Having not brewed too many belgian beers I wanted to make a style that could handle a little age and go straight into bottles. Something malty and strong, but not not too strong sounds good so I started looking around on the internet for ideas on this recipe. This beer is inspired by Westmalle’s Dubbel, but not intended to be a clone or anything. Before brew day I already noticed how much different this yeast behaves compared to the usual strains I brew with. The starter foamed out of the flask twice and I couldn’t even really keep it on the stir plate as I usually do. Hopefully I didn’t lose too much yeast during this, but judging from how fermentation has started it doesn’t appear to be an issue. Well, more about the yeast later, but first things first, the recipe.
Mash: 149 (90 min.)
Added: 1.4g Gypsum, 2.1g CaCl & 0.7g Chalk to Mash & 1.3g Gypsum & 1.9g CaCl to sparge water.
Mash PH: 5.3
6.3% Belgian Candi Syrup (80l)
3.2% Special B
3.2% Corn Sugar
1.00 oz Tettnanger (6.4%) 60 min.
1.00 oz Saaz (3.2%) – 10 min.
Wyeast 3787 – Trappist High Gravity
Made 2 liter starter and it foamed out and couldn’t keep on the stir plate. Decanted starter after it fermented out and pitched in 1l starter. That one foamed out too so I cut my losses pitched the smaller starter.
Added sugar and syrup at 15 min. before end of the 90 min. boil. Fermentation started within 2 hours at 78 deg. Chilled down to 65 and rose to 70 and will hold at 70 until fermentation slows down and will ramp up to 75 for a few days to finish out.
This one will take a bit of time to ferment and age so tasting notes in a little bit.
Bottled on 8.31 with 2.9/vols co2. Finished at 1.010, a little drier than I thought, although not that surprised with how much was blown off during fermentation. Sample at bottling was peppery & phenolic and tasted rich and malty.
Tasting Notes – 10.28.13
Appearance: Pours dark chestnut with a fluffy off white head that lasts forever. I literally did the dishes, found something on tv and started writing these notes and it still hadn’t fallen.
Aroma: Aroma of raisins, dates, dark fruits and malty sweetness dominates. Very phenolic Belgian yeast aroma.
Taste: Dark fruits, namely cherries hit the palette first with notes of raisins and grapes also present. Bready malts compliment the dark fruit notes with the phenolic/spicy yeast esters providing complexity.
Mouthfeel: High carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel.
Overall: I’m really pleased with how this beer came out. Nice dark fruits and yeast esters make for a really complex and flavorful beer. The dryness really hides the alcohol as there’s no hotness and drinks way too smooth for the 7.6% abv. I did a side by side tasting with Westmalle’s Dubbel, and besides Westmalle being darker the flavors of both were pretty similar. This is a nice change from the usual beers I brew and can definitely see this one getting rebrewed.