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, June 16, 2007

Belgians to brew

So, despite it being lovely out, despite not really feeling like brewing, I forced the issue by smacking two packs. Otherwise I'll wake up in 4-6 months with no beer and I'll be seriously pissed off.

The yeasts: 3787 Trappist High Gravity and 3726 Farmhouse.

It's hot and it's the right time of year to ferment beers of this type. If the enthusiasm (such as it is) holds, I'll do an IPA and something else to keg next, but for now, it's Belgian time. I'd like to make some British style things inspired by my travels, but I'm concerned about the heat and run-away fermentations. British beers suck when they overheat... Belgians are safe and so is US-05.

Anyway, I'm sipping a Westmalle Dubbel for inspiration. It's delicious--all plummy and spicy.

Relevant supplies: Should I wish to spice anything, coriander and grains of paradise abound, plus other shit. Relevant hops: Mt. Hood, Crystal, Perle, Hallertau Mittelfruh, Sterling. Relevant malts: Pils, caramel pils, carawheat, Vienna, Munich, wheat, Biscuit, Caramunich 40 and 120, aromatic, Special B, debittered black.

The Saison... I haven't made a spiced one forever and I just ate a grain of paradise and it's yummy. I also just ran across, in some old notes, a vague plan to produce a jaggery saison. How about an experimental saison? Quite peppery. Super dry but with a weird unrefined sugar thing in the background?

I'm imagining roughly this recipe: 1048 ish. 7.5 lbs pils, 1 lb wheat, 1 lb carawheat, 1 lb jaggery. Cool mash. Crystal hops to 25 IBU with 1.5 ounces at shut-off. At least 1/2 tsp grains of paradise at shut-off. Maybe more. Have to consult with a brewer who's used more of them. I've only done 1/4 tsp as part of a melange. Will brew Monday so there's time.

Now, as to the 3787...

I'm going to stay close to the key stats for Rochefort 6, with absolutely no intention of cloning it. Wrong yeast. Don't want to anyway. But I like the soft balance of that beer a lot, hence I'll aim for 1072 and a mere 18-20 IBU.

After a lot of fiddling around, I settled on this:

1071: 9.5 lbs Pils, 10.7 oz Caramunich 40, 5 oz Caramunich 120, 1 lb soft candi sugar, 1 lb table sugar. Correct color with debittered black as needed. Bitter to 20 IBU with 1 oz Mittelfruh. .5 oz of same at shutoff. Touch of coriander if I feel like it at the time.


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