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Old 10-22-2012, 03:55 PM   #1
Oct 2010
Posts: 55
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Can anybody please answer a question about Belgians: What exactly is the difference between these types? What is the element that a Dubbel has x2 and a Quad has x4, etc.? Thanks!

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:06 PM   #2
Aug 2012
Upland, CA
Posts: 710
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More alcohol due to more grains.
If you need a better explanation I'll leave that to someone who knows more than I do.
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
...it's fine if it's fermenting.

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
JonGrafto's Avatar
Jan 2012
Central Part of the State..., WI
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As you go up from single, double, triple, quadruple the alcohol content increases (not necessarily by those multiples)

The higher alcohol content due to the fact that the brewer has added more malt (grain) to the beer as it is brewed, which results in more sugar which results in more alcohol.

This goes back to the (Belgian) Trappist monks who make it. They brewed a low-alcohol beer for meals and typically never sold it, so they would do a strong, dark malty beer (a dubbel) for sale. Then they made an even stronger dark, a quadrupel, which is very rich (though not bitter) and has more in common with the dubbel. The tripel? Spicy and pale.

Recommendations: Chimay (of Belgium) invented the tripel; Allagash Brewing in Maine makes a well-regarded dubbel and tripel.

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Old 10-22-2012, 05:45 PM   #4
Oct 2010
Posts: 55
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OK, thanks. The thing is, I have never liked a tripel, but have found a few quads that I liked. It just seems like quads have little in common with dubbels, and nothing in common with tripels. In no way is a tripel "between" a dubbel and quad in taste, body, or flavor.

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Old 10-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #5
Jul 2012
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 888
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I thought I read somewhere that it had to do with the number of steps in the mash. That could definitely be a case of my brain pulling a silly joke on me to look stupid on the HBT forums...

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:56 PM   #6
Jan 2011
Sierra, Nevada
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Dubbels are sort of the little brothers to Quads, which are higher octane and use more malt, thus have more fullness. Both are typically dark, complex Belgian ales with pruney, rich, stewed stone fruit and spice notes.

Tripels are paler in color with an alcohol content in between, and usually accentuate more flavors reminiscent of banana and clove, and/or stone fruits.

Per Beer Advocate:

The Belgian Dubbel is a rich malty beer with some spicy / phenolic and mild alcoholic characteristics. Not as much fruitiness as the Belgian Strong Dark Ale but some dark fruit aromas and flavors may be present. Mild hop bitterness with no lingering hop flavors. It may show traits of a steely caramel flavor from the use of crystal malt or dark candy sugar. Look for a medium to full body with an expressive carbonation.

(abv) range: 6.5-9.0%

The name Tripel actually stems from part of the brewing process, in which brewers use up to three times the amount of malt than a standard Trappist "Single." Traditionally, Tripels are bright yellow to gold in color, which is a shade or two darker than the average Pilsener. Head should be big, dense and creamy. Aroma and flavor runs along complex, spicy phenolic, powdery yeast, fruity/estery with a sweet finish. Sweetness comes from both the pale malts and the higher alcohol. Bitterness is up there for a beer with such a light body for its strength, but at times is barely perceived amongst the even balance of malts and hops. The lighter body comes from the use of Belgian candy sugar (up to 25% sucrose), which not only lightens the body, but also adds complex alcoholic aromas and flavors. Small amounts of spices are sometimes added as well. Tripels are actually notoriously alcoholic, yet the best crafted ones hide this character quite evil-like and deceivingly, making them sipping beers.

(abv) range: 8.0-12.0%

Inspired by the Trappist brewers of Belgium, a Quadrupel is a Belgian style ale of great strength with bolder flavor compared to its Dubbel and Tripel sister styles. Typically a dark creation that ranges within the deep red, brown and garnet hues. Full bodied with a rich malty palate. Phenols are usually at a moderate level. Sweet with a low bitterness yet a well perceived alcohol. Quads can also go by the name BSDA, or Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

(abv) range: 9.0-13.0%

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Old 11-04-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
Sep 2012
deland, florida
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luv'em ALL


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Old 11-09-2012, 10:47 PM   #8
Oct 2012
Paragould, Arkansas
Posts: 43
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There is a really good book called Brew Like A Monk , It has a ton of good information and you can get it for your digital reader, made a good read for me at work
[B]Primary CTZ/Citra IPA
Primary 2 ?????

Bottle ARPA Pale Ale
Bottle Busta Newt Barleywine

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Old 11-27-2012, 11:04 PM   #9
Mar 2011
New York, NY
Posts: 61
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Originally Posted by JonGrafto View Post
...Recommendations: Chimay (of Belgium) invented the tripel...
I believe that was Westmalle. They get credit for the 'Dubbel' name, too. I think it was a reference to the relative amount of grain used, for that one. Tripel is stronger (and drier, and lighter in color) than that, but I don't expect that they really tripled the grain to get there, since it's the sugar additions that dry it out more. Quadrupel is a pretty recent term, I think. The places like Westvleteren, Rochefort, and Achel that make them call them by other names (but Konigshoeven calls it a quad.)

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Old 11-27-2012, 11:12 PM   #10
Mar 2012
Columbia, SC
Posts: 967
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I really, really like Belgian beers. Because of that I purchased Brew Like a Monk and that is a great investment for the money with the wealth of knowledge in its contents. Tons of information about practically everything you could imagine about Belgians. To include some recipes for each beer style.
Drinking Fat Tire Clone
Carbing/Aging Westy 12(new world), Chocolate stout V2, Pumpkin Ale V2.5 (1st batch 2014)
In the bucket Pumpkin Ale V2.5 (2nd batch 2014), Kinda Double Bastard
On Deck The Kaiser, Blue Moon, oatmeal porter

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