All Grain Yeast:
Cultured from Chimay red label (or WL500) Yeast Starter:
1/2 Liter starter Batch Size (Gallons):
5.25 Original Gravity:
1.065 Final Gravity:
19 Boiling Time (Minutes):
20 SRM Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp):
21 days @ 64 degrees F Tasting Notes:
Similar to Chimay red label: slightly sweeter and richer in aroma
Vespers Abbey Dubbel
5.25 gallon batch
8 lb. Belgian Pilsner
2 lb. Munich (20 L)
0.5 lb. Caramunich
0.5 lb. Special B
1.5 lb. homemade candy syrup (deep amber - 290 degrees F)
1.5 oz. Tettnanger (3.2% AA) - first wort hop
Yeast cultured from a bottle of Chimay red label. WL500 is a reasonable substitute.
Mash at 150 degrees F for 90 minutes, and then batch sparge. Boil for 90 minutes. Ferment for 21 days at 64 degrees. No secondary. Age in bottles for at least 4 weeks.
For more information on making candy syrup, see this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-lb-sugar-jar-yeast-nutrient-114837/
This is easily my best beer, and it has met with rave reviews from friends and family. I used more restraint with grain bill, and I think that it showcases the yeast and the candy syrup well. The aroma is rich with dark fruits, caramel, and a hint of spice. The flavor is malty with a real depth of complex caramels--hints of toffee, raisins, stone fruits, vanilla, etc. It is slightly sweet but sufficiently dry to be "digestible." While it is a fairly strong beer at nearly 7% ABV, it is smooth, and the alcohol is not at all "hot." I could happily drink more than one in a sitting.
I conducted a blind tasting between this beer and Chimay red label. Five out of seven tasters preferred my Vespers Dubbel. We agreed that my beer was slightly sweeter (just a shade) and had a richer aroma. This may have been because the Chimay was imported and had lost some aroma over time. At any rate, I am still very proud of this effort!