The Shakes

First Place, Belgian Strong Ales (18D), 2011 Cactus Challenge

Brewed 4/17/11
Bottled 6/14/11

This is a Delirium Tremens "clone". I say it with quotes because it's just some recipe I found on the internet that mentioned it was a "good rendition" of the original. And nobody ever lies on the internet, do they?

These turned out. Notice I didn't say good or bad. They just turned out.

After nearly 4 weeks of bottle conditioning, there is absolutely no carbonation. I believe the yeast died in the secondary, and these will have to be force-carbonated. That being said, the beer is actually quite good. Notes of pear and pepper with a bit of clove dominate the aroma and taste. There is a sweet aftertaste that borders on astringent, but I believe proper carbonation will solve that.

UPDATE: Against my better judgement, a packet of Red Star dry champagne yeast was purchased. A pea-sized dollop was added to each bottle, and they were allowed to condition for 2 weeks. The results were spectacular - Beautiful carbonation throughout, and the yeast dried out the sweet aftertaste. I'm not sure this technique could ever be replicated exactly, but we'll enjoy them while they last.

Gravities:

Initial 1.095
Transfer 1.012
Final 1.012
10.89% ABV How is this calculated?

Ingredients:

8 lbs Light Pilsner DME
7 oz Munich Malt
5 oz Biscuit Malt
3 oz Aromatic Malt
1.5 lbs light Candi sugar
1 lb Lyle's Golden Syrup (Inverted Sugar Syrup)
1/2 tsp Grains of Paradise seed
1.75 oz Styrian Gold hop pellets
1/2 oz Saaz hop pellets
1 tsp Irish Moss
1 vial WLP 500 Trappist Ale Yeast
1 cup table sugar for priming

Directions:

In 3.5 gallons water, steep grains at 150 for 25 minutes.
Disolve DME and bring to a boil.
Add Candi sugar, Golden Syrup, and 1.5oz Styrian hops. Boil for 45 minutes.
Add 1/4 oz Styrian and 1/4 oz Saaz hops, along with Irish Moss. Boil 11 minutes more.
Add 1/4 oz Saaz hops and Grains of Paradise seed. Boil a final 4 minutes.
Remove from heat, cool to at least 80, then pitch yeast.
Ferment at room temperature (70) for 5 weeks, or until the airlock goes flat.
Transfer to secondary and let settle 3 weeks before bottling.
Bottle and store for at least 1 month before chilling (or force-carbonating if your yeast die).

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