Skip to main content

Belgian Dubbel Brew Day

08-22-03Last Saturday around the time of this post I had a chance to brew my Belgian Dubbel. The wife went to see the Time Travelers Wife, which gave me a few hours of time to brew. The whole idea behind the beer was to save some money on yeast and have another Belgian style beer on-hand since I’m really digging Belgian beers right now, so is the wife. I ordered from Austin Homebrew Supply again and followed the ingredients that I had originally set-out on using. I didn’t order a half pound of wheat malt from them becasue I already had a pound on hand. One problem, they shorted me a half pound of Belgian Pale malt. Crap.

08-22-02I decided to go on with brewing anyway and get that half pound reimbursed at another time. I threw all of the grain into the mash tun and heated my strike water to 165ºF. Being that I roughly had 6.5 lbs of grain and wanted to keep a water to grain ratio of 1.25 quarts per pound the 2 gallons of water reached that temperature very quickly. I then let it all sit there for an hour and again, it only dropped 2ºF from 152ºF to 150ºF in that hour. I’m really happy with my new mash tun.

On my last brew, I had a terrible efficiency, so I wanted to fix that up a bit. I collected my first runnings and threw it back on top of the grain and collected it again. My thinking was that the water was still hot and I could grab some extra sugar.  I heated up another two gallons of water to 180ºF for the second and third runnings. On both I let them sit in the mash tun for 10 minutes. By the end I had collected 3.5 gallons of wort for the boil.

08-22-04I did my 60 minute boil using .5 oz of Styrian Goldings hops and 1 oz of Saaz hops for 15 minutes. I also threw in some Irish Moss to try and help clarity. Why I didn’t do this for the Tripel is still a good question. I cooled down the wort and pitched it on top of the yeast cake from the Tripel as that is now in a carboy.

I was shooting for a gravity of 1.062 but actually got 1.053. It was better than the Tripel but still pretty poor. Only 65% or so. I’m not sure if the problem is coming my mash, the water, or 08-22-01how Austin Homebrew Supply is crushing the grain. I’m inclined to lean towards the latter after talking to some people my the local homebrew club. Maybe new brew I will borrow on of their grain mills.

This brew marks my first experience with Belgian candy sugar as well. I used a dark variety of it. I was a bit concerned about scorching, but during the wait time with the second and third runnings I dumped all of it (1/2 lb) into the boil kettle and stirred like a madman. The kettle was sitting on the floor under the mash tun. The liquid was still hot and it dissolved pretty quickly. No scorching at all! I’ll have a few updates on both of my beers soon.

08-04-06

Hamm’s Beer Review

08-04-02My partner in crime, Pete, brought back a Hamm’s for me a few months ago. I really wasn’t sure what to think of it when I first saw it, becasue the can is unimpressive to say the least. Pete told me it was one of the standard cheap drinks where he lives. So my expectations sank even lower. I actually drank this beer around the time he gave it to me, I just misplaced my tasting notes for it until today when I discovered them again. Horray!

08-04-06Let’s get on to the beer. I punctured the can and the standard fizzle sound came out. Poured it into my glass and saw a straw colored beer that was perfectly clear and reminded me of the macro light lagers. But color doesn’t really matter becasue there are excellent beers out there that have little color to them. Just look at the Portland Brewery reviews to see a few. The nose was sweet with a bit of maltlyness in there. There might of been a bit of corn in there too which was weird.

I took my first sip and yuck, light lager to the T. I will give it an “A” for being super drinkable, as I was finished before I knew it, but surely not an enjoyable drink. There was a bit of metalic on it as 08-04-07well which I hate. For a standard cheap beer I guess it wasn’t that bad, but not something I would get again.

Back in PA my standard cheap beer was Lionshead, which is pretty terrible, but has some malt and they recently redid the look of the bottle and the recipe was tweeked a bit. Where was I going with that? Umm… O yeah, Lionshead is cheap and drinkable so is this, but Lionshead has a bit more to offer. This was a shallow beer without much flavor or things to even pick up on. No my style beer and I would not be reccomending it to anyone.