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Rochefort 10

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Cloud Surfer

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Rinsing the wort from between the bits of malt isn't really the aim. remember just short of 1l of water is in each kg of malt. Thar water has the same gravity as the wort (say 1.050), by surrounding the grist with fresh hot water the sugars will migrate out of the grist and into the water, pushed by osmotic pressure until a new equilibrium is reached.
Traditional batch sparging allows this to happen a couple of times, obviously each batch will have a lower extract content than the one before.
Sparging is a slow even addition of hot water added to the top of the grain bed, as it migrates down it gets stronger and stronger, but the water behind it is at a lower gravity so it can extract more...
A modern "High Speed Lauter" is typically 120+ minutes to sparge effectively, and that is through a grain bed only 200-250mm deep.

Most home brewers just aren't that patient, so grab some quickly, cop the slightly reduced efficiency and just buy a bit more malt..
Mark
That's good to know as that was how I understood it.
 

Cloud Surfer

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Picked up 1kg of Pilsner today, so the recipe is looking good and keeps it right on the Rochefort 10 numbers.

4.5kg Briess Pilsen Light Extract
1kg Pilsner
1kg Caramunich
500g Flaked Wheat
1.35kg D-180 Candi Syrup
200g Belgium Soft Blonde Sugar
45g Hallertau Mitt (60min)
45g Styrian Goldings (15min)
Wyeast 1762

For research purposes I picked up this as well-

Rochefort 10 (2).JPG
 

Cloud Surfer

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I brewed this yesterday. Because I did a proper mini-mash I extracted more out of the grains than I usually do, so the OG was higher than expected. Ordinarily I wouldn’t worry about it, but seeing as I’m trying to match an actual beer, I added an extra one litre of water into the fermenter to bring it up to 22L total. The OG was then 1.098 which is right at the Rochefort 10 OG. Though I’ve seen it quoted between 1.096 and 1.100 (hence the 10 in the name). But one thing for certain is it’s 11.3% ABV. I’ll be interested to see what FG I get, which should be around 1.013.

Next time I’m already thinking about reducing the Pilsner extract so I can get it back to a 21L brew. The real test will be giving it six months and tasting with a Rochefort 10 to see what changes need making.

I thought the star of brew day was the D180 Candi Syrup. The wort was looking a very un-Rochefort muddy brown colour from the Caramunich. When I dropped the D180 in at the end it went a nice dark colour, like an opaque black with red tinges.
 
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MHB

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I like the Amber Candi on Ice-cream to.
I know a lot of people say they make their own Belgian Candi but you never seen a home made get close to depth of flavour and colour intensity of the real thing. Well worth the investment if you are trying to make beer that good.

I'm pretty sure the Belgians have a SG related naming (numbering) convention that goes like 1.060 would be called a 6. So the 10 probably refers to and OG of 1.100, a 12 would be 1.120.
They also have some other very strange conventions, beers have to be in categories with defined OG ranges, there are even gaps between the ranges where its not legal to brew. they calculate excise on Kettle Full at the end of boil, you aren't allowed to add any adjunct after the kettle (doing so is really handy). The tax is basically on sugar, if you let bugs live in your beer that turn sugar into various acids, tough, you are still paying tax on the sugar.
Might have changed some under the EU, but if you are interested the Belgian Ale (#6) book in the Classic Beer Style Series covers it pretty thoroughly.
Most of the big beers we talk about are Category or Class S (Special) OG 1.062+
Mark
 

Cloud Surfer

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I’m personally not that interested in making my own Belgium Candi when the bought stuff is so good and probably makes or breaks the finished beer.
 
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Cloud Surfer

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Ok, so I’m having my first problematic fermentation, which is disappointing because I’ve made bigger beers than this before.

This is my first yeast starter, so I’m pointing the finger there. I made a 3L starter from one smack pack, then stirred and aerated for 48 hours then chilled in fridge for 24 hours. I poured off the liquid, which was somewhat drinkable, which left a decent sized cake of yeast that I pitched. So I was comfortable that everything proceeded as expected, but who knows.

OG was 1.098, SG is now 1.026 and hardly moving with 3-4 bubbles through the airlock a minute. 1.013 seems a long way off.

After a few days I started ramping the temp from 20C by 1C per day and I’m at 24C now and plan to leave it there.

I have a good pack of dried yeast I could rehydrate then pitch. That seems the easiest thing to try. I could dump out the valve on the bottom of the conical fermenter and make another yeast starter, though I’ve not done that before.
 
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kadmium

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Ok, so I’m having my first problematic fermentation, which is disappointing because I’ve made bigger beers than this before.

This is my first yeast starter, so I’m pointing the finger there. I made a 3L starter from one smack pack, then stirred and aerated for 48 hours then chilled in fridge for 24 hours. I poured off the liquid, which was somewhat drinkable, which left a decent sized cake of yeast that I pitched. So I was comfortable that everything proceeded as expected, but who knows.

OG was 1.096, SG is now 1.026 and hardly moving with 3-4 bubbles through the airlock a minute. 1.013 seems a long way off.

After a few days I started ramping the temp from 20C by 1C per day and I’m at 24C now and plan to leave it there.

I have a good pack of dried yeast I could rehydrate then pitch. That seems the easiest thing to try. I could dump out the valve on the bottom of the conical fermenter and make another yeast starter, though I’ve not done that before.
So you wanted your 1.096 beer to be finished in 4 days?

Airlock activity is not a sign of fermentation health, and a beer that big will need a few weeks to reach terminal gravity in my experience.

Mead goes from 1.100 to 1.010 in about 3 weeks using wine yeast.

The starter is not the issue young padawan, patience is. Its been 5 days, don't dump the yeast colony and start again. They are pickling themselves, in an inhospitable environment. Its like the end of the Christmas party. Pretend it's just hit midnight, most of the good people have gone home its the last determined ones left who will party into 4am.

Let it ride, give it a week or two and see how it turned out.

Also 1.013 seems like a pretty low FG for an extract kit, it might finish up towards 1.018 or so.
 

Cloud Surfer

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Na, I’m not in any hurry as I was planning 3 to 4 weeks in primary. Just that the last few days it’s dropped 1 point per day, which is not what I’ve seen before so far out from FG. Only reason I posted was to get ahead of the game in case I had to spend the next few days getting a starter ready to re-pitch. I’ll just chillax for now.
 

MHB

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You are a fair way into the ferment, Alcohol is up to 9.2% (12% max) and more importantly your apparent attenuation is getting close to 74%. Your yeast tops out around 77% so no big surprise its slowing down.
Either patience or you could go as high as 24oC or swirl the fermenter a bit to try and rouse the yeast a bit, or patience.
Mark
 

sp0rk

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I like the Amber Candi on Ice-cream to.
I know a lot of people say they make their own Belgian Candi but you never seen a home made get close to depth of flavour and colour intensity of the real thing. Well worth the investment if you are trying to make beer that good.
I remember you saying years ago that you wanted to make a candi sugar using fresh cane syrup
Did you ever get around to trying this?
 

MHB

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I did indeed, there was a guy with a cane crusher at the local markets crushing sugarcane and selling the juice.
Got 1 liter and started boiling it down, by the time it got black it had a strong molasses flavour, with a bit of an acrid burnt protein background flavour sort of bitter metallic, not nice
I guess that's why they vacuum the juice and filter it before sending it to the crystallisers.

Meh cant win them all
Mark
 

Cloud Surfer

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I thought I would post an update. Mainly because it frustrates me to read so many threads like these on the internet that never have a conclusion, so you don’t know how it turned out, or learn from what worked and what didn’t.

Anyway, the SG did seem to get stuck at 1.024 for three days before I fixed it. I made another 3L starter using a pack of M41 Belgium Ale yeast which has high attenuation and alcohol tolerance. I pitched it in and airlock activity took off again and the SG started coming down.

It’s been almost 3 weeks in the fermenter now, and the airlock is still bubbling away, which I’ve never seen this far along before, and the SG is at 1.014 which I’m more than happy about. That’s 11% ABV now, which is so close to the Rochefort number. So the plan is still to leave it in primary for 4 weeks before transferring to keg and conditioning for another 3 months at 12C.

Next time for this beer I will make a bigger starter, and go back to my method of adding the sugars into the fermenter as fermentation is slowing down. Hopefully that will avoid having to do this re-pitch thing for a stubborn fermentation.
 

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For research purposes I picked up this as well-
Slightly off-topic.
I was given a bottle of Achel Bruin Bier Extra and I put it in the fridge. But now I'm thinking it maybe best at room temp. (looking like a cool Xmas in Melb). Anyway...
Do you chill your Strong Belgians before serving?
 

MHB

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Probably 10-12oC is ideal, lots of the better makers put a recommended serving temperature on the back of the bottle somewhere.
Just called in to see Jason at the international beer collector put a few extra tasty Belgians in the fridge,
Should have gone tomorrow, there is a new container arriving with some Westvleteren's in it, Ok not cheap but once a year isn't too self-indulgent is it?
Mark
 

Cloud Surfer

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Slightly off-topic.
I was given a bottle of Achel Bruin Bier Extra and I put it in the fridge. But now I'm thinking it maybe best at room temp. (looking like a cool Xmas in Melb). Anyway...
Do you chill your Strong Belgians before serving?
This is dear to my heart. As an aside, almost everyone drinks white wine too cold and red wine too hot. I put my decanter in the fridge to cool before decanting and drinking my big reds.

But yes don’t drink your big Belgium’s at fridge temperature. It puts the aroma’s to sleep and a lot of what we taste is through our nose.

I see no problem in keeping the beer in the fridge, but when you serve it, pour it into an appropriate style glass and let it warm up a little in the glass. Then enjoy it as it develops in the glass with changing temperature.

I have a big beer drinking buddy who likes to warm the bottle out of the fridge before serving it, and I don’t like that approach. I think you miss flavours in an already warm beer versus starting off a bit chilled and seeing it develop in the glass.
 

Cloud Surfer

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Should have gone tomorrow, there is a new container arriving with some Westvleteren's in it, Ok not cheap but once a year isn't too self-indulgent is it?
Mark
What is this crazy thing you speak of? Westvleteren is famous for only being sold at the front gate.
 

philrob

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Yup, MHB is on the mark! The gentleman running International Beer Collector gave a presentation at our brew club some time ago. He does have access to some amazing beers.
 

MHB

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What is this crazy thing you speak of? Westvleteren is famous for only being sold at the front gate.
Unless you know people willing to get in the queue for you... There is a bit on the grey market.
First time I got to taste Westy (one off the bucket list) Jason brought 2 bottles of each of the three they make, a religious experience.
Had to make do with a couple of bottles of Abbot 12, a Trippel also from St Bernardus (the little brewery down the street from the Abby) and a couple of other Jason recommended.
Not quite the high mass, but close.
Mark
 
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