marked so I can go back and re-read when I need to.

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UPDATE: Fermentation has slowed over the past few days and I'm managing to keep the temp below 62F (can't be exact because the strip stops at 62). I took a hydro reading today just to make sure I didn't drop the temp too soon and I got a 1.011. I was expecting this to stop somewhere around 1.024 (according to QBrew anyway). Any thoughts on why this might be?

I tasted the hydro sample and it was awesome! It had a wonderful banana aroma and was mildly sweet with a nice spicy aftertaste. I can't wait to taste it again on bottling day (for science!).

Also: Thanks Haer for the recommended reading. I ordered brew like a MONK and have been thoroughly enjoying the read. The history of Belgian brews is almost as interesting as drinking them... almost.

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RE: lower FG:

2 things...

1) QBrew does not calculate sugar correctly, it acts just as if it's malt extract, so it only gives it about 75% attenuation instead of 97-100%. (EDIT: some people have said this isn't the case, but for me it never works right, I'm looking at it right now and no matter what I do it's wrong... the way to figure it is to look at your FG without the sugar. Then treat that as close to your FG even though the sugar bumps up your OG. Or use smarter brewing software).

2) When you feed 3787 sugar it gets happy and chews up stuff... it will potentially attenuate even the malt over 80% when you feed it. QBrew figures it at 75%.

Glad you are liking how it turned out so far. I have never made a beer with 3787 I did not like that I recall.

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Just wanted to update you guys on the progress of this wonderful brew. I batch primed it (first time) today and bottled it. I drank the hydro sample and it was exceptional. Banana armoa and slightly sweet up front. Finishes slightly spicy and dry. Overall it is a very clean and tasty beer. I can't wait for it to carbonate. I've got a couple little bottles that I will taste at two months out and a couple swing tops that will wait until October or more.

I will probably not bump this thread again as the next post about this beer will be in the First Pour sticky.

Thanks again for the help everyone. :banana:

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I would recommend getting Beersmith if you are serious about brewing Belgiums and the like. Mine is in secondary right know. I just had to add a dry hop charge

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I'll take a look into Beersmith, haer. I've been using QBrew. Is Beersmith better or similar in terms of functionality?

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a lot better. You can set up profiles to adjust for your equipment, the style of brewing you do you get a bit of cloud storage, keep an inventory. If I remember right someone was putting together a MR B DB for it

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