October 31, 2010


Westvleteren 12 Clone Attempt

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Categories: 18E, All-grain, BJCP Style, Experiments, Recipes
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Posting for historical reference before I post tasting notes.

Back in October, our homebrew club Final Gravity Craft Brewers, decided to pursue a Westvleteren 12 clone as a group brew.  We decided to use the Pious Traditional recipe from this post on Homebrewtalk.  I did a 5 gallon batch ahead of time to proof out the technique for making our own D2 Candi Syrup (will also post the write-up for this).

Here is the recipe that we attempted:

The Pious Traditional -
Recipe Specifications
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 8.27 gal
Estimated OG: 1.092 SG
Estimated Color: 33.8 SRM
Estimated IBU: 35.2 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.00 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Amount Item Type % or IBU
8.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 42.11 %
8.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 42.11 %
1.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] (90 min) Hops 25.7 IBU
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [4.10 %] (20 min) Hops 7.0 IBU
0.50 oz Hallertauer Hersbrucker [2.80 %] (20 min)Hops 2.4 IBU
3.00 lb Dark 2 Belgian Candi Syrup (160.0 SRM) Sugar 15.79 %
1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) Yeast-Ale
Add all of the D2 syrup at flameout

Mash Schedule: Decoction Mash, Double
Total Grain Weight: 16.00 lb
Decoction Mash, Double
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
10 min Protein Rest Add 32.00 qt of water at 137.5 F 132.0 F
30 min Saccharification Decoct 8.79 qt of mash and boil it 151.0 F
30 min Saccharification Decoct 4.85 qt of mash and boil it 159.0 F


Started at 65F for 24 hours then ramped up to 85F for the next 7 days.  Cooled to 50F until the yeast fell out of suspension then racked to secondary.  Remained at 50F for two weeks and transferred to keg.

Notes:  The decoction steps went well but I think Beersmith didn’t compensate for the additional boil-off and the sparge water was a bit low.  My efficiency was a little over 75% and starting gravity was 1.094.  The original article predicted a final gravity of 1.014 but mine finished at 1.024.  Tried to drop it by pitching 500mL of S-05 starter at high krausen, but it didn’t make a difference.

Separated 1 gallon into a growler and pitch an Orval starter as an experiment.  Not sure it will do much since the beer is over 9% already.  We’ll see.


01/31/2011 – Tasting notes

04/04/2011 – Added the 1gallon of Orval’d back into the keg with the rest.  The Brett really helped to dry this beer out and it is much more enjoyable now.  The funk added some nice complexity too.

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