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December 16, 2015 by fhsteinbart


Quad

Typical Belgian Quad served in a proper Tulip Style glass.

I get asked a lot by customer’s how to make certain styles of beer. Around this time of year it’s mostly about strong beers like Barleywines, Imperial Stouts, Dubbels, Tripels, etc. The brewing of strong(er) beers for the holidays is no more difficult than that of regular or standard strength beers. I brew a lot of these kinds of beers, as I like Belgian Beers, and the largest segment of these beers are the ones called by their original names: Blonde, Dubbel, Tripel, Golden Strong, Dark Strong, Stout and IPA. What these beers all have in common is an elevated amount of alcohol, a drier finish, and low to medium bitterness with low to medium hop character. Sometimes these beers are referred to as “Imperialized”, which means that they resemble the beers of old Imperial England of days past. The old rule of thumb to Imperialize any beers was to increase the amount of fermentables by 50%, and double up on the hops. This is done mostly due to the increased osmotic pressure on the hops which cuts down on the kettle utilization of the isomerization process. So, by keeping the balance of gravity and bitterness in mind, we can easily now come up with a good starting place for mapping out our grain and hop bills. I can give you a recipe for  a beer that I like to make around the holidays as a Belgian Quadruple, which is listed below. The main thing to remember is to keep the fermentation temperatures in the mid to high 60’s in degrees Fahrenheit. This will control and reduce the higher alcohols, which will later be reduced to esters after a proper amount of aging in the cellar. Also, don’t forget to increase the amount of yeast as well. I make 3 liter starters for my beginning beer, then increase the gravity of each successive beer until I have a yeast cake big enough for the desired beer I’m brewing. I find that the third generation is the best to use. So I go from Blonde to Dubbel to Tripel (or Golden Strong) to Quad (or Dark Strong) for best results. Either that, or pitch a 5 liter starter into the recipe below:

 

Extract:

  • 9 lbs. Light DME
  • 3.3 lbs. Munich LME
  • 1 lb. Clear Candi Sugar
  • 1 lb. Aromatic Malt
  • 1 lb. CaraMunich Malt
  • 1 lb. Special B Malt
  • 3 oz. Liberty Hops (Bittering)
  • ¼ oz. Brewing (Calcium Chloride) Salts in the boil
  • Wyeast 3522, White labs WLP510, Imperial Gnome, or Fermentis Abbey Dry Yeast

Instructions:

  • Heat 2 gallons of water to 155°F.
  • Turn off heat and add steeping grains, and steep for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the steeping grains, adding the malt extract and stirring until fully dissolved, then add water to volume.
  • Return to heat, bring to boil for 10 min. then add bittering hops. (Goldings, 60 min).
  • At 20 minutes remaining in the boil, add the flavor hops.
  • At 15 minutes remaining in the boil, add a Whirfloc tablet.
  • At the end of the boil, add the Candi Sugar.
  • After boil has finished, turn off heat and cool wort by placing kettle in an ice bath or use a wort chiller (0 min).
  • Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and bring total volume to 5 gallons using non-distilled bottled water or filtered tap water.
  • Aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well).
  • Pitch yeast and ferment at 68° F until completed (about a week).
  • Allow to age an additional four to six weeks before packaging up as usual.

All Grain:

  • 15 lbs. Pilsner Malt
  • 3 lbs. Munich
  • 1 lb. Clear Candi Sugar
  • 1 lb. Aromatic Malt
  • 1 lb. CaraMunich Malt
  • 1 lb. Special B Malt
  • 3 oz. Liberty Hops (Bittering)
  • ¼ oz. Brewing (Calcium Chloride) Salts in the mash and in the boil
  • Wyeast 3522, White labs WLP510, Imperial Gnome, or Fermentis Abbey Dry Yeast

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 149°F for 1 hour. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 10 minutes into the boil. Add the Whirlfloc tablet at 20 minutes remaining in the boil. At the end of the boil, add the Candi Sugar then cool the mixture by placing kettle in an ice bath or using a wort chiller. Add mixture to fermenter, removing hops, and aerate unfermented wort (shaking works well). Pitch yeast and ferment at 68°F. Gravity may vary depending on system efficiency, so adjust accordingly, using malt extract if needed.

Package up as usual; bottled versions should use 120 gms. corn sugar (approx. 1¼ cup), or kegged to 25 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 55°~60°F in a Tulip or Teku glass, share, and enjoy! This beer will continue to evolve and change over the coming months, so make enough to last you through your next brew.

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