|I got a corded drill to help me mill|
Over a year ago I set out to brew my first Belgium Quadrupel aka quad which I tongue-in-cheek called Westbennetteren 12. Not only did it become one of best beers I've brewed (in my opinion) but helped to kick off QuadFest along with Shawn and Daniel. If you recall from the post we had such a good time we already started planning the 2013 event. To make the date I needed to get brewing!
According to my notes from QuadFest 2012
I'm very pleased with how it came out. Lots of nice dark stone fruit flavor. Great character from the yeast. Slightly high level of carbonation but not as bad as I had feared. Similar to the Westvleteren but not as dead on as I was hoping for. It was definitely a little darker and the taste was close but not right there. I had another bottle of it the next day and took some notes for a tasting analysis. Next year I'll follow some of Daniel's advice and simplify the grain bill even more going straight up plisner.
I decided after reviewing Daniel's recipe (which was actually pretty similar to mine) to keep the split between pale and plisner the same. Last year I think I ended up using US grain (despite my notes saying Bel) because it's special order at the shop as I found out when I tried to get Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel so I ended up using some of the 2 row I had on hand (I do love buying grain by the sack).
|A rainbow of flavor|
For the sugar portion I again sought out syrup from Candi Syrup Inc. In order to lighten in up and modify the flavor slighty to try and get it more in line with Westvleteren 12 I changed the amount of D-180 from 2 lb to 1 lb and made up for it by adding a pound of D-45. So my order to Candi Syrup Inc was pretty much one of every syrup they offered (I use Simplicity to prime) with the exception of Golden.
If I recall the logic behind my hop schedule from last year I might have grabbed the Northdown thinking that they were a sub for Goldings which I couldn't find. This year I was able to find some Goldings so I made that switch.
I briefly toyed with the idea of using East Coast Yeast Trappist Ale (ECY13) but between price, availability and time I decided to stick with good old WLP530 Abbey Ale from White Lab. To build the projected 336.3 billion yeast cells needed I made a 6 pint starter and tossed it on my stir plate a few days in advance. For some reason BeerSmith 2 stops calculating yeast cell build after 4 pints (which ended up at 465.9 billion) so I know I was nicely north of the required amount.
As before when it came to temperature I took to the mid 80s for the initial fermentation. I actually got there a little fast (oh no) due to some issues with the balancing act as ask my fermentation cube to do for warming beers. I got it under control and will start lowing it as soon as it enters the below 1.020 range. After that it will be a nice 6 months of bulking conditioning at lager temps.