Thursday, January 13, 2011

Belgian Dubbel Brewday

The goal of this project was to experiment with both style and yeast; we brewed a 10 gallon batch on Jeff Fortney’s system, and split the beer to try two different yeasts. We ended up quite a bit low on the OG, so we’ve already decided to brew a second version to run on the yeast cake of the first batch. We’re gonna double up on that dubbel. Word to that.

80. Belgian Dubbel (brewed with Jeff Fortney)
14 lbs. Castle Pils
6 lbs. Weyerman Dark Munich
1.5 lbs. Dingemans Cara 45 (Caramunich)
1 lb. Dingemans Biscuit
1 lb. Dingemans Aromatic
1 lb. Dingemans Cara 8 (Carapils)
1 lb. Dingemans Special B
2 oz. Dingemans Belgian Chocolate

Mashed w/ 8 gallons of RO water (plus chemical additions)
@128° F for 30 minutes
@144° F for 30 minutes
@158° F for 30 minutes
@166° F for 10 minutes

Batch sparged w/8 gallons of RO water (plus chemical additions) @168° F

Added to brew kettle, brought to a boil (90 minute), and added:
w/60 to go: 2.5 oz. Styrian Golding pellet 5.2% AA

w/15 to go: 2 Whirlfloc tablets

w/10 to go: ½ oz. Tettnang pellet 4.5% AA

w/5 to go: 1 lb. Belgian Dark Candi Syrup & 1 lb. Belgian Dark Candi sugar

@ removal from heat: ½ oz. Tettnang pellet 4.5% AA

Chilled to 58° F and split into two 5 gallons batches; I pitched White Labs WLP550, while Jeff pitched Wyeast 3787

Brewed: 1/13/2011 @ 58° F; slow rise to 66° F
Secondary: 2/10/2011 @ 1.016
Bottled: 2/23/2011

OG: 1.057
FG: 1.016 w/ 4.5 oz. table sugar @ 61° F; slightly under 5 gallons

Tasting Notes (10/22/11): It has been a while since I tried a bottle of this, so I guess it is time to type up some notes and see where it is at. Pouring a crystal clear orange-copper, this Belgian Dubbel has a tan head than dissipates slowly, although the active, bright carbonation bleeding off the beer keeps a heavy ring around the beer, as well as a decent sized skiff across the top. As well, a couple of swirls rouses a good head. The nose is Belgian yeast esters mixed with candy malt sweetness and dark fruit; there is also some creaminess, toastiness, and light earthiness. Flavors start rich and sweet; there are toffee and caramel malt flavors along with toast and bread. In the middle, fruit emerges—there is raisin and dried fruit, plus maybe a touch of cherry as the beer turns toward the finish, which is clean and lightly bitter. The body is sweet but dry; the carbonation rounds the mouthfeel, but also cleans it, leaving a light raisin taste as it disappears. The body is a bit light (we were well below the gravity on this one; hence the second version a week later), but the Dubbel flavors are there. We’ll have to settle for calling this a Belgian Single—it is good, and has a touch of that Belgian malt chewiness, but it needs a bit more to sink your teeth into to create the full experience. Woe is me—I’ll have to dispose of the rest.

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