Author Topic: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors  (Read 980 times)

Offline jmbeach79

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Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« on: June 24, 2017, 01:27:16 AM »
I have a Belgian Quad around 10.5 ABV that is on the dry side (1.012).  I've had 10 gallons that's been aging in kegs as a secondary at room temp for 3 months now.  The major issue I have is that it's just too mellow in flavor.  Mild Belgian notes with only mild malty notes.  The ABV is well hidden and it's very smooth.  It's just lacking a pronounced quad flavor.

Was thinking about adding straight Belgian candi sugar to get that flavor along with some maltodextrin.  If I did this I'm okay with a small amount of sweetness but thought it would give a Belgian punch to it.  I also didn't think it will add any ABV (which I'm okay with) because it's been aging in the 2ndary so long. 
Is possible it just needs more time?  Open to ideas here.  What do you guys think?
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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 01:30:17 AM »
What was the original recipe? Yeast used?

When you say mellow, what do you mean exactly? Esters? What was your fermentation temp schedule?


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Offline jmbeach79

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 03:39:43 AM »
55.4%   bel pilsner
10.2%   munich
10.2%   dark munich
5.8%     terrified wheat
4.4%     cara 45
4.4%     candi sugar (srm 90)
4.4%     brown sugar
2.2%     clear Belgian sugar
1.5%     roasted barley
0.7%     carafa III
0.5%     choc. malt

hops-
styrian goldings  20.8 IBU's FWH
styrian goldings  4.6   IBU  @ 20
styrian goldings  1.1   IBU  @ 5

SRM - 33 (wanted a dark ale)

yeast - Belgian strong ale WLP 545

mashed-
140 x 40 min
148 x 40 min
160 x 20 min

ph - 5.25 (goal was 5.5)

fermented at 68 x for 17 days then racked to 2ndary to age at 45 degrees for 2 months. now 1 month at room temp.

OG - 1.091
Current SG after 3 months - 1.012

From the nose to the finish it's mellow. Esters, flavor and finish tastes like a Belgian quad lite.  The ABV is hidden but it taste like the ABV is hiding the flavor. Muted all around.

Tasting notes 6/14 --
nose - mild booze, dried dark fruit, raisin
mouthfeel - medium/lite -- a bit too thin, needs body, easy drinking at 10.4%
flavor - "nothing stands out"  Malt tones hidden by ABV but not boozy.
finish - slight booze, minimal malt or Belgian


So...... can I put the QUAD back into my Belgian?
« Last Edit: June 24, 2017, 03:41:51 AM by jmbeach79 »
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Big Monk

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 04:02:34 AM »
55.4%   bel pilsner
10.2%   munich
10.2%   dark munich
5.8%     terrified wheat
4.4%     cara 45
4.4%     candi sugar (srm 90)
4.4%     brown sugar
2.2%     clear Belgian sugar
1.5%     roasted barley
0.7%     carafa III
0.5%     choc. malt

hops-
styrian goldings  20.8 IBU's FWH
styrian goldings  4.6   IBU  @ 20
styrian goldings  1.1   IBU  @ 5

SRM - 33 (wanted a dark ale)

yeast - Belgian strong ale WLP 545

mashed-
140 x 40 min
148 x 40 min
160 x 20 min

ph - 5.25 (goal was 5.5)

fermented at 68 x for 17 days then racked to 2ndary to age at 45 degrees for 2 months. now 1 month at room temp.

OG - 1.091
Current SG after 3 months - 1.012

From the nose to the finish it's mellow. Esters, flavor and finish tastes like a Belgian quad lite.  The ABV is hidden but it taste like the ABV is hiding the flavor. Muted all around.

Tasting notes 6/14 --
nose - mild booze, dried dark fruit, raisin
mouthfeel - medium/lite -- a bit too thin, needs body, easy drinking at 10.4%
flavor - "nothing stands out"  Malt tones hidden by ABV but not boozy.
finish - slight booze, minimal malt or Belgian


So...... can I put the QUAD back into my Belgian?

You may be experiencing some "mud" from the grain bill, where the variety is presenting itself as muddled and uninteresting.

At this stage I don't think there is much you can do.

How did you get your pH estimate?


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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2017, 11:27:31 AM »
Is it bottled or in a keg? If kegged, you might try brewing another beer (either a quad or perhaps a dubbel) with more of the character you're looking for & then try blending to get closer to the flavor profile you want.
Mark Tumarkin
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Offline jmbeach79

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 02:20:21 PM »
I was thinking about making a new beer to blend with and I still may do that.  Then thought maybe just mash a mini brew without a base malt and blend that to taste.  Or just boil then cool flavorful Belgian candi syrup to add directly to the keg. Or maybe a little of both of those thoughts.

The thing is, I have 10 gallons already.  I could finish with 15 gallons if I make another 5 gal batch to blend with but wanted to reach out and see if anyone else has experimented in this way?  I know it's kind of cheating but that doesn't bother me -- at the end of the day I just want a stickee monkey.

 
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Big Monk

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 02:30:17 PM »
I was thinking about making a new beer to blend with and I still may do that.  Then thought maybe just mash a mini brew without a base malt and blend that to taste.  Or just boil then cool flavorful Belgian candi syrup to add directly to the keg. Or maybe a little of both of those thoughts.

The thing is, I have 10 gallons already.  I could finish with 15 gallons if I make another 5 gal batch to blend with but wanted to reach out and see if anyone else has experimented in this way?  I know it's kind of cheating but that doesn't bother me -- at the end of the day I just want a stickee monkey.

If it's a bad beer then just dump and rebrew.

If not, then just drink it as is and make improvements next time.

Offline lupulus

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 02:45:39 PM »
If nothing is off, bottle condition and give it at least a year at 15 to 20C.

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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2017, 07:27:59 PM »
In my experience quads often suffer from higher alcohols. Are you sure this is not the case here?
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Offline chumley

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 03:44:10 PM »
Here's a suggestion.  How about adding rum to it?

Draw a pint, add a little measured amount of a dark, flavorful rum (like Gosling's) to it, a little at a time, until you get a nice rummy sweetness that you like.  Then scale up the rum addition and add it to the keg.

If you don't like, then don't do it, and use the remaining rum to make Dark and Stormys.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2017, 05:36:43 PM »
I think you should just let it ride and age it out some more. You might find that the beer improves in some more time. 3 months is still pretty young for a beer that big.

Since you have 10 gallons of it, why not leave one keg (5 gallons) alone and let it age....

And experiment with the other one (add some rum (as above), fruit, brett, etc).?

EDIT - Is the beer even carbonated?  If you have only been sampling uncarbonated beer you could see a pretty big change once you have some "lift" to push aromatics/esters out of the beer and lively up the palate. Just a thought....

Offline jjflash

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2017, 06:19:41 PM »
I brew almost exclusively big Belgian beers.
I have found that big Belgian beers using Belgian yeast need considerable lager time to mature their flavors.
Most will take 6 - 12 months to peak.
The other issue is Belgian yeast is very finicky, this is not the fool proof 1056.
Pitching rate is huge for flavor production for me.
My underpitch beers have much more / better flavor than my overpitch beers.
Fermentation temperature is big also.
Little temperature elevation at the tail end of acitive fermentation helps.
Yeast manipulation overall to me is more important for flavor than recipe changes for better flavor. 

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Offline Hand of Dom

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2017, 10:12:24 AM »
Looking at the grain bill, my first impressions are too many varieties, and none of them are Special B.
Dom

Currently drinking - Amarillo saison
Currently fermenting - Pale ale 1 - 2017

Offline jmbeach79

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Re: Big dry Quad with mellow quad flavors
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2017, 01:58:09 PM »
Great thoughts!!!! Such a huge help this forum is : )
I agree the bill is a bit much that may have muddled it up but at the same time the 3 in question malts total 2.7% of the bill.  I used those dark malt mainly for increase srm as my design was based on firestone's stickee monkey with a little choc that I added.

I would never have thought about underpitching a big beer.  This is my first quad and pitched the hell out of it and I actually think that might be the issue now.  I temp controlled it well but in hindsight see I should have finished at a higher temp. 

I have not tried a pint of carbed brew on this yet and yes I totally agree that a carbed version would change the dynamic of the whole thing.  At the same time, not sure if it will bring out what is lacking. 

I really like the idea of aging 5 gallons as is for a long time and see what kind of flavors develop and then mess around with the other 5 gallons.  There so many ideas I could try.

A big thanks to all of you that wrote down your thoughts to help out a fellow homebrewer!  Need to use this forum more.  Cheers y'all !!!!!!!! 
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