I recently bought a small book about Belgian ales from NB. So far it seems that Belgium, rather than Germany, is beer heaven. Oud Bruin, Dubbel, Tripel, Saison, and Trappist beers.

Next weekend I will start Dubbel Bruin, 6 gallons:

4 lb Vienna malt (Briess)
4 lb Munich malt (Briess)
4 lb pale 2-row (Rahr)
1 lb honey malt (Gambrinus)
1/2 lb CaraPils (Briess)
1/2 lb Special B (imported from Belgium)

2 oz Apollo hops (18%AA, 12 min)

SafAle S04 dried yeast

No candi sugar, but I do plan to use Special B

1 tsp magnesium sulfate
1 tsp calcium chloride
2 tsp potassium bicarbonate

Why two ounces of Apollo at 12 minutes and nothing else? Have no Belgian brewing knowledge here so maybe that’s something I’m missing.

Not the same thing. Table sugar or corn sugar are good substitutes, though.

S04 yeast will not make a suitable dubbel in my opinion.

SO 4 will give you an English, not a Belgian character. You need to choose a liquid Belgian strain if you really want to make a dubbel. I am not familiar with Apollo hops, but you should use something that resembles continental hops like Hallertau, Saaz, Styrian Goldings, or something similar. Dubbel is a more malt accentuated beer so you probably just want to add 20 IBU or so of bitterness. Oud Bruin is a sour beer so it will also need low hops if that is the style you are trying to brew. Good luck with your brew.

Bruin just means brown so “Dubbel Bruin” doesn’t necessarily imply a sour beer. Oude Bruin = Old Brown.

I would try Wyeast 3522 Belgian Ardennes. It’s a fantastic Belgian yeast and my go to for most Belgians I brew. For this style, I’d ferment on the cooler side. Somewhere in the low 60’s.

And I’d agree with the above statements about your hop additions. Apollo are a big citrusy american hop. You want a more earthy or spicy noble hop. Maybe 15-20 IBU at 60min and a small dose later on somewhere around 15-20min. Or even just a 60min addition.

Because of the yeast choice, and the unconventional late addition of 18% AA hops, you won’t have a “Belgian!” but I am intrigued. Plus the equal parts Vienna, Munich, 2-row, then 1/2 lb special b (skip the carpils w/ that much munich and special b) – I am trying to taste this in my mindmouth but I can’t get it. the grain bill is not unlike a marzen I made, minus the special b. But the late addition apollo throws off me off the trail. If I had more time I would brew up stuff like this. It sounds good. Take dobe’s advice and put it on belgian ardennes. cut the munich to 3lbs or cut the special b by half. You don’t want it to be too cloying. make sure your late add Apollos will hold up to that malt bill.


I fermented at 66. I suppose I could have let it go 70 - 75, this would produce more esters, and make it more like a Belgian beer.

the only belgian ingredient you have - is special B. Special B can be used in almost any ale without contributing a belgian flavor. For a true belgian you really need to be using a belgian yeast. Belgian yeast is where belgian ales derive a majority of their character. You will get some esters from S-04, but they wont be the same (there are several types of esters). I suspect you will end up with something closer to an undefined ale. It will be interesting, but probably wont taste much like a belgian