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.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Exhausting Brew Day

Well, I think I've finally got everything under wraps, as far as working that crazy glut of spring break beers through the system. Today, with some help from Wayne and Brad, I bottled Brother Shamus and my Belgian Dubbel. The stout looks good--not as high alcohol as I wanted since it hung up at 1024. I think I mashed it too warm. But so be it. It should be big and velvety. The Dubbel didn't really amaze me or anything, but it's pretty much hitting the right (Westmalle-ish) specs, if the numbers in Michael Jackson's book are right, but I've run into different alcohol percentages on that beer, ranging from 6-7. If it's really six I'm right on, but I have a feeling that that's wrong. Eh, what can you do? I also racked my Old Crowbar Barley Wine out of a two-week primary. It was at about 1023, which is -exactly- what I wanted. I gave it the first of its two dry-hopping doses. The hydrometer sample tasted teee-riffic--very excited about that beer. Am hoping I can actually just pop it in bottles before I split for CA. I don't think it's really the kind of barley wine that needs to sit in a carboy forever. Two weeks of primary, plus maybe three of secondary, kind of ought to do it.

And, somehow, I brewed a beer too. Made the Belgian tripel and dumped it on the dubbel's yeast cake. Considering I was doing way too much at once, it went pretty smoothly. Re-designed a Mosher recipe, giving it some extra wheat malt and a bit more sugar, plus a small extra hit of aroma hops at the end. Nothing crazy, just about .6 oz to make sure it's got a little of that herbal thing going on. My impression is that Westmalle tripel, while hardly a highly hopped beer, does have a little whiff of Styrians that I was trying to replicate. On a whim I also gave it a tiny spice addition--small enough that I think I'll never know it's there, but maybe it'll add a teeny little je ne sais quoi to it. Aerated well, lag time was minimal. Glugging healthily away as I type.


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