Belgian dubbel

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cornelius

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I brewed a Belgian dubbel November 13. I purchased the recipe kit from Northern. The suggested fermentation schedule is "1-2 weeks primary; 2-4 weeks secondary; 2 weeks bottle conditioning"

My plan is to leave in the primary for 6 weeks and then keg on Christmas. The Wyeast #1314 Belgian ale yeast optimum temperature is 68-70*F
The room temperature is 49-63*F
I have a heating belt which brings the temp into the 75* range.

How would you handle the fermentation schedule and temperature control in this case?

Thanks for your advice!
 

Montanaandy

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Six weeks is a bit long - won't hurt but you don't need to go that long. Just do a three to four week primary and keg or bottle. No need to secondary.

Your room temp in San Fran is 49-63' in Nov.??? I grew up there and I don't remember it being that cold there in Nov. Global warming, eh? My basement temp here in MT is 64' and upstairs is in the upper 60's. If your room temp is indeed that low then set the belt for 70'.
 

mk1271

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Temperature is the most important part of fermentation. Hi temp will produce off flavor. This is an ale, 3 weeks in the primary ferminter is well long enough as long as u r at the right temp. I would build a box with some sort of electric space heater controlled by a Johnson temperature control. Once I started climate controlling my fermentation all my off flavors went away. Also ferment in a dark spot.
 

coypoo

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Start it at like 64-65 and let it warm over the course of fermentation into the 70s. Be very cautious to not let them temp drop when fermentation slows or else it will stall very easily
 

cervezarara

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The kit instructions call for 1 month "secondary." This certainly wouldn't hurt anything, but I think your plan to leave it in primary is better. If the OG was 1.062 as the kit says, then this will probably benefit from at least three weeks in primary.

I find Belgians develop a better, fruitier, flavor from a higher fermentation temperature. If you can get it up to 75F, that would be great. The 1214 is supposed to go up to 78F, according to Wyeast's web site.

I would take a sample at three weeks, measure the gravity and have a taste. If it's good, compare a reading a few days later to make sure fermentation is complete. Then you can bottle at will.
 

beergolf

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Start it at like 64-65 and let it warm over the course of fermentation into the 70s. Be very cautious to not let them temp drop when fermentation slows or else it will stall very easily
This is good advice.

Also give the yeast plenty of time to finish up. !214 can take a while to finish. No need to move to a secondary but leaving it 4-6 weeks in the primary is fine.

Here is a good quote from Brew Like a Monk....

"Let the fermentation finish, perhaps at a higher temperature. It may take as long to get the last few points of attenuation as it did for the first 80%."

Belgian yeasts will attenuate well but may often take some time to do it.

I love Belgians and brew them often. Other styles can finish very quickly and be ready to bottle in 2-3 weeks, but Belgians often take much longer and cannot be rushed.
 
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