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Drunken Monk Quadrupel - NHC Gold Medal

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strange-steve

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This beer won me a gold medal in this year's NHC competition so thought I'd post the recipe and method here. It is based on a popular Rochefort 8 clone, though it turned out little like the original I am pretty happy with the result.

Drunken Monk

Recipe Specs
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Batch Size (L): 20.5
Total Grain (kg): 7.34
Total Hops (g): 74
Original Gravity (OG): 1.078
Final Gravity (FG): 1.012
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 8.7 %
Colour (SRM): 30
Bitterness (IBU): 24
Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 65
Boil Time (Minutes): 90

Grain Bill
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5.000 kg Pilsner (68%)
0.750 kg Caramunich II (10%)
0.600 kg Cane Sugar (8%)
0.370 kg Candi Sugar, Dark (5%)
0.250 kg Flaked Corn (3.5%)
0.250 kg Special-B (3.5%)
0.120 kg Carafa Special (2%)

Hop Bill
----------------
40.0 g Fuggles Leaf (4.8% AA) @ 90 Minutes (Boil)
24.0 g Hersbrucker Leaf (1.6% AA) @ 30 Minutes (Boil)
10.0 g Hersbrucker Leaf (1.6% AA) @ 5 Minutes (Boil)

Misc Bill
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10.0 g Crushed Coriander Seed @ 5 Minutes (Boil)

Notes
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Single step Infusion at 64°C for 120 Minutes
Fermented with Wyeast 1762 - Belgian Abbey II with 2L starter
Pitched at 19°c and allowed to rise naturally to 24°c then held there for 3 weeks
Primed to 2.8 vol CO2
Water profile: Ca 82, Mg 7, Na 37, So4 83, Cl 83, Bicarb 207

When I brew this again, a few tweaks I'll make are:
1. Increase the sugar percentage and mash at 63°c to lower the fg
2. Keep the fermentation temp a bit lower for a couple of days before ramping it up, to control esters
3. Increase carbonation a little, maybe around 3.2 vol
4. Reduce the caramunich and special b a little
5. Increase the coriander seed
 

strange-steve

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Sounds lovely Steve, and congrats on the gold medal ���
Thanks :hat:

TheRedDarren said:
Was that in the National homebrew competition?
It was the Irish national competition in March, the biggest homebrew comp in Europe, as they like to say :D
 

Simonh82

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Congratulations on the gold medal. It looks like a great recipe.

My only Belgian style brew so far topped out at 7% which was enough for me but it might be fun to do something even stronger. I'd have to get some small bottles though.
 

Dulwich North

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Assuming no-one minds, I'd like to revive this thread.

Steve, I wonder if you had any more thoughts on this brew? I happen to have almost all the ingredients except:
  • I've no Carafa Special and wondered if Black or Chocolate malt might be fine, if not giving quite the same colour (assume that's its role)
  • Instead of Hersbrucker I have Styrian Goldings or Saaz leaf
  • Yeast would be Lallemand Abbaye
Any thoughts appreciated, but no problems if not. I'll probably crack ahead anyway.
 

strange-steve

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I've no Carafa Special and wondered if Black or Chocolate malt might be fine, if not giving quite the same colour (assume that's its role)
Yes it's just there for colour, but carafa special is dehusked meaning it has less of a harsh/roasted flavour. If using black malt then you could cold steep it or add it at mash out to soften the flavour.
Instead of Hersbrucker I have Styrian Goldings or Saaz leaf
I think any continental hop would be fine thumb.
Yeast would be Lallemand Abbaye
I've never used Abbaye yeast so I can't really comment on that but another dry yeast maybe worth considering is T-58 supposedly as used by De Struise.

Good luck with the brew, and keep in mind that this ages really well. After a few years it was even better and actually more like Rochefort.
 

Dulwich North

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Thank you, glad you've not lost interest in the thread!

Yes it's just there for colour, but carafa special is dehusked meaning it has less of a harsh/roasted flavour. If using black malt then you could cold steep it or add it at mash out to soften the flavour.
OK, I've had to google "cold steep" but my local home brew does Carafa special in small quantities so I will go that way.

Good luck with the brew, and keep in mind that this ages really well. After a few years it was even better and actually more like Rochefort.
Noted. I was already reviewing my bottling "strategy" and might get some 500ml swing tops (my 700s seem big for this beer!). How early is it worth opening the first bottle, do you think?
 

strange-steve

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How early is it worth opening the first bottle, do you think?
Mine was about 4 or 5 months old when it won that gold medal but it was very drinkable after a couple of months. It was odd, it was good for probably about 9 months, then it got not so good for a while, and then got really good after that.
 

Dulwich North

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Do you mind explaining the logic behind the cane vs candi sugar 2:1 ratio? You also made a comment about increasing the sugar. By a lot?
 

strange-steve

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Do you mind explaining the logic behind the cane vs candi sugar 2:1 ratio? You also made a comment about increasing the sugar. By a lot?
There's nothing special about the ratio, the candi sugar is there for flavour and colour as well as simple sugars, whereas the cane sugar is there just to increase the gravity and thin it out.

Looking at the recipe now, I would probably keep the sugars the same and use a stepped mash to increase fermentability. I like a sort of simplified hochkurz mash schedule, something like 55c for 10 mins, 63c for 30 mins, 70c for 30 mins, 75c for 10 mins.
 

Dulwich North

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OK, then I've got it into the FV, halving all your quantities apart from the cane sugar which I pushed up to 500g, and using the 2 hr / 90 minute timings. It hit an OG of 1.096 and looks like the end result should kill all known viruses! Thanks for your help.
 

Dulwich North

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Just checked the fermentation bucket after 13 days and we're looking at 1.010, so 11.3%.

I sampled a drop but only 5 minutes later I struggle to describe the taste other than very complex, not too sweet and with a noticable spiciness. I'll leave it a few days and then it'll go into 500ml swing tops.
 

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