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Dude, you have no idea.

I was reading this book by Randy Mosher, called “Radical Brewing”. My mom bought it for me for Christmas. Or I bought it for me for Christmas, I don’t remember. Either way, recommended reading.  Mosher does a great job of describing styles and techniques using small words that I can understand.  He’s also funny as hell. Anyway, there is a one page aside that describes, what he calls, a dobble double.

It’s a brewing technique where that marks a special event, like the birth of a child. In some parts, this was outlawed because it’s somewhat wasteful. It comprises of 2 mashes. The runnings from the firstmash is heated and used to sparge the second mash, creating a very concentrated wort. Usually, the dobble double combined with a parti-gyle. The table beer would be drunk to celebrate the occasion and the strong beer would be drunk to celebrate an anniversary of the occasion, such as the child’s marriage. This is a very old technique, so the child’s marriage would be 5-10 years after the birth. I was intrigued. Of all the techniques and recipes I wanted to play with, I had to do this one first.


On the left is my insulated mash tun made from a converted keg. Right is C-4’s Rubbermade mash tun. I know, Epic. 


The first thing I needed was a momentous occasion. I went over to C-4’s and had a few beers. I had my occasion. Seriously, we never do that… I told C-4 the idea. As usual, he was quite skeptical. I think it’s because I’m white. He does hate whitey. After some convincing, I had him on board.

The second thing I needed was a style. Historically, the double double originated in England, so typically a Barleywine is the strong beer and a Pale Ale or Mild is the table beer. We decided to do a Quadruple for the strong and a Double for the table beer. We don’t like to be confined to the style just because history dictates. We try to be free thinkers. Probably why we had our asses handed to us at Bluebonnet. Fucking Bluebonnet…

The third thing I needed was a recipe. I left that up to C-4. C-4 is an artist when it comes to coming up with beer recipes. And also, I’m really lazy. We wanted to use 7lbs of medium dark candi sugar.  Both of us are too cheap to buy it, so we decided to make it. We were going to make it a few days before the brew day, but as I noted earlier, I’m lazy. It’s really easy to make, I recommend it. And when you’re done, you can eat some while C-4 isn’t looking. It tastes like caramel and toffee at the same time.  And it makes my teeth hurt.  The last thing I had to do was get C-4 to stop taking credit for my idea that I stole from a book. This was the most difficult part. I don’t have internet at my job, so I had to combat C-4’s google group posts on my smart phone. I got thumb cramps.  We had all our prep work done. Now we needed an epic brew day. And epic it was. I actually died, but don’t worry, I got better. We had brunch, started expired yeast, made candi sugar, brewed like ninja’s, addressed save-the-dates, and got slightly drunk.

C-4’s garage brewhaus, like mine, is not designed to do two brews at a time. We had some keggles to shift around. Full keggles weigh about 1 beer ton.  It’s a lot. C-4 has a very sophisticated system of raising up this burner. It consists of 4 paint cans (I’m not sure if they’re empty) and 2x4s. When we went to move the second keggle over to the C-4’s burner so we could use the pump and chiller, I kicked out one of the paint can and knocked the burner on my leg. It had just been turned off. I left some skin on the burner. We set the keggle down and reset the paint can, 2x4, burner system. The second time we lifted the keggle up, I slipped and let the bottom of the keggle touch my other leg. I peed a little.  That burn wasn’t as bad. Wicked ass scar though.


Note the intricate system of paint cans and 2x4s. 


At the end of the day, I had 2 burnt legs and 20 gallons of sweet, sweet wort. The double should be ready quite soon, but the quad will stay in the secondary for a few more months. Trust me, it’s going to be awesome.

Tags: Double, Parti-Gyle, Quad

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