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What Fermentation Temperature Is Used To Brew Belgian Dubbel?

Ah, the Belgian Dubbel. A beer that can be described as a rich, malty, and complex delight. As an experienced brewer, I have always had a special place in my heart for Belgian-style beers, and the Dubbel is no exception. With its origins in the monastic brewing traditions of Belgium, the Dubbel is a beer that can be both deceptively simple and incredibly nuanced.

The ideal fermentation temperature for brewing Belgian Dubbel is typically between 64°F and 72°F (18°C and 22°C).But, as with many aspects of brewing, there is more to the story than just a single number. In this blog post, I will delve into the details of fermentation temperature and its impact on the final product, as well as share some tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

Why Fermentation Temperature Matters

Fermentation temperature is a crucial factor in the brewing process because it affects the health and activity of the yeast. Yeast are living organisms, and like all living things, they have a preferred temperature range at which they function best. When yeast are in their ideal temperature range, they are more efficient at converting sugars into alcohol and CO2, which leads to a cleaner, more consistent fermentation.

When the temperature is too low, the yeast can become sluggish, resulting in a slow or stuck fermentation. This can lead to off-flavors and an under-attenuated beer. Conversely, when the temperature is too high, the yeast can become overly active, producing unwanted esters and fusel alcohols that can create off-flavors and detract from the desired characteristics of the beer.

The Impact of Temperature on Belgian Dubbel Flavors

Belgian Dubbels are known for their rich, complex flavors, which can include notes of dark fruit, caramel, chocolate, and spices. These flavors are largely derived from the malt bill and the particular yeast strain used to ferment the beer. Belgian yeast strains are known for producing a wide range of esters and phenols that contribute to the characteristic fruity and spicy flavors associated with Belgian beers.

The fermentation temperature plays a significant role in the expression of these flavors. At the lower end of the fermentation temperature range, the yeast will produce fewer esters and phenols, resulting in a cleaner, more malt-focused beer. As the temperature increases, the yeast will produce more of these flavor compounds, adding complexity and depth to the beer’s flavor profile.

For a Belgian Dubbel, a balance between malt and yeast-derived flavors is key. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully control the fermentation temperature to achieve the desired flavor profile.

Selecting the Right Yeast Strain

The choice of yeast strain is another critical factor in brewing a Belgian Dubbel. There are many yeast strains available that are well-suited for this style, including Belgian Abbey, Trappist, and Saison strains. Each strain will produce its unique flavor profile, so it’s essential to select a strain that will complement the malt bill and deliver the desired characteristics.

When brewing a Belgian Dubbel, I have had great success with strains such as Wyeast 1214 (Belgian Abbey), White Labs WLP530 (Abbey Ale), and Fermentis Safbrew Abbaye (BE-256). Each strain has its preferred fermentation temperature range, which should be taken into account when determining the ideal fermentation temperature for your Dubbel.

Monitoring and Controlling Fermentation Temperature

Once you’ve selected the appropriate yeast strain and determined the ideal fermentation temperature for your Belgian Dubbel, it’s essential to closely monitor and control the temperature during fermentation. A few methods can be used to maintain the desired temperature, ranging from simple ice baths and insulated blankets to more sophisticated fermentation chambers and temperature control systems.

An essential tool for any brewer is an accurate thermometer. Monitoring the temperature of your fermenting beer is crucial to ensure that it stays within the desired range. In addition, periodically checking the temperature throughout fermentation can help you identify any issues and make corrections as needed.

Pitching the Yeast

When pitching the yeast, it’s essential to ensure that the temperature of the wort and the temperature of the yeast starter are as close as possible. This helps minimize any temperature shock to the yeast, which can result in a slower start to fermentation and potential off-flavors.

Ideally, the yeast starter should be within a few degrees of the wort temperature. If the temperature difference is significant, it’s essential to slowly acclimate the yeast to the wort temperature by gradually adding small amounts of wort to the starter over 30 minutes to an hour before pitching.

The Fermentation Process

Once the yeast is pitched, fermentation should begin within 12 to 24 hours, indicated by visible activity in the airlock and the formation of a thick layer of krausen on the surface of the wort. It’s essential to maintain the desired fermentation temperature during this active phase, as the production of esters and phenols is at its highest.

As fermentation begins to slow down, usually after 3 to 5 days, the temperature can be allowed to rise slightly. This can help to ensure complete attenuation and minimize the risk of a stuck fermentation.

Aging and Conditioning

After primary fermentation is complete, it’s important to allow the beer to age and condition. This can be done at a slightly lower temperature than the fermentation temperature, typically around 60°F (16°C) for a Belgian Dubbel. This allows the yeast to continue to clean up any residual byproducts and helps to smooth out any rough edges in the beer’s flavor profile.

Belgian Dubbels can benefit from extended aging, with many examples improving in flavor and complexity over several months. So, if you have the patience, give your Dubbel some time to mature and develop.

Conclusion – What Fermentation Temperature is Used to Brew Belgian Dubbel

In conclusion, the ideal fermentation temperature for brewing Belgian Dubbel is between 64°F and 72°F (18°C and 22°C). However, this is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to brewing this complex and delicious beer style. Here are ten key takeaways to keep in mind when brewing a Belgian Dubbel:

1. Fermentation temperature affects yeast health and activity, impacting the final beer’s flavor and quality.
2. Temperature plays a significant role in the expression of esters and phenols, which contribute to the characteristic flavors of Belgian beers.
3. A balance between malt and yeast-derived flavors is key for a Belgian Dubbel.
4. Selecting the appropriate yeast strain is crucial, as each strain produces its unique flavor profile.
5. Monitor and control the fermentation temperature closely to achieve the desired flavor balance.
6. Use an accurate thermometer and check the temperature periodically throughout fermentation.
7. Ensure the wort and yeast starter temperatures are as close as possible when pitching to minimize temperature shock.
8. Maintain the desired fermentation temperature during the active phase and allow it to rise slightly as fermentation slows down.
9. Age and condition the beer at a slightly lower temperature than the fermentation temperature for optimal flavor development.
10. Belgian Dubbels can benefit from extended aging, so be patient and allow your beer to mature and develop.

By carefully considering these factors and maintaining control over the fermentation temperature, you’ll be well on your way to brewing a fantastic Belgian Dubbel that showcases the depth and complexity of this iconic beer style. Cheers!


What is the best fermentation temperature for ales?

The best fermentation temperature for ales is typically between 68-72°F (20-22°C).

Are ales fermented at a warmer temperature?

Yes, ales are typically fermented at a warmer temperature than lagers. The ideal temperature range for ale fermentation is generally between 60-75°F (15-24°C), while lagers are fermented at cooler temperatures around 45-55°F (7-13°C).

What is the ideal temperature for fermentation?

The ideal temperature for fermentation depends on the type of fermentation being done, but generally ranges between 68-72°F (20-22°C) for beer and 60-65°F (15-18°C) for wine.

How long does it take to ferment a Belgian Dubbel?

It typically takes 1-2 weeks to ferment a Belgian Dubbel, but the exact time can vary depending on factors such as yeast strain, fermentation temperature, and desired flavor profile.

What temperature do you ferment Belgian Dark Strong ale?

Belgian Dark Strong ale is typically fermented at a temperature range of 68-72°F (20-22°C).

What temperature is Belgian fermentation?

Belgian fermentation typically occurs at a temperature range of 18-24°C (64-75°F).

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