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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Pitching for a Belgian Dubbel
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:36 PM   #1
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Default Pitching for a Belgian Dubbel

Pitching yeast sounded so much simpler before I started reading about it on multiple forums and books.

I'm going to make a Belgian Dubbel extract kit OG 1.061. According to Mr. Malty if I use dry yeast I only need one package. This is the direction I am leaning toward for simplicity's sake.

But, the opinion of many on this board and others seems to be that using liquid yeast is a far better option when brewing Dubbel. If I go that route then according to Mr. Malty I will need a starter, which is where the confusion comes in. It looks like I need to create a 1.3L starter.

Do I need to start small and step up, or can I just pitch one tube of White Labs into 1.3L of wort right away? Is there a general rule for when you need to step up vs. creating a single starter?

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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A few more searches and I found the starter wiki, which answered part of my question (this site is really well organized!). I'm still wondering about the starter size though. Can I just pitch a single tube of White Labs into 1.3L of starter?

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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There are two schools of thought here. If you pitch at high Krausen then you know that you have a viable and healthy batch of yeast in your starter. However, the yeast here has not eaten all of the available food, so it could be argued that you could be under-pitching since the yeast is still multiplying. Alternatively, you can let the yeast finnish their job in the starter. This won't take too much longer (12-24 hrs) and you'll be left with the maximum number of cells. There there's the question of whether or not to pitch the whole starter or just the slurry (cake). A starter as you know is basically a 1040 beer. So now you need to think about the volume of your starter vs the volume of your wort to be innoculated. If you're making a 5 gallon batch you have approx 20 liters of wort. So pitching 1.3L is roughly 5% of your total wort volume. The yeast has been going nutso and throwing off a lot of undesirable byproducts. That's another reason a lot of people decant and pitch the slurry instead of the whole starter. Hope this helps a little. Either way you go it's better to have too much yeast than not enough. A starter is definitely the best way to go. Save your dry yeast for a Pale ale or something. You'll have a lot more yeast strains to choose from if you go liquid as well.

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:52 PM   #4
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yes pitch the vial into the starter and put the starter on a stirplate for 24-48 hrs.
Then crash it in the fridge. Decant most of the liquid from the top, swirl what's left and then pitch the slurry.

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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i would also recommend doing either a minimash or at least steeping some specialty grains if you're doing an extract version of a Dubbel. It'll help round out the flavor. Kit beers tend to get a little hot in the alcohol department.

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Old 11-06-2009, 07:58 PM   #6
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Thanks! I haven't done this enough yet for the knowledge to get locked into my head so constant reading and re-reading is what I've been up to.

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Old 11-07-2009, 04:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McHandbag View Post
yes pitch the vial into the starter and put the starter on a stirplate for 24-48 hrs.
Then crash it in the fridge. Decant most of the liquid from the top, swirl what's left and then pitch the slurry.

I just brewed a Belgian quad with an OG of 1.100, from a kit. The kit came with 12 lbs of LME. I was told to use the LME for the starter, then just pitch the whole thing into the wort. Since I was using the LME that was going to be the wort, it made sense just pitch the whole starter, liquid and all. Is this the wrong thing to do?

I hear that part about kits being "hot in the alcohol department" When I transferred this beer into secondary, It smelled like straight up liquor. Hydro samples TASTED like beer with a shot of Jameson added. Guess this ones gonna have to chill for a spell.

So what's the harm in adding the whole starter, instead of just the yeast slurry? Or does this only apply if you're not using the same extract that you're going to brew with?
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishin-Jay View Post
Pitching yeast sounded so much simpler before I started reading about it on multiple forums and books.

I'm going to make a Belgian Dubbel extract kit OG 1.061. According to Mr. Malty if I use dry yeast I only need one package. This is the direction I am leaning toward for simplicity's sake.

But, the opinion of many on this board and others seems to be that using liquid yeast is a far better option when brewing Dubbel. If I go that route then according to Mr. Malty I will need a starter, which is where the confusion comes in. It looks like I need to create a 1.3L starter.

Do I need to start small and step up, or can I just pitch one tube of White Labs into 1.3L of wort right away? Is there a general rule for when you need to step up vs. creating a single starter?
Go get a copy of "Brewing Classic Styles", it will give you an extract (w/steeping grains) version of a very good dubbel. It also gives yeast starter instructions.

Also, as a general reference get a copy of "How to Brew" by Jon Palmer (I think it's also available online). It explains everything...
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