First Belgian Dubbel - seems like a lot of Phenol

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HB2 HughBHomeBrew

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First time trying Belgian Dubbel, also first time with Wyeast 1214, also first time making a beer with added sugar! I'm using the Adventure in Homebrewing all grain "Chimay Red Clone" kit.

Grain Bill
  • 9 pounds Belgian Pilsner 2-Row.
  • 0.5 pounds aromatic malt
  • 0.5 pounds Cara Munich
  • 0.25 lbs Special B
  • 0.0625 lbs chocolate malt
  • 10.3125 pounds total fermentable
  • 2 pounds light Belgian Candi Sugar
Also came with a dry package of Lavlin wine yeast to be "added to secondary."

I overshot the OG which was supposed to 1.067. By the time I added all that sugar, my post boil volume and gravity were 6.0 gallons and 1.072

Pitched a single "smack-pack" of the Wyeast 1214 at 74F (no starter). Within 12 hours had tiny bubbles visible in sight glass and had bubbling in blow-off tube within 16 hours. Was brisk bubbling for several days after that.
Fermentation settled down in 7 days and here's what I've got
  • Gravity of 1.006 - surprised by how low that is but I've never brewed with sugar - that's 8.7% ABV.
  • Phenol (I think) smell and taste pretty noticeable and this freaks me out a bit - I mostly brew lagers and don't expect or like this
    • Is that expected for this style and will it mellow with conditioning etc?
    • Is that extra strong because if under-pitching? This probably was under pitched but it was active quickly
    • Also, will that change with the addition of the wine yeast? I went ahead and added it yesterday and there is a little activity now in the sight glass (at the bottom of the conical) but not enough to make the blow-off move at all
 

MikeCo

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Also came with a dry package of Lavlin wine yeast to be "added to secondary
This seems like a packaging error - there's no need for it.

If you let it age another couple weeks in primary or secondary, that phenolic flavor may fade.

On the final gravity, did you mash at a lower temperature than than the recipe called for? That can lead to a lower than expected FG, but 1.006 is not out of line for this recipe with 2 lb. of simple sugar for a presumed 5-gallon batch.
 
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HB2 HughBHomeBrew

HB2 HughBHomeBrew

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Thanks! They definitely wanted you to use the wine yeast in “secondary.” It’s been in there two days now - no activity that I can see. Haven’t re-checked gravity.

i BIAB. Initial mash temp was 153F. I did leave it mashing for over 2 hours - usually do about an hour, temp was 149F at the end.
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VikeMan

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"dries it out and helps with proper carbonation."

Well, that's just weird. If they are talking about a secondary fermentation vessel (i.e. "dries it out"), then carbonation wouldn't really be affected. If they are talking about bottle conditioning ("helps with proper carbonation"), then "dries it out" makes no sense. You want attenuation to be finished before bottling (with priming sugar).

In any event, unless this wine strain is unusual for a wine strain, it's not going to eat maltotriose, which would be the last remaining fermentable sugar to be "dried out." So, sure it could be added as insurance yeast (though it shouldn't be needed for a beer like this) at bottling (because it will eat simple priming sugar), but the whole thing just sounds odd and pointless.
 
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HB2 HughBHomeBrew

HB2 HughBHomeBrew

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"dries it out and helps with proper carbonation."

Well, that's just weird. If they are talking about a secondary fermentation vessel (i.e. "dries it out"), then carbonation wouldn't really be affected. If they are talking about bottle conditioning ("helps with proper carbonation"), then "dries it out" makes no sense. You want attenuation to be finished before bottling (with priming sugar).

In any event, unless this wine strain is unusual for a wine strain, it's not going to eat maltotriose, which would be the last remaining fermentable sugar to be "dried out." So, sure it could be added as insurance yeast (though it shouldn't be needed for a beer like this) at bottling (because it will eat simple priming sugar), but the whole thing just sounds odd and pointless.
Yeah. It didn't seem to do anything as far as more fermentation - SG is still 1.006. Maybe my imagination but already does seem less strong on the phenols. I'm going to cold crash now then keg in 2 or 3 days. I'll TRY to wait a couple weeks before tasting again after that (good luck with that!)
 
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