|First bottle of the Dubbel
5 pounds, 2 ounces Belgian Pale Ale Malt
9 ounces Aromatic Malt
5 ounces Crystal 80L
5 ounces Corn Sugar dissolved into mash water
0.70 ounces Styrian Celeia hops @ 2.8% AA (60 min.)
0.50 ounces Styrian Celeia hops @ 2.8% AA (30 min.)
0.25 ounces Czech Saaz hops @ 3% AA (10 min.)
1/8 tsp. Yeast Nutrient added with Saaz
1/4 Whirlfloc tablet added with Saaz
1 packet of T-58 dry yeast
The Picobrew Recipe Crafter estimates the following characteristics for the brew:
- OG: 1.064
- FG: 1.0147
- IBU: 20
- SRM: 12
- ABV: 6.4%
- Starting Water: 3.14 gallons
- Batch Size: 2.5 gallons
Place 3 gallons plus 18 ounces water to Zymatic Corny Keg
Dough in at 102F for 20 minutes
Mash Step 1 at 152F for 30 minutes
Mash Step 2 at 154F for 60 minutes
Mash Out at 175F for 10 minutes
Boil at 207F for 60 minutes
60 minutes: Add 0.7 ounces Styrian Celeia
30 minutes: Add 0.5 ounces Styrian Celeia
10 minutes: Add 0.25 ounces Czech Saaz, Yeast Nutrient, and Whirlfloc
After the boil, I set the controls to "Chill" the wort, but actually pumped it out and into a 4-gallon kettle. I carried the kettle to my sink and inserted an immersion chiller. Running the cold December tap water through the immersion chiller allowed me to get the wort down to 68F in a few minutes. I'll probably use this method going forward, as it worked very well.
Post-Mortem and Other Notes
I'd like the beer to have a bit more of a reddish color, but that didn't happen. Next time around, if this is a decent brew, I'd do Crystal 100L or 120L.
Although it increases the Zymatic's run time, I think step mashing with a mash out step makes a lot of sense. The device's efficiency with a single infusion mash (based on the Pico Pale Ale recipe) is in the vicinity of 60%. With a step mash, that increases to 79%.
I'll also be doing some digging to see if I can identify the source of the air leak in the lines, as that seems to be kicking up a lot of foam during the mash. Hopefully it's something I can find and fix.
|Display showing the mash step underway
|Grain at the start of the mash
|Notice all the dried foam on top of the tray - this batch generated a lot!
- If not enough water is loaded into the keg, the pump will suck in air from inside the keg when the water level is below the level of the pipes inside the keg. This can be solved by making sure you put enough water in the keg at the start of brewing and checking on the level during the brew.
- If the keg posts are loose, air can seep in when the Zymatic is drawing in water.
- If the ball lock connectors are not attached properly or are defective, air can be pulled in.
- Where the lines connect to the ball lock connectors, if the connection is not secure, air can be drawn in.
- Where the "black" ball lock connector line connects with the in-line filter, air can be drawn in. Similarly, where the line connects to the other side of the in-line filter, air can be drawn in.
- If the in-line filter itself is cracked, not properly closed, or otherwise defective, the pump could draw air in while pulling liquid through.
- If the connection between the wort lines and the side of the Zymatic is not complete, air can be drawn in through there.
- If the washer between the ports on the side of the Zymatic and the wort lines is missing, deformed, cracked, etc., air can be drawn in.
Before the next brew, I'm going to double-check all of these to ensure that they are as secure as possible. I hear what sounds like an air leak during brewing at the in-line wort filter and possibly inside the Zymatic where liquid is drawn inside from that same line.
On a side note, the airlock on the fermenter for this beer is bubbling away nicely, indicating that the yeast is working hard on the sugar in it.
12/24/2017: Airlock activity has slowed or stopped at this point, indicating that primary fermentation is over. I'll let it sit on the yeast cake a few more days before either transferring to secondary or bottling.
12/27/2017: The final gravity for the beer registered as 1.020 and the final volume appeared to be about 2 gallons. This works out to about 5.8% ABV instead of the expected 6.4%. The beer was bottled using carbonation drops (the cough-drop-sized ones) at a rate of 2 drops per 12-ounce bottle, 3 drops per 16-ounce bottle, and 4 drops for a 22-ounce bottle.
01/03/2018: The first bottle was refrigerated last night and opened today. It was extremely carbonated, generating more foam than beer in the glass despite a slow, careful pour. The photo at the start of the post was taken after it had settled a bit. The beer pours a deep orange brown color with some copper to it. The head is very creamy and long-lasting, leaving behind considerable lacing. There is some diacetyl in the aroma, since it is still a relatively "new" beer. This will likely dissipate in time. The flavor is very balanced between malt and hops, with neither dominating. It starts primarily malty and sweet, with a medium body. As you start to swallow, the hops bitterness swells up and becomes clear but not unpleasant. The finish is a lingering malt sweetness and hops bitterness. All things considered, it's not a bad beer, but not my ideal Dubbel. Better than some I've made but not the best I've ever had.