De Koningsbeker Belgian Dark Strong Ale
If you say De Koningsbeker three times in the mirror then can chug two pints in a row you will instantly grow the world's most amazing beard. That has nothing to do with this recipe, but something interesting we wanted to share. This strong ale packs a punch at over 8% ABV! It also has a super complex flavor profile that you will keep you drinking this one over and over again.
WHAT YOU GET
1 Can Cooper’s Dark UME
2 Packets of DME Smooth
1 Packet of BrewMax LME Pale
1 Packet of Booster
1 Packet of Munich Malt
1 Packet of Crystal 40 Malt
2 Packets of Goldings hops
1 Packet T-58 yeast
2 hop sacks
1 Packet of No-Rinse Cleanser
1/4 Cup Raisins
FOR FANS OF
Belgian Strong Ales
Original Gravity: 1.090
Final Gravity: 1.027
SRM: (Color): 23
IBU: (Bitterness): 23
STEP 1: Sanitizing
Cleaning is one of the most important steps in brewing. It kills microscopic bacteria, wild yeast, and molds that may cause off-flavors in your beer. Make certain to clean all equipment that comes in contact with your beer by following the directions below:
1. Fill clean keg with warm water to line mark 1 on the back, then add ½ pack (about 1 tablespoon) of No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, the solution is ready to use. Save the remaining ½ of No-Rinse Cleanser because you will need it for bottling.
2. Screw-on the lid and swirl the keg so that the cleaning solution makes contact with the entire interior of the keg, including the underside of the lid. Note that the ventilation notches under the lid may leak the solution. Allow to sit for at least 2 minutes and swirl again.
3. To clean the spigot, open it fully and allow the liquid to flow for 5 seconds, and then close.
4. Pour the rest of the solution from the keg into a large bowl. Place your spoon/whisk, can opener, and measuring cup into the bowl to keep them cleaned throughout the brewing process. Leave them immersed for at least 2 minutes in a cleaning solution prior to use.
5. After all, surfaces have been thoroughly cleaned, do not rinse or dry the keg or utensils. Return lid to the top of the keg, proceed immediately to brewing.
STEP 2: BREWING
Brewing beer is the process of combining a starch source (in this case, a malt brewing extract) with yeast. Once combined, the yeast eats the sugars in the malt, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide (CO2). This process is called fermentation.
1. Add all the grains into one of the muslin sacks and tie it closed so that the grain can flow freely within the sack. Set aside.
2. Add 8 cups of water to a 1 gallon or larger boil pot. Begin heating the water to a range of 155-160 degrees F and hold, at this range. Next, add the grain sack into the water, and maintain the 155-160 temp for 30 minutes.
3. While you wait, add ¼ cups of raisins to one of the muslin sacks, and tie it closed so that the raisins have room to expand and flow freely within the sack. Set aside.
4. Next, add one packet of hops to each of the two remaining sacks, set aside.
5. After the 30-minute steep has completed, turn off the heat and remove the grain sack from the pot and place it into a colander to drain, allowing the runoff to flow back into the pot, and rinse the grain with one cup of hot water (around 160 degrees), letting the excess runoff flow back into your pot. DO NOT squeeze the grain sack. Once drained, discard the grain sack.
6. Add the packet of Booster to the grain water and stir to dissolve.
7. Increase the temperature of the grain water to med/high and sprinkle in the packets of DME and stir to dissolve. Continue stirring constantly to keep the rising foam in check. If it begins to rise, pull the pot off the heat, and lower the temperature slightly, continuing to stir (about 5 to 20 minutes depending on your particular conditions), until you hit the hot break which is where the foam has subsided, and the solution is now boiling.
8. Once the hot break has subsided and the mixture is at a low rolling boil, add in the pale LME and stir to combine.
9. Maintain a low rolling boil and add in one of the hops sacks containing the Goldings hops, that you prepared earlier, this hopsack will boil for a total of 60 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid scorching.
10. After 30 minutes has passed since the addition of the first hopsack, add in the second hop sack containing the Goldings pellets and allow the mixture to boil for an additional 30 minutes. (60 minutes total between both hop sacks)
11. At the 55-minute mark, add the muslin sack containing the raisins and allow this to boil for the last 5 minutes.
12. Once the total 60-minute boil has completed, remove the pot from the heat and add in the can of Cooper’s Dark UME. Stir with a sanitized spoon to combine. This unfermented mixture is called “wort”.
13. Remove the two sacks containing the hops from the wort, the raisins will remain in throughout the duration of fermentation.
14. Fill your fermenter with cold tap water to mark 1 on the back. If using any other fermenter this would be approximately 1 gallon of water.
15. Pour the wort into your fermenter, and then bring the volume of the fermenter to mark 2 by adding more cold water. (If you have a different fermenter top it off with cold water to the 8.5-liter mark).
16. Stir your wort mixture vigorously with your sanitized spoon or whisk.
17. Sprinkle the T-58 yeast packet into the keg, and screw on the lid. Do not stir.
Put your fermenter in a location with a consistent temperature between 60- and 72-degrees F and out of direct sunlight. Ferment for 14 to 21 days, total.
(At 14 days, you can taste your brew. If it needs more spice, add one more teaspoon and allow to ferment for 24 more hours)
STEP 3: Bottling & Carbonating
After 14 days, taste a small sample to determine if the beer is fully fermented and ready to bottle. If it tastes like flat beer, it is ready. If it’s sweet, then it’s not ready. Let it ferment for 3 more days (17 total). At this point, it is time to bottle. Do not let it sit in the fermenter for longer than 24 days total.
1. When your beer is ready to bottle, fill a 1-gallon container with warm water, then add the remaining ½ pack of the No-Rinse Cleanser and stir until dissolved. Once dissolved, it is ready to use.
2. Distribute the cleaning solution equally among the bottles. Screw-on caps (or cover with a metal cap if using glass bottles) and shake bottles vigorously. Allow to sit 10 minutes, then shake the bottles again. Remove caps and empty all cleaning solution into a large bowl. Use this solution to clean any other equipment you may be used for bottling. Do not rinse.
4. Holding the bottle at an angle, fill each bottle to about 2 inches from the bottle’s top.
5. Place caps on bottles, hand tighten, and gently turn the bottle over to check the bottle’s seal. It is not necessary to shake them.
6. Store the bottles upright and out of direct sunlight in a location with a consistent temperature between 70°-76°F or 21°-24°C. Allow sitting for a minimum of 14 days. If the temperature is cooler than suggested it may take an additional week to reach full carbonation.
Tip from our Brewmasters
After the primary carbonation has taken place your beer is ready to drink. We recommend putting 1 bottle in the refrigerator at first for 48 hrs. After 48hrs. give it a try and if it is up to your liking put the rest of your beer in the fridge. If it does not taste quite right, leave the bottles out at room temp for another week or so. Keep following this method until your brew tastes just how you like it.
This process is called conditioning and during this time the yeast left in your beer can help clean up any off-flavors. Almost everything gets a little better with time and so will your beer.