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Homebrewing

St. Benedict Belgian Dark Strong Ale (for Advanced Homebrewers)

St. Benedict Belgian Dark Strong Ale (for Advanced Homebrewers)

Photograph: Zack Kinney]

Inspired by the Trappist and abbey beers I drank during a trip to Brussels last fall, I first brewed this Belgian Strong Dark Ale in January. I rebrewed a 15-gallon batch of it earlier this month with a couple of fellow members of the New York City Homebrewers Guild to serve at the club's 25th anniversary celebration next year as well as the National Homebrewers Conference.

Original Gravity: 1.091
Final Gravity: 1.017
ABV: 9.7%
Bitterness: 34 IBUs
Color: 22 SRM (brown to ruby brown)

St. Benedict Belgian Dark Strong Ale (for Advanced Homebrewers)

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About This Recipe

Yield:makes about 6 gallons (5 gallons in the carboy)
Active time:5 hours
Total time:2 to 6 months
Special equipment:10 gallon mash tun, 8 gallon kettle, basic equipment, oxygenation stone (optional)
This recipe appears in: How to Brew Your Own Belgian Dark Strong Ale

Ingredients

  • 8 pounds Belgian Pilsner malt
  • 4 pounds Belgian Pale malt
  • 2 pounds Maris Otter malt
  • 1 pound flaked oats
  • 1 ounce Magnum hops, 13.6% AA (first wort hop)
  • 1 pound Dark Candi Inc. D Belgian candi syrup (60 minutes)
  • 1 pound Dark Candi Inc. D2 Belgian candi syrup (60 minutes)
  • 1 pound turbinado sugar (60 minutes)
  • 1 tablet Whirlfloc (15 minutes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Wyeast yeast nutrient blend (10 minutes)
  • Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity yeast

Procedures

  1. 1

    Heat 19 1/2 quarts tap water to 160°F and add to mash tun.

  2. 2

    Mash-in slowly, adding all grains to the mash tun while stirring to prevent clumping. The mash temperature should equalize to 149°F.

  3. 3

    In a separate container, heat 12 1/2 quarts tap water to 202°F.

  4. 4

    Mash out by adding 12 1/2 quarts of 202°F tap water to mash tun while stirring after allowing the mash to rest for 60 minutes. Temperature should equalize to approximately 168°F.

  5. 5

    Leave at mash out temperature for 15 minutes. In a separate container, heat 2 quarts tap water to 172°F.

  6. 6

    Slowly drain off wort and add back to mash tun, recirculating until the wort runs clear and free of grain particles.

  7. 7

    Drain mash tun to boil kettle, sparging with 2 quarts of 172°F tap water. Add hops.

  8. 8

    After all mash runnings are collected, add sugars and record preboil gravity. Bring wort to boil.

  9. 9

    Allow wort to boil 60 minutes, adding Whirlfloc and yeast nutrients as noted above. (If your brewing system doesn’t produce a vigorous boil, consider extending the boil to 75 or 90 minutes and adding the hops at 60 minutes.)

  10. 10

    Chill wort and transfer to a sanitized carboy or bucket with an airlock. Aerate by shaking or oxygenate with an oxygenation stone.

  11. 11

    Pitch yeast and allow to ferment at 66°F for 10 to 14 days.

  12. 12

    Rack beer to second sanitized carboy or bucket and allow to condition, tasting periodically to check on flavor development.

  13. 13

    Bottle or keg at 2.5 to 3 volumes. (Set aside some bottles for extended aging!)

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