Tuesday, December 9, 2008

JZ's Dubbel

This one is pretty much straight outa Brewing Classic Styles, with appropriate hop substitutions (JZ uses Tettnang, I used Tradition), and I substituted 1 pound of wheat for pilsner. I'm still trying to work my way through that damn bag of wheat malt that has the occasional kernel of roasted malt in it, so this was a good chance.

The brewday was totally smooth, I ended up 2 points high on the gravity and that's fine with me.

Recipe is for 6 gallons AG, post boil. 5.25 in the fermenter.
O.G. 1.066 F.G 1.013 ABV 7% IBU's 23

8 lb. Durst Pils malt
1 lb. Munich malt
1 lb. wheat malt
.5 lb aromatic malt
.5 lb. caramunich 60L
.5 lb. Special B

.75 lb. Belgian dark candi syrup (D1)
.5 lb. corn sugar

8 gr. Perle pellets 5.7% 60 min
21 gr. Hallertauer Tradition pellets 5.7% 60 min

Mash in 3.75 gallons of water at 149 for 85 minutes,
Raised to 170 over 15 minutes

Sparged with 5 gallons at 170
Collected 7 gallons at 1.050 (before sugar) = 81% efficiency.

Boil: 90 minutes, hops as noted
whirlfloc at 15, 1/2 tsp. Wyeast nutrient at 10 min.

Chilled to 68, racked to a carboy, and pitched a 1 liter starter of White Labs 530 Abbey yeast (made on a stirplate).
Aerated for 8 minutes by hand.

Fermentation stayed around 68 degrees, occasionally creeping up to 70 before I knocked it back down. Racked to keg on 12/23/08.

This ended up being a pretty nice beer, very clean with some subtle fruity/malty flavors. It was a little lacking in aroma, and I think it would benefit from a higher fermentation temp, and possibly playing around with the specialty malts and sugars to increase the fruity/malty qualities a bit. I'm not really sure how Jamil manages to make this recipe taste "Belgian" enough, because he ramps the fermentation from a frigid 62 to 70 and tops out there. If I could only change one thing, I would get this beer up to at least 72 during the last third of fermentation. I really liked the aroma of the WLP 530 yeast. Much less banana character than WLP 500.

Ray, Clarissa, and I sat down and tried this beer next to some commercial Belgian dubbels: Affligem, Rochefort 8, and Westmalle. Affligem was the clear winner, with a wonderful aroma of cherry and port, with a dry finish. Westmalle was to pruny, almost like a doppelbock, and the alcohol was too hot, but maybe it just needed some age. It was better as it warmed. The Rochefort was the worst, with a cloudy murky appearance, and a dominant aroma of nail polish remover (acetone). My beer fell somewhere in the middle, there was a nutty finish that I didn't really like that may have come from the malts, or maybe it was a little bit funky or something...not really sure.

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