Northy 12 Belgian Quad

SKU# UB10990

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If you can’t buy it, why not make it? Taking its flavor cues from one of the most sought after beers in the world, Northy 12 is an amazingly complex treat.

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Northy 12 Belgian Quad

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  • Northy 12 Belgian Quad
Product Details
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 Yield5 Gallons
Recipe and InstructionsClick Here for Northy 12 Belgian Quad Brewing Instructions
Regional StyleBelgian
Original Gravity1090
Total Time to Make4 months
Reviews
4.7 / 5.0
30 Reviews
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Really 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, 2016
It's difficult to do better
When 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, 2016
Fantastic!
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, 2016
failed to carbonate
I brewed this beer almost exactly as described in the instructions and left it in the secondary fermenter for a little less than 3 months. The problem is that when I bottled with priming sugar, the beer never carbonated, even after about 4 months in the bottle. Probably some combination of the high alcohol content and the long secondary fermentation. As a result, the beer tasted flat, too sweet, and lacked complexity. I reopened all of the bottles and added a solution of liquefied dry yeast and recapped. Almost 2 months later, the beer is slowly carbonating and improving in flavor, though I still don't find it to be anything extraordinary. I've never tried real Westy, but this Northy is nothing I'd travel to Belgium for. I've had trouble with other high ABV, long fermentation recipes recently, so I think in the future I'll skip extended secondary in favor of a longer bottle conditioning.
August 10, 2016
Fantastic Brew
I just bottled this one after two months in the fermenter. I haven't had the chance to bottle condition it, but man, this is a good beer.
July 9, 2016
Four Months In
Finished 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, 2016
Northern 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, 2016
Anxious to taste this ale!
I've got this brew in my secondary fermenter. Primary fermentation sounded like a freight train for 5 days. It tastes pretty darn good already. I was trying to plan an aging strategy for this one and came to the conclusion that I will soon make another batch so I can store a good amount for future tastings!
November 21, 2015
Typical of Northern
The kit came extremely well packaged as all the irk kits do. Brew day went great and have the beer in secondary fo a couple weeks now. Just sampled it and appears to be awesome. Huge complex beer. Going to let it age as long as my willpower holds out.
November 22, 2015
Incredible Quad
I brewed this back in December of 2015, and bottled it early June, 2016. This is an INCREDIBLE ale. While I love the Number 8 kit offered by Northern Brewer, this one blows it away. It is far better than any of the commercial quads available, with the exception of Rochefort #10, and St. Bernardus 12 (And it stands up to those ales QUITE well). All the expected flavors are there (figs, brown sugar, raisins, plumbs, etc), but with a unique twist that puts this beer above the rest. The hops balance the sweetness nicely. You will need a yeast starting (or multiple packages of yeast), a blow-off tube, bottling yeast, and the patience of a monk (this item not sold by NB. :D). I will be brewing this kit again soon, as I do not want to run out of this incredible, tasty ale.
June 29, 2016
Q&A
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Browse 26 questions Browse 26 questions and 51 answers
Is one pocket of the safbrew abbaye dry yeast enough for a 5 gallon batch or would it be better to use two packets?
P O on Feb 4, 2016
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:

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

If you'd like a good intro to how easy a starter is, here's this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEQBPeHfXD0

I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, let me know!

Cheers!

Charles
The recipe directions don't say to add yeast before bottling, but NB answered a question saying you should. So what is the correct answer?
J A on Feb 29, 2016
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 Brewer
Do you need to pitch a yeast starter with this kit? If so, how large and how many packs of wyeast 3787?
A U on Jan 28, 2016
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:

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/0000/1235/MAzym07_YeastStarter.pdf

Cheers!

Charles
Do 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.
E R on Jan 25, 2016
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?
R O on Aug 14, 2016
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?
D E on Jul 11, 2016
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?
B R on Jun 29, 2016
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?
B A on Feb 22, 2016
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?
P O on Feb 14, 2016
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?
B Y on Feb 5, 2016
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 ?
R G on Jan 29, 2016
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.
B R on Dec 29, 2015
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.

http://www.bjcp.org/docs/2015_Guidelines_Beer.pdf

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!

Cheers,

Charles
Used 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?
A D on Dec 28, 2015
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 NB
How does this compare to a Westy 12?
A D on Dec 11, 2015
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?
Guest on Nov 18, 2015
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?
M R on Nov 5, 2015
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 years
Tim C on Oct 25, 2015
BEST 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?
D S on Oct 21, 2015
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-kit
What 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.
K M on Oct 20, 2015
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?
Michael L on Oct 20, 2015
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?
C O on Jul 12, 2016
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.
what is the maximum recommended 'warm' temp for fermentation? Being in central Florida, can I ferment in a closet or do I need a fridge/freezer to keep it controlled in the lower 70s... or some other number?
N O on Jul 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Greetings!

Thanks for your question. 68F would be the best temp for this beer. However 72F would be ok. If you can't keep your temps down there I would recommend a fermentation chamber of some sort.

Cheers!
what is considered ''warm' for fermentation?
William D on Jul 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER: It depends on the ideal temp range for each yeast strain. For the yeasts recommended in this kit; the temp ranges are:

BE-256: 54�-77�F, Ideally 59-68�F

Wyeast 3787: 64�-78� F

WLP530: 66�-72� F
I boil my kettle on a cooktop rather than a propane burner, and was going to follow the 2.5 gallon boil. Concerned that adding 6lb of extract 15 mins before flame out will kill the boil and not get it back. Should I add the extract gradually instead of all at once, and when should I start this? Or does it not matter if it goes off the boil with 15 min to go?
Also, given the beer this is modelled on is hard to find, is there something more accessible (Seattle) I could buy to get an idea of the style?
N I on Apr 9, 2016
BEST ANSWER: The purpose of the malt addition is just to get it to dissolve in the wort. Although temperature can affect hop utilization, the temporary reduction in temperature due to extract addition is acceptable. Either method is fine. For a rough idea of what this beer tastes like, consider any Belgian Quadrupel beer. There are many resources online that can provide a list of popular beers for any style.
Just transferred to the secondary. Tastes great. I am curious what FG people have been getting after the secondary?
D O on Dec 15, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Have not gone to bottle yet.. Just went to secondary a week ago with a reading of 1.020 I did a 6 gallon boil with it and pitched two vials of Abby Ale yeast. Had massive fermentation for 7 days. This brew has been a wild ride so far... can't wait to taste the result!
Is there an all grain version?
Steve W. on Oct 20, 2015
BEST ANSWER: Unknown

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