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Old 07-23-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
ruralbrew
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Default Belgian Dubbel Style Cider

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: T-58
Yeast Starter: no
Additional Yeast or Yeast Starter: none
Batch Size (Gallons): 4
Original Gravity: 1.something
Final Gravity: .995
Boiling Time (Minutes): none
Primary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): 2 months
Secondary Fermentation (# of Days & Temp): a few more months
Tasting Notes: Very Complex

Last fall I was messing around making a bunch of different ciders, and had the idea of making a Belgian Dubbel Style Cider. I made a four gallon batch, with four pounds of home made candi syrup from this thread http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-l...trient-114837/. I used the #5 recipe, and subbed a pound and a half of lactose for white sugar. When I was making the syrup, I steeped a pound of Special B in a quart and a half of water, rinsed it with another quart of 170 degree water and boiled it down to a syrup, so I had kind of a Special B LME. When I was done with both the syrup and the Special B I added cider to both the pots to mix the cider with the sticky stuff, and then poured it into the fermenter, with enough cider to fill a four gallon fermenter to about three and a half gallons. I left a little headspace because with some of my other cider experiments I didn't, and it wasn't pretty.
I added the rehydrated T-58, shook the daylights out of the fermenter to mix everything up, wrapped it in a blanket and let it ferment at whatever temperature it decided to go to. After the fermentation settled down a bit I topped it off with some fresh cider.
I let it sit for a couple months, then transferred to secondary, where it sat for a few more months. I bottled a month and a half ago with a cup of priming sugar, I wanted it carbonated.
Last week my curiosity got the best of me so I put a bottle in the fridge when I got home from work in the morning. In the afternoon after it had a chance to cool down I decided to give it a try.

It poured as black as night, with very little carbonation. With the first sip you got the sense of carbonation on the tongue, along with a nice cider flavor and tartness, which melded into dark fruit, raisin and chocolate, with a nice spicy finish from the yeast. I was pretty impressed, but wanted a second opinion so I took it upstairs to let my wife try it. She didn't want to give the glass back! In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I thought I had better chill another bottle to make sure the first one wasn't a fluke. The second bottle was just as good, so I think I can declare this experiment a success.
I didn't take an OG reading, but it finished at .995, and from the way a half a glass made me feel it is definitely more of a sipper than a quaffer.

The rest of the batch I am going to let sit until the weather cools down. It should make a good after dinner in-front-of-the-fire sipper.

It is kind of time consuming to put a batch of this together, but I will be making another batch this fall.

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

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Old 07-23-2012, 09:06 PM   #2
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This looks rediculously awesome. I think im gona have to get some cider really soon and give this a try. Thanks for the great idea. I've got 4 beers on deck so this should fall into place just in time for a pressing party in october.

Ive also wanted to try stout yeast in a cider...so many possabilities

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Old 07-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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I don't know about awesome, but it is pretty darn good. And it is different enough that it sort of stands out in the crowd, so to speak. With the variety of darker malts and an estery ale yeast there are many possible combinations to experiment with.

I may cut back on the Special B a bit on my next batch, a pound is a lot for four gallons of anything.

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:57 AM   #4
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I have never tried a cider like this before and am a little confused when you say that you "subbed a pound and a half of lactose for white sugar". Are you using the lactose for back sweetening or did you sub it in for the white sugar in the syrup? I am going to try to start a batch of this cider tomorrow so please clarify this for me if you can. I saw your comment about reducing the amount of special b malt and was thinking about using a small amount of chocolate malt in replacement of the special b that i remove. I am planning on about a 5 gallon batch btw.

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Old 09-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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I subbed the lactose for the white sugar in the syrup. If you try this be aware that lactose has a lower boiling point than sucrose so your syrup will reach the various color stages at lower temperatures than if you used all table sugar. The reason I subbed some lactose in the syrup is lactose (I think) breaks down in heat to galactose and glucose. Galactose is a component of beet sugar and being as Belgian syrups are made from the components of beet sugar manufacturing I thought it might impart a more "Belgian" character to the syrup.
I made a four gallon batch, when I make it again I may reduce the Special B. A little chocolate malt might work well but it as all about experimentation, right? This is one of my experiments that happened to work out.

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Old 10-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #6
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I'm definitely making some cider next week. U think adding a bit honey will add some complexity to a flavor ?

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Old 10-08-2012, 07:37 AM   #7
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This is awesome! I've been thinking of using T-58 with a cider and have recently decided my next batch will involve Belgian candi syrup. I'm really glad to hear that yours came out tasty! Good work!

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Old 01-19-2013, 12:38 AM   #8
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Trying this now with the double candy sugar and just 5 gallons of cider. Pitched two packets of Nottingham with no rehydration out of pure laziness..



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