Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Trappist planning (Chimay)

Over the next week, I'll put together my recipes for a Dubbel and a Tripel. To help, I've got bottles of Chimay White and Westmalle Tripel, as well as Westmalle Dubbel and Rochefort 10. If I were smarter I would've grabbed a Chimay Red too, which I just saw. Also available for consultation is Victory Golden Monkey and some fairly relevant Unibroue beers if needed. I'm sipping the Chimay White now.

Cloudy pale peachy color. Gravity is 1071 with 8% abv. This suggests an FG of 1010 or 1011, so a pretty dry beer. They use German and American hops, which is interesting. I haven't any real idea of which ones. Putative clones I just checked out on line involve a wide range: Cascade, Hallertau, Kents, Tettnang, Saaz, and Fuggle. It's a pretty earthy hoppiness so I think Fuggle would be really good, plus the spicy Hallertau, and a very delicate application of Cascade. No idea what the IBU's are, but it's got a pretty bitter, lingering finish. That fairly modest OG would make this a lot easier to brew and mature than a Westmalle strength tripel and I like it almost as much, so this is something I should tackle before too long. This website has lots of info, some of it disheartening: I think maybe a mixed dry hop with Fuggle and a little Cascade might produce something very nice. That site says Cluster hops are involved, but as extract. Malt extract is used in tiny quantities as a color corrector. Wheat flour for head. Caramalt gives the color for the Red. Weird.

Is my French functional enough to read this? (Jef Van Den Steen's Les Trappistes: Les Abbayes et Leur Bieres. Sounds like a great book. Wonder if it's being translated. Available on Amazon, but it's 75 bucks.

White Beer Travels is an amazing set of beer pages. Refer also to the following on Orval:


Probably the grain bill for something like this should be mostly Belgian Pilsner, with a decent amount of wheat, 10% or so sugar, and a some Munich. Wouldn't be too hard to do. Will drink a Westmalle in a day or two and see what I come up with. It's harder to peg, as I recall. And it's got an OG of about 1080 which I think makes a big difference in brewing difficulty and aging and patience issues.


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