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Author Replies
Frank Reitz
04/17/08 11:10 AM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
NArvin, I know what you're talking about but I doubt that "Belgian breweries often get color exclusively from dark syrup/sugar". The only brewery I know of that uses the syrup that way is westvleteren and _maybe_ Brouwerij t Gaverhopke. It's true, however, that many belgian breweries uses a fair amount of the syrup together with dark malts and even roasted malts in some cases.

I would say in almost any dark belgian ale there's both dark malts and dark syrup.

/Frank

Frank Reitz
04/17/08 11:22 AM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
NArvin, I know what you're talking about but I doubt that "Belgian breweries often get color exclusively from dark syrup/sugar". The only brewery I know of that uses the syrup that way is westvleteren and _maybe_ Brouwerij t Gaverhopke. It's true, however, that many belgian breweries uses a fair amount of the syrup together with dark malts and even roasted malts in some cases.

I would say in almost any dark belgian ale there's both dark malts and dark syrup.

/Frank

Frank Reitz
04/17/08 11:23 AM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Sorry about the double-post, I didn't note the page "2" at first

/Frank

Narvin
04/17/08 01:40 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Well, yes, other than westvleteren, the trappist breweries do use crystal malts. But I don't think they use dark crystal like special b as much as most homebrewers do, and most probably stay away from roasted malts.

One other thing is that the trappists get super high attenuation, which probably contributes along with the high carbonation. I find it almost impossible to get 88% AA from a first generation wlp starter. Rochefort uses their yeast first for the 6, then havests for the 8, and finally the 10... I've never tried this, but I have heard that later generations can be more attenuative.

Baums
04/17/08 03:52 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
I think very few of the well known doubles and dark strong ales have chocolate or black malt in them. Have to double check BLAM...
Frank Reitz
04/18/08 02:17 AM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
That's right, Baums. As far as I remember Westmalle uses carafa like malts in their dubbel and St.Bernardus uses special B.

Regarding high attenuation my last dubbel had 86%AA and the belgian dark strong before that had 92%AA in the first go (went down from 1.092 to 1.007) and after 5 months in the bottle it's beginning be very good.

I recap

-The belgians normally step-mash for high attenuation so I doubt the softness comes from proteins alone but it might have an influence.

-The belgians often (almost always) uses candi syrup which might contribute to soft mouthfeel

-I didn't pay attention to water before and I personally think the right water contributes a lot (I had a listen to James Spencers water show where they in an experiment had brewed a stout and a pale ale with the water profile that matched both styles and a water profile that didn't match. Their comments on the stout sounded just like my problem. I know I can't compare a stout and a BDSA but I still think there could be something to it.

Next time I brew a BDSA I'll use the syrup and adjust my water and see what comes out of it.

/Frank

Ryan
04/19/08 05:05 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Hops apparently do aid head retention and here's why:

From New brewing lager beer by Gregory Noonan

"Some of the hop polyphenols are transported into the ferment in combination with simple albumins, forming tiny substances in solution known as colloids. This colloidal matter is not significantly precipitated and is involved in forming the body and head of the finished beer."

Narvin
04/23/08 11:28 AM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
I hit 92% with a delirium nocturum inspired beer using yeast cultured from a bottle of tremens. That is one hearty yeast...

My strong dark using WLP530 ended at about 82%.

I think the attenuation is definitely a factor. Two things I noticed in a glass of Achel Extra that I didn't finish and left out overnight (I know, that's practically a sin) was how thin the beer seemed without carbonation and how few harsh flavors were present even at warm temperatures. Hardly any higher alcohol flavors or dark maltiness were present.

SteveG
04/23/08 02:22 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
>>Hops apparently do aid head retention and here's why<<

I'm not so sure head formation and head retention are really the same thing.

Ryan
04/23/08 02:34 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
I think colloids would certainly lend themselves to retention. Anything that adds matrix would likely aid retention.

Ryan
04/23/08 04:43 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
and from BJCP:

Good head retention is promoted by several factors, including isohumulones.....

Ofortuna
10/09/08 11:57 AM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Frank Reitz wrote,

"Next time I brew a BDSA I'll use the syrup and adjust my water and see what comes out of it."

Just wondering what the outcome of this was and if it did help create a softer mouthfeel?

If not Frank, if anyone else may have cracked the mystery of creaminess/soft mouthfeel in Belgian Dark Strong Ales.

Frank Reitz
10/15/08 02:57 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Ofortuna, I have brewed a belgian dark strong mashed with dates, 2 bottles of candi-syrup, 3787 yeast and it does not have the creamy mouthfeel. Lots of flavours but a bit "thin" - went down to 1.010 (11% alc/vol).

<-snip from earlier post->Regarding high attenuation my last dubbel had 86%AA and the belgian dark strong before that had 92%AA in the first go (went down from 1.092 to 1.007) and after 5 months in the bottle it's beginning be very good.<-snip from earlier post->

This brew has a creamier mouthfeel now. In fact it's almost my best dark strong to date. It's been fairly heavily hopped (for 26 liters - 100 grams saaz 3.2%aa for 60 mins, 30 grams hersbrucker 3.8%aa for 30 mins). Almost undrinkable for the first 3 months (vegetal flavours), but now I tell you it's fantastic. Didn't adjust the water on this one.

I have made a third dark strong this summer. I aimed at the sweet end - FG=1.023 and it's over the top sweet now. I'll give it some ageing and see what happens. I adjusted the water on this one but too early to conclude anything. Didn't use the syrup though.

So - not the most scientific approach but a tasty one indeed. The syrup I can get is dark candy syrup from brewferm.

Narvin: Regarding the Achel Extra. That is made from pilsner malt, chocolate malt and dark syrup - and hops and yeast of course :-)

Still could be both water and syrup. Struise uses syrup from belgosuc http://www.belgosuc.be/EN/index.html

OK, that's all from me now. See ya :-) /Frank

Arutha
10/15/08 10:04 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
As for the water, Deca, where De Struise brews, is pretty close to Westvletern so may have a similar water profile but that being said there seems to be breweries every few feet in Belgium. :)

I am still trying to make a quad I am truly proud of. In a few weeks I'll try another.

People having luck with the original dark syrup from Dark Candi? I used it a couple times and stopped but I might start back.

Frank Reitz
10/16/08 02:07 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Arutha, I'll post a recipe (if you're interested) later tonight that you sure can be proud of. It's one that I'm very proud of myself and I'm _very_ picky when it comes to dark strongs.

/Frank

Frank Reitz
10/16/08 03:19 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Here's what I did to brew up one of the best beers I have done ever.

Make a 1,5 liter starter from 500 grammes malt. I used 1 drop of olive oil in the starter. About 3 grammes of Hallertauer 9.5%AA boiled for 1 hours.

Add a smacked and swollen Wyeast 1214 propagator pack and begin fermentation/propagation in a 5 liter flask.

2 days later

Mash the following for 60 minutes at 63C, raised to 75C 30 minutes in the oven

2 liter pr kilogrammes malt

Pilsner Malt 3 EBC 5000 grammes

Cara Red 40 EBC 250 grammes

Cara Crystal 120 EBC 800 grammes

Special B 230 EBC 200 grammes

Black Malt 1200 EBC 25 grammes

Sparge slowly and begin boil. After hotbreak add

Saaz 3.2% alpha 100 grammes 60 minutes

Hersbrucker 3.8% alpha 30 grammes 30 minutes

10 minutes before flameout add 6 grammes crushed coriander, 1/4 tsp ground cardamom, tsp ground cumin

Cool down, pour into fermenter and aerate. Mix in starter and aerate.

Ferment at 18C, slowly raise to 24C during 5 days.

When the fermentation is at it's highest (1-2 days) add

White caramelized sugar(40 ebc) 850 grammes

Dark Brown Sugar (dansukker) 500 grammes

2 days later add

White caramelized sugar(40 ebc) 350 grammes

Didn't do secondary. Racked to bottling bucket at 2 weeks and added 270 grammes of moscuvado sugar for carbonation.

Store it in a warm room for 3-4 weeks and store it for 9 months.

Had a problem with my temps during bottle fermentation. The temps were at 45C for about 1 day. I cooled down and waited. They all carbed up fine.

The sugar additions are diluted in water and cooled before added to the fermenting wort/beer. The additions will help attenuate the beer. My beer (26 liters all together) fermented down to 1.007, IBU=25, EBC=42.

All I can tell you is that the beer is very delicious. Good luck

/Frank

Frank Reitz
10/16/08 03:20 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Sorry about the crappy layout of the above post....

/Frank

Arutha
10/17/08 04:15 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Thanks Frank. I am starting to think it is yeast pitching rate and temps that's messing me up. I just bought a stir plate so hopefully I can fix that issue, plus it is starting to cool off here so my basement should be in the mid 60s and if I pitch at a fairly low temp I hope I'll get over the hump. The recipe isn't far off from my last one with the exception of some of the sugars and spices.
Ofortuna
10/20/08 11:07 PM  
Re: Soft mouthfeel
Many thanks Frank for the update. I'm just getting ready to take a crack at my own Westy clone and the mouthfeel issue has been hard to crack.
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