Monthly Archives: April 2011

Belgian Dubbel: Racking

[EDIT: This post will soon be moved to the Bushido Brewery blog.]

The dubbel has been in the primary fermenter for 12 days.

With my new thermometer I’ve been keeping an eye on the fermentation temperature. Initially I was storing the fermenter in the brew closet, but the temperature was around 75F or higher, which is a little too high. I moved the fermenter to my room and since then the temperature has measured between 65F and 70F; just right.

The kreuzen blow off is pretty easy to clean from the lid, but the airlock gives me a bit more trouble. Multiple, lengthy soaks in warm, soapy water eventually do the trick. In the future, if an airlock gets dirty, perhaps I’ll try to swap it out and clean it earlier.

Evidence of active fermentation is apparent.

Racking takes 1 and 1/2 hours, including cleanup. The dubbel will spend at least 2 weeks in the secondary fermenter before bottling.

Belgian Dubbel: Blow Off!

[EDIT: This post will soon be moved to the Bushido Brewery blog.]

Last night we brewed the dubbel. It’s now 8:15 AM the following morning, and I walk into the brew closet to check on the fermenter.

Looks like we’ve made a mess! So, this is fermentation blow off…

The dubbel is high in fermentable sugars and Belgian yeast is very aggressive. When combined, the primary fermentation period produces a lot of kreuzen. There isn’t enough space in the top of the fermenter to hold it all, so it’s being blown out of the airlock.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the equipment necessary to build a blow off tube for this batch. It didn’t even occur to me that a blow off tube might be needed.

I’ll wipe up as much of the mess as possible and leave this batch as-is. In the future I will try to be aware of which batches are at risk of blow off and be prepared with a blow off tube.

Another lesson under the ol’ brewing belt.