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Old 08-03-2012, 03:06 AM   #1
GuitarGumption
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Default Whoa! Belgian Dubbel/Strong Dark is doing great!

I've been learning stuff from this forum for a while, but this is my first post. Just thought I'd post about this Belgian Dubbel/Strong Belgian that I started about a week ago. I took what I learned from all kinds of different recipes, and wanted to make a delicious, strong (about 9%) hybrid of a belgian dubbel and a dark strong. Here's the recipe:

12.00 Belgian Pale Malt
2.00 Munich
0.50 Biscuit
0.25 Caravienne
0.20 Special B

2.0 Belgian medium candi sugar (from solid flakes from the store)

2 oz. bittering hops
1 oz. 5 minute hops

I used White Labs Belgian Strong Ale Yeast, and did a starter.

The color is awesome, it's a bright golden color. It tastes like a dessert beer so far, with a very sweet finish, but not over the top. Of course that will only mellow out.

It started off at 1.082 OG, and after 7 days it's at 1.02, so already 8%-ish.

I'm going to ferment it for another 2-3 weeks, then transfer and condition it for....well possibly for 2 months until my wedding, as I think I finally might have made a beer worth bringing.

Any thoughts on this recipe? So far I think it's working great.

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Old 08-03-2012, 12:07 PM   #2
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Fermentation temp is very important for Belgians! To help bring the gravity down further I'd warm it up and wait another couple weeks as you planned. A lot of Belgian yeasts like to be started in the mid/upper 60s then slowly ramped into the low 70s.

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Old 08-03-2012, 12:48 PM   #3
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Sounds great and will be a good wedding present for yourself and your guests. Like the above poster said, ramp those temps up!

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Old 08-03-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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Will do. I started at 68 or so, bumped to 70 a few days ago, and yesterday went to 72. I may bump to 75 in a few days.

I know this is a large debate, but would you recommend a secondary, or just keep it in the primary for the full fermentation? I have it in a corny keg for primary fermentation, and I'll eventually transfer to another of the same for conditioning and/or secondary.

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Old 08-03-2012, 01:49 PM   #5
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For me I leave big beers on the cake for the whole fermentation. Small beers I secondary just to clarify it quicker (and drink it faster).

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Old 08-03-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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I'd leave it in primary for 3-4 weeks total then throw in bottles to condition. Trappist breweries do "secondary" but it's more like lagering, and afterwards they dose with fresh yeast and priming sugar. With a big beer like this you can consider adding a little yeast in the bottling bucket, I didn't for my Belgian Dark Strong and 4 months later I'm still waiting for it to carb. Keep the bottles warm for the first few weeks! I'd recommend buying Brew Like a Monk if you haven't already, a very enjoyable read.

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Old 08-03-2012, 03:07 PM   #7
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When adding yeast to the bottling bucket with Belgian recipes, does it matter what kind of yeast it is. Seems to me that it can't matter that much,but that's pure conjecture. I'm in the middle of brewing some kriek, and the instructions suggest doing this pre-bottling but the kit didn't provide any extra yeast. I've got a bunch of Safale 02 dry yeast. Would that work at this stage? Alternatively, I could recover some yeast when the batch gets racked to the secondary, but messing with old yeast is kind of tedious. Which route do you suggest?

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Old 08-03-2012, 03:12 PM   #8
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Cool thanks for the tips.

One thing I forgot to mention, is I broke my thermometer shortly after confirming that I had hit my mash temp! Arg. But doing some calculations I found that using 3 parts boiling water to 1 part tap water (at least at 5k here in Colorado) gives a darn close approximation of 170 degrees for sparge water. And it's easy to remember. I think in the future I'll just keep doing this instead of measuring the temp.

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Old 08-03-2012, 08:42 PM   #9
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Here's a shot of the color at 1.02 gravity. Awesome bright golden/grapefruit color.

photo-3-.jpg  
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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Well after about 1.5 weeks it's still bubbling at about a bubble every 2-3 seconds. I'm betting I'm going to reach close to 1.010, or in that range. It's the first time I've reached my intended OG, and looks like I may even get a good FG....awesome.

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