Dubbel No. 1

When I first tried malting my own barley and brewing, I was doing it to emulate a clean version of the Mad Fermentationist’s Sour Plum Dubbel, or at least the principles he describes for it in his review:

If you are interested in brewing something similar, but don’t have access to Valley Malt’s products use the flavorful pale malt of your choice for the base and your favorite dark crystal malt (Special B, C120, or English Dark).

I failed miserably. That’s okay, though, because it was always risk using home-malted everything. I still really wanted to try a dubbel because, frankly, I’ve only ever had one, and it was unforgettable (look, I was late bloomer for beer, and then I moved to a country that just isn’t a beer country).

So, I just tried again, this time with the Surena pilsener malt that actually works, and the leftovers of my attempt at a Special B malt. Now that I’ve experimented a lot more with malting adjuncts, the malt was certainly not anything approaching Special B. Honestly, it was probably more of an dark-amber-approaching-chocolate malt, so we’ll see how that affects the final taste. Likewise, it’s not going to be the darkest of dubbels, given that I was scrounging the leftovers and spreading it onto a double mash (runnings shared uniformly with an attempt at braggot/barleywine). So the color won’t be as deep as it should be.

In my attempt to store, maintain, preserve, and make the few dried yeasts I have last a longer time, I used some stored T-58 from the previous Tripel No. 3 batch, as well as the dregs from the first bottle, pitched for a couple days onto some frozen-thawed-heated-cooled leftover wort to get it ready. (Although, notably, a friend stumbled across something called “Brewer’s Yeast” at a health food downtown the other day. I’ll have to look into that.)

One last note on ingredients: having read over and over Ryanbrews’ really helpful breakdown of making your own candi syrup, I wasn’t really sure where to find (or even translate into Spanish) things like chalk and lime, I decided to take some liberty with the sugar addition. Ryanbrews also brought jaggery as a fermentable to my attention, and being intrigued, figured out that it’s called “chankaka” here, and can be found on practically every corner! Seemingly exotic in North America, I think people eat it as a snack here, because it’s very common to see a small bar of the stuff wrapped up in plastic and being sold at the snack stands all over this city, next to plantain chips, peanuts, and other dried goods. At our preferred outdoor market, Los Pozos, they sell it in half kilo blocks in a variety of flavors–plain, with peanuts (almost like a more brown sugary peanut brittle), oranges, and pineapple. I have to admit it was pretty exciting to discover that it was super easy to find. At the same stands in Los Pozos, you can buy wild honey, cane syrup (= molasses), stevia, and all sorts of other interesting things. So instead of candi syrup (which I’ll probably attempt to make eventually), I used chankaka.

Details:
Batch Size (L): 6
Total Fermentables (kg): 1.83
Anticipated OG: 1.064
Wort Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Anticipated IBU: 24

Fermentables:
1.5 kg (82%) Pilsener Malt
300 g (16%) Chankaka (Jaggery)
30 g (2%) Dark Amber/Chocolate? Homemade Malt

Boil:
8 g Willamette hops @ 60 mins
4 g Willamette hops @ 30 mins

Yeast:
Safbrew T-58, second generation

Notes:
-Brewed on June 2, 2012. OG: 1.068
-Bottled on May 17, 2012. with 45 g cane sugar.  FG at 1.014, so 7.2% ABV.
-The tripel and saison I brewed previously were both notably under-carbonated, so given a larger batch, I doubled the amount sugar. I probably shouldn’t be guessing quite so much on that, but I was strapped for time.

11/20/2012: Tasting

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