Monday, October 13, 2008

St Phillipe Dubbel, Part two

I was given a copy of The Brewmaster's Table recently. It's got some beautiful photography in it, but that had been about as far as I'd gotten until a week ago. We're having Thanksgiving at our house this year, and it occured to me that it would be the perfect time to start delving into food/beer pairings. And luckily for me, turkey goes best with the types of beer I've been working on brewing the most: Belgians.

My St. Phillipe Dubbel that I did a while back turned out pretty good, but needed some tinkering. I had previously said that I like the Wyeast Abbey Ale II yeast, but having brewed a few beers with it, I kind of revised my opinion. It comes from a Trappist brewery, so it's obvious that you can make good beer with it, but it seemed to bring certain flavors to the fore that I wanted in the background, and vice versa. I had said that my first Saison tasted somehow kind of thin, and I had chalked this up to the large amount of Acidulated Malt that I used, but when I did the Wedding Saison, it had that same sort of alcoholicky banana flavor right up front. They were decent, very drinkable beers, but I wanted something different.

St Phillipe, Part 2-

Belgian Pilsner Malt- 8 pounds
Vienna Malt- 1 pound
Belgian Aromatic- 8 ounces
Carapils- 8 ounces
Special B- 5 ounces
Dark Candy Sugar- 1 pound

Mt Hood- 1 ounce- 60 minutes
Crystal- 1 ounce- 15 minutes

Wyeast Trappist High Gravity- pitched right from the smack pack

128/150/167- Hot water infusions with a decoction mash out

So, the recipe itself saw some adjustments from the first St. Phillipe. The main reason was that I was able to actually procure some of the dark candy sugar as opposed to clear, so I substituted the Dark Munich malt with Vienna. The rest of the grains were pretty close, with an extra ounce of Special B. The hops were the same type, but I added an extra quarter ounce of Mt Hood at the 60 minute mark. The yeast is new, and for the first time, I didn't use any sort of starter. Mainly because I completely forgot to. I had read that some Belgian brewers underpitch on purpose, as it gives them some esters that they wouldn't get with the proper amount, so I will have to see how that goes. Again, this beer was done for Thanksgiving, so it'll be two weeks in the primary, two in the secondary, and three in the bottle to condition. It's not as long as I'd like to have it in the bottle before initial consumption, but time was short. I can't wait to see how this one ages, and be able to do a side by side tasting with the first version.

Brewing for me now is basically at the point where I don't need to spend too much time on the technical aspects of the brew day, which is nice. This one went so smoothly that I was able to paint our picnic table while I was brewing. And I still nailed my starting gravity exactly.

No comments: