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  1. #1

    Belgian golden strong (leffe Clone)


    So my next brew will be a belgian golden strong. Ive read up on belgian brewing and it seems like they are a bunch of crazy drunk monks that get up to some wackiness when it comes to brewing.

    So my question is what fermentation schedule do you personally follow when brewing a belgian golden strong.

    Im looking at a starting at 18 and rising temps by 2c every 2 days till 24 and then leaving it till I hit fg, but looking for some insight from someone that has brewed it before.

    Thanks lads.

  2. #2
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    Depends on your exact yeast strain. As I have it, the yeast will impart more of that flavour you want (banana, clove) at warmer temperatures. So best keep it warmer. Previous one I made for a friend ended up requiring around 23C (closer to the upper end of the yeast) to give more of that flavour. He ended up forgetting to turn off the electric blanket though and the yeast ploughed through the beer in less than 3 days at 36C. Beer came out OK.

    Hardest thing to get is the candi sugar. I ended up caramelizing my own because getting a dark one was pretty difficult.

  3. #3
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    Instead of candi sugar, you can consider golden syrup or granulated brown sugar or as Toxxyc said, make your own caramel syrup: just be careful, the darker the more bitter and a Belgian Golden Strong needs to be golden, not brown, red or amber.

  4. #4
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    Yeah it's a very uhm, interesting process to caramelize your own sugar. I read up about it for like a week to ensure I knew exactly when to cut the heat, what colours you get, etc. etc. What I didn't expect was how long it took. It literally took the full 12 minutes to start turning, and once it starts, it goes FAST. It also continues to darken even after you turn off the heat, so rather cut too early.

    I also wanted to keep it strictly syrup so I SLOWLY and CAREFULLY added some cold water to the boiling sugar after I turned off the heat. The resulting mix was superbly flavoured, rich, golden coloured and made a very nice wort. I'll actually do it again, if I have to.

  5. #5
    Yeah, I read a few threads on people making their own candi sugar seems to be a bit of a process with mixed results even if you get it 100% right.

    Luckilly the recipe I found just uses clear candi sugar and they say I can just sub with normal sugar so no need for that this time around, but i want to use the yeast cake for a dubbel so I will be making some in the future, or just using golden syrup. We will see how much sugar I can burn before getting frustrated.

    Thanks guys, seems the plan wil work and even if it free rises it's still semi ok.

    Will post results of the great belgian experiment!

  6. #6
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    Golden syrup is flavoured, but is closer to candi syrup anyway. It's basically invert syrup. Very easy to make at home as well - just dilute table sugar in some water, add a dash of acid like citric acid or even a dash of lemon juice and heat it up. If my chemistry is still correct in my head, the process breaks the sucrose down into fructose and glucose, which is what you call "invert syrup".

    Otherwise you can purchase syrups from Hulletts, but I'm not sure of the minimum quantities. They're called Puratex and Puratose and some others as well. Same thing.

  7. #7
    I was not aware that golden syrup was flavored, but glad it's close to candi sugar gives me a good alternative if making my own turns into a mess!!

    Do you go through the effort to make invert syrup generally or was it just for the Belgian beer? Do you taste a difference between invert syrup and just dissolved sugar?
    Apologies for the million questions, I find this stuff fascinating.

  8. #8
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    Yes, invert syrup and dissolved sugar tastes differently. I don't make my own, just made some for that Belgian beer. However, the syrup tasted awesome so I'm considering making my own for personal use in the future.

  9. #9
    So update on this one, it's been going for about 10 days now, initial fermentation was vigorous, I waited till it was slowing down a bit(day 4) before I added the homemade clear candi syrup, as Toxxyc said the stuff taste different. It's pretty sweet and cloying for me.

    it's now day 10 and I think it's going to take a bit to get to FG, there is still a bubble every 5 seconds or so, gravity is at ~1.015 needs to drop about 4 more points before it's done.

    So ideal temp range for this yeast is 18-24, I started at 17 for one day, next day to 18, and then bumped it by 2 degrees every second day till 24. it's now holding steady at 24. I wont bump it higher as I want to use the yeast cake for a dark strong that I want to start at 20 and bump to 26/28.

    So far I'm happy with this one taste like beer

  10. #10

    Awesome - keep us posted. I'd like to try it sometime in the future too, i LOVE me some Leffe Blonde.

    On a side note regarding the syrup: I'm planning a Hefe and have done a ton of reading on it and they say that the amount of glucose present increases the esters produced(more banana-like in my case).
    Is it the same for a Belgian and the reason for the Candi Syrup?

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