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03/24/06 10:28 AM  
Show Your Westvleteren clones
I'm interested in seeing clones for Westvleteren 8 and 12 that you have made and come extremely close to the real thing. However, now that we have the dark candi syrup available your recipes might have to change some if you were still missing that elusive ingredient in the flavor profile. I've got 8 bottles of syrup coming from morebeer.com next week.
03/27/06 05:03 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
Wow, no takers? I find the obsession with Westy 12 to be pretty amazing. The "best beer in the world" poll from RateBeer named Westy 12, and two years ago the "babblers best" poll also had Westy12 as the all-round fav Belgian. Just before that there was a Westy12 vs. StBernardus 12 thread, and by far more babblers preferred the StB. But they didn't call it the all-round fav where the Westy fans did. With all the attention the beer gets, its fascinating that we have a bunch of Rochefort 10 clones but none for the "best beer in the world"!!
03/27/06 05:40 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
Yea Steve, I'm pretty shocked also that no one has stepped in with a good clone recipe. Maybe nobody has been able to come close enough. By the way, I do prefer St Bernardus Abt, it's a little sweeter than the Westy12.

So anybody have a St Bernardus Abt clone that comes real close????????

Sean Paxton
03/27/06 06:01 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
Hey Cisco,

I did a Westy 8 clone for the Dark Candi Sawp. I have the recipe at home. Moving a little slow this morning. Was at the 12 Hr Belgian Party in Calsbad over the weekend :) Nothing like lots and lots of great beer to slow you down.

I'll post my recipe tonight. The Dark Candi syrup is a key ingredient. Warming the beer from 68 to 85 degrees is also key, specially with the 3787 yeast.



03/27/06 06:09 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
I finally racked my Westy clone into a serving keg. It's carbing up now. I had a sample and shared with a brewing friend. We both decided that the recipe I made up is closer to the West. 8 than the 12. Which is fine by me.

The best part was that my friend liked my beer better than the Westy. In his top 20 fav homebrews. And that is no easy feat with this guy. We did happen to have a couple of Westvleterens to compare it to. I'll get my recipe up when I get home. I didn't post before because I wanted to see how this was going to turn out first.

Sean Paxton
03/28/06 12:28 AM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
My recipe for the Westy 8:

Westvleteren 8

Belgian Dubbel

Type: All Grain

Date: 1/22/2006

Batch Size: 5.00 gal

Brewer: Sean Paxton

Boil Size: 6.02 gal

Boil Time: 90 min Equipment: My Equipment

Brewhouse Efficiency: 82.0


Amount Item Type % or IBU

5.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) (3.0 SRM) Grain 49.7 %

2.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) (1.6 SRM) Grain 19.9 %

1.00 lb Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 9.9 %

0.06 lb Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 0.6 %

1.00 oz Goldings, U.S. [5.30%] (60 min) Hops 16.2 IBU

2.00 oz Saaz [3.10%] (30 min) Hops 14.9 IBU

1.00 tsp Yeast Nutrient (Primary 3.0 days) Misc

2.00 lb Candi Sugar, Dark (275.0 SRM) Sugar 19.9 %

1 Pkgs Trappist High Gravity (Wyeast Labs #3787) [Starter 2000 ml] [Cultured] Yeast-Wheat

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.062 SG

Measured Original Gravity: 1.063 SG

Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG

Measured Final Gravity: 1.006 SG

Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.4 %

Actual Alcohol by Vol: 7.4 %

Bitterness: 31.0 IBU Calories: 278 cal/pint

Est Color: 41.4 SRM Color:

Mash Profile

Mash Name: My Mash Total Grain Weight: 8.06 lb

Sparge Water: 4.17 gal Grain Temperature: 72.0 F

Sparge Temperature: 168.0 F TunTemperature: 72.0 F

Adjust Temp for Equipment: FALSE Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Name Description Step Temp Step Time

Step Add 11.28 qt of water at 159.0 F 149.0 F 60 min

Step Decoct 3.51 qt of mash and boil it 165.0 F 15 min



03/28/06 12:49 AM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
Here's Mine:

7.5lbs Dingemans Pils

7.5lbs Dingemans pale

500mL candi syrup

0.7oz Northern Brewer 7.0%AA @ 60min

0.9oz Hall. Hersbrucker 4.8%AA @ 45min

1.0oz Fuggle 4.5%AA @ 30min


Matched the Westvleteren water profile

Sacch rest @ 148F for 90min.

OG 1.080

FG 1.012

03/28/06 06:57 AM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
<<So anybody have a St Bernardus Abt clone that comes real close????????>>

:D!!! Very good!

03/28/06 12:16 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
Thanks for posting, Sean and N8.

Sean's recipe is closer to what I would imagine it to be. However N8's is intriguing because there are no crystal malts what so ever, just the dark candi syrup and a claim that it's preferred over the actual Westy8. Wow, now I'm perplexed. Sean, were you able to also compare side by side yours to a real Westy8??

I agree that fermenting in the low 80's is a must with most of the Belgian beer strains if you want to get the true full character of the yeast.

03/28/06 12:17 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
I am waiting to bottle mine before I put up a recipe. It looks almost the same as N8's, but just more base malts. I also used 3787.
Sean Paxton
03/28/06 01:00 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
Welcome Cisco,

I did have my last Westy 8 as I brewed it. I haven't tried it yet, but am almost ready to bottle this week (the joys of bottle prep). I did change the recipe, as it was the first time I used the Dark Candi Syrup and didn't use enough. I plan on using it as a bottling sugar to make up for it.

I like N8's recipe too. I would also use some rock candi sugar in combination with the syrup.



Dave I
03/28/06 01:27 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
"I like N8's recipe too. I would also use some rock candi sugar in combination with the syrup."

Out of curiousity, why? Allegedly the rocks don't add any flavor, they're expensive, if you want to add more sugar to lighten the body then sucrose (or even Turbinado, Jaggery, etc.) is cheap, if you want more flavor from sugar you could just add more syrup, and Carafa is a cheaper way to add color and ostensibly aging stability. If I'm totally wrong here, let me know.


Dave I
03/28/06 01:41 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
N8, if you were changing your recipe to an attempt at Westvleteren 12, would you just up the OG?

Also, what are the chances your buddy prefers your beer to Westy 8 being that 1) it's fresh, as opposed to who knows what state the real stuff would be in once it got to the States, and 2) just a preference for the flavor profile for the Rochefort yeast? Either way, nice job! That sounds like quite the compliment.


03/28/06 01:46 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
I'm a little curious about that myself. The syrup is supposed to be the stuff that they really use over there. In fact I can say the dubbel I made with it is definately my best go at the style yet - so I'd be incline to believe that is true. What character do the rocks have that would compell you to use them in place of some amount of syrup?
Sean Paxton
03/28/06 02:26 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones

From reading ¡§Brew Like a Monk¡¦, Stan mentioned that Westvleteren uses the Dark Candi Syrup for color and use rock candi sugar as well to beef up the gravity and still dry it out.

I am from the mindset that each ingredient gives something different. Sure, you can use Turbinado sugar, but it does add a rummy note. You could use plain table sugar too, but I think that if you taste regular table sugar and rock candi side by side, you can taste the difference. The rock candi is a tad sweeter and a bit of a honey/applely taste. That, even if you are only using a pound or two, is one of those flavors that brings me back to using the rock candi.

Also, at a local asian market, they sell a clear rock candi in 16 oz bags for only $ 0.99 a package ļ And it has no strings either.

I¡¦ve been playing a lot with different sugars. I think each has there place. For a Westvleteren, to make it as close as you can, I said that the extra few bucks is worth it. The joys of trial and error. With so few ingredients, each one works together¡K

Just my philosophy on sugar



03/28/06 04:36 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
If I were to make this recipe to get a "12" type gravity i would up the base malts and add more syrup, possibly some sugar as well.

I only used Pils and Pale malts because BLAM states that that is all that the monks at Westvleteren use. No Crystal or any other adjunct malts.

As far as comparing the real Westy to mine: the Westy we had I had just brought back from Belgium a couple of weeks ago. It was fresher than my version. They put bottling dates on the cap now + 3 years for "an experation date" imposed on all breweries in Belgium. I couldn't say with any real confidence why he would prefer it, but I will take it as that, a well palced compliment. :)

Did I cover all the inquiries that were pointed my way??

05/25/06 02:33 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
N8, I'm very interested in the color you wound up with in your recipe above. How did the color of yours compare to Westy? What would you estimate the SRM to be? How long did you boil?
05/26/06 11:33 AM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
From what I remember the color was fairly close.

Judging SRM is not my strong point, but I would give it around 20,maybe.

I did a 90 min boil, my usual boil length.

11/19/06 08:26 PM  
Re: Show Your Westvleteren clones
"Warming the beer from 68 to 85 degrees is also key, specially with the 3787 yeast."


Do you mean starting the primary at 68 and slowly increasing the temp to 85? If so, what was the temperature schedule that you used?

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