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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mess-less Brewing

I think I might have figured this out. I brewed today without really making a mess at all. And I double-decocted too. One tiny boil-over which I wiped up really quick, trivial floor stickiness which I remedied as I went along--not much else. I made this big wheat doppelbock, which I think should be good. It was a recipe of rushed and perhaps imperfect conception, but with really good German malts there's only so wrong you can go--this involved my first use of Weyermann Chocolate Wheat (yum) and a dark Durst crystal malt (83L). So the beer came out, I think, rich and very malty. Props to Northern Brewer for having a kick-ass range of specialty malts.

I'm sipping my smoke beer right now. My friend Buck really dug this beer the other day; he said it had zero esters in the nose (a goal in lager brewing) and liked the malt character. Large proportions of good-quality Munich and decoction will do that. But he should have smelled it fermenting--I thought it'd never come around. It's pretty good now.

Speaking of German beers, if anyone has any suggestions, speak up: I'm all amped up about making a full-blown Doppelbock--the wheat one is just a warm up. It will be very, very big and triple-decocted. Never mind that I already have too many brewing projects lined up. If I were to make another lager, just to have a big, happy yeast cake to tackle the doppel, what should I make? Something Oktoberfest-y? A lighter-weight bock? Another pilsner? A smokier smoke beer? What? Eh. Maybe I'll just skip straight to the doppel. But suggestions are still welcome.


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