Last Update: 5/14/20
Recipe Inspiration: First Fruits Quadrupel is the beer that I brew annually in celebration of each year of my daughter’s life (she was born in April 2016). I should note that I brewed the first vintage of both of my children’s beers ahead of their births. Hence, this was my fifth time brewing this beer. While it’s recipe has been tweaked over the years, most of its ingredients and brewing/fermentation process have remained the same…For this vintage I decided to highlight the candi sugar and lessen the boldness of the malt character. See below for the specific changes.
Brew Day: 2/5/20
Fermentables: (estimated brewhouse efficiency set at 70%) – Batch Size: 5.25 gallons
11.5 lbs Belgian pilsner malt (replaced the 4oz of Aromatic that I took out from last year’s vintage and added 4oz extra ounces)
1 lb Munich malt 10L
12 oz Aromatic Malt (previously 1 lb)
12 oz Special B
4 oz Caramunich malt (swapped amounts with the Munich malt)
1.5 lbs D180 candi sugar syrup @ 10 minutes (boil) – last year: 1 lb plus 4.5oz demerara sugar
1 lb D90 candi sugar syrup @ day 3 of primary fermentation
8 oz D180 candi sugar syrup @ day 3 of primary fermentation – last year: 4.5oz demerara sugar
Mash: 150F for 75 minutes – single infusion, mash out rest, fly sparge
1 oz Perle (7.1% AA) @ 90 minutes (last year 0.5 oz of Magnum was added @ 5 minutes)
2 oz Hallertau Mittlefruh (3% AA) @ 25 minutes
1 oz Hallertau Mittlefruh (3% AA) @ 10 minutes (last year 3oz of HM was added @ 70 minutes)
Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity – 2.4 L starter (pkg date: 12/4/19)
Stop and Shop Arcadia spring water
- Mash: The mash was uneventful until I took my preboil gravit reading. At first I had my estimated prevoil gravity set at 72%, but after realizing I missed my target preboil gravity by 5 points. I lowered it to 70% (more appropriate for a big beer anyways). To make up the updated 3 points I added 8.5 ounces of pilsen light DME.
- Boil: After adding my bittering hops I decided to add the DME >> I added 10 minutes to the 90 minute boil after adding the candi sugar and then my immersion chiller. >> I collected 5.25 gallons of 1.077 wort (hit target).
- Start of fermentation: After losing half a gallon of barleywine to blow off messes. I decided to ferment this beer in one of my 7.8 gallon mead buckets. I set the fermentation temperature to 68F-70F and will keep it there until the end of day 2 of fermentation when I’ll raise the from to 69-71F. On the night day 3 I’ll add the remaining 1.5 lbs of candi sugar syrup.
- Fermentation Management: On Saturday night 2/8 I added the remaining 1.5 lbs of candi sugar and raised my temperature controller’s set to 69 so the new temp range that the beer could get to would be 69-71F. After going out with my wife I came to come to see that fermentation activity had picked up, but by the morning the temperature wasn’t going above 70F. Que my homebrewer’s anxiety: Somehow when I checked the beer it had stopped bubbling for long enough that I got anxious. I therefore suspected a blow off tube issue. However, my adjustments unfortunately led to me creating a small crack in the bucket’s lid. Luckily, I had a spare lid on hand and swapped it out…In order to make sure that the fermentation temp would not dip to for down I taped on a fermenter heating wrap and set my controller to 71F. I’m not too worried about raising it this high because… 1) even when the temperature range was 68-70F, the beer was fermentating consistently closer to 70F 2) There was at least 12 hours in between temperature adjustments 3) I can leave my controller with 71F as its set temperature for the remainder of fermentation. Update: I ended up setting my temperuatre controller to 72F in order to keep fermentation as close to 72F possible. Until the last couple days of fermentation I left my heating differential at 1 degreeF and then upped to to 2 degreesF.
- Racking – On 2/26/20 I racked the beer to a 5 gallon carboy with 3.5oz of oak cubes that has been soaking in Bulleit rye whiskey and 1/2 cup of the whiskey. Prior to doing so I took a gravity sample and my FG was 1.008 or 10.7% abv
- Bulk Aging: After 2 months of aging with the oak and whiskey I took a sample and found that the oak was a bit subtle for my taste. I need to taste it soon and decide on when I’ll “call it” and bottle up the batch.
I like this blog. It is well laid out, well thought out, easy to read, and informative.
Thanks for your kinds words. I’m definitely to try to post for often this year. Cheers!