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Old 06-23-2011, 12:29 AM   #1
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Default Good Westmalle Dubbel Clone anyone?

My wife got me some new beers for Father's Day last weekend (I know...how awesome is she?), and I tried Westmalle Trappist Dubbel for the first time tonight. What can I say...wow! I like beer, but I never thought I would be so in love with one.

Does anyone know of a good clone recipe for this? I've never liked a beer so much that I sought out a clone recipe before - I'd rather brew something of the style and try something new. However, I like this beer so much I'd like to brew something as near as I can. I'd be tempted just to keep buying it, but it's like $5/bottle here and there is no beer I like that much to get more than a few times a year (yes...I am a cheap man ).

I've found some clones for this around the InterWebs, but few of them have any comments on whether or not they are close to Westmalle.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-23-2011, 03:03 PM   #2
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That is the beer I have been wanting to clone also. I pieced together a ton of info from what everyone said on the web. There are so many different opinions, mainly on which of 2 routes to go. Brew Like a Monk says it's basically all pils and dark syrup, but many people are making a more complex grain bill. I just made the following, and am going to try it this weekend. I don't believe it's going to be cloned, but hopefully it'll get me somewhere in the ballpark. I'll let you know how it comes out. I'm going to buy a bottle an compare, but that may not be for a month or two. I want to put some age on it.

81.45% Pils
8.14% Dark Candi Syrup
8.14% Dark II Candi Syrup
4 oz Carafa II

25 IBU from Hallertauer Mittelfrueh
1 oz Saaz @ 20 min

Wyeast 3787 - slightly under pitched from what mr malty says, but still did a starter (pitch @ 64, free rise to 68)

Mash @ 149 for 90 mins

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Old 06-23-2011, 04:25 PM   #3
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I've been researching this beer also, hoping to clone it. Im getting my info from BLAM, Westmalle's own web site, and other Internet sources. Obviously, the yeast you'd want to use is WLP530 or Wyeast 3787. Westmalle will change their hopping due to availability, but they usually use Styrian Goldings, Tettnang, and Saaz. They use 3 types of grains. The base malt is a pilsner malt. The real mystery is what the other two malts are. One of them is described as "a darker malt known for it's aromatic qualities". My best guess for this malt is either Special B or Belgian Aromatic (also known as "amber malt" in Belgium). I'm also guessing that the other malt is some sort of crystal malt - probably either Caravienne (also known as Cara 20L or "Abbey Ale Malt") or CaraMunich. The majority of the color and flavor of the beer comes from a dark Candi Syrup they make in-house from locally-available sugars.

Westmalle Dubbel'a SRM is darker than the BJCP's style guidelines give for a dubbel. When using my brewing software, when I plug in enough pilsner, Caravienne, Aromatic, and D2 to get the right gravity, the color fits the BJCP guidelines, not the darker appearance of Westmalle.

I'm going to keep playing with grains and try plugging in candisyrup.com's D-180 in order to see if I can get something closer.

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Old 11-22-2011, 12:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarondrich View Post
...I just made the following, and am going to try it this weekend. I don't believe it's going to be cloned, but hopefully it'll get me somewhere in the ballpark. I'll let you know how it comes out. I'm going to buy a bottle an compare, but that may not be for a month or two. I want to put some age on it...
Aaron, how did the Dubbel turn out?
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:20 PM   #5
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Default Westmalle dubbel

We've been tweeking our Westmalle recipe (RECIPES - * * * * * * * * * Candi Syrup, Inc.) for some time and we have refined it since our first brew test. Originally we used D-180, (too dark for a Westmalle Dubbel), and later changed to D-90 which was closer in color and flavor. We have a 4-pack of Westmalle for comparison each time we reach 4 months bottle conditioning. I think the D-90 recipe with a simple Pils/Caravienne approximates it fairly well but there is still something missing...possibly Dingeman's Belgian Caramunich rather than Caravienne and a few grams of Debittered Belgian Black malt for aging stability. This is the Westmalle recipe have in bottle conditioning currently: http://www.candisyrup.com/uploads/6/...iation_003.pdf

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Old 12-19-2011, 09:51 PM   #6
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Thanks for the recipe!

I have a few questions/comments about it though. Why 4oz debittered black malt? That has got to be a HUGE flavor and color contribution...? I am sure you are looking to add melanoidins to stabilize the beer for storage...but I would think that adding some Munich or Melanoidin malt...doing a longer boil, or even going so far as to do a decoction mash would offer better results?

Also, have you considered adding some Special B to bring out the dark, dried fruit flavors?

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSI View Post
We've been tweeking our Westmalle recipe (RECIPES - * * * * * * * * * Candi Syrup, Inc.) for some time and we have refined it since our first brew test. Originally we used D-180, (too dark for a Westmalle Dubbel), and later changed to D-90 which was closer in color and flavor. We have a 4-pack of Westmalle for comparison each time we reach 4 months bottle conditioning. I think the D-90 recipe with a simple Pils/Caravienne approximates it fairly well but there is still something missing...possibly Dingeman's Belgian Caramunich rather than Caravienne and a few grams of Debittered Belgian Black malt for aging stability. This is the Westmalle recipe have in bottle conditioning currently: http://www.candisyrup.com/uploads/6/...iation_003.pdf
Old post, but can anyone comment on brewing the Dubbel in the link (Variation 2 on the current pdf)?
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:56 PM   #8
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Old post, but can anyone comment on brewing the Dubbel in the link (Variation 2 on the current pdf)?
After nearly two years of off and on again trialing this recipe we're in agreement that Belgian Caramunich is likley the 2nd malt rather than Caravienne. Also, the "dark malt" mentioned by Stan in BLAM was trialed as BDB. Since then we have removed even the small amount of BDB and are unsure what this mystery malt is (or if it still being used at Westmalle). We using D-90 exclusively for the dark color and rich finish. If anyone has insight on the 3rd malt "dark malt" please send us a note. The recipe is currently very close to the import.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:53 PM   #9
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The response from CSI has been amazing regarding this recipe and getting the most up-to-date version.

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Old 04-01-2013, 06:43 PM   #10
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I am going to take a shot at the recipe from candisyrup.com, but I have a few questions that I'm hoping someone can answer...
I've read that you want to mash pilsner malt for 90 min and all my usual mashes are for 60 min, why does this recipe say to mash for 30 min?
What is the advantage for fermenting at 82 degrees for the full 7 days?
Fermenting this high, would I need a blowoff tube?
What would be a better wyeast substitute? Belgian Abbey, Belgian Abbey II, or Trappist?

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