Belgian Quad barrel aging project July 2014

Recipe formulation

From reading around and advice received a simple grain bill seems to be the way forward, with the use of dark Belgian candy syrup and dextrose. With this in mind a grist of Pilsner malt, Caramunich II, and Special B and using Carafa II special for colour was chosen. With additions of both dark Belgian candy sugar syrup and dextrose at the start of the boil, to ensure the beer attenuates to a low final gravity and is not overly sweet.

The grist for a 130L batch at 80% efficiency, mash at 64degC for 90min. Pale malt is listed to make up some of the Pilsner as not enough Pilsner malt in the garage for 2 batches!


Amt Name Type # %/IBU
25.00 kg Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (3.9 EBC) Grain 1 48.7 %
13.00 kg Low colour MO (4.0 EBC) Grain 2 25.3 %
5.00 kg Caramunich Malt (110.3 EBC) Grain 3 9.7 %
2.00 kg Special B Malt (300.0 EBC) Grain 4 3.9 %
1.00 kg Wheat Malt, Bel (3.9 EBC) Grain 5 1.9 %
0.30 kg Carafa II (811.6 EBC) Grain 6 0.6 %
3.00 kg Candi Sugar, Dark (250.0 EBC) Sugar 7 5.8 %
2.00 kg Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC) Sugar 8 3.9 %
120.00 g Northern Brewer [11.00 %] – Boil 90.0 min Hop 9 28.1 IBUs
140.00 g Northern Brewer [11.00 %] – Boil 30.0 min Hop 10 12.9 IBUs

And the wheat is just to aid head retention.

Yeast – This was the main concern when planning the brew how to grow up enough yeast to pitch into 250L of 1.090 OG ish wort with out having to do multiple starters and smaller batches of beer. The answer being to just buy it, a company called Surebrew based not to far from where i live have a vast range of yeast and can easily grow it up to any size required and the best bit is its reasonably priced.

Yeast strain – a blend of Chimay, Westmalle and Achouffe provided by Surebrew.

Brewdays – the first batch brewed on the 27/07/14 came out at 1.085, the second batch recipe brewed 2 days later was then tweaked to increase the gravity and came out at 1.094 so this will give a average OG of about 1.090.

Due to the amount of grain 2 mashtuns were used a 130L and a 40L, the 40L mashtun was sparged into the larger mashtun and then into the boiler for a 90min boil.

quad brewday

CIP’ing the new Conical


The yeast was pitched at 17degC and allowed to rise up to 19degC and will be ramped up to 22degC over the following few days.

Update 30/07/14 – First batch down to 1.045 and smelling fantastic

Update 1/08/14 – Second batch down to 1.065 and the blow of tube is going mad!

Update 10/08/14 – First batch down to 1.013, and the second batch is at 1.019 and still bubbling away, Has a lovely dark red/brown hue and nice Belgian aroma on the nose and no sign oh hot alcohols on the nose but a definite warming on the mouth. Given a few more days the gravity will drop another couple of points on the second batch and we should be good to transfer to the barrel.

Update 11/08/14 – the second batch has dropped a further 2 points to 1.017, and still slowly bubbling away.

Update 13/08/14 – Batch 1 has fermented out at 1.013, batch 2 is at 1.015 and is also pretty much done, it may drop another point but looks like the quad finished out pretty much as planned.

Update 17/08/14 – The quad has been moved to the barrel, the gravity of the beer being 1.014, I think this will drop another point or 2 over the next 8 months here is a pic

quad barrel2

and the 2 barrels side by side

happy barrels

A couple of bottle have been entered into the UKNHC so will be good to get some feed back, but i will go out on a limb and say the quad is tasting and smelling good, now for the bourbon barrel to work its magic.


3 thoughts on “Belgian Quad barrel aging project July 2014

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