Vespers, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale

This is just going to be a quick post about the Belgian Strong Dark Ale I brewed last weekend. It’s called Vespers, the next in my Belgian-influenced line of beers (the first was Lauds) named after the canonical hours. Why canonical hours? Well, first they have great Latin names and second they tie into the history of timekeeping, which is pretty neat. Lauds (my rye-saison w/oak) was for the morning and Vespers, this Belgian Strong Dark, is for the evening. I’ve got a couple other planned (Terce, which is for three, a triple), but we’ll deal with those later.

The recipe is as follows.

Batch Size: 5.28 gal
Style: Belgian Dubbel (18B)
Color: 22.3 SRM
Bitterness: 23.1 IBUs
Boil Time: 90 min
Est OG: 1.066 (15.9° P)
Est FG: 1.008 SG (2.2° P)
Fermentation: Ale, Single Stage
ABV: 7.5%

Amount Name Type #
6 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 1
3 lbs Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2
1 lbs Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 3
1 lbs Caramunich Malt (56.0 SRM) Grain 4
8.0 oz Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 5
8.0 oz Special B Malt (180.0 SRM) Grain 6
1 lbs Candi Sugar, Dark (90.0 SRM) Grain 7
1.5 oz Tettnang [4.5%] – Boil 60 min Hops 8
1.00 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 15 min) Misc 9
0.5 oz Tettnang [4.5%] – Boil 15 min Hops 10
1 pkgs Belgian Strong Ale Yeast (White Labs #WLP545) Yeast 11

The taste idea was to follow along the big raisin-bread toast that great beers like Westleven 12 and Dominus Vobiscum Hibernus – Microbrasserie Charlevoix had in abundance. Part of that flavour comes from the Munich Malt (the more toasty part) and the rest from the Special B (though I used Special W, which is Weyermann’s version).

Melanoiden increases the red fruit character, Caramunich add some more malt depth, and Aromatic (Biscuit malt) just heightens that bready goodness. The Dark Candi Sugar (from Simplicity Syrups) is for keeping with the Dubble style and giving it a little more sweetness.

The brewday went well, I hit all my targets, so hopefully I’ll be able to post an update soon.

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One Response to Vespers, a Belgian Strong Dark Ale

  1. Pingback: 2013 Year in Upalong Homebrewing | Upalong Brewing

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