Ramble On

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Cranberry Dubbel @bklynbrewshop

When I first bought the recipe kit, the Bourbon Dubbel from Brooklyn Brew Shop sounded great, and I was really looking forward to enjoying the beer - perhaps on a snow day with a fire crackling away in the living room.

But the winter got away from us and I decided that I'd like to adjust what I thought would be a strongly flavored beer - I decided to substitute cranberries for the oak and bourbon, which inspired from the variation I did last fall with raspberries in the "Framboisine" ale I made at Thanksgiving.  I think the fruit will enhance what is already a flavorful brew in the dubbel, and the Framboisine was well-liked enough that the experimentation should come out okay.

By way of background, the dubbel style refers to a Belgian trappist approach to brewing.  It has evolved somewhat since the monks were responsible for its invention, so that nowadays it is considered to be a fairly strong (between 6 and 8% ABV) brown ale.  It should be a heavy brew with a pronounced fruity and cereal character - and I can vouch for those characteristics in this batch, just from the smell of it as I worked through my bottling chores.

It is conditioning now - I ended up with 100 ounces in all, seven 12oz. and one 16oz. bottles.  That's probably my typical yield these days on the one gallon kits, although I have been able to take away as much as 110 ounces in the past (I give up a little to avoid bottling the sediment from fermentation).  The estimate for ABV on the bourbon-styled brew is 7.0% and this cranberry variation is probably close to that.

I've got another five gallon batch of the honey porter going, and I am looking forward to brewing up five gallon batches of a Belgian ale and a honey kolsch as we get further along into the spring.  I'll need to get back out to my friends Jay and Ryanne out in Luray for some more local honey when it comes time to do that kolsch!

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