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Old 09-16-2010, 12:10 AM   #1
DirtyPolock
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Default Comments on my 1st recipe from scratch - Belgian Dubbel

So I am working on trying to build my first recipe from scratch, and I figure that I will go with a bigger beer - a belgian dubbel. I am hoping to get my recipe proofread by the great readers here on this forum. Here is what I am thinking of based on what is available from my LHBS.

Belgian Pilsner Malt - 10#
Belgian Aromatic Malt - 12 oz.
Belgian Biscuit Malt - 8 oz.
Belgian Special B Malt - 8 oz.

Mash @ 152* for 60 minutes or more if needed for conversion

Boil 60 minutes

Additions of Amber Candi Syrup 1# - 60 min
Tettnang 1 oz. - 60 min (approx 18 IBUs)
Hallertauer 0.5 oz - 5 min

Yeast: Wyeast #1214 Belgian Abbey (with a big ass starter)

Primary for 3-4 weeks (assuming that the yeast finished their job and gravity is where it should be)
Secondary for 2 months before the first taste.

I will brew it around the beginning of October, so it will be ready around my birthday in Janurary. So feel free to add your comments to the brew as I have time to adjust.

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Primary #1: Cascade/Willamette APA
Primary #2: Air
Secondary #1: Belgian Dark Strong

Tap #1: Dubbel Red Balls
Tap #2: Honey Brown Ale
Tap #3: BierMuncher's Outer Limits IPA
Tap #4: Penn Dark Clone 1.0

Conditioning in Kegs: Pollinated porter

Bottled/Drinking: AHS Old School IPA; Apfelwein 1/22/10

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Old 09-16-2010, 01:46 AM   #2
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First, I'd not bother with Belgian Pilsner. They don't use it; why should you? Use any ol' Pils malt, or even US 2-row. With the other grains and the yeast profile, it won't matter. If you do use Pils malt, increase your boil to 90 minutes.

Second, be careful with Aromatic. You really, really need to cut that back, especially if you're going to use Biscuit as well. I recommend no more than 4 oz per 5 US gallons. Period. It'll come through at those rates. I'd choose one or the other. In Dubbel, you want to highlight dark fruit notes, not bready, biscuity notes. That's why I'd ditch the Biscuit entirely and stick with 4-6 ounces of Aromatic.

Third, I like that level of Special B. That's going to do the dark fruit flavors you want.

Fourth, I don't really see the need to spend the money for Belgian candisuiker. Use white sugar or even corn sugar. That level of sugar - less than 10% - won't make a flavor difference, so you can use sugar at the same ratio. If you want the color the amber candisuiker provides, add 2 oz of roasted barley to the top of the grist when you start the runoff. It'll add color only, and you probably have some laying around. Chocolate malt will do that, too.

I like your yeast choice. Don't let it get too cool too soon; that's a sure-fire way to have it stall out early.

Complexity in Dubbel - hell, in any beer - does not necessarily come from complexity of ingredients. Remember that. Complexity of ingredients more often than not becomes, practically speaking, mud. Mud, in that it's too complicated, and the flavors just get, well, muddy.

So simplify your grist, brew the recipe, and send me a six-pack. :P I'll tell you if you got it right!

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:28 AM   #3
leghorn
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I agree with Bob on the pilsener, aromatic, and biscuit. I do not agree on the candi; however, Bob's got tons more experience than me. I brewed a dubbel with special B, aromatic, munich, and simple table sugar and it lacked a "dark" complexity I was looking for. Bob does say that you don't need to spend the money, not that it will ruin the beer, so I say get some candi and brew it. Later, you can try the table sugar and see if it makes a difference.

My two cents.

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Old 09-16-2010, 11:06 AM   #4
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Good point.

It's funny how we can taste things. I think it comes from knowing what we put in our beer. It's more of a psychological phenomenon than a flavor effect. We know we used dark candisuiker, so obviously that's where the flavor comes from, right?

On the other hand, we know Belgian breweries use the cheapest sugars they can find, often up to 20+% of the grist. And yet those are the benchmarks against which we judge our efforts, and they get the dark-fruit flavors down just fine.

It's weird, and I don't have an explanation for it other than Special B. Get the right amount of dark crystal malt in the beer, and the dark-fruit flavors will explode. Too little, and it's insipid. Too much and it's ... well ... I'm trying to describe what a beer with too much Special B tastes like. It's profoundly nasty.

It takes patience and effort to get the recipe dialed in. A commercial brewery will do that. Some of them have had their Dubbel recipes tweaked for 100 years!

I sincerely doubt that candisuiker, in a proportion of less than 8-10% of the grist, is going to have much if any flavor impact in Dubbel. If we were talking 15-20%, I'd agree. But we're not.

Anyway, this is all pre-coffee musing. Mr Polack, I wish you every success!

Bob

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Old 09-16-2010, 01:33 PM   #5
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I agree with everything Bob said, except using White sugar.

If you were doing a Tripel, I'd put white sugar into it, but with a Duppel you need to carmalize it a bit.

Make your own candy.. its easy.

Basically take sugar, ad some water and a dash of lemon juice and boil it until it starts getting brown and thick.

Then put it on a pan with a sheet of parchment paper and let it cool.

Don't waste your money on Belgian candy though.

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Old 09-19-2010, 03:45 AM   #6
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Thanks everybody for the suggestions. Here is what I am thinking for the modifications based on your feedback:

2-row pale malt - 10#
Belgian Aromatic Malt - 4 oz.
Belgian Special B Malt - 8 oz. (I may bump it up to 10 oz.)

Followed by the same mash and yeast as above. I will still stick with the belgian candi sugar. Whether it is a placebo effect for the flavor it adds or it is real I will try it out. Also I am not quite adventurous enough to try to make my own, so I will rather buy it.

The plan will be to brew it up in October and keg in November, and drink in January.

Again thanks for the suggestions.

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Primary #1: Cascade/Willamette APA
Primary #2: Air
Secondary #1: Belgian Dark Strong

Tap #1: Dubbel Red Balls
Tap #2: Honey Brown Ale
Tap #3: BierMuncher's Outer Limits IPA
Tap #4: Penn Dark Clone 1.0

Conditioning in Kegs: Pollinated porter

Bottled/Drinking: AHS Old School IPA; Apfelwein 1/22/10

Not just any keezer build...It's my keezer build | Don't fear the StarSan Foam, a math explanation
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Old 09-19-2010, 05:09 PM   #7
syd138
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Good luck..


you could probably drink it in December if you are kegging it.

I usually let my dubbels sit in the primary for 4 weeks, secondary for 2, bottle for 4 weeks.

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Old 04-18-2011, 02:56 PM   #8
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I'm considering brewing a dubbel and this recipe this looks great. How did it turn out? Anything you would do differently next time?

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Old 04-18-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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Dude, you should be using some D2 in a dubbel, I promise you that you won't regret it!

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Old 04-18-2011, 03:07 PM   #10
DirtyPolock
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Take a look at my recipe thread

Dubbel Red Balls.

I submitted it to the HBT competition and I have the comments posted there if you want to take a look.

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Primary #1: Cascade/Willamette APA
Primary #2: Air
Secondary #1: Belgian Dark Strong

Tap #1: Dubbel Red Balls
Tap #2: Honey Brown Ale
Tap #3: BierMuncher's Outer Limits IPA
Tap #4: Penn Dark Clone 1.0

Conditioning in Kegs: Pollinated porter

Bottled/Drinking: AHS Old School IPA; Apfelwein 1/22/10

Not just any keezer build...It's my keezer build | Don't fear the StarSan Foam, a math explanation
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