Belgian Dubbel

Decided to brew something totally different for me, a Belgian Dubbel.

“A deep reddish, moderately strong, malty, complex Belgian ale. Originated at monasteries in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the mid-1800s after the Napoleonic era. Most commercial examples are in the 6.5 – 7% ABV range. Traditionally bottle-conditioned (“refermented in the bottle”).”

Well, this beer is going to be nothing like that.

Screwed it all up because I left some equipment and home and had to change my mash schedule. But that wasn’t the worse of it. My mill was set too fine and I stuck the mash. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Andy and Mike used my mill and they also had stuck mashes.

All indications are that this will be a much weaker and thinner beer than I was hoping for. But read all this post anyway.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Belgian Dubbel – 12 gallon

Brewers –  Charles, Tom, Rob, Sam – Andy and Mike also brewed beers this day.

Grain Bill

  • 20 lbs. – Pilsner
  • 2 lbs. – Aromatic Malt
  • 2 lbs. – Carapils
  • 2 lbs. – Munich
  • 8 oz. – Crystal 40
  • 1.9 oz. – Chocolate, dark
  • 1 lb. Amber Candi Sugar Syrup (Boil)
  • 1 lb. Light Brown Sugar (Boil)

Hop Bill

  • 2 oz. East Kent Goldings 5% – 60 mins.
  • 2 oz. East Kent Goldings 5 % – 20 mins.


  • Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abby Style Ale

“A widely used and alcohol tolerant Abbey yeast that is suitable for a variety of Belgian style ales. This strain produces a nice ester profile as well as slightly spicy alcohol notes. It can be slow to start; however, it attenuates well.”

Mash Schedule

This is sort of blurry because I mashed in then ran home to get what I forgot. Everything went downhill from there.

Mash in 8.3 gallons at 130˚ – Step temp 122˚ – 30 mins.

Add water to raise to 156˚ – 30 mins.

Add water to raise to 168˚ – 10 mins.

I should know better than to try a 2 step temperature infusion. Never hits temps. Original plan was to do a step mash in the kettle over a burner but I did not want to hassle the other guys with that while I was driving home and back.



Stuck Mash


Collected 14 gallons


Add hops per hop schedule

Add candy sugar syrup and brown sugar

60ish minute boil – more like 70 minute

Chilled fast with whirlpool

Pump into fermenter

Drive fermenter home


Pitch yeast

OG = 1.064 (was expecting closer to 1.070)

December 3, 2017

Racked to stainless fermenter – gravity = 1.008


That’s what it is reading. 1.008!

Right now that makes it 7.35% abv. Higher than BeerSmith predicted.

Taste? Not sure. Right now it just doest have the heavy Belgain beer flavor I expected. Can definitely taste the alcohol. Very odd. Hope it gets better.

Maybe I will dump 5 gallons in the old barrel and let it sit for a year.

Damn. It gave me the burps.

December 23, 2017

Transferred 5 galons to Whiskey barrel. Before this I had to soak barrel for days to rehydrate and close up gaps from letting it dry out. This should be interesting as a barrel aged beer. Calling this Dubbel Barrel.

December 26, 2017

Transferred remaining to 5 gallon keg.

Gravity 1.006 = 7.6% abv

Interesting… This started off with a lower than calculated gravity but is finishing with an also lower than calculated gravity. This is putting this beer at the very high end for abv for this style. This might be good after all. Looking forward to this and especially the barrel version. How long do I keep this in the barrel?

March 8, 2018 – Dubbel Barrel

Racked from barrel to keg.

Gravity 1.004 = 7.8% abv

Well, the beer sucked from the start.

I now have 1 keg of regular and 1 keg of barrel aged. I really wish this beer turned out. What a waste. Going to suck it up and serve both ate Ales for Tails this weekend.

Now what to do with this barrel. I used it three times (one of which won a gold medal), and I think it is time to retire it. Unless someone can convince me not to.





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