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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Westbennetteren 12

The main inspiration Westvleteren 12
Thanks Kevin (kbm)
I've been toying around with the idea of brewing a Belgian nah Trappist-style quad since I first tried Shawn's. It was a pretty eye opening experience for me.  I was still under an anti-Belgian-style beer kick due largely to my own lack of understanding of what it meant to be a Belgian-style beer and the wide scope that one label was being applied.  Shawn's quad was fantastic and made me long to try the ultimate examples of the the style Westvleteren 12.

That day came during my late night beer session for My Funky Brother Brett (which is tasting awesome right now).  We'd had a really good night of brewing and beer so on a whim I decide to open a bottle I'd been saving for several months to share with Rick and Daniel.   Few beers have lived fully up to the hype that surrounds them, this one did.

Daniel then became inspired to brew his own version for his 2012 Anarchy Ale called Westy Southwest.  He even made his own candi syrup for it which is really cool. I think Daniel taking the quad plunge was the last bit of inspiration I needed to just go for it and hop on the Quadwagon, Shawn had also recently rebrewed his quad.

The ingredients
The inspiration for the recipe came straight from the supplier of the candi syrup I used Candi Syrup Inc. I'd come across them while reading a post on The Mad Fermentationist.  They're a US producer of candi syrups that got into manufacturing them in part to nail a Westvleteren 12 clone.  They have a lot of great looking recipes on their site including one for Westvleteren 12.  Reviewing the recipe against Daniel's and others I'd found online made the decision to go with it as the basis a no brainer.  The only changes I made was to drop a pound of the D-180 and replace it with a pound of the D-90.  I did this after reading the second page of the recipe where they talk about the process of creating the recipe and mention using D-90 and D-180 together.  The other change was a minor hop swap.

Again the main issue was finding a time to brew it.  I've been training for a half marathon and have been doing my long runs on Sundays.  On Saturday I take my daughter to Little Gym mid-morning which places a damper on my brew schedule.  To make it even more complicated my wife was also training for a half marathon and ran the Tinker Bell Half the weekend I brewed.

The solution I came up with was to use the mash time in my favor and brew on Saturday.  Having mapped out my brewday for the Double BIG IPL brewday back in December I knew when I would have to have the mashing going so I could take Syd to Little Gym.  From there it was a simple matter of working backwards.  

I borrowed some equipment from my buddy Marshall
to make brewing the second beer faster/easier
Par for my course as of late I was under OG despite taking a preboil gravity reading and using BeerSmith 2 to correct for temperature. I'm getting frustrated and might buy a temperature correcting refractometer. I'm following BeerSmith 2 instructions and have loaded my Keggle setup into for equipment. For the quad it wasn't the end of the world (-6 points) and nowhere near infuriating as the second running beer I'll talk about on Thursday.

I started the fermentation at 65 overnight and have been slowly ramping up towards the 80s.  I'll probably peak at 82 on Wednesday then start to lower back to 67F for 5 days before racking to secondary when the gravity hits 1.012.  Then it will be into the cellar at 50 for a couple of months.  Yes, I will be bottle conditioning this bad boy and plan on using Candi Syrup Inc's Simplicity to prime it with. I might even harvest some actual Westvleteren 12 bottle yeast for bottling.



Westbennetteren 12
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 1/28/2012
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Brewer: Scott Bennett
Boil Size: 8.00 gal 
Boil Time: 60 min
Equipment: SNB Brewhouse (Keggle and Cooler)
End of Boil Volume 6.24 gal
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %

Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.092 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.086 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.014 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 10.6 %
Bitterness: 41.5 IBUs
Est Color: 30.7 SRM 


9.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)
8.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM)
2.00 lb D-180 - Extra Dark Candi Syrup (180.0 SRM)
1.00 lb D-90 - Dark Candi Syrup (90.0 SRM)

1.00 oz Northern Brewer [9.00 %] - Boil 60.0 min
1.00 oz Northdown [8.50 %] - Boil 21.0 min
1.00 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.40 %] - Boil 7.0 min

Large (4-pint) starter of Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530)

1.05 Items Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 15.0 mins) Fining 7 -
1.05 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Boil 15.0 mins) Other 8 -

Mash Profile

Mash Name: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 20.00 lb
Sparge Water: 4.97 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F
Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F Tun Temperature: 72.0 F
Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 5.56 gal of water at 167.7 F 156.0 F 45 min
Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (0.72gal, 4.25gal) of 168.0 F water
Mash Notes: Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Chill to 65F. Oxygenate for 60 seconds (O2 can be an advanced technique to increase ester production). Pitch yeast. Let rise to 82F up to and just beyond high krausen (3 days). Let temp fall gradually and maintain at 67F over the next 5 days. Rack to secondary when gravity reaches 1.012 and “lager” at 51F for 10 weeks. Using heavy Belgian bottles or Champagne bottles, prime with a 500ml stir-plate re-pitch WLP530 and Simplicity at a rate of 30 - 31g/gallon. Cellar for 6 months.


Yeast Starters
The D-180
Nailing temperature, now if only I
could start nailing OG
Hops and others
The D-180 is so dark.
Without the Syrups the SRM is 5.8
With them it's 30.7
Adding the D-90
The misty boil
I really like this shot
Ice bath to complete cooling it
Nice clear leftover shot
Hitting it with the O2
Nice amount of yeast
I love the rich mahogany color
The next day.  I've tossed on the brew belt to help maintain
the ideal temp both high and low.

1 comment:

  1. Color of the wort, sticky kräusen stuff, and blowoff look the same as mine. Can't wait to try these. The hydrometer sample of mine when going to secondary was awesome.


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