Friday, June 20, 2014

#24 Westvleteren XII Clone - Recipe

Recipe     -     Brewday     -     Tasting

This beer will be, without a doubt, the most challenging beer I've attempted so far.  Imperial stouts can go south in a hurry, and it takes skill to craft a fine Pilsner (coming soon), but as far as I'm concerned, the highest order of alchemy is that which produces the Belgian quadrupel.  A relic of a thousand years of monastic brewing tradition, the Trappist abbeys produce a drink as deep and rich as any on earth.  If there were ever a Holy Grail, this is it.

The history of these breweries and there products is fascinating, but beyond the scope of this post, so I sincerely encourage you to check out the history chapter of Brew Like a Monk by Stan Hieronymus.  The book as a whole may be aimed at homebrewers, but that section is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in Trappist beer.

The abbeys at Westvleteren and Rochefort produce two of the best examples of the style--along with the former brewers for Westvleteren who now run the secular brewery St. Bernardus.  All three beers are strong and rich, though with a surprisingly dry finish, and a menagerie of subtle flavors including rum, plum, raisin, banana, clove, and burnt caramel.  I decided to try my hand at the Westvleteren recipe using the process notes from Brew Like a Monk and the recipe put together by HomeBrewTalk member "saq."  I'm hesitant to call this a "clone" of Westvleteren XII; my goal is just to brew an awesome quad, not an exact replica, but if that is the cream of the crop I might as well use it as a starting point.

Westvleteren 12 Clone
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.25 gal
Estimated ABV: 9.8 %
Estimated OG: 1.095 SG
Estimated FG: 1.021 SG
Estimated Color: 34.7 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.6 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 60.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 74.2 %
Boil Time: 120 Minutes

Amt          Name                                     %/IBU
12 lbs       Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM)            57.0 %
6 lbs        Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM)          28.5 %
1.0 oz       Carafa III (525.0 SRM)                   0.3 %
1.25 oz      Willamette [7.50 %] - Boil 60.0 min      22.4 IBUs
1.00 oz      Hersbrucker [1.60 %] - Boil 20.0 min     2.3 IBUs
1.00 oz      Willamette [7.50 %] - Boil 20.0 min      10.8 IBUs
1.00 Items   Whirlfloc Tablet (Boil 10.0 mins)        -
3 lbs        D-180 Candi Syrup [Boil for 5 min]       14.2 %
1.0 pkg      Trappist High Gravity (Wyeast Labs 3787] -

Mash Schedule: Decoction, Classic Double, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 18 lbs 1.0 oz
Estimated Cost: $51.72

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