Thursday, January 12, 2006

My Recipe for Belgian Dark Strong Ale

"Good Ben" asked if I would post my recipe for Belgian Dark Strong Ale that he enjoyed at my brew-ha-ha, last Sunday. Actually, here's the latest version of a "Dark Strong" that I'll be brewing next, which will be very similar to the last:

Belgian Dark Strong Ale II
Style: Belgian Dark Strong Ale, 18E
Type: All grain
Size: 7.5 gallons
Water: Charcoal-filtered tap water, with approx. 3 gallons distilled H2O, (to reduce alkalinity).
Grains and adjucts:
8 lb. British pale malt (Maris Otter)
18 lb. (Highly-modified Belgian) Pilsener Malt
2 lb. Cara Munich malt, Dingeman
1 lb. Biscuit Malt - 23L, DWC
2 lb. Cara Vienne (Crystal) 19-27L, Dingeman
1 lb. 8 oz. Aromatic Malt - 26L – DWC
3 lb. Rye Malt - Weyermann, 1.4L
1 lb. Carafa (de-bittered Black Patent Malt)
8 oz. Chocolate Rye Malt
1 lb Dark Jaggery (palm sugar from India)
3 lb Rice Hulls (for mash filtration and preventing a "stuck mash")
73% efficiency, single infusion.
Mashed at 154-158 for 100 min
Start recirc. through mash bed to clarify, last 20 min of mash
Batch sparged at 170F, 5.5 gal volume (approx).
120 minutes
Add 2 tbsp Irish moss at 90 min into boil.
Last 15 minutes of boil:
Add 0.10 oz Black Malabar pepper (ground)
Add (secret ingredient #1)
Add (secret ingredient #2)
Add 0.25 oz of fine Indian Coriander (ground)
Add 0.15 oz of grains of Paradise (ground)
Add...oz of (secret spice)
2 oz. Amarillo Plugs (9% AA, 60 min from end of boil)
2 oz. Saaz (3.75% AA, 45 min.) Specially Aged Bohemian Hop Pellets
1 oz. Saaz (3.75% AA, 30 min.) Specially Aged Pellets
2 oz Bad Ben's Homegrown Green Hop Flowers (my special mixture, 30 min.)
1 oz. Saaz (3.75% AA, 15 min.) Specially Aged Pellets
2 oz Bad Ben's Homegrown Green Hop Flowers (my special mixture, 15 min.)
2 oz. Saaz (Dry Hop in secondary fermentation)
Yeast and Fermentation:
For initiating primary fermentation:
One pack of Wyeast Abbey Yeast II, 1762 XL, smacked 3 hrs in advance.
1 starter of unspecified yeast, started 36-48 hrs in advance (from my own preferred yeast culture...from 3 different sources). Add yeast energizer and aerate vigorously for a long time.
Primary Fermentation in SS or glass for 5 to 9 days.
Secondary fermentation in SS or glass for 14 days, add 1 pack of Wyeast Trappist High Gravity-3787 yeast
Also add 1 tbsp "special homemade yeast energizer", and add 2 oz Saaz hops at this time, for dry hopping.
Tertiary Fermentation for 30-60 days in SS or Glass, add 1.5 oz of medium-toasted French oak chips at this time.
Carbonation: Force-carbonate or bottle condition to between 2.4 and 3.0 volumes of carbonation.

Now that I've posted and read it, I realize there's a little work involved with producing it.
It's a labor of love, though.


headlessbob said...

Wow... thats one of the most complex recipes I've ever seen! That beer must have more flavours than are identifiable by humans ;)

Ben, aka BadBen said...

Yeah, I have to enlist the help of "trained apes" in the form of guys named Alex, Good Ben, Doug, Matt, etc. to identify all of the flavors.

The problem is, they end up getting too Eff'd-up to coherently verbalize a critique of the beers they are tasting, and of course, they resort to sign language and body language.

For Example: A loud burp followed by a righteous fart with a double thumbs-up translates to, "it has a modest nose, mainly sugar and malt, and a hint of the yeast- but little in the way of fruit save some faint raisin or fig, perhaps. The taste is roasted but sweet malt up front, followed on with some fruitiness which was elusive in the smell, particularly cherry. I also detected a bit of something like rye. Towards the finish there is a mere hint of alcohol and some yeast, and no hops bitterness to speak of. Overall, the flavor isn't especially complex, making this an easy drinking beer, especially for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale."

Luckily, I'm an expert in deciphering body and sign language from these simple, but happy creatures.

GDSever said...

That sounds like one seriously tasty brew. I just picked up a bag of Pilsen malt to make my belgians this spring.

You definitely took that recipe to the extreme - I thought my Oak-Aged Vanilla Porter was involved to brew... You've bested me by a long ways.

Bryan said...

Hop dam! That sounds like one tasty brew! Keep us informed on the progress of this one!

GDSever said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

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