Author Topic: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing  (Read 610 times)

Online Ck27

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Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« on: November 14, 2017, 09:53:41 PM »
So I'm brewing my first Belgian it's been 12 days and I took hydrometer sample it said 1.012 and my OG was 1.085. Beer still has bubbling brown krausen about a inch thick but tastes done, how much longer should I wait I'm using White Labs Abbey ale and White Labs Belgian Golden strains and I don't want to get off flavors from yeast consuming dead yeast but I don't know if this beer is done.

I should mention the beer fermented like mad for one day then had basically shown 0 airlock activity until I moved it today, Beer has fermented around 70-75F for most of the 12 days. So it should have been too cold.

I tried a bit it has a bit of a weird aroma, almost like green apples which I know is a sign its not done yet, and the alcohol doesn't really taste like its done as well its quite noticeable but just doesn't taste right and its not a infection I did use honey but can tell you from the krausen that the beer is still fermenting.

Thanks
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 10:09:40 PM by Ck27 »

Offline GigaFemto

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 01:35:24 AM »
If it has thick krausen and is still bubbling then it isn't done. The general rule is to wait until the gravity is the same for 3 days in a row. You shouldn't get off flavors from dead yeast unless  you let the beer sit on the yeast for many weeks, so you have a lot of margin still.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 02:16:36 AM »
If it has thick krausen and is still bubbling then it isn't done. The general rule is to wait until the gravity is the same for 3 days in a row. You shouldn't get off flavors from dead yeast unless  you let the beer sit on the yeast for many weeks, so you have a lot of margin still.

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Gravity hasn't moved in over 6 days. It is bizzarw because it tastes fine but smells mildly like Apple's and a weird floral smell kinda like a rose it's weird. I haven't used Belgian yeast untill now so I have no clue what's normal and what's not when it comes to belgians
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 02:22:53 AM by Ck27 »

Offline Oginme

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 05:43:18 AM »
What was your OG and how much simple sugars were in the recipe?  When were the sugars added to the fermenter?

If you have a good amount of simple sugars in your recipe from the beginning of fermentation, then the yeast will preferentially digest those first.  Newer generations of yeast which have been formed will have less ability to produce the enzymes needed to reduce more complex sugars, such as maltose, into simpler forms, such as fructose and glucose, for the yeasts to digest.  This can cause a stalling of the fermentation and prevent the yeasts from cleaning up any by-products they have produced during the real active early stages of fermentation.  A 'green apple' odor is usually caused by acetaldehyde, which is a product formed from the Krebs cycle and would normally be consumed (back into the Krebs cycle) by the yeast as the simple sugar concentration goes down. 

I would recommend drawing out a sample and tasting it.  If it is overly sweet, then you may need to add a small pitch of active yeast to reengage the fermentation.  I have done this one, on one of my first Belgians, by dissolving just a bit of DME into a few hundred cc's of water, boiling and chilling and then adding a bit of yeast.  I waited until the yeast started fermenting the starter wort and then pitched it into the fermenter.  Within a couple of days the gravity went from 1.024 down to 1.010 where it should have finished.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 10:09:24 AM »
What was your OG and how much simple sugars were the recipe?  When were the sugars added to the fermenter?

If you have a good amount of simple sugars in your recipe from the beginning of fermentation, then the yeast will preferentially digest those first.  Newer generations of yeast which have been formed will have less ability to produce the enzymes needed to reduce more complex sugars, such as maltose, into simpler forms, such as fructose and glucose, for the yeasts to digest.  This can cause a stalling of the fermentation and prevent the yeasts from cleaning up any by-products they have produced during the real active early stages of fermentation.  A 'green apple' odor is usually caused by acetaldehyde, which is a product formed from the Krebs cycle and would normally be consumed (back into the Krebs cycle) by the yeast as the simple sugar concentration goes down. 

I would recommend drawing out a sample and tasting it.  If it is overly sweet, then you may need to add a small pitch of active yeast to reengage the fermentation.  I have done this one, on one of my first Belgians, by dissolving just a bit of DME into a few hundred cc's of water, boiling and chilling and then adding a bit of yeast.  I waited until the yeast started fermenting the starter wort and then pitched it into the fermenter.  Within a couple of days the gravity went from 1.024 down to 1.010 where it should have finished.
I listed OG above, it was mildly sweet. So most of sugars fermented out.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 10:30:40 AM »
I think you're just going to end up with a fruity Belgian (insert pun here). Tripel?

If you go out and drink a bunch of cork finished tripels you'll notice some that are really fruity and what I would call "juicy," especially when they're young.

Recently we had some Troeg's La Grave. http://www.troegs.com/beer/lagrave/

Despite their description, to me it tasted like peaches and pear (but not sweet). And what they describe as a dry champagne finish was more of a dry but "juicy" finish. I'll bet $20 they used oats in their recipe because that's where I think that finish comes from.

I'm going to buy it again simply to keep and reuse the bottles! But it's also a really good beer.

I really like the beer and if yours is a Belgian style (tripel?) and it turns out fruity and spicy, then you got it right.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 01:44:17 PM »
I think you're just going to end up with a fruity Belgian (insert pun here). Tripel?

If you go out and drink a bunch of cork finished tripels you'll notice some that are really fruity and what I would call "juicy," especially when they're young.

Recently we had some Troeg's La Grave. http://www.troegs.com/beer/lagrave/

Despite their description, to me it tasted like peaches and pear (but not sweet). And what they describe as a dry champagne finish was more of a dry but "juicy" finish. I'll bet $20 they used oats in their recipe because that's where I think that finish comes from.

I'm going to buy it again simply to keep and reuse the bottles! But it's also a really good beer.

I really like the beer and if yours is a Belgian style (tripel?) and it turns out fruity and spicy, then you got it right.

It's extremely spicy but not really Fruity and you can't taste the alcohol but know it's high because it kind of has warm feeling like carbonated soda on your tongue.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 04:07:22 PM »
It's extremely spicy but not really Fruity and you can't taste the alcohol but know it's high because it kind of has warm feeling like carbonated soda on your tongue.

Well, it doesn't have to be fruity per se. Spicy is good, which I think comes from yeast phenols. There are usually fruity esters too, but from what I read of WLP530 Abbey Ale yeast, it's less estery than say WLP500 Monastery Ale yeast. We used that one for ours because we wanted lots of yeast esters.

The fact that it's high in alcohol (OG = 1.085) but you can't tell is perfect. That's exactly what you're looking for. I hope ours ends that way.

I don't know if you're bottle conditioning, but if so I'd try to get it into the bottle before too long. We had ours in primary for about 10 days and in secondary for only about 9. We bottled it the first day we could tell it wasn't really fermenting anymore.

We actually were debating whether to use CBC-1 to bottle instead of just letting the primary yeast handle the job. But we didn't want to ruin it, so we only used CBC-1 in 4 of the 750-mL bottles we filled as an experiment. We went whole hog with the corks and cages. A few bottles have bottle caps.

We're also letting them bottle condition for 60 days minimum at 65 F. We'll try a bottle then, but we plan to cellar them for about 6 months before giving any out to people. I've read that 55 F is best for this.

What type of carbonation are you doing? If you're bottle conditioning (which is probably best for this style) are you going for high carbonation? We're shooting for around 4 volumes.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 08:29:04 PM »
It's extremely spicy but not really Fruity and you can't taste the alcohol but know it's high because it kind of has warm feeling like carbonated soda on your tongue.

Well, it doesn't have to be fruity per se. Spicy is good, which I think comes from yeast phenols. There are usually fruity esters too, but from what I read of WLP530 Abbey Ale yeast, it's less estery than say WLP500 Monastery Ale yeast. We used that one for ours because we wanted lots of yeast esters.

The fact that it's high in alcohol (OG = 1.085) but you can't tell is perfect. That's exactly what you're looking for. I hope ours ends that way.

I don't know if you're bottle conditioning, but if so I'd try to get it into the bottle before too long. We had ours in primary for about 10 days and in secondary for only about 9. We bottled it the first day we could tell it wasn't really fermenting anymore.

We actually were debating whether to use CBC-1 to bottle instead of just letting the primary yeast handle the job. But we didn't want to ruin it, so we only used CBC-1 in 4 of the 750-mL bottles we filled as an experiment. We went whole hog with the corks and cages. A few bottles have bottle caps.

We're also letting them bottle condition for 60 days minimum at 65 F. We'll try a bottle then, but we plan to cellar them for about 6 months before giving any out to people. I've read that 55 F is best for this.

What type of carbonation are you doing? If you're bottle conditioning (which is probably best for this style) are you going for high carbonation? We're shooting for around 4 volumes.

It won't carbonate well if it's 20% or higher well I should say it will bit you won't see bubbles really. And it won't have much of a head. But yeah I've bottle conditioned them and have started drinking the beers :).

You can add champagne yeast into the beer to carbonate and to help with the head that's what they do for La fin dumonde.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 02:04:11 PM »
It won't carbonate well if it's 20% or higher well I should say it will bit you won't see bubbles really. And it won't have much of a head. But yeah I've bottle conditioned them and have started drinking the beers :).

You can add champagne yeast into the beer to carbonate and to help with the head that's what they do for La fin dumonde.

Damn, is yours 20%? That's a liqueur!

Ours is like 9.3%, maybe 9.6% after bottle conditioning.

I really like La Fin du Monde. It's a good one. I didn't realize they used champagne yeast. That may be why it's on the dry side. It's a good example of a dry and spicy tripel.

It's only been about 2.5 weeks since bottling, but I gave one of the capped bottles a bit of a shake and there was plenty of bubbles, so I think they're carbonating nicely so far. I didn't shake the bottles with CBC-1 in them because I didn't want to get the cork wet with beer. Probably doesn't matter. But I also don't want to go shaking a bunch of bottles and disturbing things.

Nice that you're already drinking yours. We're going to wait until they've been in the bottles for 60 days (Jan 19th) before we try one. I'm so impatient about it though. I need to just forget about it.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 02:39:38 PM »
It won't carbonate well if it's 20% or higher well I should say it will bit you won't see bubbles really. And it won't have much of a head. But yeah I've bottle conditioned them and have started drinking the beers :).

You can add champagne yeast into the beer to carbonate and to help with the head that's what they do for La fin dumonde.

Damn, is yours 20%? That's a liqueur!

Ours is like 9.3%, maybe 9.6% after bottle conditioning.

I really like La Fin du Monde. It's a good one. I didn't realize they used champagne yeast. That may be why it's on the dry side. It's a good example of a dry and spicy tripel.

It's only been about 2.5 weeks since bottling, but I gave one of the capped bottles a bit of a shake and there was plenty of bubbles, so I think they're carbonating nicely so far. I didn't shake the bottles with CBC-1 in them because I didn't want to get the cork wet with beer. Probably doesn't matter. But I also don't want to go shaking a bunch of bottles and disturbing things.

Nice that you're already drinking yours. We're going to wait until they've been in the bottles for 60 days (Jan 19th) before we try one. I'm so impatient about it though. I need to just forget about it.

Typo I meant 10%

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 02:43:50 PM »
It won't carbonate well if it's 20% or higher well I should say it will bit you won't see bubbles really. And it won't have much of a head. But yeah I've bottle conditioned them and have started drinking the beers :).

You can add champagne yeast into the beer to carbonate and to help with the head that's what they do for La fin dumonde.

Damn, is yours 20%? That's a liqueur!

Ours is like 9.3%, maybe 9.6% after bottle conditioning.

I really like La Fin du Monde. It's a good one. I didn't realize they used champagne yeast. That may be why it's on the dry side. It's a good example of a dry and spicy tripel.

It's only been about 2.5 weeks since bottling, but I gave one of the capped bottles a bit of a shake and there was plenty of bubbles, so I think they're carbonating nicely so far. I didn't shake the bottles with CBC-1 in them because I didn't want to get the cork wet with beer. Probably doesn't matter. But I also don't want to go shaking a bunch of bottles and disturbing things.

Nice that you're already drinking yours. We're going to wait until they've been in the bottles for 60 days (Jan 19th) before we try one. I'm so impatient about it though. I need to just forget about it.

The beer is clear much clearer than I expected for a beer with wheat in it. Suspect that need to stir up the yeast as is traditional to fix that which I've done and looks normal when I do that. I used 2 pounds of honey in my  beer  and the yeast did a good job. Produced a lot of sulfur but that's normal for one of the strains. I'm happy with the beer, I think it will keep getting better because it is high in alcohol like a fine wine.  I put 4 bottles away for a year or 2 so I'll open those when time passes and test them

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 10:22:59 AM »
Typo I meant 10%

Oh! LOL All good.

The beer is clear much clearer than I expected for a beer with wheat in it. Suspect that need to stir up the yeast as is traditional to fix that which I've done and looks normal when I do that. I used 2 pounds of honey in my  beer  and the yeast did a good job. Produced a lot of sulfur but that's normal for one of the strains. I'm happy with the beer, I think it will keep getting better because it is high in alcohol like a fine wine.  I put 4 bottles away for a year or 2 so I'll open those when time passes and test them

I've had very cloudy Hefeweizens that were like 70% wheat clear up a lot sitting in the fridge for a while. It eventually settles out regardless I think. There was a lot of sediment in the bottle as you can imagine. Our belgian has wheat in it too. It's only about 15% of the entire grain bill though.

Interesting about the honey. We've been making fruit meads lately and I really do want to try a honey beer. I think I would rather add the honey close to the end of fermentation so that more of the honey flavor is there.

We used ever so slightly raw cane sugar in our belgian (kind of a beige color). This is before I realized that the Belgian Candi sugar is actually a kind of invert sugar and not just sucrose. Oh well, the yeast inverts it anyway. Honey is also kind of inverted, or mostly so I think, mostly fructose and glucose, but also some sucrose and maltose.

I don't know why it would make much difference, but yeast handles these different sugars differently. I read somewhere that lots of monosaccharides in the wort will delay or interrupt fermentation of more complex sugars. I think it may be that the yeast "sees" a bunch of monosaccharides and in response doesn't bother synthesizing a bunch of invertase. So it ferments the mono's first and then gets a bit tired and doesn't bother making so much invertase to tackle the di's and tri's. If so, there would be a difference in fermentation side products, ie esters and phenols, coming from the yeast between beers that started with a bunch of mono's and beers that didn't. And there would be a difference in the remaining unfermented sugars. But if it's aged, almost all of the fermentable sugars will be fermented anyway.

So I don't know how different ours will turn out after it's all said and done. The sample we tasted before bottling sure tasted like a warm semi-flat tripel, so I'm not convinced it's necessary to use an invert sugar. I would definitely use the dark candi sugar for a dubbel though.


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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2017, 02:17:31 PM »
Typo I meant 10%

Oh! LOL All good.

The beer is clear much clearer than I expected for a beer with wheat in it. Suspect that need to stir up the yeast as is traditional to fix that which I've done and looks normal when I do that. I used 2 pounds of honey in my  beer  and the yeast did a good job. Produced a lot of sulfur but that's normal for one of the strains. I'm happy with the beer, I think it will keep getting better because it is high in alcohol like a fine wine.  I put 4 bottles away for a year or 2 so I'll open those when time passes and test them

I've had very cloudy Hefeweizens that were like 70% wheat clear up a lot sitting in the fridge for a while. It eventually settles out regardless I think. There was a lot of sediment in the bottle as you can imagine. Our belgian has wheat in it too. It's only about 15% of the entire grain bill though.

Interesting about the honey. We've been making fruit meads lately and I really do want to try a honey beer. I think I would rather add the honey close to the end of fermentation so that more of the honey flavor is there.

We used ever so slightly raw cane sugar in our belgian (kind of a beige color). This is before I realized that the Belgian Candi sugar is actually a kind of invert sugar and not just sucrose. Oh well, the yeast inverts it anyway. Honey is also kind of inverted, or mostly so I think, mostly fructose and glucose, but also some sucrose and maltose.

I don't know why it would make much difference, but yeast handles these different sugars differently. I read somewhere that lots of monosaccharides in the wort will delay or interrupt fermentation of more complex sugars. I think it may be that the yeast "sees" a bunch of monosaccharides and in response doesn't bother synthesizing a bunch of invertase. So it ferments the mono's first and then gets a bit tired and doesn't bother making so much invertase to tackle the di's and tri's. If so, there would be a difference in fermentation side products, ie esters and phenols, coming from the yeast between beers that started with a bunch of mono's and beers that didn't. And there would be a difference in the remaining unfermented sugars. But if it's aged, almost all of the fermentable sugars will be fermented anyway.

So I don't know how different ours will turn out after it's all said and done. The sample we tasted before bottling sure tasted like a warm semi-flat tripel, so I'm not convinced it's necessary to use an invert sugar. I would definitely use the dark candi sugar for a dubbel though.

Seems like your beer will be good, suprisingly the honey I used does provide flavor even though it went in during primary I can taste it. Beer is great :). I think the combination of yeast strains balanced it out and helped a lot with the flavor. :). But holy smokes Belgian golden is a sulfur bomb.

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Re: Quick question about Belgian beer I'm brewing
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2017, 09:56:34 AM »
We had no sulfur smell to speak of (knocks on wood). You mixed yeasts. Could that be the reason? We went with just WLP 500 (Monastery Ale). But from what I understand, sulfur smells usually come from the grain or from the water and not from the yeast so much. Could be wrong about that though.

I want a Belgian to enter into a contest and I notice that Quads always seem to win. In beer competitions, the thing that they say about a beer that sticks to the style best is the one that wins is such a crock. It's almost always the beer that's got the "most" to it. In the German Wheats it's always the weizenbock. In the Belgians, it's always the Dark Strong (Quad). It's usually the type of beer with the most alcohol or the most hops. The IPA that wins is the one with 10 oz of hops for a 5 gallon batch. Stuff like that.

So I guess we have to go with a quad. But in shopping around for candi sugar I feel like I'm about to get ripped off. $6-10 per pound, for what amounts to either just sucrose, sucrose syrup and some flavoring, or invert sugar/syrup with some caramelization (which you can easily make at home for next to nothing).

I think that I want to make it using honey instead. It's its own invert sugar syrup with with "natural flavoring" and there are many varieties to choose from. I think I might just stick to something like orange blossom. I don't want it to be too dark. If I were making darker beer, I'd go with avocado honey, which is very good.

As for the yeast, I think I want to use Omega OYL-018 (Abbey Ale C). It's listed as being very estery without much phenols, which I think would suit a quad best. Who knows, maybe I'll experience the sulfur smell.

I can't enter this Tripel because it's all in large bottles and the few small bottles that it's in, I don't want to lose. But, now I've got a few of these 375 mL cork bottles. Entering little corked and caged bottles might give the entry an edge. Anyway, just rambling now.   :-X

 

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