42 – A Belgian Dark Strong

42 – to some it is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything; to others it is merely the number that falls between 41 and 43. . .

. . .But today, it is the name of my next recipe.  Motivated by a Chop & EditBrew video and a Jamil show webcast, this is intended to be a classical Belgian Dark Strong Ale – high in alcohol, lightly bodied, long ageing and slow drinking.  A real treat for most brewers.

This recipe is taken straight off of the Chop & Brew video, aside from some minor adjustments for my system.  This beer will feature my homemade Belgian Candi Sugar (Links: 1, 2, Youtube), plus a limited release Wyeast yeast (3822-PC – Belgian Strong Ale – available in my yeast bank).  It is lower in alcohol that many beers of this style because a) I want a faster-maturing version, so I can see how my homemade candi sugar works in a beer, and b) I want to send a few bottles of this out for Christmas (edit: and c) because I screwed up my sparge somehow).  This beer should be bottleable in 6-8 or so weeks, although it will continue to age and improve for 6 or more months in-bottle.

The video that spawned this brew, as well as brew-day notes & the recipe, can all be found below the fold.

The Chop & Brew Video (Episode 12: Belgian Dark Strong Ales)

Brewday Notes:

There isn’t much to note here.  I finally dialed-in the thermal mass of my mashtun, so my strike temperature was dead-on.  However, I somehow managed to have some of the wort sparge efficiency imaginable, and larger-than-normal boil-off volumes, so my sugar content is low.  Oh well, easy-come-easy-go.

The Recipe

Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Type: All Grain Date: 13-09-19
Batch Size (fermenter): 20.00 l Brewhouse Efficiency: 72.00 %
Boil Size: 27.32 l Boil Time: 90 min


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
5.44 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1 80.7 %
0.68 kg Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 10.1 %
0.11 kg Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 3 1.6 %
0.06 kg Blackprinz Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 4 0.9 %
28.35 g First Gold [7.50 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 5 25.5 IBUs
0.26 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 mins) Fining 6
0.45 kg Candi Sugar, Dark [Boil for 10 min](275.0 SRM) Sugar 7 6.7 %
1.0 pkg Belgian Dark Ale (Wyeast Labs #3822) Yeast 8
Beer Profile
Est Original Gravity: 1.075 SG Measured Original Gravity: 1.069 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.013 SG Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 8.3 %
Est Color: 28.4 SRM Bitterness: 25.5 IBUs
Mash Profile
Mash Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge Total Grain Weight: 6.74 kg
Sparge Water: 17.21 l Grain Temperature: 22.2 C
Sparge Temperature: 75.6 C Tun Temperature: 22.2 C
Adjust Temp for Equipment: TRUE Mash PH: 5.20

Mash Steps

Name Description Step Temp   Step Time
Mash In Add 16.66 l of water at 74.4 C 66.7 C 60 min

Sparge Step: Batch sparge with 2 steps (3.43l, 13.78l) of 75.6 C water
Carbonation and Storage
Keg Volumes of CO2: 2.3
Fermentation: Ale, Two Stag Age for: 45 days
Adjust for OG 1.076, IBU: 26. Use home-made sugar, 1lb
Created with BeerSmith

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