Author Topic: finishing Belgian beers  (Read 1057 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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finishing Belgian beers
« on: March 10, 2016, 01:20:24 PM »
How do you folks finish your Belgian trappist-like beers? Cold crash? Gel fine? Bottle? Keg? This is how Rochefort does it: "Secondary fermentation lasts a rather short two or three days in horizontal lagering tanks, with yeast and sugar added after centrifuging." (BLAM)

Not sure whether a force carbonated trappist ale will not be frowned upon if I submit one to a competition in BE/NL...
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RPIScotty

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2016, 02:25:12 PM »
I just reached FG on a Dubbel in 5 days and am cooling down starting tonight to the mid 30s for 3-4 days.

I've got some dry champagne yeast and Turbinado sugar for carbonation and am reusing Westmalle bottles in honor of the 3787 yeast.


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Offline kramerog

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2016, 02:26:01 PM »
Since most Belgians require high carbonation, I carb in the bottle.

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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2016, 03:51:59 PM »
Personally I would bottle with some sugar, but if it works I can't see why you'd be frowned upon for force carbonating.


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Offline denny

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 04:25:34 PM »
How do you folks finish your Belgian trappist-like beers? Cold crash? Gel fine? Bottle? Keg? This is how Rochefort does it: "Secondary fermentation lasts a rather short two or three days in horizontal lagering tanks, with yeast and sugar added after centrifuging." (BLAM)

Not sure whether a force carbonated trappist ale will not be frowned upon if I submit one to a competition in BE/NL...

I always cold crash and keg. 
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 05:19:10 PM »
Personally I would bottle with some sugar, but if it works I can't see why you'd be frowned upon for force carbonating.


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In Belgium, refermentation in the bottle is considered a sign of quality for trappist like beers. There are some exceptions, such as Westmalle Dubbel, which is also served on draft. But force carbonation in the bottle is a big no, as there is no more evolution over time.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2016, 05:26:41 PM »
I lager for a brief period of time. Ideally I would lager for much longer but it isn't convenient in most situations to have to reyeast those beers. I'll take a little extra yeast in the bottle over having to work up a fresh starter of yeast at bottling.
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BurghBeezer

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2016, 05:29:33 PM »
Maybe clear, force carbonate to 2/3 the desired volumes CO2 then bottle with enough sugar to get that last third.  Then it's 'refermented' without too much crap in the bottle.

RPIScotty

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finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 05:29:46 PM »
Personally I would bottle with some sugar, but if it works I can't see why you'd be frowned upon for force carbonating.


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In Belgium, refermentation in the bottle is considered a sign of quality for trappist like beers. There are some exceptions, such as Westmalle Dubbel, which is also served on draft. But force carbonation in the bottle is a big no, as there is no more evolution over time.

I think bottle conditioning is more about quicker, efficient carbonation and conditioning than about any kind of flavor contribution.

Once the beer has reach terminal gravity, the reintroduction of yeast at bottling isn't going to impart a flavor element so much as it will serve as reinforcement for the "fallen soldiers" used in the primary fermentation.

Cheap champagne yeast here should be more than sufficient.

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2016, 05:31:56 PM »
What's the lager temp and time that does not necessitate adding yeast?
Frank P.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2016, 05:36:12 PM »
Personally I would bottle with some sugar, but if it works I can't see why you'd be frowned upon for force carbonating.


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In Belgium, refermentation in the bottle is considered a sign of quality for trappist like beers. There are some exceptions, such as Westmalle Dubbel, which is also served on draft. But force carbonation in the bottle is a big no, as there is no more evolution over time.

I think bottle conditioning is more about quicker, efficient carbonation and conditioning than about any kind of flavor contribution.

Once the beer has reach terminal gravity, the reintroduction of yeast at bottling isn't going to impart a flavor element so much as it will serve as reinforcement for the "fallen soldiers" used in the primary fermentation.

Cheap champagne yeast here should be more than sufficient.
Are you saying that the evolution of a trappist over time would be the same, with or without refermentation in the bottle?
Frank P.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2016, 05:37:34 PM »
Plus, refermentation with a primary yeast is also considered an important quality.
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Offline denny

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2016, 05:38:22 PM »
Are you saying that the evolution of a trappist over time would be the same, with or without refermentation in the bottle?

I think that's the case.  And remember, even if you don't introduce more yeast, there's still a lot of yeast left in the beer unless you filter it out.
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RPIScotty

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finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2016, 05:54:07 PM »
Are you saying that the evolution of a trappist over time would be the same, with or without refermentation in the bottle?

Yes, I think so. I'm assuming by "evolution" we are talking aging, smoothing out of flavors, etc. These sorts of things happen with big Stouts, Barleywines, etc. without the introduction of bottling yeast. I don't think the Trappists or other Belgian Brewers in the same vein have anything different going on.

Aging and blossoming along with suppression and mellowing of certain flavors occurs in beers with and without the addition of additional yeast at bottling.

Plus, refermentation with a primary yeast is also considered an important quality.

This is merely a matter of utility for many of these breweries. They have tons of fresh primary yeast at their disposal. It isn't used because of special flavor characteristics.

Also remember that most of the Trappists filter, condition or centrifuge the old yeast out before bottling to clear the beer. Adding new yeast is a necessity, not necessarily an attempt at flavor complexity.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 05:56:02 PM by RPIScotty »

Offline dilluh98

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Re: finishing Belgian beers
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2016, 06:06:49 PM »
What's the lager temp and time that does not necessitate adding yeast?

There will still be plenty of yeast in suspension to get the carbonation job done, even after extended lagering. If it's high gravity, you may want to add a bit of neutral yeast at bottling for insurance.