Thursday, February 10, 2011

Belgian Dubbel Brewday II

This is the second round of our Dubbel experimentation; we headed on out to good ol’ Preble County to brew a second batch on Jeff Fortney’s system. For this one, we actually hit our gravity. Dubbel down on that, my man.

81. Belgian Dubbel II (brewed with Jeff Fortney)

16 lbs. Castle Pils
4 lbs. Weyerman Dark Munich
2 lbs. Weyerman Light 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/ 8.5 gallons of RO water (plus chemical additions)
@128° F for 15 minutes
@144° F for 30 minutes
@158° F for 30 minutes
@166° F for 10 minutes

Batch sparged w/8.5 gallons of RO water (plus chemical additions) @168° F for 10 minutes

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: 1.5 lb. Belgian Dark Candi Syrup & 1.5 lb. Belgian Dark 2 Candi Syrup

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

Chilled to 62° F and split into two 5 gallons batches; I pitched on the White Labs WLP550 pancake from last batch, while Jeff pitched on the Wyeast 3787 pancake

Brewed: 2/10/2011 @ 62° F
Secondary: 3/17/2011
Bottled: 3/28/2011 w/ 4.5 oz. table sugar @ 62° F

OG: 1.070
FG: 1.018

Tasting Notes: Dubbel II pours a rich figgish orange—sort of a burnt caramel mixed with rum. It is mostly clear with a slight bit of chill haze and the head disappears rather rapidly, although there is a steady stream of consistent small bubbles running up the side of the glass. The nose is a mix of Belgian candy and dark fruit—mostly raisin, but also stone fruit, fig, and date. Flavors start rich and sweet but gentle, with a not quite caramel fig fruitiness that blossoms into raisin and date in the middle. The light but bright carbonation both cleans the palate and lightens the beer heading into the finish, leaving a chewier dried fruit and date flavor lingering on the back of the tongue. There is also a touch of creaminess that borders on clove phenols. The beer has a medium mouthfeel that is lightened by the carbonation, and there is no perceptible alcohol flavor or warmth on the tongue. Competent and enjoyable, but not especially exciting—I was hoping this would develop more character with some time (we’re at 6 months in the bottle now), but it has not. While there are no real flaws I can point to, it lacks some of the subtlety you’d expect to find—that light toast malt character, and a more nuanced dark fruit character. The gentle brightness couple with the cleanness on the palate is a plus—it dances on the tongue—but it needs something more to make it memorable.

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