Sunday, July 20, 2014


A special brew day yesterday. I should have taken pictures. Yesterday we went FULL QUAD.

Dave and Shawn, a couple of friends, were on hand to assist through the day, which made it a lot easier. This 5 gallon batch of Belgian Quadrupel was a challenge, with some unusual and even unique steps.

Firstly, I used a liquid yeast in a starter I put on Wednesday, to give me the cell count needed to provide a healthy fermentation. I was able to effectively use Erin's stir plate (former research chemists have interesting toys) to get the most bang for my buck.

Secondly, this recipe called for a "magic elixir", a process step suggested by a respected brewing acquaintance. The first 1.5 gallons of runnings off the mash went into a separate pot, the demerara sugar was dissolved in, and it was boiled down by 50% or more to caramelize. Tricky, because it can't scorch or boil over, and the second burner I have is very hard to adjust. But Dave and Shawn handled that part of it well. By the time it was returned to the main pot, it was almost syrupy.

Apart from that, things were actually quite simple. A straightforward single infusion mash with batch sparge. A single hop addition.

A successful brew day. The technicals went well, and the company was welcome. But it'll be a while before we can enjoy the fruits of this labour. This is a beer for the winter, not a beer for now.

Recipe below.

Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 17 Jul 2014
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal Brewer: Chris Klein
Boil Size: 6.68 gal Asst Brewer: Dave & Shawn
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: Brew Pot (8gal) + Coleman Cooler
End of Boil Volume 5.86 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 5.00 gal Est Mash Efficiency 75.9 %
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Taste Rating(out of 50): 30.0
Taste Notes:
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
5.00 gal Distilled Water Water 1 -
5.00 gal Kitchener Water Water 2 -
9 lbs 8.0 oz Pilsner (Weyermann) (1.7 SRM) Grain 3 55.9 %
4 lbs 8.0 oz Vienna Malt (Weyermann) (3.0 SRM) Grain 4 26.5 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Special W (Weyermann) (150.0 SRM) Grain 5 8.8 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Dememera Sugar (2.0 SRM) Sugar 6 8.8 %
1.90 oz Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 7 27.2 IBUs
1.05 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 8 -
1.0 pkg Belgian Strong Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP545) [50.28 ml] Yeast 9 -
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.091 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.087 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.006 SG Measured Final Gravity: 1.010 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 11.3 % Actual Alcohol by Vol: 10.2 %
Bitterness: 27.2 IBUs Calories: 297.0 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 20.5 SRM
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, No Mash Out Total Grain Weight: 17 lbs
Sparge Water: 4.20 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20
Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 19.38 qt of water at 163.3 F 148.0 F 75 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 1 steps (4.20gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).
Carbonation and Storage
Carbonation Type: Bottle Volumes of CO2: 2.8
Pressure/Weight: 5.27 oz Carbonation Used: Bottle with 5.27 oz Corn Sugar
Keg/Bottling Temperature: 70.0 F Age for: 30.00 days
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stage Storage Temperature: 65.0 F
Extra brew step: take ~1.5 gal of first runnings and boil in a separate pot with sugar to caramelize. Boiled off about 50%. Because of this, I added a (poorly measured) amount of water, but probably about .75-1 gallon to the sparge.
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