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June 16, 2008


time to make up more belgians. the quad and tripel we made last year turned really well, and i knew i wanted to make the monk's elixer again - partially because i didn't get to drink nearly enough of it and also because jenn loved it and requested more. however, before i could make the quad, i'd need to do a smaller beer to generate a yeast cake up to the task of fermenting that giant beast. the simplest solution, and one i'd been contemplating anyway, was to create it's little brother - a dubbel. i took the original monk's elixer recipe and scaled it down to get the little monk.

rather than brewing the same (big) tripel we did last time, jan suggested that we do something like a belgian IPA along the lines of the Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel from Achouffe. jan and i did a little research and came up with this houblon-ish recipe. similar to some clones we found, but with our own twist to keep it interesting.

on to the photos!

me, jan, and eric at the start of the brewday.


me and jan.


eric working on grinding the grain.

keggles cleaned and ready for use.

eric cleaning out a pot.

jan cleaning and reassembling the manifold for our cooler tun.

the grain mill only has one (foldable) leg, with the bucket holding up the other end. works great while grinding, but when you need to remove the bucket either someone has to stand there and hold it (annoying) or you need a replacement leg. in this case we use our bucket tun. on eof these days i'm going to replace this with a second foldable leg so that we can still store it easily and yet have it stand on its own without a bucket.

me topping up the mill with grain. when buying a barley crusher people often ask whether they should get the model with the 7# or 15# hopper. the reality is, we're almost always using more than 15# of grain in a batch, so we'd always have to refill the mill periodically. filling it up more often with the 7# model is really no big deal, so i say save the extra $24 and just go with the 7# model. if you find yourself wanting a larger hopper you can always build one.

grains for the dubbel, ground and ready for the mash.

on brewdays we're always trying to find somewhere to prop up the mash paddle so it's not sitting on the ground. usually that is a keggle or balanced on top of a propane tank, but that can be messy. so i just hammered a nail into the outside frame of the garage so it can hang. easy enough to rinse this off later if necessary. sometimes it's the simple things that make brewdays easy.

jan stirring the mash for the dubbel. the mash temp was a little shy, so we had to bump it up a bit. good luck doing that if you don't mash in a kettle!

jan cleaning and prepping the cooler tun.

me starting the vorlauf on the dubbel and eric looking on.

jan finishing up with the cooler tun.

with the vorlauf done, we had just started collection.

it was a warm day, so jenn made sure we all drank lots of water.

me hooking up the hose to the bulkhead valve.

eric doing the danse la poutine dance while the runoff on the houblon started.

boom goes the dynamite.

morning snacks and a beer, some homebrew that jan brought over from his friend rudy in buffalo.

another invention for this brew day is on the table between the bottle and bte blue cups. the thermometer is always on the table, rolling around or getting stuck. so i grabbed a scrap of wood and put a notch in it so that we can rest the thermometer on it. now it doesn't roll around or get stuck to the table.

fastforward to the end of the brewday. the dubbel in the carboy and eric and i talking about how much we'd got and whether to dillute it a little. we got higher than expected boil-off, so there was lower volume at a higher gravity than expected. we added a half gallon of water to bring it up to 5gal at 1.067.

with the dubbel in the fermenter and the houblon boiling, it was finally time to sit down for a few minutes.

houblon boiling away.

houblon going into the fermenters.

me firing up the compressor. at the end of the brewday i use the compressor to blow out any water that's left in our immersion chiller. works pretty well.

with the brewday done it was time to relax on the patio with a beer and some euchre!

a short while later chirs and kyoko arrived for dinner and an evening of sampling. here we see kyoko, aka "pregasaurus", hiding behind her purse. that is a massive purse.

she came out of hiding, but with some sunglasses.

chirs, eric, kyoko, jan, and me. jenn taking some expert photos, which unfortunately means she's not seen.

a couple of the beverages we sampled on the patio. flying dog wild dog colorado saison and victory v-saison.

me working the grill.

kyoko and jan.

eric doing the "very hairy jake gyllenhaal"

eric and kyoko.

jan and jenn.

jan rockin' that shoelace headband.

eric and jenn after we moved things inside.

kyoko and jenn.

kyoko, jenn, eric, chris, and me.

biergotter represent, biotch!

the almighty skweek.

jenn and kyoko.

getting setup for more beer + euchre.

eric torturing the cats.

time for some beer!

here we were all enjoying the baird brewing co midnight oil export stout that chris and kyoko brought back from a recent trip to japan. it was some good stuff!

skweek being an attention hog.

jenn and kyoko.

i've been waiting for a while to do this one. partially because i knew it'd be exciting, and partially because i knew i'd need help to get through 4 bombers at over 10%. a four year vertical (2005-2008) of stone imperial russian stout.

jan was clearly excited about it.

everyone finishing off the baird's and waiting to crack the first stone.

metal baby.

the 2005 was gone and we were on to the 2006...

the 2005 was pure heaven, definitely the best of the bunch.

beer makes you crazy!

stay tuned for the big monk's elixer brewday in a couple of weeks.

Posted by grub at June 16, 2008 2:07 PM

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