Google+

Style of the Week: Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Leave a comment

January 15, 2016 by fhsteinbart


Dark Strong

Here we see a nice Belgian Dark Strong or Abt. 12 beer served in a proper tulip glass. Notice the fine Belgian lace formation on the glass.

When people talk about Belgian style beers, there will be as many opinions as there are beers. This is why the categories have been split in two, with Belgian and French Ales being a separate category from the much stronger  Belgian Strong Ales. While the Monks typically will drink what is called the Simple or Single ale as their daily drinking beer, the other, stronger beers were made for the higher offices of the Monastery. At the very top is the Abbot 12, a beer reserved for the Abbot, and his guests, which we now call Belgian Dark Strong Ale. These beers start at 10~12% ABV, and go upwards. They appear to be a stronger version of the famous Dubbel, and its heritage shows this as the beers look similar, but their alcohol content is vastly higher. Brewing these beers is no more a challenge than any other strong ale, just a change in brewing techniques, and a whole lot of yeast and Candi sugar makes them the drinkable beers that they are. Below is a recipe of mine which has won many awards and will age gracefully for many years. While the recipe can be changed to suit your different Candi sugars available, the grain bill, and hop bill should maintain the bitterness to gravity (BU:GU) ratio to retain the balance of flavors and aromas.

 

Extract:

  • 14 lbs. Pilsen or Extra-light LME
  • 1 lb. Belgian Cara-Munich
  • ½ lb. Belgian Aromatic Malt
  • ½ lb. Belgian Biscuit Malt
  • ¼ lb. Belgian Special B Malt
  • ¼ lb. British Chocolate Malt
  • 2 lbs. Beet Sugar @ Knockout
  • 1½ lb. Demerara Sugar @ Knockout
  • 20 AAU Styrian Goldings or Willamette Hops @ 90 minutes
  • ½ oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 20 minutes
  • ½ oz. Styrian Goldings or Willamette Hops @ 20 minutes
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet @ 15 minutes
  • ½ oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 7 minutes
  • ½ oz. Styrian Goldings or Willamette Hops @ 7 minutes
  • Wyeast 3787, White Labs WLP530, or Imperial B48 Tripel Dubbel

 

Instructions:

  • Heat 1 gallon 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 7 minutes remaining, add the aroma hops.
  • After boil has finished, add the Candi Sugar and 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:

  • 16.75 lbs. Belgian Pale Ale Malt
  • 1 lb. 1 oz. Belgian Cara-Munich
  • ½ lb. Belgian Aromatic Malt
  • 0.44 lb. Belgian Biscuit Malt
  • ¼ lb. Belgian Special B Malt
  • ¼ lb. British Chocolate Malt
  • 2 lbs. Beet Sugar @ Knockout
  • 1½ lb. Muscavado Sugar @ Knockout
  • 20 AAU Styrian Goldings or Willamette Hops @ 90 minutes
  • ½ oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 20 minutes
  • ½ oz. Styrian Goldings or Willamette Hops @ 20 minutes
  • 1 Whirlfloc tablet @ 15 minutes
  • ½ oz. German Hallertau Hersbrucker or Liberty Hops @ 7 minutes
  • ½ oz. Styrian Goldings or Willamette Hops @ 7 minutes
  • Wyeast 3787, White Labs WLP530, or Imperial B48 Tripel Dubbel

Procedure:

Infusion mash at 147°F for 1 hour, using a thick (1qt./lb.) mash. Sparge to 6.5 gallons of wort, and bring to a roiling boil. Add the bittering hops 15 minutes into the boil. Add the flavor hops at 20 minutes remaining in the boil. Continue boiling for 5 more minutes, then add a Whirlfloc tablet or Irish moss. At 7 minutes add the aroma hops then at the end of the boil, 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 90 gms. corn sugar (approx. 2/3 cup), or kegged to 15 psig, and allow two weeks to come into condition. Serve at 55°~60°F in a Brandy snifter mug, 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.

Advertisements

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,754 other followers

beer sensory science

Dedicated to understanding the science of beer flavor

The Apartment Homebrewer

Brewing small batches of craft beer in a 650 sqft apartment

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

Seacoast Beverage Lab

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

The Not So Professional Beer Blog

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

The Beer Here

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

Beervana

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

-=BrewmanceNW=-

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

#pdxbeergeeks

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

BREWPUBLIC.com

World's Oldest Home Beer & Wine Supply Store

%d bloggers like this: