Belgian Dubbel Review

Here’s a beer that was brewed back in March. As I am nearing the end of the first keg, it’s clear that it is time for a review. Kegs of 7% beer sure go slow, but in this case I’m not complaining (though not too long ago I dumped several gallons of IIPA out of boredom). The beer was inspired by the delicious Dubbel from Westmalle. It turned out similar in some aspects, but the yeast (Wyeast 3787) produced a beer that was much cleaner than I had intended. The thing I love most about Westmalle Dubbel is the ester profile, so this was somewhat disappointing. On the other hand, the yeast did contribute a spiciness to the beer that is interesting and enjoyable. I have since set up a fermentation chamber with temperature control so I don’t expect my yeast will surprise me as much in the future.

The caramunich malt and dark Belgian candi sugar in this recipe contributed some nice dark fruit flavours to the beer. Combined with characteristics from 3787 there is a wine-like element to it. I’ve read that some Belgian strains are similar to yeast used in wine production, and you can definitely see similarities here.

The 3787 was slow to finish. I thought it had stopped 1014 after a couple weeks (which was high), but when I went to keg it, it had actually dropped another 3 points. The yeast flocculated like a champ, and I plan to use it again in the future in a more controlled setting. The Belgian candi sugar was added during the boil, but it would probably be better to add it a couple days into fermentation (may have caused some yeast laziness).

I only had German malts on hand when crafting this one. There are some differences compared to the Belgian malts that would be used in an authentic Belgian Dubbel, but not significant concern to me (for now).

Other than that, aesthetically the beer is dark with a very thin, persistent beige head with minimal lacing. I very much enjoy drinking it! This one will definitely receive a re-brew sometime next year with changes made only to the fermentation temperature and perhaps timing of the Belgian candi sugar addition. Recipe included below.




Recipe Details

Batch SizeBoil TimeIBUSRMEst. OGEst. FGABV
43.5 L90 min22.5 IBUs24.7 SRM1.0641.0107.1 %


Pilsner (2 Row) Ger9.072 kg83.33
Caramunich Malt907.2 g8.33
Candi Sugar, Dark907.2 g8.33


NameAmountTimeUseFormAlpha %
Saaz56.7 g60 minBoilPellet4
Tettnang56.7 g15 minBoilPellet4.5
Styrian Goldings28.3 g10 minBoilPellet5.4


Whirlfloc Tablet2.00 Items15 minBoilFining


Trappist High Gravity (3787)Wyeast Labs76%17.78°C - 25.56°C


Mash In65.56°C75 min


Primary14 days19.44°C
Aging30 days18.33°C


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