13 – baby besso’s belgian brew

A lot has changed since the last time I brewed a batch of beer. We’ve moved from our NYC apartment with a gas stove, to our new Fort Lee apartment with an induction cooktop. I’ve purchased some new gear that I want to try out for the first time. And to top it all off, we’ve just given birth to our baby boy Blake! To celebrate, I want to get back into brewing, get this stuff tested out and get something new on tap to serve to friends and family when they visit.

A list of some of the things that will be new for me on this next batch…

  • using a new blichmann hellfire propane burner (and my new 20lb propane tank) instead of brewing on the stove top.
  • using my new 400 micron hop filters from adventures in homebrewing.
  • using a water tap that we have up on our roof to feed the immersion chiller instead of relying on our kitchen sink for water flow and output.
  • no quick access to the sink for water output or cleaning along the way.
  • a new yeast, and some new additions i haven’t used previously.

The list of items I’ll be using in this recipe…

grains… lbs ingredient details potential SG points
91% 10 weyermann bohemian pilsner base malt  1.038 361
9% 1 weyermann carared crystal/caramel malt  1.035 48.1
100.00% 11 481.1(409.1 from grains)
hops/additions… ounces
60 mins total planned boil length
60 mins 2 saaz hops
45 mins 2.5 lb belgian candi sugar, dark amber (homemade) – used all what i had lying around  1.036  90
10 mins whirlfloc, 1/2 tablet
10 mins salt, 1.0oz
10 mins pepper, 0.75oz
yeast… package
1 package 1 WYeast 3787 Trappist Style High Gravity
water… gallons
strike water 8.0 BIAB starting volume
ending volume 6.0 yeast pitching volume

For the belgian candi addition, I transfer some wort to a second kettle, dissolved the sugar into that, and then reintroduced the wort back to the main kettle. I feel this is an easy way to avoid scorching any on the bottom.

Preparing for brew day…

  • Got my yeast and hops the morning of brew day, smacked and heated yeast on dashboard of car on ride home, then let it also sit for several hours during prep / brewing.

Here are my brew day notes from Sunday, June 11th 2017…

time step amount details
4:27pm START 8.0 gal strike water prepped, flame on
4:54pm mash temp reached 157F
5:01pm mash start all grains in, at 152F
6:42pm mash done/out grains out, 0.5 gal reclaimed, flame on!
7:32pm boil starting 2oz hops added also
8:02pm 30 mins out dissolved 2.5lbs belgian candi sugar
8:17pm 15 mins out dissolved 0.75oz salt and 1.0oz pepper and 1/2 tab whirlfloc
8:22pm 10 mins out immersion chiller and spoon to be sanitized in wort
8:39pm 0 mins out flame off! chilling starts
8:54pm cooling done got to 72F, used like 20gals water though.
transfer OG of sample shows 1.072
oxygenate ran out of oxygen!!!
9:04pm yeast
10:30pm cleaning done

On Sunday, July 9th 2017 I set the Inkbird 308 from 69F to 35F to get 3 days of cold crashing started. It’ll take a day to get to temp, then 2 days sitting there and I’ll transfer to keg and get a gravity reading this Wednesday evening.

On Sunday, July 30th I finally got around to transferring this batch of brew from the cold crashed bucket into the keg. Totally filled it to the brim!

On Monday, July 31st I transferred the beer to the first keg, then got it pushed through two filters (5 micron nominal, then 1 micron nominal) and then put it up at 30PSI for a couple of days.

Pictures of this recipe…

Finally getting this beer out of the cold crash chamber, through two filters, and into a keg!


I ran the beer through a 5 micron, then a 1 micron filter. I went with nominal ones for now to see how it goes. I’ll splurge on the absolute ones another time 🙂


The final gravity reading looks to be 1.008. The original gravity reading was 1.072, making this batch clock in at 8.4% ABV!


The second regulator is connected to get this keg up to carbonation as fast as possible. After a couple of days I’ll bring it down to 15, and then around 10PSI once it’s ready.


The beer came out so clear, really stoked to try it this weekend if all goes to plan. 🙂


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