Belgian style Dubbel with Figs & Honey

The plan is to brew a big, chewy Belgian style Dubbel with Figs and Honey. The style is known for deep caramel and dark fruit flavors and an abv above 8%. Traditionally brewed by Trappist Monks the style is now emulated around the world and often referred to as a Belgian style Strong Dark ale. Some would argue that Belgian style Dubbel and Belgian style Strong Dark ales are different, but they're darn close in flavor profiles with only slight differences in my opinion.

In my riff on the style today I'll be adding honey which will add gravity to the beer while the Figs will enhance the raisin and toffee malt flavors derived from the specialty malts used in the grist bill. I brewed a Belgian style Dubbel in April of 2009 (post has more history about the style). The beer was okay with nice ale fruit flavors and slightly phenolic, but finished too dry and was too thin to be a good Dubbel. So I've added over a pound

of Weyermann Carahell malt as well as some CaraPils to the grist bill to provide unfermentable sugars to the wort thus creating more body in the finished beer. I'll also be mashing in warmer, 155*f, which also provides more body to the finished beer compared to mashing in at a lower temperature, 148*f for example. Even just a few degrees difference (149f-156*f, dry to sweet) in mash rest will affect your final gravity by at least half a degree Plato. So when planning a recipe remember that your mash rest temperature is another tool that can be used in creating the flavors your after in the final beer.

Recipe: American Pale Malt, Munich Malt, CaraMunich, CaraHell, CaraPils, Dark Crystal Malt, and Chocolate Malt. Hopped with Super Galena to balance. Fermented with White Labs WLP550 Belgain Ale yeast from A'Chouffe brewery in Belgium.

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