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Belgian Stout Critique/Help?

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rbowers:
Looking to brew up a belgian stout to be ready for fall/winter next year.  Aiming for something along the lines of Great Divide Belgian Yeti.  Here is what I have for the malt bill:

~75 % efficiency
16lb Belgian Pale Malt
1 lb Black Patent
1lb chocolate malt
1 lb chocolate wheat
0.25 lb special B

*May consider adding 1lb of the D180 candi sugar syrup and cut back on the pale malt a bit

OG ~1.088
FG ~1.020 or so
Single Infusion with a mashout, goal temp ~152F x 90 min

Hops: I'm not sure where to go here.  I don't make a lot of stouts so it is not familiar ground for me.  I typically use magnum or warrior for bittering.  Target maybe 60-70 IBU for this batch.  Are late additions appropriate and if so what type?  I'm open to all suggestions. I feel like a lot of the flavor if this beer is going to come from the yeast and malt, hops are mainly there for bittering balance.  Next topic: yeast

Obviously if its a belgian stout the yeast is going to belgian.  I have a vial of WL 550 Belgian Ale Yeast, will use a large starter given the high OG.  anybody had other success stories with alternative yeast?  I know wyeast makes a blegian stout strain but its seasonal.  I'm open to any and all thoughts on this one.

erockrph:
I've never done a Belgian Stout, so I dont have a lot of specifics for you. I say go for it with the D-180, though. Even though Belgian yeast is what ultimately makes a brew "Belgian", the dark Candi Syrups and Special B definitely add a degree of "Belgianness" as well.

For hops, I'd probably want something relatively clean and neutral. I'd probably go with all my IBU's at 60 minutes from either Magnum or something noble. Between the roast malts and the Belgian yeast, I think you have enough going on as it is. Adding late hops may just get in the way and muddy things up.

Joe Sr.:
I goofed up late last year and pitched the Unibroue yeast into my strong stout.  It's actually pretty good.  The OG was a little higher than you're shooting for, but the grain bill is similar.  I also add chocolate, molasses and honey but in your case I think the D-180 would be a nice addition.

It was never intended to be a Belgian-style beer, so the hops are all Fuggles and EKG.  It's not too heavily hopped anyway.

Typically with my Belgians I use a lot of Styrian Goldings.  Some Strisselspalt.  Sometimes whatever noble hops I have on hand.  I've used magnum for bittering.  I think I may have used nugget in my last blonde.

redbeerman:

--- Quote from: Joe Sr. on April 16, 2013, 11:44:31 AM ---I goofed up late last year and pitched the Unibroue yeast into my strong stout.  It's actually pretty good.  The OG was a little higher than you're shooting for, but the grain bill is similar.  I also add chocolate, molasses and honey but in your case I think the D-180 would be a nice addition.

It was never intended to be a Belgian-style beer, so the hops are all Fuggles and EKG.  It's not too heavily hopped anyway.

Typically with my Belgians I use a lot of Styrian Goldings.  Some Strisselspalt.  Sometimes whatever noble hops I have on hand.  I've used magnum for bittering.  I think I may have used nugget in my last blonde.

--- End quote ---

I've had DuPont's stout and it is bone dry.  I guess it just depends on what kind of yeast you use.  The character will vary.

Joe Sr.:
There's a fair amount of crystal in my stout.  It was conceived as a big, sweet beer with some alcohol bite (after my dog who was big, sweet and known to bite me).  I've always used Irish ale yeast, but got careless/distracted at pitching time.

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