Author Topic: have you had a chemay?  (Read 3979 times)

Online denny

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2011, 10:33:21 AM »

I read in BLAM that the breweries often use brown sugar...which if I recall right means dark rock candy, but how interesting would that flavor be to put fresh brown sugar in?!

I think you may be misremembering.  They use candi syrup, not usually brown sugar certainly not the rock stuff.  Using what we think of as brown sugar adds no discernable flavor at all IME.
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Offline narvin

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2011, 11:08:30 AM »

I read in BLAM that the breweries often use brown sugar...which if I recall right means dark rock candy, but how interesting would that flavor be to put fresh brown sugar in?!

They use either a dark syrup which is a carmelized inverted sucrose, or a soft "brown" sugar which is the crystallized byproduct of making the syrup.  Brown sugar as we know it is just sugar with molasses, a byproduct of sugar refining, so this won't give you the same result. There are beers out there made with brown sugar or molasses, if you're interested in what that tastes like.
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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2011, 02:06:57 PM »
I looked up the recipe in the old Zymurgy and my transcription was pretty close.

The original recipe was extract with a partial mash. Instead of pilsner, he used 2-row and he used a cultured Chimay yeast.  OG of 1.084, 90 minute boil.

From my notes, I've made it with both 1762 and 1214.  No notes as to which I liked better.  As you all noted, the 1214 will make it more true to Chimay.

The original recipe is from the beer that won the "Chimay award" and first place in Belgian-style Specialty at the 1991 NHC.
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Offline speed

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2011, 04:20:16 PM »
i've got dennys chimaybe in keg right now, haven't tapped it yet. made it 11/7/10 it came out at 9.7%. should i let it sit and age or drink it young?

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2011, 06:08:26 PM »
My Chimay Be Not recipe is posted in the recipe section. Denny Certified! :)

Offline majorvices

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2011, 04:55:14 AM »
I try to start it even a bit lower, like 60-62.

That's cool, (no pun intended  :D ) I'll give that a shot on my tripel to see if I like the improvements. WLP500 doesn;t get a lot of love but I find it is a very nice strain for Wit styles and it is a solid work horse and no fuss strain for higher gravity belgians as well, but it does have a tendency to throw some banana.
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Online denny

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2011, 08:42:10 AM »
i've got dennys chimaybe in keg right now, haven't tapped it yet. made it 11/7/10 it came out at 9.7%. should i let it sit and age or drink it young?

Only you can answer that, unless you want to send me some to taste!  ;)
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Offline speed

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2011, 11:49:52 AM »
don't be surprised if one shows up with some schlitz.

jaybeerman

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2011, 08:41:01 PM »
To anyone who uses sub 65f fermentation temps for Belgian doubles and/or strong dark - What can you tell me about the rapidity (fancy word eh) of your fermentation? Is that 62f ambient or 62f in the middle of the action?  Can you describe the yeast character that resulted from that temp? What was the O&F gravity of the beer?  Similar to what denny was saying, I've been seriously surprised at the recent onslaught of brewers who claim to take their Belgian beer fermentations into the high 80s. I've not brewed a Belgian (double or dark strong) ever, but my initial attempt would have used a 68-72f range (similar to what majorvices mentioned).  For me that means starting at about 62f ambient with the actual fermentation rising into the 68-72f.  Now I'm wondering what temp I'll use for my initial strong dark.

I did read a quote from Ommegang the other day, “Regardless of how strong the wort is, the primary fermentation should be done in three to four days.”  Even with optimal yeast quantity and health that almost seems to indicate a higher temp fermentation.  He mentioned this as well, “If you have to err with fermentation temperature in a Belgian beer, it is usually better to go high.”  Any thoughts?

I recall chimay blue being one of the beers that helped launch my interest in beer and brewing; haven't had one in the last 15 years.  Hopefully everyone who tries chimay, has their interest piqued and they continue to explore the world of beer (i.e. there's a lot of good Belgian brews out there).

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2011, 04:59:22 AM »
Belgian yeast can be fickle.  They don't always just rush through the fermentation.  Some are, well, moody.  You have to pay attention to them and not try to make them do something they don't want to do.

In almost all cases, you should let the temperature free rise to wherever it wants to go.  That's a good reason for starting on the cool side.  I find the strongest fermentations and best finishes come from not artificially constraining the temperature of the fermenter.  Some of these yeasts will react quite negatively to trying to lower their temperature during fermentation.

Use all the proper tips for wort preparation (nutrients, oxygen, starter, proper pitch size) and the fermentation will generally be done in a week.  If you aren't measuring gravity every day (and I don't) then it may not be obvious to you when fermentation is over; that could be where the professional quote comes from.  I tend to let the beer go on the yeast a bit longer, until it flocs out, to give the yeast a chance to fully attenuate the wort and clean up after themselves.

To answer your original question, the temperature is the same in the wort and in the room when you pitch.  As the yeast starts to work, the beer temperature will rise.  Let it.  You can move it to a warmer place if need be to have it finish, but I don't usually do that until it's done.  It's more of a conditioning phase than a fermentation phase for me.

The only thing I would be fermenting warm would be saisons, which seem to require that temperature to get full attenuation.  But I don't know what the other people are talking about.  Chances are they haven't been to Belgium, and that they like their beer to give them headaches.  High temperatures will give strong flavors.  Wrong flavors, but strong.  So if someone is impressed by intensity rather than character, they will likely be happy.  But I'd rather get it right.

What yeast are you planning to use? 
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Offline bluesman

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2011, 06:46:12 AM »
I like to ferment WLP500 and 530 in the low 60's to suppress some of the stronger esters and phenolics. Fermenting low keeps them from having a wild party.  ;D

I usually pitch at 60-62 and let it warm up on it's own. I usually get a few degrees of warm up during the fermentation. I've never had an issue with the fermentation in this range. YMMV
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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2011, 06:53:37 AM »
To anyone who uses sub 65f fermentation temps for Belgian doubles and/or strong dark - What can you tell me about the rapidity (fancy word eh) of your fermentation?

Recently did a Dubbel with Wyeast 1214.  Made a bigger than normal starter and pitched around 60F.  Limited the wort temp to 62F for the first week.  Don't take gravity measurements daily but the very vigorous fermentation went on for 3-4 days.  By the end of the week, the krausen had fallen.  Let the temp do what it wanted after that but it never really got very high. 

I'll have to check the OG and FG when I get home but, IIRC, it came out at about 7.5%abv
Joe

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #27 on: April 04, 2011, 08:46:17 AM »
But I don't know what the other people are talking about.  Chances are they haven't been to Belgium, and that they like their beer to give them headaches.  High temperatures will give strong flavors.  Wrong flavors, but strong.  So if someone is impressed by intensity rather than character, they will likely be happy.  But I'd rather get it right.

To me, this is such an important statement that I just wanted to emphasize it.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #28 on: April 04, 2011, 09:00:41 AM »
I had the blue label over the weekend and really liked it.  My expectations were low as there was a LOT of yeast on the bottom of the bottle  (bottom inch is more like it) not dense mind you but rising into suspension.  It didn't have the pucker factor I have come to associate with Belgians and I was suprprised to read the alcohol was about 9% because it was so smooth, easy drinking and tasty.  Clearly, I'm really green in my experience with Belgians. However, the Chimay Blue label made we want to keep exploring. The red I found drinkable but I kind of had to "get over" the flavor I described above. Cheers!
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Re: have you had a chemay?
« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2011, 09:41:50 AM »
1. In almost all cases, you should let the temperature free rise to wherever it wants to go.  I find the strongest fermentations and best finishes come from not artificially constraining the temperature of the fermenter. 
2. The temperature is the same in the wort and in the room when you pitch. 
3. But I don't know what the other people are talking about.   
4. What yeast are you planning to use? 

1. +1 This is the same conclusion I've reached for all the other ale styles that I make.
2. I use a chest freezer with a stainless fermenter and it's set up to moniter the temp inside the cooler and the actual fermentation temps, like you were saying I use the initial ambient (inside the cooler) temp to influence how high the "free rise" will end up.  After the krausen has fallen, I will use a heat wrap to slowly/slightly warm the end of the fermentation.
3.  I suspect that they have misunderstood the "free rise" idea.  Free rise starting at 70 is clearly way different from free rise starting at 62. (I notice that hokerer has figured this out as well.)  
4.  I don't know yet, gordon.  Likely, I will ferment two or three strains  seperately, taste individuallly and then blend. Or not.

cheers ron/hokerer and gordon.