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Old 04-05-2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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Default All-Grain - Vespers Abbey Dubbel

Recipe Type: 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: 1.012
IBU: 19
Boiling Time (Minutes): 90
Color: 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-l...trient-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!
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On Deck: American IPA, Märzen
Fermenting: None
In Bottles: Prime Abbey Singel, Vespers Abbey Dubbel, Terce Abbey Tripel, Compline Abbey Quad, Dragon's Tail Barleywine, Boyne Mead


Last edited by chemnitz; 04-05-2010 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:20 PM   #2
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Hey - this one looks really great. I'm planning about making a Dubbel soon, and I'm generally a big fan of simpler grain bills. I'm wondering if you've aged any of these, and if so how they taste after a few months - I'm thinking about brewing this one up soon and giving it to people at Christmas, and I'm wondering if you think the 4+ months of aging would be worth it!

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Old 07-26-2010, 11:53 PM   #3
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I know for a fact that this beer tastes delicious with 4 months of age on it. It's also good at 2, 3, and 5 months (and probably more, too). I'd say go for it.

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"Das Wort hat, ... als ich Wittenbergisch Bier mit meinem Philipp und Amsdorf getrunken hab, also viel getan..." - Martin Luther

On Deck: American IPA, Märzen
Fermenting: None
In Bottles: Prime Abbey Singel, Vespers Abbey Dubbel, Terce Abbey Tripel, Compline Abbey Quad, Dragon's Tail Barleywine, Boyne Mead

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Old 08-01-2010, 07:20 AM   #4
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Allright - just finished brewing this guy up! Made a few small changes: added 1lb of Munich (wanted to go slightly bigger), used Saaz instead of Tettnanger (cause that's what I had), added 0.5oz Saaz at 60 min, and used WLP500 instead of culturing. Other than that it's exactly the same. Hit OG 1.070.

The hydro sample already tasted nice and rich. That candy syrup is great!

Thanks much for the recipe; I'm really excited to see how it comes out. Should be fantastic by Christmas. I'll post tasting notes in a few months or so if you'd like.

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Old 11-11-2010, 07:25 PM   #5
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So I'm planning on making a variation on this recipe in the next few days. I've heard tell that Chimay red is brewed using winter barley, and so I'm replacing the 8# Belgian pils and 2# Munich with straight-up 10# of Marris Otter. I figured the extra maltiness of MO should compensate for the lack of Munich, so I left it out. Also, unless someone feels like dissuading me, I think I'll add a few ounces of Belgian Aromatic.

Past that, I made some Maillard syrup that tastes great, and am going to make a starter for a WL500 vial soon. Should be fun!

Thoughts? I'll update here how it's turning out. Palefire, I'd love to hear tasting notes once you have them.

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Old 11-15-2010, 03:13 AM   #6
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Thanks for the recipe chemnitz! I brewed this a couple weeks ago but i've been stuck at 1.030 for about a week now. My problem was not making a yeast starter...pitched directly with WL500. I've tried swirling it, raising temp (from 68 to 73) and nothing.

I'm thinking about dumping this onto some washed yeast from another cake but my only available is a kolsch yeast cake. Wondering if I should go with that or brew another beer with a lower OG and use that yeast instead?

Looking forward to the finished beer eventually!

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Old 11-17-2010, 10:52 PM   #7
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I ended up repitching a WL500 2L starter I made. Within 2 HOURS(!) it was already going bonkers and krausen (4") was creeping through the blowoff tube. Will be interested to see how this ends up as I've never had a stuck fermentation (nor had to repitch) before in my 30+ brews.

Will post tasting notes

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:02 PM   #8
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I just finished brewing this, with the aforementioned changes. It went really well! The wort is a lot lighter than I expected, sort of like a copper ale. It tastes good though, malt and caramel mostly. The starter tasted like a good witbier, rather than the usual nastiness. I'll post updates here as it comes along.

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Old 11-20-2010, 04:27 AM   #9
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Default Sounds great


Thanks for posting. This sounds like a great beer.

I love your 'year of Belgians' too

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Old 11-30-2010, 04:25 AM   #10
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Well...just kegged this as its not dropping any lower.

Ended up with a FG of 1.024 which I know is too high for the style but at least is better than the 1.030 that I ended up with before I re-pitched another yeast starter. So with all that activity mentioned in the above post I got just 6 points out of it.

Still trying to figure out why I got a stuck fermentation? First time for everything I guess?

I'll post tasting notes in a few days.

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