My 1st Award-Winning Beer! – Strong, Dark & Stoopid Belgian Dark Strong Ale (All Grain)


Description:

My second all grain brew, this beer took 3rd place in it’s category at the 2014 Connecticut Beer Trail Homebrew Contest with two 41 scores (score sheets below).  It was about 4-months aged at the time of entry.  I brewed it in the typical manner with Belgian Candi Sugars and oaked it with both chips and cubes (in hopes of added complexity).  This was also my first time using a proper yeast starter (though I did still under-pitch by about 100 billion cells… some stress on Belgian yeast can create desirable effects for the style).
 

Batch Size:  5.25 Gallons
Measured Original Gravity: 1.083 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.015 SG
IBUs:  25.2
ABV:  8.9%

 

Recipe:

Mash at 152F for 75 minutes then fly sparge until desired amount of wort is collected:

12 lbs 4.0 oz Pilsner (2 Row)
1 lbs Caramunich Malt
8.0 oz Special B Malt
4.0 oz Wheat, Flaked

2.00 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] – Boil 60.0 min
1.00 oz Spalter [4.50 %] – Boil 1.0 min

1 lbs Candi Sugar, Clear (1.0 SRM) – Flame out
1 lbs Candi Sugar, Dark (90.0 SRM) – Flame out

1.0 pkg Belgian Abbey Ale Yeast (Wyeast Labs #1214) – 2 liter 1.035 starter 48 hours in advance

1.50 oz Oak Chips (Secondary 10.0 days) Flavor 10 –
1.50 oz Oak Cubes (Secondary 10.0 days) Flavor 11

 

Tasting Notes:

I’m really proud of this one.  There are layers upon layers of complex dark fruit and malt flavors with an effervescent, off-dry finish.  The subtle oak plays perfectly against these flavors.  On a downside, after 4 months of aging the bottles became “gushers” as was noted on my score sheets.   After 6 months they are regular geysers.  I obviously over-carbonated.  I’m hoping they will gas-off with time.  I’m not concerned about letting these sit for another 6 months to a year.  Time is your friend with this style.  I recently brewed up a revision of this brew which has not yet been bottled.  Stay tuned for that recipe in the future.


Score Sheets:

Homebrew contest score sheet          Homebrew contest score sheet

 

 

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2 Responses to “My 1st Award-Winning Beer! – Strong, Dark & Stoopid Belgian Dark Strong Ale (All Grain)”

  1. July 23, 2014

    Patrick Reply

    Just curious how many volumes of co2 you were aiming for at bottling? I just bottled my first BDSA going for 3.3 volumes of co2 using .88 cups of sugar for 4.5 gallons. Now I’m worried!

    • October 25, 2014

      admin Reply

      Sorry for the extended delay in responding. I was on a bit of a hiatus from the site but I’m back to updating now. I hope yours worked out. I think I was shooting for about 3 vols. The over-carbonation could have been due to slow yeast. I’m thinking it may not have been fully attenuated when I bottled it. Have you tried yours yet?

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