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Belgian Quad - Safe to Bottle?

OG: 1.093. It’s been at 1.023 for 3 weeks. 2 months in primary total right now. About 73% attenuation. WLP530 calls for 75-80%. I have no problem with letting it go another month in primary, but I’m doubting t it will move at all. Any chance of bottle bombs if a bottle it? I can also keg it, but I wanted the bottle conditioning on this one. Thoughts?

Fermentation was started at 68F and allowed to free rise. Never got above 74F though. I think next time I’ll mash at 148F, add the sugar during the 1st few days of fermentation instead of in boil, and push the temp up a little more. I really wanted this beer drier. The sample is sweet… and boozy right now (not bad though).

BeerSmith 2 Recipe Printout - http://www.beersmith.com
Recipe: Belgian 1
Brewer: Patrick
Asst Brewer:
Style: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications

Boil Size: 8.41 gal
Post Boil Volume: 7.28 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 6.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 5.25 gal
Estimated OG: 1.098 SG
Estimated Color: 24.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 20.4 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 83.1 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
14.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 62.2 %
6.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 2 28.9 %
2.00 lb Candi Sugar, D-180 (180.0 SRM) Sugar 3 8.9 %
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [10.00 %] - Boil 60.0 mi Hop 4 20.4 IBUs
2.0 pkg Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) [35.49 ml Yeast 5 -


Yeast Starter:
1.35L, 170g DME, dash of Yeast Nurtient, 10 seconds O2. Stir Plate. 10pm start time on 21Oct2011. 10pm to 4C Fridge. Heavy ferment. Krausen out top. Should have used blow off.

Mash:
8.25 gallons at 161. 150.8 mash temp. 1 hour.
Collected 5.75 gallons @ 19.8 Brix = 1.080 SG.
Added 2.25 Gallons at 190. Real thick mash. Temperature variable. 150-170F.

Collected: 7.75 gallons @ 17Brix = 1.068 SG.

End Boil: 6 gallons. 22.4 Brix, 1.093 Hydrometer reading.

I would think with the no adjunct grains and good starter you would dip just under 1.020 like 1.018 ish but anything approaching 1.100 does inhibit the yeast as the osmostic pressure is so high and forces death to the weaker cells and inhibits budding if my memory is recanting correctly today. You didn’t hit any type of alcohol ceiling either as the strain should reach over 10% but in a case of a beer that will finish above that figure I think multiple wort feedings come into play. At any rate 3 weeks with a stable reading above 70f is definitely done and could be bottled. Some may be on the other side of the fence but I am a big fan of bulk conditioning big beers in secondary for at least a month before bottling, so if you subscribe to that then this would also alleviate any FG concerns as well and the racking alone may see a kick start to encourage a few more point drop if anything.

Good looking recipe, I like the simplicity.

I think your terminal gravity needs to be lower. It should go down to at least 1.017. You might want to brew another low gravity Belgian like a Blond and then rack the Quad onto that yeast cake when it is done. I would especially do this if you plan to age the beer. I have had too many Belgian bottle bombs when my T.G. was over 1.020. Do everything you can to get that T.G. down or the beer will always be too sweet and you will have problems. Luckily, a beer that strong should be fairly forgiving when it comes to autolysis. You should be able to put it in secondary for a few more weeks until you can get something else going.

Could I rack to secondary, wash yeast, and get another starter going? Or are those yeast mostly spent?

Anyone have a nice belgian blonde recipe? I have some Simplicity sugar I could use in it.

I wound up brewing a Belgian Blonde with the same yeast. Then I dumped the Quad on that yeast cake after 10 days.

I got the FG down to 1.018 for the Quad. Tastes good. I’ll bottle it this weekend if I can hunt down some champagne bottles.

The good news? The Blonde tastes (from the secondary sample) like my most to style beer yet. I can’t wait to get it carbed and taste it. A Happy accident. Of course, I’m just going to keg that one so it will be a little less to style. I’ll brew another batch once I can collect some bottles.

Awesome B, good to hear it dipped down a bit. Also thanks for posting back results too many take advice and use it but fail to post feedback if it helped. This type of courtesy will help others that run into similar possible problems. Good Show!

I see that you lost yeast out of the top of the carboy. I have had this happen before and the beer finished too sweet. Next time, split the batch between two carboys. You don’t need a blow off tube, you need to keep that yeast in the fermenter to bring the gravity down. You may not have bottle bombs, but you will always have a beer that is too sweet if you don’t try to bring the gravity down. I would brew another lighter beer and then rack the quad onto that yeast cake. I have done this before, and it should bring the beer down to 1.018 or below.

Ooops. I just read the rest of the post. Good call. I hope the beer comes out well.

Don’t forget to put some of the beer in small bottles too. It can make for a rough morning when all you have are 750s of a 9+% beer.

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