I recently read in one of your catalogs a fermentation schedule for the Belgian Dubbel. It suggests a warm primary followed by a cool secondary. What kind of temperature should I shoot for on each ? Also, I just started kegging. Is it a bad idea to keg this beer ? Thanks in advance.
I typically start fermentation of my dubbels in the low to mid 60s and then allow the temperature to rise as it wants, and then bring it up into the 70s after about 6 days or so to help it finish up. Racking to a secondary fermenter is completely unnecessary, for the dubbel and for nearly all beers. Just leave it in the primary for 2 weeks, and it’s ready to keg. You can keg this beer and any beer, as long as you rack it off any “chunky stuff” such as yeast, hops, fruit, etc.
I find my belgians (dubbles and triples) are smoother, less acidic (if that makes sense), and have more of their “fruity” flavors come out, after a cool-end primary and a cool/near-cold secondary. I primary them at the low end of the fermentations range for the first week, then let them raise naturally to the low-mid 70s (house temp) for weeks 2 and 3. then i xfer to secondary and keep them in the low 60s for 4-8 weeks.
I don’t know why, but if my belgians go slow, they taste better to me. I did a 6week dubbel once and while good, it was not near as good as those that took 10-12weeks+ to reach my glass.
FWIW Trappist Dubbels typically start their fermentation in the mid 60s and free rise to the mid 70s ish or higher. The average cool the beer down after 6-7 days to the 40s or even 30s and let hang there for 2-4 weeks. They then centrifuge to clarify, pitch fresh yeast and fermentable sugars, bottle and hold in a warm room for about 2 weeks. Then to the cellar for another 2-4 weeks cool (<50) conditioning…a few keg their beer, but not many…
This in mind I always put a cool conditioning period on my Trappist ales…Weather on the yeast or racked off is up to you, I like to take mine off as the Belgian yeasts tend to be less flocculant and I get a healthy bed of dormant yeast in secondary after cooling so the yeast are still there working there magic…I do closed, purged transfers so oxygen pick-up doesn’t concern me.
Hope this gives you some additional information which aids your decision making.