Sunday, July 19, 2009

Xtra Dark Belgian Abyss

I've been wanting to create a opaque Belgian ale for quite some time. I'd like eventually make something that has the smoothness of an oatmeal stout, with some roasted malt edge, but also carries a lot of depth found in many Belgian Dubbels. This beer is based off of various Dubbel recipes, but has a slightly stronger alcohol point, and a tiny addition of chocolate malt.

Hoping this ale is a good starting point for added stout-like complexities in the future, it should suffice as a big and complex, super dark Belgian for the cooler months to come.

I'm looking forward to how some late hoping with a spicy Spalt might influence the aroma. I imagine just a touch of UK Chocolate will add a slight roasted accent in flavor. With a color SRM around 26, it will plenty dark for my taste.

As an added experiment, 1 gallon will be racked over around .5-1 ounce of medium dark french oak cubes soaked in...probably rum. This should sit for a couple weeks, or until it carries the right amount of oak depth.

Xtra Dark Belgian Abyss

11. lbs. Ger. Pilsener Malt
3.0 lbs. Ger. Munich
.75 lbs. CaraHell
.60 lbs. Belg. Wheat
.45 lbs. Belg Biscuit
.65 lbs. Belg. Special B
.13 lbs. UK Chocolate

1.0 lbs. Dark Candy Sugar

.75 oz. Magnum, 14.4%. pellet, 60min
.50 oz. Hallertau Select, 1.5%, pellet, 30min
.80 oz. Spalt, 2.5%, pellet, 15min

Wyeast 3787: Trappist High Gravity (cake sludge)

Brew Day Stats

Brewed: 7/19/09
Racked: around 8/8/09
Bottled: 9/10/09

Water Adjustment
Strike: .5 tsp Gypsum, .5 tsp CaCc, .5 tsp Acid Blend
2nd Sparge: .25 tsp Gypsum, .5 tsp CaCl, .25 tsp Kosher Salt

H2O/Grain Ratio: 1.2 qt/lb
Sacch. Rest Temp/Time: 156->152°F/60min

2nd Batch SG: 1.040

Pre-Boil Vol/SG: 7.5gal/1.56 w/o sugar
Boil Time: 90min
Post-Boil Vol: 5.8
Mash Efficiency: 68%

OG: 1.076 w/ sugar
IBU: approx. 33
Color/SRM: Dark Brown/19-25
Ferment Temp: 73°F

FG: 1.018
ABW: 6.1%
ABV: 7.6%

Friday, July 17, 2009

Brew w/ Ted

I will be brewing an Extra Dark Belgian Strong Ale this coming Sunday. It will be a time of brewing, learning and sampling kitchen craft beers. I welcome anyone, who might find this interesting, to join in the fun.

The brewing process is fairly long and drawn out. It takes about 6 hours to complete the first major step, which is usually called "brewday." After a couple weeks of fermentation, and a few weeks of conditioning and carbonating, we can expect to pour a delightful glass of home made nectar of the Gods...BEER!

I've taught a good handful of people to brew their own batch of good beer from scratch. It's extremely rewarding for me because I really enjoy sharing my skills and teaching this particular craft.

This coming Sunday (7/19), I'd like to share this experience with anyone who finds brewing interesting or wants an inside peak at how beer is made. I invite anyone who already brews for a peak inside my own kitchen brewery. While brewing, I'd like to share some of the current beers I've made on draft.

One thing to note about operation times in my home brewery is that I get started pretty early in the morning. On a typical brewday, I get started at 5am. There are a few major advantages...

1. I get a couple hours of quiet & undisturbed alone time while the water heats and mash enzymes convert starch into fermentable sugars.
2. After sparging and the initial wort hot break, my daughter heads off to school.
3. Resuming the brewday uninterrupted helps me focus towards the end.
4. The brewday is finished with lots of time left in the day to do chores, errands, and family stuff.

Get in touch if you'd like to swing by (call --7.7-3..6-5.5--3..4-6..3--). If I do have any RSVP's, I'll gladly switch my normal 5am start time to a more reasonable 7 or 8am. Have a great weekend!