Thanks Steve, really pleased that you enjoyed it. I did indeed make my own candy syrup. The yeast was WLP530, fermented at the cooler end of it's range.Tonight I'm drinking a Belgian Quad courtesy of @Oneflewover. This happens to be my favourite style of beer so can't wait to try it...
Dark malty fruitiness of raisins and plums with syrupy brown sugar, a little hint of spice, and just a touch of alcohol. This smells really great.
It really looks the part, poured with a lovely dense foam that you often see with commercial Belgian beers and a very pretty deep red colour.
Many complex malt flavours, really fruity (both from the fermentables and the yeast esters) which is enhanced by the sweetness, with some toasty maillard flavours and lovely caramelised sugar. Did you make your own candy syrup for this? The "Belgian spiciness" is quite subtle and there is a little hint of marzipan which makes me think of WLP540? The alcohol is very smooth for a +9% beer and there are no obvious yeasty off-flavours suggesting a healthy fermentation.
The key to getting this style right is all about the yeast and fermentation. Getting the right yeast derived flavours while managing alcohol flavours isn't easy but I think you've nailed it because this is really damn good. I've had many home-brewed quadrupels over the years and this is undoubtedly up there with the best of them. Stylistically it is too sweet, as you mentioned to me, which would certainly knock it down a bit in a BJCP competition, but I don't really care about style and I don't mind a sweet beer so I really loved it. It''ll be really interesting to see how your bretted version turns out, and I have a feeling it'll be pretty darn spectacular. Another really impressive aspect of this is the carbonation. I've never been able to get that typical Belgian foamy quality on the palate without over-carbing, but you've managed it and it really adds to the drinking experience. I've been proud to win a couple of gold medals with two different quadrupel recipes, but honestly they were nowhere near this good so I'm going to need to see your recipe Thanks for sending this, but I wish you'd sent two
Here's the recipe from my journal:
18 litre batch.
My notes suggest I was shooting for OG 1.099 (I got 1.095) FG 1.017 (I got 1.025). Should've been 10.6% ABV, but I obviously didn't get there. 25 IBU, 33 SRM.
1.1kg light Munich
230g special B
100g carafa 3
Amber candy syrup made from 1.2 kg beet sugar
90 min mash at 64C (single step)
60 minute boil
15g Magnum @ 60
20g h. Hersbrucker @ 30
30g h. Mittelfruh @ 15
I didn't record the water profile I was after, only that I added 4.5g calcium chloride, 3.5g table salt and 0.5g gypsum to the boiler, and 15ml CRS to the mash - oops!
WLP530 Abbey @ 19C rising steadily to 23C after initial fermentation over.
I'll send you a bottle of both the bretted version and the one finishing up with WY3711. Both still fermenting slowly in dj's at present, no hurry!