Tim Brown, head brewer and co-owner of Tannery Run Brew Works in Ambler, Pennsylvania, shares this homebrew-scale recipe that pushes the splatch-brewing envelope—Sozin’s Comet Festbier and Sokka’s Master Dubbel, two very different beers that can be brewed from the same batch. Dark candi syrup, black tea, whirlpool, and yeasts all send the beers down disparate paths once the boil is complete.
Batch size: 10 gallons (38 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 75%
6.8 lb (3.1 kg) Munich 10L
6.8 lb (3.1 kg) pilsner
6.8 lb (3.1 kg) Vienna
1.1 lb (499 g) dextrin
1.8 oz (51 g) Briess Midnight Wheat
HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
0.8 oz (23 g) Loral [10.8% AA] at 60 minutes
0.4 oz (11 g) Loral [10.8% AA] at 30 minutes
1 lb (454 g) D-180 Belgian Candi Syrup at whirlpool (for the dubbel)
2 oz (57 g) black/oolong tea at dry hop (for the dubbel)
Fermentis SafLager W-34/70 and Fermentis SafAle T-58
Mill the grains and mash at 151°F (66°C) for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear, then run off into the kettle. Sparge and top up as necessary to obtain about 12 gallons (45 liters) of wort—or more, depending on your evaporation rate. Boil for 90 minutes, following the hops and additions schedule.
Festbier: Chill half of the wort to about 60°F (16°C). Aerate well and pitch the lager yeast (preferably a healthy starter). Ferment at 53°F (12°C). Once fermentation is about two-thirds complete (at about 1.030), allow the temperature to rise to 60°F (16°C) over 3–4 days. Hold for a diacetyl rest and until fermentation is complete. Transfer to secondary and gradually crash to 35°F (2°C) over the course of a week, then lager for 3 more weeks. Add gelatin for maximum clarity and carbonate to 2.5 volumes of CO2.
Black-Tea Dubbel: After the boil, add the dark candi syrup to the remaining wort, whirlpool, then rest for 20 minutes. Chill to 75°F (24°C), aerate, and pitch the ale yeast. Ferment at 68°F (20°C) until fermentation is two-thirds complete (at about 1.030), then allow the temperature to rise to 72°F (22°C) until fermentation is complete. Transfer to secondary and add the black tea in a sanitized nylon bag. Closely monitor extraction over 24–48 hours. When the tea flavor is where you like it, package and carbonate to 2.7 volumes. Don’t exceed 48 hours with the tea, or you may extract bitter tannins; if you want more tea flavor, remove the tea and add a fresh round.
BREWER’S NOTES Any tea can work in the dubbel, but black or fermented teas work well with darker Belgian styles. The better the tea quality, the better the beer. Jasmine-flavored tea works well with the yeast’s spicy phenols, but Formosa Oolong adds softer, more nuanced character. Feel free to experiment. Bagged tea is not recommended, as extraction can happen too quickly.