Belgian beers are a bit of a passion of mine. My first foray into ‘proper beer’ was my mate from the south of Holland. He grew up on Belgian beers and one day he said “Here, try this!” It was a Duvel. It was a lot stronger and more bitter than what I was used to, but those flavours!! I was hooked. Speights & Tui just taste like brown water compared with the flavour that Belgian brewers get into their beers. This dubbel has some real spicy clove flavours that I enjoyed immensely.
Pre-Boil Gravity: 1.056 SG
Original Gravity: 1.069 SG (Belgian beer = late sugar additions)
Final Gravity: 1.016 SG
ABV: 7.0 %
IBU: 24 IBU
Colour: 33 EBC
BU:GU Ratio: 0.37
Mash water: 23L
Sparge water: 11L
Grain (total: 7.1kg):
Gladfields Pilsner Malt 5.500 kg (71%)
Munich Malt 550 g (7.1%)
Gladfields Aurora Malt 300 g (3.9%)
CaraMunich II 300g (3.9%)
Special B 300g (3.9%)
Wheat Malt 200g (2.6%)
Dark Candi Syrup 350g (4.5%) – Add with 15 mins remaining in the boil
White Sugar 250g (3.2%) – Add with 15 mins remaining in the boil
16g Pacific Jade (25 IBU) @ 60min
Mash in and rest at 45°C for 15 mins
Raise temp and rest at 62°C for 35 mins
Raise temp and rest at 70°C for 25 mins
Mash out at 75°C
Sparge and boil for 60 mins
Fermentation is everything for Belgian beers! You have to use the correct yeast and get the fermentation temperature right, so temperature control is essential. Use White Labs WLP500-Trappist Ale (called Monastry Ale these days).
Pitch yeast at 18°C and leave it for a day or two, then switch off the temp controller and let it rise by itself until it tops out at 26°C after a week or so. If you need to help it to reach that temperature then that’s OK too. You want the beer to ferment out pretty dry.
Bottle and then keep the beer at 24°C for a couple of weeks to carbonate and condition.
I based this recipe on the one from Jamil Zainasheff’s excellent book Brewing Classic Styles.