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, August 26, 2006

Rochefort Project

I've smacked a pack of 1762, which was probably a bad idea, and I'm sipping a Rochefort 6 to help me figure out what to do with the yeast. I had a bad experience with it the first time. I attempted to do a clone of the 6 and it got infected. The infamous bad sack of pilsner malt, I guess, made for weak attenuation, then I shook and stirred and sampled too much. The resulting "accidental sour brown" has exactly the right color, but is otherwise not helpful. In fact, I need to start using it in cooking... I can't decide about the attenuation though--was it the bad malt, wrong temps, too much crystal??

I've just glanced at the famous Herman's Bierpage clone formula. I'm about to finish the bottle of 6. It's fantastic. Figs, burnt sugar, anise... It's just aromatically fabulous.

Hmmm... There's no fucking way I'm going to "clone" this. I really don't trust the established recipe as the crystal malt presence seems way too high and I fear poor attenuation. The other time I used a large portion of dark sugar syrup I made a great beer, my Pale Dubbel, which is sort of like a paler, spicier Westvleteren 8. I think I'll follow my own lead there and add 16 fluid ounces of that stuff near the end of the boil. But in a futile effort to incorporate some of these deep, gorgeous, figgy, burnt qualities, I'll draw on some crystal malts. Certainly Special B. Some foundational Caramunich, but not as much as those Dutch dudes used. Screw the whole corn thing. I'll just use sugar this time. Touch of carafa. Lightly hop. Done.

Off to the basement to assess ingredients...

I may reconsider this very slightly, but I like the following beer, inspired by, but not remotely a clone of, Rochefort 6. Hopefully it will get at least a little of that figgy depth and will prove a valuable stepping stone for brewing a big, honkin' 11% alcohol off-shoot.

Ad Hoc Dubbel

19 IBU
hypothetical FG, maybe 1009-1011?

10 lbs Pilsner
1 lb Weyermann Caramunich I
.5 lbs Special B
2 oz Carafa II
2.4 lbs sugar total--including one bottle of dark syrup

Mash at 145 and boil for 75 minutes.

.7 oz Northern Brewer (60)
.5 oz Hallertau (20)
.2 oz Hallertau (5)
.2 oz Coriander (5)

Given good sanitation, how bad can that possibly be??


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