Newbie looking to learn the Belgian ropes

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Central Coast
Cheers mate.

Well i've tried my first extract brew, which was the mangrove jacks dubbel. After 16 or so days in the bottle i cracked it and it's pretty good really. It definately feels like it's a bit young, and the flavours haven't completely melded together yet, but it's a good start. The carbonation was also a little low, so i've put the bottles back in a warm spot to hopefully gas up a bit more.

I also had my first extract with steeping grains experience. It didn't go as well as i'd hoped due to a dodgy recipe.
Basically i have a BYO recipe that has the all grain and extract versions. I'd read over the recipe a dozen times before finally getting time to go ahead with my brew day.
First step was to put 24.5L of water in the kettle, and steep the grains. Then add the liquid extracts after 30 minutes.... at this point i realised i now had around 29 liters of pre boil wort and with a boil time of 90 minutes i couldn't see how it was going to yield 19L. After the 90 minute boil adding my hops, i was around 23.5L.... then i had to add another kilo of sugars which brought me to 24.5L.
When i looked at the all grain recipe it says to start with 22L and then mash and sparge to collect 24.5L before doing the 90 minute boil. From that point both recipes follow the same directions... so one starts with almost 30L and the other 24.5L and both produce 19L of beer..... right.

Anyway my OG ended up being 1.078 instead of 1.091 so it's diluted. I have some more belgian candi sugar which i'm considering putting in before fermentation to get the OG up another couple of points, but am unsure if it'll throw the balance off.

Next time i'll put my recipes into Brewfather and double check everything before going ahead.

I have my starter in its second stage now, trying to get 350+ billion cells from one packet of WLP500. I just put it in the fridge to settle and hopefully ready to pitch tomorrow night.

I'll consider this one a learning experience!

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