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Old 12-27-2009, 05:52 AM   #11
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I just cracked a 750mL bottle.

Aroma - Cherries and a little plum with a hint of citrus.

Appearance - Amber with a small tan head, tight bubbles.

Flavor - Malty, with some munichy character, a little figgy and plummy. Not hot at all but some warming from the alcohol. A little oxidation.

Mouthfeel - A little thin. Could use some more carbonation, although it is now going on three years old, the caps may have been an issue???

Overall - Not bad, probably past it's prime a little. No infection problems, just aging. As I taste it now, I'd probably bump the specialty grains a little, the Caramunich and Special B, maybe another 0.25 lb of each. The alcohol has mellowed out quite a bit after all this time. It's in good shape and considering how my brewing experience when I made it, it's not a bad beer at all.

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Old 01-24-2010, 07:57 PM   #12
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Brewsmith--your dubbel sounds like it turned out really well!

I have used this thread as a reference point for my own dubbel that I just brewed 2 weeks ago; after letting it go through the primary fermentation for 2 weeks, I racked it over to the secondary fermentation vessel last night per your procedure, and apparently I did something right! The color was excellent, the aroma was malty and slightly hoppy, and the taste was pretty incredible considering it's only part of the way there.
(Sidenote: when I purchased my ingredients for this dubbel, they did not have N. Brewers hops at the time and the guy working told me that Columbus hops would be a good stand-in in a smaller quantity, which I wasn't so sure about, but it paid off: the beer, at the time of racking, had a very strong hop presence, but in a good way--similar to the flavor of the Chimay Cinq Cents)

Now here comes my question: my FG upon racking it to the carboy was 1.016, just slightly higher than yours. Would you recommend continuing to let it ferment for the 6-week period that you did, or would it be a possibility to bottle it straight-away and give it slightly more time to bottle-condition? Anyone's thoughts are appreciated! : )

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Old 01-24-2010, 11:20 PM   #13
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Was yours an all grain or extract? If it was extract, I bet you''re fine, Go ahead and bottle. I've changed my procedures a little since that original post and usually don't secondary any more. If you asked me now on my original recipe, I'd say give it a full 2 weeks in the primary and unless its showing signs of fermentation, it should be well past done.

I have learned how much pitching the right amount of healthy, active yeast really helps fermentation, and takes all of the guessing out of it. My last barleywine had a starting gravity of 1.115. and it was done just after a week. I still let it go 2 weeks, but it hadn't shown signs of any activity for a couple days. It came out with 79% attenuation.

Back to your question on final gravity, I bet it is done, but without seeing your exact recipe, mash temperature, how much yeast you pitched, and the fermentation temp, I can't quite say if it's done or not. If the gravity is not changing, go for it.

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Old 02-02-2010, 05:24 PM   #14
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Thanks for getting back to me on my question!

It was in fact an extract brew, and here is the recipe I followed:

9.5# Coopers LME
1# Belgian dark candi sugar
1# Caravienne
1/2# Special B

Mash temperature was ~150* during the mashing of the grains, and then was taken up to 170* before removing the grains and adding the LME and bringing it to a boil.

0.75 oz Columbus hops (60 mins; had to do some math to get the AA% corrected since the recipe called for N. Brewer hops)
1 oz Fuggles (last 5 mins)

Pitched 1 tube of White Labs Trappist Ale Yeast @ 68*, and the fermentation continued at 68*-70* for the first 2 weeks in the primary, and has been within the same temperature range for the secondary I have done so far (only about 10 days).

There has been a bit of activity in the secondary fermenter, but after what you mentioned and what I have read in other threads/posts, the secondary fermenter seems like a waste of time, not to mention it prevents you from doing more than one batch at a time with only one set of equipment (right now I only have one brewing bucket and one glass carboy...). I believe this weekend, if not sooner, I will go ahead and bottle it all up and hope for the best. A nice long bottle conditioning will mellow it out and hopefully prove to be my best batch yet! Thanks again! : )

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Old 02-08-2010, 05:05 PM   #15
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Just a quick update: bottled the dubbel yesterday, and I am excited! Had a chance to test the FG, which came down only 0.002 in 2 weeks (1.014 from 1.016); still has a very potent hop presence, but this is balanced nicely by the residual sweetness. In 3 weeks I'll post an initial tasting and periodic updates from there.

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Old 03-03-2010, 10:40 PM   #16
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After bottling the dubbel on 2/7 and letting it bottle-condition for the requisite 3-week period, I had the opportunity to try it out and see how it is coming along. All I can say is, wow! I'm actually really impressed with how it turned out. The carbonation is perfect, the color is a nice garnet hue, and the aroma is to die for. Much of the hoppiness has subsided and paved the way for an intensely fruity nose, with hints of apricots, dates, raisins and apples, to name a few. With further aging, it will become even more mellow and flavorful. I'll be back in another month's time to give further updates!

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Old 05-17-2010, 11:31 PM   #17
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Is there any bottle conditioning is this? If not can you and what would it do to the beer?

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Old 06-03-2010, 10:13 PM   #18
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Yes, it underwent an initial 3-week bottle-conditioning, which gives the beer its carbonation (the beer is mostly flat at the time of bottling); the beer continues to bottle-condition until it is consumed, and the longer the beer conditions the more mellow it ultimately becomes. I have managed to go through nearly my entire batch of the dubbel at this point (lamentably), and every new one I open is even better than the last!

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Old 07-02-2010, 05:46 PM   #19
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Are you guys adding sugar or spies before bottling? If you're adding sugar, is it the regular corn sugar that you get at the LHBS or some additional candi sugar?

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Old 07-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #20
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I did not add any spices during my brew, but I did add Belgian candi sugar during the boil. However, I added it at the beginning of the boil, because I was not informed that the candi sugar goes in at the last part of the boil to keep the sugars simple and easily fermentable; despite this, it still turned out quite good. Any corn sugar that goes into the beer would come during bottling; both the corn sugar and Belgian candi sugar should be available at your LHBS

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