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Beer Reviews, Homebrew, Rambling

Homebrew: Purring Nun – Belgian Dark Strong Ale, kegging and bottling


Today was a busy day, with lots of homebrew activity, as I brewed up a Belgian Dark Strong Ale, racked the Meowing Monk Belgian Blonde to a keg (used the yeast cake for the Dark Strong Ale), and finally bottled the Czech Mate Pilsner. The brewday went quite well, but ended up with 23 liters of 1.081 wort instead of the planned 20 liters of 1.090 wort. I should have boiled a bit longer, but hopefully the beer will taste great anyways. I used 1.35 kg of Dark Candi Syrup, together with a variety of malts and the hops left over from the Meowing Monk brewday (you can find the recipe below). About 2 hours after pitching on the yeast cake, I could already see pressure building up in the fermenting bucket, as the levels in the airlock were uneven. I guess this should be fermenting like crazy by tomorrow morning. The gravity of Meowing Monk had dropped to 1.011 from 1.050, giving it an ABV of 5.0%. The warm and flat sample I had from the fermenter was really tasty, so am really looking forward to getting this one carbonated. The Brett IPA I brewed up yesterday was fermenting like crazy, and the airlock was bubbling about once a second. The Kind Kitten Session Ale had also started fermenting. The fermenting room was filled with tropical fruit, citrus and hop aromas, which made me very happy. I also bottled the Czech Mate Pilsner, which I’m not entirely satisfied with. The beer forms almost no head when poured (the image below is an exception, and it is actually the first time I see it with decent head), which I find very strange since I used a dose of wheat malt in the mash. Also, the flavors are quite malty (there is also a slight amount of diacetyl present), and it lacks the fresh and crisp hoppiness I like in Pilsners. Will see if age does anything to it. Below is a picture of the beer and the bottle, complete with label and a custom-made crown cap.

Recipe: Purring Nun
Style: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
TYPE: All Grain

Recipe Specifications
Boil Size: 29.5 l
Post Boil Volume: 25 l
Batch Size (fermenter): 20 l   
Bottling Volume: 18 l
Estimated OG: 1.090 SG
Estimated Color: 170.3 EBC
Estimated IBU: 41.5 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amt            Name                                     Type     #   %/IBU         
9.00 g         Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 mins)        Water Ag 1   -             
2.00 g         Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 mins Water Ag 2   -             
0.80 g         Baking Soda (Mash 60.0 mins)             Water Ag 3   -             

6.750 kg       Pilsner (4.5 EBC)                        Grain    4   73.4 %        
0.500 kg       Caramunich II (Weyermann) (124.1 EBC)    Grain    5   5.4 %         
0.250 kg       Biscuit Malt (45.3 EBC)                  Grain    6   2.7 %         
0.165 kg       Aromatic Malt (51.2 EBC)                 Grain    7   1.8 %         
0.125 kg       Special B Malt (354.6 EBC)               Grain    8   1.4 %         
0.050 kg       Chocolate Malt (Thomas Fawcett) (1000.8  Grain    9   0.5 %         

20.00 g        Northern Brewer [10.40 %] - Boil 90.0 mi Hop      10  21.7 IBUs     
28.00 g        Hallertauer Hersbrucker [4.00 %] - Boil  Hop      11  8.4 IBUs      
28.00 g        Styrian Goldings [5.40 %] - Boil 30.0 mi Hop      12  11.4 IBUs     

0.800 kg       Candi Syrup, Dark (250.0 EBC)            Sugar    14  8.7 %         
0.350 kg       Candi Syrup, Dark (2000.0 EBC)           Sugar    15  3.8 %         
0.200 kg       Candi Syrup, Dark (5000.0 EBC)           Sugar    16  2.2 %    

1.0 pkg        Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) [35.49 ml Yeast    13  -