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I am planning on brewing a quad with my dad here pretty soon but I would like to make something that wouldn't take too long as we haven't brewed in a while and I'm not wanting to wait too long until I can drink it.

I've read some recipes call for the brew to be aged for a few months before cracking open a bottle. Is this required for the beer to be fermented properly? I ask because pasts beers I've made have only taken 1-2 months total from brew day to being ready to drink.

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"Is this required for the beer to be fermented properly?"

No, it should be fermented fully within a couple weeks at most, though Belgian yeast can be a bit finicky.

However the bigger issue is conditioning time. Belgian quads are usually ~11+%ABV. If you drink that two weeks after fermentation is done, it'll probably taste a bit like gasoline (a lot of 'heat' from higher alcohols). You certainly could drink it, as in it wouldn't be fermenting any more, but the flavor on a beer that strong usually doesn't peak until 4-6 months after fermentation, or longer.

Bottle-conditioning is another issue, if you choose this method. Where a lower-alcohol beer might carbonate fully in a week and a half, a beer this strong may take 3-4 weeks or more just to carbonate. Also, if it's conditioned for a number of months, you will probably have to pitch fresh yeast for conditioning to be possible.

So, really, for something you're not wanting to wait too long to drink, I think Belgian Quad, though a great style to brew, is not what you're looking for. Why not brew a Belgian Dubble, which will give you a lot of the same flavor characteristics? That should be ready within a month or two, plus you'll have a nice healthy crop of yeast you could pitch into a Quad.

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  • Awesome, thanks so much for the detailed answer. I definitely know that a quad is not what I'm looking for at the moment then! – tcjohnson1992 Apr 23 '16 at 16:35

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