The other day (December 16) I brewed a Belgian Dubbel all-grain kit from Northern Brewer. It was a real party, as Heidi, John, Sylvia, and Steve came over to hang out, watch, help brew, and help drink the Irish Red (#25) that was on tap. (The Winter Warmer (#26), incidentally, ran out yesterday.)
- 10 lbs Dingemans Pale Ale
- 0.5 lbs Dingemans Caramunich
- 0.25 lbs Dingemans Special B
- 1 lb Dark Belgian Candi Sugar
- 1 oz Hersbrucker (60 min)
- 1 oz Saaz (1 min)
- 60 mins at 153 degrees.
- Volume of Wort: 5.5 gal
- Treatment: Oxygenated for one minute
- Yeast: Wyeast #1214 Begian Ale Yeast
- O.G.: 1.050
The actual mash schedule given in the recipe is more complex, but I wasn't sure how to go about that, so I used the simpler one above. I used 13 quarts of water to the 11 lbs of grain for the strike water. The temperature in the pot was 180F, which yielded a strike temperature of 154F. I was very happy to have gotten the temperature so close to where I wanted it.
I made 5.5 gal of sparge water, also heated it to 180F, and collected 6 gal of wort for the boil. There was maybe half a gallon of water left in the pot when I poured the wort into it; I think that helps explain the low specific gravity.
I did get a yeast scare. The kit was sent to me during a cold snap, and while we all thought the Wyeast package swelled a little bit, 24 hours later there was no fermentation visible. That was the case as of 2:00am this morning! I was all ready to make a trip to the local homebrew shop for an emergency replacement today, but this morning at 8:00 there was a beautiful creamy foam on the top. The wee yeasties had decided to make a useful contribution to the universe after all! So, we have a lag time of 36 hours...!
Possible reasons: it may be that the yeast was damaged in transit by the cold. (There is a "DO NOT FREEZE" warning on it.) It could be that the yeast had not warmed sufficiently and merely got shocked when I added it to the fermenter. I will try to remember to take it out earlier next time.
I'm expecting this will be a lower-alcohol brew. That's fine by me, as long as the flavor is nice. The Irish Red was also lower alcohol, and it was nice to have that around because we could all have more of it than would have been wise had it been a higher alcohol version.