Monthly Archives: May 2014

Garden update and Belgian Dubbel

Marching off to battle!

Marching off to battle!

I’m entering 4 beers into this years Vanbrewer’s Home brewing competition. The pre-industrial pale ale, the Vienna lager, a Belgian Dubbel and a Belgian dark strong ale all of which have some homegrown malt in them with the pale ale being 100% homegrown.

Belgian Dubbel

Belgian Dubbel

This one turned out really well with hints of chocolate, medjool dates and caramel. It’s dry but with a full mouth feel enhanced by a fine spritzy carbonation. The colour is a rich coppery brown and the aroma is of sweet hay. Here’s the recipe:

  • 8 lbs pale malt
  • 1 lb munich (home grown)
  • 8 oz. caramel 60L
  • 4 oz chocolate malt (homegrown)
  • 15 oz Special B (homegrown)
  • 8 oz raw soft wheat
  • 8 oz Honey malt (home grown)
  • 4 oz acid malt
  • 1 lb sugar
  • Tettnanger 3% 1 oz 60 min
  • Mt Hood 5% .5 oz 20 min
  • Mt Hood 5% 1 oz 5 min
  • White Labs WLP 545 Belgian Strong

Mashed at 153 C for 1 hour

8 gal R.O. water with  4g gypsum, 6g calcium chloride, 1g epsom and 4g Sodium Bicarbonate

Yeast pitched at 18 C. Primary fermented at 21 C then lowered to 18 C

O.G. 16.75 or 1.069 F.G. 7.5 or 1.0054   ABV 8.3 %

I counted 4 stalks coming up.

I counted 4 stalks coming up.

A few weeds to get rid of.

A few weeds to get rid of.



The barley is doing ok. I do have some concerns about the rate of growth in the centre of the beds. Perhaps the over crowding stunted the growth or there wasn’t enough nitrogen in the soil. I did notice some yellowing in the leaves so it’s probably nitrogen. The horse manure we get at the gardens contains a lot of sawdust which can lock up the nitrogen while it’s decomposing. Next fall I will definitely compost it in a pile instead of spreading it over the beds. A hot pile of compost can decompose faster than simply laying it on the beds due to the action of the bacteria. I spent a few hours taking out the weeds that had come up only to find out later that it was chickweed and that you can eat it, bummer. If you can eat your weeds it makes the work seem so much more worthwhile.


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Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Garden Updates, The beers


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