Wednesday 27 September 2017

A visit to De Dolle brewery

The first brewery on the IBD study tour was De Dolle. I can remember drinking their beer on my first beery trip to Belgium, which must be 20 years ago so it was good to eventually get to the brewery. It's a cracker too.

It was bought by the current owners in 1980, but the brewing kit dates back to 1921. It has a mash tun with rakes. Which is just as well, as they don't sparge, doing two mashes instead (first at 63°C for 60 minutes, then at 73°C for 30 minutes).

They have a coolship too, a bit of kit which cropped up surprisingly often on this trip.

There was a Baudelot cooler as well. Another feature that we saw quite a lot on the trip.

Doesn't Baudelot cooler sound much better than "radiator type cooler"

For a brewery of this size they have a well equipped lab, perhaps because they carry out  mixed fermenations: Lactobacillus is added to some of their beers on the second day of fermentation. This might be why they had a very peculiar looking fermentation (at 25°C+) going on in one of their open fermenters. There was no yeast head on the beer, but it could be seen fizzing away so there was certainly a vigorous fermentation going on. Weird it was.

The beer was good though, I really need to look more into brewing with Lactobacillus myself.

Thanks to Richard Rees for the pictures

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