Gyle #24 – Belgian Dubbel

One of the things we do at WHBC is a rota where we all brew a beer under a specific set of rules to then taste at club meets each month. There are actually two going on this year. The first is a budget brew – how good a beer can you brew for the lowest cost per litre; the second is any beer to any style but must contain a special ingredient. Those ingredients were all chosen by the members and placed in to a hat, then each member picked out from the hat what their ingredient would be. Each beer would then be totally different, and could result in some fairly interesting styles!

Somehow the luck gods were smiling on me, and I picked up Belgian candi sugar. Being a fan of Belgian beers I’d already picked up some dark candi sugar for a quad I was planning. I decided instead to go with a dubbel, something similar to Chimay or Kwak.

There are a few different ideas when it comes to adding the sugar, but most people tend to agree it needs some boiling to make sure it’s sterilised. Some do a full 60 minute boil with all the sugar, but as this reduces hop utilisation (not really a problem for a <20IBU beer, but still) I decided to add it with 15 minutes left. Not wanting it to fall straight to the bottom and burn onto the element, it went into the hop spider to dissolve.


SG: 1.065
IBU: 18
SRM: 15
FG: 1.013
ABV: 6.9%
Batch size: 20L

5kg Pale Ale Malt
500g Munich Malt
320g Caramalt
150g Special B Malt
150g Dark Candi Sugar

35g Mittlefruh 4%AA @ 60 mins
35g Mittlefruh 4%AA @ 10 mins

Mash @ 69C for 50 mins

Fermentis Abbey Ale dry yeast

Yet another beer I ended up oversparging, I was 2.5 litres over the post boil volume and 15 gravity points too low. I went with it anyway, and cooled and transferred into the Brewtech Chronical to ferment. Sadly I picked a bug up in this one, and while the beer was still drinkable, it did have a slight sour funk to it. It also dropped gravity quite a bit further than expected for a 69C mash, ending up at 1.008 for an ABV of 5.9%. A little disheartened by it, I still had some candi sugar left so began planning the next brew.

Due to getting all the numbers wrong on the last two brew days, I decided to go with something low ABV and simple in design. What better than a traditional mild (with added candi sugar)?

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