Woah, a 12% NEIPA!!! And fermented with Chimay yeast. I love trying crazy sh!t like that. Well off topic here, but curious to know how it tasted. Did it drink like a 12% beer, or did the yeast do a good job of hiding the 'heat' of the alcohol? Did the hops still shine through? I'm curious to know how you balanced the need for a high ABV beer to condition for an extended period with the need to drink a NEIPA while the hops are super fresh.
I haven't dry hopped for a while because I think it is a source of infection. I bottle and my beer doesn't seem to keep very well when dry hopped. If I kegged and kept the beer cold I would want to dry hop and drink the beer quickly. Probably does keep a bit better at 12 percent, and if I go that high with abv again, I may consider dry hopping. If I was going to dry hop I would use less hops late in the kettle to reduce the need for ageing.
The 3 yeasts I used were: Chimay; Wy1469; and Wy1318. The Wy1469 gave the best attenuation, followed closely by the Chimay, and the Wy1318 finished at about 10% abv. I pitched the yeast on the 4th of August exactly 1 year ago to the day, lol.
The recipe was an all grain plus a kilo of dextrose, and a kilo of dark brown sugar. I included some oats, 200 grams Caraaroma, 200 Melanoiden, 200 Brown malt, 100 Carafa 1, 100 Dark Crystal, 100 Medium Crystal. (To give some idea of the flavour contributors and colour.) The total was only 23 litres.
I used POR for bittering, and a truckload of something Saaz like that I grew and which I added when the temp dropped down to 80 degrees. (I no chill.)
Tasted unreal before I fermented it. Flavours included liquorice, cinnamon and spice. Once fermented it became a bit more herbal from the hops and definitely needed ageing. The hops and malt cover any hot alcohol if it is there. Does have some brandy type notes to it though, but they compliment the flavours well. I left it out in the shed over summer to speed the ageing. Not normally what I would do, but it has worked.
My favourite flavour wise is definitely the one fermented with Wy1318. It's just fruitier. Chimay doesn't highlight the hops as well but still easy to drink.
To be honest, I think the yeasts conked a little bit because the carbonation levels are a bit low. But that is kind of within style so it works anyway.