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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.
- Style: Belgian Dark Strong Ale
- Fermentation Range: 54 - 77F
- OG: 1.090
- SRM: 31
- IBUs: 40
- ABV: 10.1%
- Raisins, caramel, dark fruit flavors
- Toffee, honey aromas
- Classic Belgian yeast character
- Warming alcohol
- Medium-heavy body, smooth finish
- 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
- 4.6 / 5.044 ReviewsDon’t hesitate. Just brew it and be patient.Best beer I’ve brewed out of the 30 or so batches I’ve done over the years. I let it age for a year in the secondary in the basement. It was difficult to wait but so worth it in the end. Came out about 10% with all of the complex flavors and under tones you could hope for in a great Belgian beer.November 15, 2017Thoughts on 2 finished brewsI've now brewed this twice, have let both age - and have finished all but 3 of each batch.
The first brew, we really enjoyed after 2-3 months of bottle conditioning. It was going quick enough that I wanted to get a second batch done and conditioning right away. Once I did that, we stopped drinking the first with 12 left. When the second batch was ready, we just started drinking it regularly and forgot the first sitting on the shelf.
Here's the point of that convoluted timeline - with the second batch all but gone, I pulled a bottle from the first on its one year anniversary - I've never let a beer condition that long.
It was seriously amazing.
Let this one age and sample it every month or so, you'll enjoy how it develops.October 29, 2017Purchased
1 year agoFirst time not giving you guys a 5 star rating.So here is my complaint. After 4 months or so in the secondary (whatever it was) I bottle as usual (with bottling sugar), and no bubbles. It never carbonated. Now I know why. Sitting that long the yeast settles out in the trub (or perhaps doesn't survive the alcohol content) and so no carbonation in my bottles. I then poured it out and carbonated it in my keg, and it's pretty good, but now it has that sweet bottling sugar still in. Send a second batch or yeast to add a few days before bottling day with the kit guys (maybe a champagne yeast?).August 15, 2017Purchased
11 months agoWow, better than expectedHaving tried the Westvleteren 12, this was a surprising close brew. This will be a regular in my rotation now. My first brew has been bottled 2 months and I just brewed my second batch today. Taste great now, hoping ill still have some in 6 months to see how much it improves.July 21, 2017Purchased
7 months agoFull Flavoured Beer, Full BodiedThis is a serious brew for the discriminating beer drinker. A heavier final product, but so much flavour throughout. Just be aware that it takes some time to fully mature, but patience has its rewards. It may not be for everyones taste, but this is a beer to savour. It has a lot of goodness in each serving.June 10, 2017Purchased
over 2 years agoreally a nice winter brew--start early so it is ready when you want it; keeps well so can serve the next year if you have any left; if you have a couple it may be nap timeJune 1, 2017Purchased
over 2 years agoThe perfect beerGet a starter and anticipate adding some oak soaked in whiskey/bourbon right before bottling. I used five coffee scoops of muscovado sugar for priming in hot water during bottling, and the effects reminded me of Trappistes Rochefort 10. The first time I used White Labs Abbey yeast without a starter and have noticed an improvement with Omega yeast and starter (despite both fermentations having an "insane" blow off tube needed. This beer definitely works and I plan to compare the original to the secondary once I've bottle conditioned this a bit more.May 18, 2017Purchased
10 months agoDecent by my expectationsI brewed this knowing I was heading into unknown territory for me. Belgians are OK by my standards, with the amount of “tartness” being my main concern. Brew day, in November, went good, I pitched a packet of Trappist High Gravity and a Belgian Strong Ale packet. My OG was much higher then what the kit said it would be, I had 1.11. When I went to rack to secondary, I was terrified by what I brewed. I could barely drink the SG sample as it was so tart I was losing my taste buds. Just about two weeks ago I bottled and ended up with a FG of 1.02, for about 12% ABV. I was pleasantly surprised that the tartness had faded some. The first bottle gave only a small hiss, so it needs more time, but the beer was smooth with an alcohol warmth to it. The dark fruit is there too, people thought it was a wine or juice and not a beer. There is that hint or tartness that is the Belgian style, but I can live with it. Over all I will call it a good beerMarch 26, 2017Home Run!Wow, this turned out great. Aged well in my keg, super smooth. Worth the time.February 4, 2017Purchased
1 year agoThe 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
over 2 years ago
- Browse 37 questions Browse 37 questions and 104 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 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.I 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!If I am planning kegging this beer how long should I let it sit in the secondary first? People are saying to age for months in the bottle, but if I am kegging do I just let it sit in secondary for a few extra months, like 5 total and then keg?BEST ANSWER: It makes no difference whether you keg it or bottle it as far as fermentation goes. You should do a two-week primary fermentation and then 4-6 months secondary fermentation. The longer you let it ferment the better. After that, it's ready to keg/bottle and drink. I brewed two kits the same day. Let one ferment for 4 months and the other for 6. There's a clear difference in taste. The alcohol was really high. This is a great tasting beer kit. I was a little disappointed they did not include any specialty grains. Hope this helps, Enjoy!I'm brewing this beer this coming Friday and I plan on doing a yeast starter with two cans of the fast pitch wort and one pack of Wyeast 3737. When should I start the starter? I also purchased an extra pack of the Wyeast 3737 to pitch along with the starter.... or would it be better to use it in the starter as well?
I purchased a pack of the CBC-1 to add at bottling as well as using the priming sugar that came with the kit. Is that necessary or not?
Thanks, TerryBEST ANSWER: I did a 3 day 1 liter starter on a stir plate, decanted it overnight in the fridge and then added 2 more liters of 1.040 OG wort for 3 more days on the stir plate and decanted again the morning before I pitched it. That way it could come up to room temperature before pitching. Just be ready, this one REQUIRES a good blow off hose if your yeast is healthy!
I keg carbonate so I can't tell you about priming this one. I will say that I left it age with the carboy on the basement floor, sampling it every 2-3 months with a sterilized wine thief. I went all the way to a year, but I think it was best around 9-10 months....and yes, it is worth the wait!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 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!!!
PatIs 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: We would recommend a yeast starter if you are using liquid yeast. Otherwise you are correct that using 2 packs of dry yeast would work just fine.I'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!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.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.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.Is there an all grain version?BEST ANSWER: Yes, we have an all grain version of the Northy 12.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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