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Old 20-03-2017, 02:18 PM   #1
strange-steve
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Default Westvleteren XII Clone - Silver Medal Winner

This is one of my favourite beers that I've brewed, not necessarily because it's the best, but I love the depth of flavour despite only having base malt and sugar. It was an attempt to replicate Westvleteren XII, using the same "keep it simple" approach they use. Is it as good as the real thing? Not even close, but I'm still happy with how it turned out

I entered it in this year's Irish national competition and got a silver medal in the trappist ale category. Judges comments were that it had a too strong alcohol flavour which I put down to a lack of aging. Another few months would probably have smoothed it out.

Westvleteren XII Clone
Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Recipe Specs
----------------
Batch Size (L): 18
Total Grain (kg): 7.45
Total Hops (g): 85
Original Gravity (OG): 1.090
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 10.2 %
Colour (SRM): 36 (EBC): 72
Bitterness (IBU): 35 (Tinseth)
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 65
Boil Time (Minutes): 120

Grain Bill
----------------
4.000 kg Pilsner (54%)
2.250 kg Pale Malt (30%)
1.200 kg Dark Candi Syrup (16%)

Hop Bill
----------------
20 g Northern Brewer Pellet (9.8% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil)
35 g Hallertau Mittlefrueh Pellet (3% Alpha) @ 30 Minutes (Boil)
30 g Styrian Golding Pellet (6.2% Alpha) @ 15 Minutes (Boil)

Water Profile
----------------
Calcium - 107 ppm
Magnesium - 7 ppm
Sodium - 18 ppm
Sulphate - 71 ppm
Chloride - 148 ppm
Bicarb - 25 ppm

Notes
----------------
The candi syrup is home-made by boiling muscovado sugar for 3 hours.
Single step Infusion at 64°C for 90 Minutes.
Boil down 3L of first runnings to a thick dark brown syrup and add to boil.
Fermented with Wyeast 3787 - Trappist High Gravity with a 2L starter (underpitched a tad to increase esters).
Pitch at 17°C and ramp by 1.5°C per day up to 27°C.
At around 1.015 rack to secondary and ramp down to 20° over 4 days.
At FG of 1.012 crash to 10°C and hold for 8 weeks.
Bottle at around 2.5 vol/CO2 with a pack of US-05.

Brewed 01/06/16
Bottled 10/08/16

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Old 20-03-2017, 02:58 PM   #2
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Sounds awesome Steve. Gona have to give this a go. I will need to build up stocks first though. I only have use of one fridge that I use for fermenting. Over 8 weeks without a brew going on is Gona be boring times.
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Old 20-03-2017, 06:54 PM   #3
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Sounds awesome Steve. Gona have to give this a go. I will need to build up stocks first though. I only have use of one fridge that I use for fermenting. Over 8 weeks without a brew going on is Gona be boring times.
Yeah make sure you have plenty to drink before brewing this! This is one of those beers that should be brewed, bottled and then forgotten about for a year or so.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:31 PM   #4
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Hi Steve, I saw someone review this beer of yours. I was wondering how long did it take to boil down the 3L of first runnings and what was the water profile based on?
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:36 PM   #5
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Just reading over the brewing notes, you have "Bottle at around 2.5 vol/CO2 with a pack of US-05." Out of interest why do you add more yeast for bottling? Surely the existing yeast ould be able to carbonate?
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:02 PM   #6
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Hi Steve, I saw someone review this beer of yours. I was wondering how long did it take to boil down the 3L of first runnings and what was the water profile based on?
I think from memory it took about an hour or so, then I added it at about 15 mins left of the boil. The water profile was a fairly generic one designed to enhance the malt flavours. If you're interested this is the water profile of Westvleteren, however that doesn't mean this is the profile they use at the brewery, because there's no doubt they treat it in some way:
Calcium (Ca+2): 114
Bicarbonate (HCO3-): 370
Magnesium (Mg+2): 10
Sodium (Na+): 125
Sulfate (SO4-2): 145
Chloride (Cl-): 139
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:06 PM   #7
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Just reading over the brewing notes, you have "Bottle at around 2.5 vol/CO2 with a pack of US-05." Out of interest why do you add more yeast for bottling? Surely the existing yeast ould be able to carbonate?
In theory yes it should, but because this was lagered for 8 weeks after fermentation I didn't wat to risk it. I made similar beer once a few years ago which never carbed up, even after a year in the bottle.
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Old 07-09-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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In theory yes it should, but because this was lagered for 8 weeks after fermentation I didn't wat to risk it. I made similar beer once a few years ago which never carbed up, even after a year in the bottle.
Makes sense. How come you go for US-05 instead of a bottling yeast?
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Ides of June - Imperial stout

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Why Does Bob Dylan Sing Like He's Sh*tting Himself? - best bitter
Cabbage Patch Blues - Saison
Nematode Helles
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Conditioning:
Insomnia - Black IPA
Archduke's Revenge - Hoppy kolsch
Smokey Nematode - rauchpils

Drinking:
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Experimental Belgian batch
Black goat of the family - dunkel
Golden Shower - Strong Golden Ale
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:45 PM   #9
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Cool so a decent bit of time but doable during sparge and boil. I'm thinking of a similar clone brew and a wee heavy where I'd do a first runnings reduction as well.

Thanks for the water info, I knew it was a "malty" profile but just wondered if there was more to it than that.
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Old 09-09-2017, 08:11 AM   #10
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Makes sense. How come you go for US-05 instead of a bottling yeast?
Well it's hardy and reliable, but also cos it's what I had in the fridge
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