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If you can’t buy it, why not make it? Taking its flavor cue from one of the most sought after beers in the world, Northy 12 is an amazingly complex treat. Its deep ruby - mahogany hue is the canvas for flavors of raisins, caramel sweetness, and tart dark fruits, as its smooth and luscious body fades into a lingering dry finish. Northy 12 is cloaked with a silky, lacy and firm off white head exuding a montage of toffee, honey, caramel, and phenolic aromas. If you can display the patience of a monk and abstain from immediate consumption, aging will do wonders for this beer.
- Additional Information
Beer Kit Yield 5 Gallons Recipe and Instructions Click Here for Northy 12 Belgian Quad Brewing Instructions Regional Style Belgian Original Gravity 1090 Total Time to Make 4 months
4.7 / 5.040 ReviewsFantastic!I patiently waited before reviewing. This is based on an actual tasting from the finished product. Just a few pertinent details to add: I did a full 5 gal boil. Starting gravity was better than advertised @ 1.098. I made a 2l starter on a stir plate with 2 Wyeast 3787 'smackpacks' and an additional pack at pitching. Spent 3 weeks in primary and 3.5 months in secondary. Final gravity was 1.016 for an abv of 10.8%. I highly recommend adding additional yeast at bottling(CBC-1). I went for 3.3volumes/C02. End result is near perfection! I may even hold a few bottles back for an upcoming beer competition. Great job with the R&D on this kit NB!March 26, 2016Really really good!Ok, so I finally got to try it! 1 month in primary and 2 1/2 months in secondary. I used the Trappist high gravity yeast and it took off bubbling like mad for over a week! Abv came in at 8.4. I bottled 9 days ago and I couldn't wait to try it. I got a little hiss when I cracked it and it poured with a 1/4 inch or so of head. Needs way more time but it is just amazing with notes of dried fruit, fig and raisins. The alcohol is warming but not overpowering. I am anxious for it to fully carb up but I am very happy with this beer so far!March 4, 2016It's difficult to do betterWhen I bought a beer brewing kit with a secondary fermenter I knew I had to start on this immediately; and so I started fermenting this in January and have had several other beers produced in the time to wait patiently for this one. It was bottled around mid April and has gradually improved in carbonation (though due to the richness of the beer, the carbonation comes off very subtle.) Bottle conditioning really brings out the flavor and cuts back on the sweet syrupy taste that might occur early on in the sampling of it; and what you are left with is probably very close to what Westvleteren 12 tastes like. It makes sense to try and compare it to similar beer such as St. Bernadus Abt 12, or Trappiste Rochefort 10, however it has it's own character that should be appreciated in it's own right. First off it has a very strong flavor of dates and honey, and as you start drinking you become aware of just how strong it really is. It's easy to want to engulf it as has a somewhat mellow profile that underlies the true strength of it; and it is akin to a Gulden Draak quad, or Piraat (though better than either.) It's worth the effort and the wait, and I should advise anyone that brews a complex beer to wait out it's maturation and learn from every experience. This is a serious beer with full utilization of the blow off tube.May 29, 2016Addictive BrewThe flavor is extremely full and rich, I'm extremely impressed with the smooth flavor.I followed the instructions, let it sit in secondary for close to 4 months and then bottle condition for a full 5 weeks before giving it a try. Delicious, no other way to describe it.Because it takes so long to make this is one of those brews you want to make and save for special occasions. When you serve your guests this brew they will think you're a great brew master because this is a masterful brew.October 19, 2016Literally the best beer I've ever tastedBrewed May 2016 with WLP530 Abbey Ale with 2 liter starter (2 cans Fastpitch). Fermented at 65F with gradual rise to 75F on day 3. Aged in primary bucket for 16 weeks. Bottled with 0.6 cups table sugar and EC-1118 Champagne yeast. Tasted after 2 months in bottle and a few days in refrigerator.
Fingal gravity: 1.014. I think this is over 10% ABV if I could do math after drinking this, which I can't.
Poured dark hazy brown with medium light tan head. Big aroma of prunes, raisins and some bready yeast. Strong flavor of dried fruit, bready malt, medium dry with some spicy yeast and bourbon aftertaste and warmth. Creamy smooth with a lot of body. As it warms up a bit it's even better.
Overall a fantastic beer. I've never had Westvleteren but this certainly has the Belgian characteristics of other Belgians I've tried. I suspect this will improve even more with some age.
Despite adding some Champagne yeast because I was worried the yeast might puny out after 16 weeks and high ethanol, this is a bit undercarbonated for a Belgian. For next batch I'll add a bit more sugar for bottling.
This is an easy recipe and if you can stand to give it some time in the fermenter it's well worth the wait.
Final tip: Blow off tube. Use one.November 30, 2016Great beer after some time in the bottle. Worth the wait!!I brewed this beer in January 2016 using Wyeast 3787. It had a very active fermentation, using a blow off tube is a must. 2 weeks in the primary, 3 months in the secondary as instructed. I was not impressed with this beer at first, a little too sweet and a lot of phenolics, but I tried one every month to see how it was progressing. This beer really starts to shine after 8 months in the bottle. Wish I held onto a few more of them. Brewing it again this weekend and I'm not going to open one till Christmas!!January 11, 2017Purchased
7 months agoFour Months InFinished a strong primary fermentation at 66F in two weeks. Racked four gal. to secondary and added 1.5 oz french med+ cubes that i began soaking in brandy before the brewday. Racked one gal. to glass jug with no oak. Waited a month and bottled. Tried the first bottle two weeks later, no carbonation. Waited another four, is now carbed. Tasted good at two weeks but is great now. I hope that it improves with aging and will be outstanding by 10 mo. Forward hop bitterness with rasin, malt, and dark sugar body. Oak is subtle and adds a layer of interest. Haven't tried a bottle without oak yet to compair. I found the dubbel to be better young, I hope that this beer ages better.March 24, 2016Northern does it again!Brewed this according to the instructions. Like most brewers I wanted to try it as soon as possible, weeks in the bottle does not do justice. Be patient, 5 or six months after buttoning it up it becomes something special. Great kit!September 27, 2016Love this beer, but I waited a long time.Brewed on Halloween with 3787, 2 packs into a starter. OG 1.110, FG 1.010, but it went to 1.018 within a week, booozzy and hot. It took the next 5 months to hit 1.010. I followed BLAM, pitched at 68 and held it up to 80 and let it cool naturally, then cold crashed and aged it in my garage most of winter at 50 degrees or less. By April the boozyness had gone away and you get raisins, figs, and brown sugar with a strong backbone, not the rubbing alcohol flavor and not the off-putting sweetness I got with the Number 8. It does need extra yeast at bottling. This is a sneaky good beer and my best Quad yet.June 16, 2016The best Belgian Dark clone yetVery similar recipe to the published clone recipes out there for W12. I used 3787 yeast as they do, and went by the book. I pitched low at 65 and allowed a free rise to 78-80 before putting into a hot water bath to really hold it up, but the yeast never exploded out of the fermenter. It went steady and did its thing from an OG of 1.110(!) to 1.010! I then lagered it 3 months at 50F. Re-added another smack pack of 3787 before bottled, all in all 6 months of aging before the first bottle and it was worth it. All the heat was gone, just a true belgian dark with figs and raisin flavors. Head is also perfect.January 24, 2017Purchased
1 year ago
Browse 35 questions Browse 35 questions and 92 answersThe recipe directions don't say to add yeast before bottling, but NB answered a question saying you should. So what is the correct answer?BEST ANSWER: With any beer that has been aged for months in the carboy, it may be necessary to add in some fresh yeast at bottling time. Or, a person can make sure to stir up the settled yeast in the secondary to make sure that some live yeast makes it into the bottled beer. It's not ALWAYS necessary but it is a good way to ensure that it will carbonate in the bottles. Some beers will fall very clear, and if you leave behind all the sediment, the carbonation can either come around VERY slowly, or not at all. Adding a 1/2 pack of dry yeast in a batch is sufficient to ensure good carbonation. -Mike W, Northern BrewerI brewed this a couple weeks ago, and used two packs of 3787, I figured I was getting close to FG so took a read yesterday and was still high (I am fermenting on the colder side), so figured I would give it more time. I decided to taste the sample I took and it was VERY tart, like lingers in the back of the mouth for a long while after. Is this normal? I don't like tart/sour ales so will be very disappointed if this comes out that way.BEST ANSWER: This beer will be sweet all the way through fermentation. To echo the other answer, you might have a contamination issue. Any tartness would come from a source outside of this kit.I brewed this with an OG of 1.092, using a 2L yeast starter ...2 weeks in primary then over 3 months in secondary....bottled today and at the end I checked gravity and it was only down to 1.042! I added CBC yeast at bottling as well...worried about bottle bombs....it tasted good but I don't know what to do....roll with it or open each bottle and put back in a Carboy to finish fermentation? Help!BEST ANSWER: I would be concerned about your 1.042 FG, Might be better to empty your potential bottle bombs back into a fermentation vessel (glass preferred due to alcohol content and possible time factor) and let it finish. Not knowing your yeast viability at the initial pitch, you may have had less cells than you thought. Big OG numbers tend to inhibit good fermentation unless your yeast cell count is high enough and active enough to handle it. I did a "step up" starter of 1L then settle and decant, ad 2L more wort, all on a stir plate. I was down to below 1.030 in about 4 weeks. Left it set on the basement floor (65°-68°F) for 11 more months. Taste tested every 3 months and really could not tell a difference after 9 months.Ended up around 1.018FG at keg time, but the whole process took a year.
I would be concerned mainly because you added a yeast strain that can better handle the high ABV that you have now so if fermentation restarts you will be the first to know you have a problem, and it won't be pretty!I've seen mention of adding yeast before bottling to help with carbonation. I've seen both champagne yeast and CBC-1 Cask and Bottle Conditioning Ale Yeast. Has anyone tried both or one or the other and is there a preference or difference in taste?BEST ANSWER: I typically will bottle condition with the same yeast used in the primary fermentation which helps progress the true flavor of the recipe you are using. The only exception to this is for those cases where I'm trying to adjust the flavor of a beer in a particular direction because of flaw I've detected in initial tasting or where you are trying for a hybrid type of beer such as an IPA using Belgian ale yeast or something similar.I bottled this about two months ago and I still have no carbonation. Looking at some other questions I now see that I should have added some extra yeast before bottling. Now I'm considering options to fix this. I emptied a keg since bottling this batch so I'm considering dumping each bottle into a clean keg. I'm also considering opening each bottle and adding yeast individually. Any suggestions?BEST ANSWER: High abv beers can take 3-6 months to carbonateI purchased the fast pitch yeast starter wort and planned to use it with this beer using the wyeast 3787. My question is, is it OK to use 2 packs of the 3787 for this brew and can I start it in one can of the fast pitch or should I use two cans in a 2L erlenmeyer flask? Thanks for the help. Also what's the best yeast to add at bottling and how much should I use? It's a 5 gallon batch.BEST ANSWER: If the fast pitch is 16oz cans, you could go with 2 or even 3 of them (3 would be about 1400ml of wort) with your 2 packets of 3787. If you let that ferment out, you will have a great yeast starter culture to work with and it should ferment your 5G batch with no problems. For the bottling yeast, I always use Danstar CBC-1 yeast for my stouts and quads; it is a neutral bottle conditioning yeast that only ferments priming sugar, doesn't change the flavors of the beer in any way, and it is good for up to 14% abv. When you are ready to bottle, simply boil and cool 5oz of priming sugar, and then when it hits 100 degrees or so rehydrate 2-3g of the CBC-1 yeast for a few minutes in that solution. Then simply add that solution to the bottling bucket like normal. Then your beer will be perfectly carbed after a week or two! Cheers.Is one pocket of the safbrew abbaye dry yeast enough for a 5 gallon batch or would it be better to use two packets?BEST ANSWER: Hi Clay,
I would definitely recommend more than one packet, or even a yeast starter. Pitching one packet would ferment the beer; yeast would consume sugars and convert them into co2 and alcohol--but that much of a sugary environment would stress the yeast and may cause some undesirable flavors.
If you'd like a good "pitch rate" calculator, here's one that I like:
If you'd like a good intro to how easy a starter is, here's this:
I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, let me know!
CharlesIgnorant question here, but, can this beer be successfully brewed, by say, hydrating an extra pack or two of yeast (I was planning on using safbrew be-256), that is then pitched, after the wort has been cooled, placed into the primary fermentator, and oxygenated? ThanksBEST ANSWER: You may be able too, but I would recommend a yeast starter if you can. I used a yeast starter and still active fermentation took a couple days. I let mine sit about 3 weeks in the primary before transfer to secondary for a few months. Just be sure you have plenty of yeast to pitch and hydrate well, in may take it a little longer to get going.I brewed a Belgian Triple back in October and I did a two week primary fermentation and a two week secondary fermentation. I bottled the beer immediately after the secondary fermentation using priming sugar. I opened the first beer last week which was approximately 3 months after brew day. The beer tasted great and had good carbonation. My question is, what is the difference in aging in the fermenter versus aging in the bottle? is one better than the other?
TerryBEST ANSWER: When you bottle early you expose the brew to oxygen that is trapped in the head space, which can change the intended flavor of the beer. In a secondary the oxygen has been purged by CO2 produced by the fermentation process. Also, there is more yeast available in the secondary (yeastbed) to clean up byproducts produced in fermentation, verses only the suspended yeast in the bottle. The downside to a long secondary fermentation is that you may have to add some fresh yeast when you bottle. But if it tastes great, who can argue. The only way to truly see the difference is to brew two beers, bottle age one, and age the other in a secondary. You can never have too much beer!!!
PatI'm calculating that I'll need about 400 billion yeast cells to pitch. I got only one packet of liquid yeast, so it seems I'll need to do a two-step starter, 2L each, in order to hit this. Does that sound right?BEST ANSWER: yes I did one 2L starter the day before brew day and it turned out great!!!!So how tart should this beer be? I took a SG reading a few days ago and was still high according to my software so left it in but tasted the sample, and was shocked by how tart it was. Like barely able to handle it tartness, no malty sweetness, all face crunching tartness. When I transferred to secondary and took a SG read and tasted the sample again, praying that it was less tart, and felt that it was still very tart. Far more tart then what I would want to drink. Based on the description, I figured this would have some tartness to it but nothing that would cause me to not want to drink it any more. Fermentation looked good, no noticeable infection, temps were on the lower end of what the Wyeast 3787 was rated for. Just trying to figure out if something is off and how much tartness to expect.BEST ANSWER: Something is definitely off with your brew. I've made this a couple times, and it's very complex and layered with different flavors-tartness shouldn't be present at all from my experience.Do you need to pitch a yeast starter with this kit? If so, how large and how many packs of wyeast 3787?BEST ANSWER: Hi Tim,
Yes, that would be a good idea, or you could pitch extra pakcets of yeast. According to my yeast calculator, you'll want about 320 billion cells, which would be about 3 packets.
Here's some good info on starters too:
CharlesDo I need to add yeast back at bottling after such a long secondary? if so, how much and can I just use so-5? or does it have to be Belgian? Thx.BEST ANSWER: Adding yeast at bottling is a good idea if you think that your yeast has died due to high alcohol levels. I have always used champagne yeast for that purpose.
You can check for active yeast beforehand by taking a small sample of your beer and adding a little priming sugar to it. If there's observable fermentation in that sample within 48 hours, your yeast is still active.The instructions linked online say that bottling is 18 weeks after brewing day (over 4 months before bottling), but the instructions also say primary fermentation is approx. 2 weeks followed by 3 months of secondary fermentation, or about 15 weeks total. Is there a 3 week step before bottling I am missing in the instructions or which number is correct?BEST ANSWER: Hello, I believe that they also incorporate another 2 weeks in the bottles for conditioning time to achieve the 18 weeks. I am not sure where you saw the 18 weeks to bottle after brewing day but I would go by the instructions here (http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/beerkits/Northy12BelgianQuad.pdf)
I currently have it in the primary, but it will be about 16 weeks until it is time to bottle, then about 2 weeks in the bottle before it is ready for consumption. Hope this helps and happy brewing :)I asked for an extra yeast pack (Trappist High Gravity) to use when bottleing and the store provided me with three. Any pros or cons on using two in the primary?BEST ANSWER: If you have twice as much yeast, it might ferment more violently. The Belgian Quad has so much sugar in it that they sometimes cause me to install a blowoff tube to give the foam a way to get out because they have so much foam. I suspect that having twice as much yeast could cause it to be more violent than usual, so I would caution against it. It might be a good idea to add the second packet of yeast after the first few weeks and the initial fermentation has subsided. This way any remaining sugars will finish their conversion to alcohol. It sounds like an interesting experiment, and I'm tempted to try it, just to see what the results are!If i am using a temp controlled fermentation chamber for this - what would the temp schedule be for Wyeast 3787? The information i have been able to gather indicates Trappist techniques pitching at mid low sixties and letting the fermentation naturally rise into the low to mid 80s. Would this be applicable in a 5 gallon batch? If not what would you dial in the temp at during the primary fermentation?BEST ANSWER: This is a fantastic kit, brewed, fermented and bottled nicely. I used the Safbrew BE-256 option. I pitched at 75 degrees and fermented for a total of three months between 75 and 78 degrees. Came out perfect! Drank a couple of bottles last weekend...SMOOTH!Just kegged this one and after hitting the 1.09 OG it finished at 1.022 FG. This is just below 9%, which from what I've read is really low for a Belgian Quad. Is this normal for this recipe?BEST ANSWER: Thanks for the inquiry. Depending on the yeast used, this is normal and we would still call that a complete fermentation. It could have gotten a little lower, especially an all grain version of this beer with good temp control would have possibly been more fermentable. But, the attenuation percentage is within the range, just right at the bottom. Adding more yeast, ensuring enough aeration(more difficult at high gravity to get oxygen dissolved), and getting a good steady temperature during fermetnation help ensure the lowest gravity reading possible.I brewed this on Friday and after cooling, I got an OG of 1.09. So right on the money. My question is, what is the anticipated final gravity? I cannot find this information anywhere. Secondly, I put the chilled wort into the primary and pitched the yeast at 2:00 Friday and now at noon on Sunday, I still see no signs of fermentation. I am getting concerned. Should I be?BEST ANSWER: Hello Clay,
Thank you for choosing Northern Brewer! The final gravity will vary based on yeast choice, fermentation temps, etc... I wouldn't worry yet, not until Monday or Tuesday. What temperature was the wort when you pitched, and what temperature are you fermenting at?Anyone ever racked to secondary on bourbon soaked oak chips or think that would work with the brew?BEST ANSWER: About to try my first crack at this kit, so I'll follow it closely but I'd definitely do that with the bourbon Barrel.Just days away from putting my Belgian Quad in secondary , I hear about people adding Champagne yeast to secondary . What are the pros & cons of doing this ?BEST ANSWER: The main idea behind doing that is to help ensure the beer finishes fermenting, but also it should help the beer carbonate in the bottles. No real con, it either helps or does not, it should not impact flavor. I hope this helps!what is the target final gravity for the extract recipe? i came up a little short on OG, not sure why, everything was dialed in and I did a full boil...my final volume was a tad high, 5.25 gallons, but i missed the target by 9 points. i added another 12 oz of d-180 into the primary to bump up the gravity a bit, 6 days later and after a very vigorous fermentation and blow off, I seem stuck at 1.019. I am an all grain brewer and used to hitting my FA and even over shooting at times. i read that extract brewing causes higher FGs, is this true? what should i be looking for here range wise? thanks.BEST ANSWER: Hi Ed,
Your FG sounds about right, actually. According to the BJCP guidelines this style should have an FG in the range of 1010-1024. Here is the full style description--It is listed as "26D. Belgian Dark Strong Ale," on page 53-54.
As for your OG being off, according to my calculations, 5.25 gallons of wort at 1081 would have the same sugar content as 5 gallons of wort at 1085. So the extra quart of water diluted the SG a bit, which means you were only off by about 5 points. Which is not terribly unusual. With extract kits, I tend to overshoot by 5 for some reason. Extract brewing does often lead to higher OG's, since there is no risk of getting poor efficiency from your mash.
I hope this helps, but let me know if there's anything else I can do!
CharlesUsed 1# of Belgian Special B an 3# of D180 syrup in the extract kit. Started with a OG of 1.096 and finished with 1.012. In secondary now. I know the Westy Monks bottle condition this beer. What sort of conditioning is required with this? I used WL530, Wyeast Belgian Strong and Wyeast Abby Yeast top start. At bottling, I might use another Strand of Trappist yeast. How long to mature this? I have another pound of D180 that I was going to use at bottling for a prime. Thoughts?BEST ANSWER: We formulated this recipe around bottle conditioning with normal priming sugar. While you could use D-180, keep in mind that it would change the character of the beer (significantly). You would also want to make sure you don't use the whole pound of it. Head on over to http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator for exact amounts of candi syrup to add. I don't think adding another different strain of sacchromyces would add that much complexity to the beer at bottling with the minor amount of sugar you'll be adding. Feel free to sit on those bottles for a long time. Ready to drink after a month, but will continue to develop for months (or years?) to come.
Gabe from NBHow does this compare to a Westy 12?BEST ANSWER: It is inspired by the Westy 12 and is based on the actual recipe. Of course, things like a monk's attention to detail can not be cloned so there can be some variation. I found that it is difficult to the right pitch rate. You need to add lots of healthy yeast to ensure it ferments strongly to completion, but as you increase the initial pitch it reduces the fusels, phenols, and esters the yeast produce during growth and early fermentation periods. So expect either a very fruity beer with some residual sweetness or a dry beer with minimal fruitiness. That is the easiest way it can vary for an experienced brewer. Cheers! James J.What beer is this styled after? St. Bernardus, Rochefort or something else?BEST ANSWER: Sorry, I can be of no assistance in this inquiry. I started this about two weeks ago and it is still in the primary fermentation stage. I hope to transfer it this weekend, then it needs to sit fo another ninety days or so until bottling.Should a yeast starter be used for the Safbrew Abbaye Dry yeast option?BEST ANSWER: Making a starter is a great idea for a beer with original gravity above 1.060. You do not want to make too big of a starter for this beer. I would make about a 1 liter starter and aerate well. Cheers! James J.I'm can't decide between the #8 and the # 12.I looking to celebrate at the end of January with a few bottles of either. Which would give either a little less then 3 months to age. What sort of flavors can I except if I opened say 3-4 20oz bottles of the #12 just a hair early. And let the rest age for years and yearsBEST ANSWER: A pretty darn delicious brew for sure! It might be a little boozy and possible have some harshness which mellows over time. Also the beer would be one sided. Probably a lot of malt and fruit. The complexity in flavor is what comes over time.Why isn't this available in an all grain kit?BEST ANSWER: it is available as an all grain kit that actually costs $2 less
http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/northy-12-belgian-quad-all-grain-kitWhat is the shelf life of this one? My son turns 21 in 14 months, and I have been thinking of brewing something special for him.BEST ANSWER: I just bought the kit and haven't brewed it yet, so I can't say from direct experience. However with a big beer like this I think age is your friend. After the long secondary, let the flavors develop in bottle conditioning - I'm sure you can't go wrong with 14 months (or longer). Your son will certainly thank you!Is this available in a whole grain kit?BEST ANSWER: This is available in all-grain as well. You can search under all-grain ale kits or type Northy 12 into the search bar and it will be listed there.
Aaron F.I'm somewhat new to homebrewing and I would like to brew this beer for a friend's wedding next year. I've never made a beer that requires this long of a fermentation before. I see some reviews saying this beer continues to improve the longer it ages, so I'm curious as to how long is too long to let this beer sit in secondary or to condition in the bottles?BEST ANSWER: A beer such as this should sit in the carboy for at least 6 months. In the bottles, it will keep for 2-3 years.
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