2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

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KMcK
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2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by KMcK » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:32 pm

This is the most ambitious beer Phyl and I have ever brewed. We hope you enjoy it.

The recipe below is for a double batch (~45 litres). It initially went from 1.060 to 1.016, at which point I fortified it with more sugar to bring it back to 1.060. After the Forbidden Fruit yeast gave up, the Super High Gravity yeast got it down to 1.002. On paper it’s ~13% ABV but after consuming many bottles Phyl and I are convinced it’s much higher. Anyone who cares to wager a guess, please do so.

It’s delicious and aromatic at room temperature so I suggest not serving it fridge cold. Somewhere between those extremes should be ideal. I put as many as I could in high pressure bottles. I think it will age well (for those inclined to do so).

Malt
2 row: 11.75 kg
wheat: 2.25 kg
honey: 0.68 kg
melanoidin: 0.50 kg
C30: 0.34 kg
dark crystal: 0.34 kg

Other fermentables
green grapes: 0.50 kg
demerara sugar: 2.00 kg
white sugar: 1.00 kg
molasses: 0.65 kg

Hops
tettnang (pellets) (60 minutes): 30 g
tettnang (pellets) (30 minutes): 30 g

Yeast
Forbidden Fruit (Wyeast 3463) (liquid)
Super High Gravity (White Labs WLP099) (liquid)

Water
Pockwock

Procedure
mash: 68° C, 60 minutes
boil: 60 minutes
fermentation: 20-25° C, 6 weeks
cold crash: 7° C, 2 weeks
conditioning (in bottle): 20° C, 22 weeks

Specs
alcohol: ~15% ABV?
bitterness: 20 IBU
colour: 21 SRM

Dates
brewed: May 22, 2017
bottled: July 16, 2017
consumed: December 9, 2017?
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by oceanic_brew » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:32 pm

Image this is what Kyles beer looks like after drinking it


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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by oceanic_brew » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:48 pm

This beer is delicious.

Kyle recommended to let it age if you have some of the high pressure bottles and I definitely recommend as well.

You get some complex upfront Belgian yeast character that settles into a nice smooth malt finish with some warm alcohols of course.

It's slightly solvent in the aroma and flavor which is to be expected and that overpowers the other flavors to the point where I can't distinguish them.

This is one of those beers that when you pop the cap you can smell it's gonna be good from a couple feet away.

I highly recommend letting it age however I did not have the will power. When this thing has a year in the bottle the flavors are gonna come together and present much more depth.


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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by SFR709 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:43 pm

Man what a ringer, delicious the whole way through, I would have aged it if I could have my liquid cake and drink it too haha. Thank you, an outstanding beer in a lineup of juggernauts!


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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by John G » Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:12 pm

After looking at that recipe description, I took the bottle out of the fridge and tucked it away. This is one to try in a year, or even two. Can't wait to share it with someone, there's no way I will drink that all on my own. I'll put comments up when I open it. Awesome recipe, for sure. Thanks for sharing!

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by Broob » Sun Dec 10, 2017 6:23 pm

I just had this one and it kicked my ass! Nice beer, would have been good to age but it was nice today. Thanks.
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by sheppard107 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 7:16 pm

This was an awesome brew. Wish I'd been smart enough to grab a high pressure bottle for aging. But certainly not disappointed that I had to drink it now

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by darciandjenn » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:22 am

This was absolutely divine. Didn't pick up a high pressure bottle so we were "forced" to drink it on Saturday... can't say I was too disappointed :mmm:

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by jmacdonald » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:44 am

I did not see the comments about aging or else I would have. Not a huge fan of this style, but I bet with some age it would be more enjoyable. I have yet to find a belgian strong that I like. Reminds me of others I have tried so I am guessing a good example of the style.

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by amartin » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:46 pm

I think I'll put mine away for a while and see how it goes.

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by know1 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:17 pm

Helluva nice beer! Well done, greatly enjoyed. I'd be curious to try a similar recipe with the big spruce yeast finnished off with the super high gravity.

Very ambitious with the grapes addition

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by KMcK » Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:40 pm

know1 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:17 pm
I'd be curious to try a similar recipe with the big spruce yeast ...
If you have some we can give it a try. :cheers:
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by oceanic_brew » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:04 am

KMcK wrote:
know1 wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2017 11:17 pm
I'd be curious to try a similar recipe with the big spruce yeast ...
If you have some we can give it a try. :cheers:
I fermented with that yeast on a tripple, 1.085 OG, started at 18 and ramped up to almost 24 over a few days where it sat for a while. Used nearly two lbs of candy syrup and still only got down to 1.015. This was a healthy 2nd gen pitch. The flavor was much better the second pitch.

It would be interesting to try this yeast with an additional feed of sugar throughout fermentation.

After trying the yeast in several beers now I've decided that it doesn't bring forth enough distinct flavors for me. It's certainly a Belgian profile but the beers flavor gets a little muddled. Honestly I find the aroma a little off putting.




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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by jacinthebox » Sat Dec 16, 2017 2:20 pm

This was a special beer....loved the big candy nose...lots of warmth...would make a great sipper next to the fire.
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by KB1138 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:32 pm

Big red licorice nose up front, little bit of honey behind it. Definitely some strong alcohol in there, but pleasant. Sweet and candyish. Really nice beer. Definitely the kind of thing that could carry some age on it well.

And by my math this %14.5
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by Halifax_Jeff » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:41 pm

Really unique brew. Not really into the style but I was pretty into this and didn't have the will power to age it. I wish I had waited until the first blizzard of the year to crack it open. Thanks.

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by KMcK » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:53 pm

Thank you for all the good reviews. Also, thanks to Kevin, Sandy, Tim, and Brian for the high pressure bottles. If I can find enough empties for next year I'll try to brew another Belgian treat for you all.
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by Lisa J » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:13 pm

KMcK wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:53 pm
Thank you for all the good reviews. Also, thanks to Kevin, Sandy, Tim, and Brian for the high pressure bottles. If I can find enough empties for next year I'll try to brew another Belgian treat for you all.
We saved our bottles. Will get them back to you.
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by LiverDance » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:11 pm

KMcK wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:53 pm
Thank you for all the good reviews. Also, thanks to Kevin, Sandy, Tim, and Brian for the high pressure bottles. If I can find enough empties for next year I'll try to brew another Belgian treat for you all.
I have lots of extras still if you want them.
"Twenty years ago — a time, by the way, that hops such as Simcoe and Citra were already being developed, but weren’t about to find immediate popularity — there wasn’t a brewer on earth who would have gone to the annual Hop Growers of American convention and said, “I’m going to have a beer that we make 4,000 barrels of, one time a year. It flies off the shelf at damn near $20 a six-pack, and you know what it smells like? It smells like your cat ate your weed and then pissed in the Christmas tree.” - Bell’s Brewery Director of Operations John Mallet on the scent of their popular Hopslam.

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by KMcK » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:10 pm

Lisa J wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:13 pm
We saved our bottles. Will get them back to you.
LiverDance wrote:
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:11 pm
I have lots of extras still if you want them.
Yes, please. It's always a challenge to get enough of these for an exchange so it's best to start collecting now.
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by Buccaneer » Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:51 pm

So, I've been sitting on this since the exchange.

Poured out like a soda - lots of fizz and a touch of foam that dissipated immediately. Absolutely crystal clear. Lovely colour.

Lots of bubble gum at first sniff. Lots of candy, tobacco, and something else pleasant that I can't really identify. Super dry. Boozy. Had a bit of a rum taste hiding in the background, likely from the sugar and molasses.

Magnificent.

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by Hammerhead Hops » Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:47 pm

oceanic_brew wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:32 pm
Image this is what Kyles beer looks like after drinking it

hahahaha
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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by mdentremont » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:43 pm

How many others forgot this in their basement? Mine is still down there and I've just been waiting for the right time to crack it!

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by Tim Gregory » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:47 am

Haha. Mine is still there.

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Re: 2017 Advent - December 9 - Grand Cru (Belgian dark strong ale)

Post by KMcK » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:33 pm

Phyl and I brewed another batch recently. If you can hang on to yours we can do a comparison. Does anyone have any high pressure bottles (preferably the small ones)?
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