Although it took over a month to carbonate (more on that later), this beer came out very nice. Malty, rich, caramel, raisin, roast, chocolate. A complex beer. You get a slight sense of the alcohol. The dry Abbey yeast works well, it’s subtle. It’s not my favorite style (I prefer Belgian Tripels), but I like it. This could easily be served at any brewpub. I wouldn’t change the recipe and I will brew this again.
I’m beginning to realize that recipe creation is very important. A good recipe, with solid brewing practices, makes great beer. Searching the internet for recipes is not a good idea; you need a source that you can trust. This is a clone recipe from a Wisconsin brewery, if I remember correctly, called “Scarlet 7 Belgian Dubbel”; I got it from a book I checked out at the library.
Belgian Dubbel, 5 gal, 9.1%
9.4 Ibs 2-row
1.7 lbs Ding. Aromatic malt
1.4 lbs Munich
.9 lbs Special B
10 oz Crystal 40
2 oz Crystal 120
.5 oz Willamette FW (30 minute boil?…I can’t remember, probably)
1. oz Willamette 30 min.
Safbrew Abbey Dry Yeast
I’m pretty sure I mashed and boiled for 30 minutes, as is my usual process nowadays. I also slow chilled this beer, which took about 24 hours before pitching the yeast. Another win for the simple, lazy One Pot Brewing.
Why did this take so long to carbonate?
I have a pretty good guess. I have noticed that cold crashing, gelatin, and bottling have consequences. Bottling a chunky beer will carbonate in 5 days, but bottling a clear beer will carbonate in 2, 3, or 4 weeks. Makes sense. This one took over a month. For this beer I cold crashed the shit out of it, probably for 2 weeks. I was busy up north hunting. I also used gelatin. Thus, the beer was super fined and crystal clear when I bottled it, which means less yeast in the beer for the sugar to carbonate with. On top of that, it’s high alcohol, which takes longer. In the future, I’m going to experiment with not cold crashing but still using gelatin. I think this will be a nice compromise between clear beer and quick carbonation. The yeast will be nice and warm, ready to go; rather than having to ‘wake up’ first.