Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Divination – Belgian Quad


Divination This is my attempt at a Belgian Quad.  I wanted to try and make the beer how the monks would have made it.  They didn’t have tons of caramel and base malts to work with.  They got all of the color and flavor from different Candi sugars that they created onsite.

For this recipe I used a very basic grain bill and homemade Candi sugar.  I cultured yeast from a Chimay Dubbel bottle a month before brewing.  I then did a month’s worth of step ups to the starter to get enough yeast to pitch into a beer that is close to 11.5% in alcohol.  The beer seemed to take a month to ferment out.  It was stable for weeks so I
put it in a Corny keg to bulk age at 60*, the ambient temperature of my basement.  The reason I said the beer seemed to ferment out before kegging … I released the pressure after 9 months to open the lid.  Once the lid was removed I had a foam geyser and lost 1/2 a gallon of beer.  Luckily with all the outward pressure didn’t allow anything in to infect the beer.  I re-lidded the beer and spent another month slowly degassing the beer so I’d be able to bottle it and have a general idea about the amount of CO2 I’d end up with.

The beer tastes great and I have been thinking about entering it into some Belgian beer competitions coming up.

Malt Bill
Pounds Type
7 Pilsner
7 Belgian 2 row
1 Sugar – 60 minutes
1 Amber Sugar – 30 minutes
1 Dark Sugar – 15 minutes
IBU Type Time
20 Northern Brewer 60
3.5 Saaz 30
3 Styrian Golding 30
Mash Schedule
Temp Time
147F 90 minutes
170F Batch Sparge
170F Batch Sparge
Yeast Chimay Bottle Culture
5.5 gal 80% efficiency IBU: 26-27


  1. Sounds like a nice beer.

    Did you make your own candi sugar? If so, what method?

  2. I made my own based on this thread

    I was really surprised with how fermentable the sugar was. I was expecting it to not attenuate as well but it was a champ.

    I did put all of the sugars in Mason jars and let them sit for a few weeks before I brewed. They did crystallize some and I poured off the liquid that was left. I think this concentrated the flavors a lot and I'll be doing that again the next time I brew this.

    1. Good to know you liked the flavors. I have a goal this winter to brew a Grand Cru that is just Pilsner and candi sugar. So I need to figure out my best option for candi sugar.

      I was also looking at Ryan's recipe:

      I may try both methods and see what I like.