Duvel Partial attempt, feed back please

Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum

Help Support Australia & New Zealand Homebrewing Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Reaction score
Firstly I appreciate Duvel is a Devil to clone but I'm damned if I'm not going to try.
This will be my 14th brew. I've trawled the web and finally settled with this recipe as my base.

Batch size 20l

1.8kg Pale Malt
0.25 kg Cara Vienna Malt

2.0kg LDME
.5kg Candi Sugar

40g Saaz

Wyeast 3787 (Belgian Strong Ale)

1. Create 2l starter with .2kg LDME 2 days prior?
2. Steep/mash cracked grain in 10l Esky @ 66C for 90min in 5L stirring every 15mins and topping up with boiled water to maintain temp.
3. Rinse into Brew Kettle with 7l 70c water.
4. Bring to Boil, add 1.8kg LDME & Saaz for 90min
5. Remove from heat cover with glad wrap and Lid, slow chill overnight to 20-22c.
6. Empty into fermenter top up with water to 20l
7. Pitch 2l yeast starter
8. Ferment at 20c for 2 weeks.
9. Rack to secondary and cold condition @10c for 2 weeks.
10. Condition for further week @20c for 1 week
11. Prime & Bottle with table sugar and age @8c for 4 weeks and then store.

Few questions.
  1. Is the starter the right volume?
  2. Is there any benefit swapping any all the LDME with LLME or grain? If so at what ratio, keeping in mind I only have 10L esky for grain.
with your esky, i don't see the need to be toppng up every 15 mins, at the moment i mash in a pot, a lot less insulation than an esky and only drop 2 degrees at the most over an hour with the lid on and 4 or 5 towels wrapped around and underneath it. i would try insulating it better either with towels or an old doona, at least then you can walk away and do other things while your mash is on. just a suggestion

hope you don't mind but i'm going to steal your recipie and put it in promash to try out down the track, let me know how it turns out
duval clone
A ProMash Recipe Report
Recipe Specifics
Batch Size (L): 20.00 Wort Size (L): 20.00
Total Grain (kg): 4.55
Anticipated OG: 1.073 Plato: 17.75
Anticipated SRM: 7.9
Anticipated IBU: 22.7
Brewhouse Efficiency: 80 %
Wort Boil Time: 90 Minutes

% Amount Name Origin Potential SRM
39.6 1.80 kg. Pale Malt(2-row) Belgium 1.037 3
5.5 0.25 kg. CaraVienne Malt Belgium 1.034 22
44.0 2.00 kg. Briess DME- Gold America 1.046 8
11.0 0.50 kg. Candi Sugar (clear) Generic 1.046 1
Potential represented as SG per pound per gallon.

Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time
40.00 g. Czech Saaz Pellet 3.50 22.7 90 min.

WYeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity
If you want a Duval clone, you'll need to start with WY1388 as that's the Duval yeast. From memory the grain bill is something like 80% pilsner and 20% sugar (according to BLAM). You need that much sugar to get it dry enough. I think your recipe looks good, but will probably be more like a triple rather than a strong golden ale.
i was going to suggest pilsner as well till i noticed the BYO recipie which i'm assuming Damn is using as it's pretty similar
To the best of my knowledge, Duvel is all pilsner malt (I believe they use a variety) and dextrose (just under 20%) with saaz and styrians to 30 IBU. 1388 is a closer match for the yeast than 3787.

Bittering addition at 65 minutes, flavour addition at 0. 2/3 by weight/mass are bittering, the rest flavour/aroma.

Step mashed, fermented at 18 (to start) 22 to finish, lagered 3 weeks at 0, conditioned 6 weeks.

Info from Brew like a monk and when i make a Belgian Golden Strong, I do similarly (although my recent attempt has been conditioned hot due to circumstance and has a lot of isoamyl acetate at the moment).

If you can find it, get some Briess pilsner extract and use that with saaz, styrians and your base malt (hopefully a quality euro pils - I prefer dingemans) If you mash low-ish, you should hopefully get a balance between attenuated dryness and fuller bodied from the extract. i achieve this in an AG brew by a short mash at 62 followed by a longer mash at 68.

Add some sugar to the boil but the rest in stages after primary has wound down (best way to avoid hot alcohol in big beers in my experience)

Why are you cold conditioning at 10 (lower would be better) then warming for a week?

Lager, then bottle, then store warmer to carbonate
I did this as an AG recently & it's starting to be VERY drinkable-

I used a 2L starter

I started my primary temp around 23 and ramped up to 30 over a few days, adding more dextrose at the point the krausen started to drop.

once I hit my FG I lagered it at 0 degC for a couple of weeks then let it come back up to 20 odd degC and bottled it at around 3 volumes.

Guinea Dram Strong Ale

Brew Type: All Grain

Date: 27/01/2013

Style: Belgian Golden Strong Ale

Brewer: Jim

Batch Size: 25.00 L

Assistant Brewer:

Boil Volume: 30.00 L

Boil Time: 150 min

Brewhouse Efficiency: 79.50 %

Equipment: Birko 30L Brew Pot

Actual Efficiency: 80.83
Taste Rating (50 possible points):





% or IBU

6.00 kg

Pilsner, Malt Craft Export (Joe White) (3.2 EBC)


80.54 %

0.25 kg

Carapils (Bestmaltz) (5.0 EBC)


3.36 %

20.00 gm

Northern Brewer [10.10 %] (150 min)


18.0 IBU

25.00 gm

Saaz [3.20 %] (150 min) (First Wort Hop)


7.8 IBU

40.00 gm

Styrian Goldings [3.40 %] (120 min)


12.0 IBU

30.00 gm

Saaz [3.20 %] (15 min)


3.9 IBU

25.00 gm

Saaz [3.20 %] (0 min)



2.00 gm

Calcium Chloride (Mash 60.0 min)


3.00 gm

Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) (Mash 60.0 min)


0.65 kg

Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC)


8.72 %

0.40 kg

Corn Sugar (Dextrose) (0.0 EBC)


5.37 %

0.15 kg

Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (2.0 EBC)


2.01 %

1 Pkgs

Belgian Strong Ale (Wyeast Labs #1388) [Starter 1750 ml]


Beer Profile

Estimated Original Gravity: 1.080 SG (1.070-1.095 SG)

Measured Original Gravity: 1.081 SG

Estimated Final Gravity: 1.019 SG (1.010-1.016 SG)

Measured Final Gravity: 1.005 SG

Estimated Color: 7.0 EBC (7.9-11.8 EBC)

Color [Color]

Bitterness: 41.7 IBU (25.0-35.0 IBU)

Alpha Acid Units: 18.1 AAU

Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 8.00 % (7.50-10.00 %)

Actual Alcohol by Volume: 9.95 %

Actual Calories: 768

Mash Profile

Name: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge

Mash Tun Weight: 0.00 kg

Mash Grain Weight: 6.25 kg

Mash PH: 5.4 PH

Grain Temperature: 22.2 C

Sparge Temperature: 75.6 C

Sparge Water: 19.96 L

Adjust Temp for Equipment:



Step Temp

Step Time

Mash In

Add 16.30 L of water at 71.9 C

65.6 C

75 min


Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well
modified grains (about 95% of the time).

Carbonation and Storage

Carbonation Type: Corn Sugar

Carbonation Volumes: 3.0 (2.3-2.9 vols)

Estimated Priming Weight: 225.0 gm

Temperature at Bottling: 25.0 C

Primer Used: 250

Age for: 12.0 Weeks

Storage Temperature: 15.0 C
I don't try to clone Duvel per se, but my BGSA comes out fairly similar is style. Duvel is hard to clone because they use a variety of Pilsner malts to add complexity and a mash and fermentation schedule that would make most homebrewers cry.

To me BGSA is all about the yeast. The key is to attenuate the hell out of this sucker. There is a mindblowing amount of variation in mash schedules for BGSA and many of the multi-step mash schedules are over-kill. I step mash for 75 mins at 60 degrees and 30 mins at 68 degrees. This maximises the fermentables in the wort. My last 2 batches had an OG of 1.070 and an FG of 1.002 and 1.004. Despite the low FG the beer isn't over-dry or light bodied.

I always use an active 2L culture of WL570 (supposedly the Duvel strain). It is an incredibly robust yeast with an attenuation threshold above what the company claims. I add yeast nutrient and aerate the primary to keep the yeast happy. I don't have equipment for accurately regulating fermentation temperature, but I keep it moderated and low with a basic wicking system. The grain bill is 90% pilsner and 10% candy sugar. Specialty malts add unfermentable sugars that to me seem to get in the way and reduce the fermentability of the wort. I only use Saaz hops and I keep the bitterness low (30 - 33 IBU). I keep my hop flavour additions low (~0.5oz at 15 mins) and I don't add any late aroma additions. The beer has a nice, almost imperceptible spice note. I don't really like a lot of hops in this. To me the style is about showcasing the yeast so complex grain bills and large hop additions are contrary to style.

That said, the great thing about home brewing is messing with classics and coming up with something that you like! Keep the yeast happy and you are on the right track.
Damn said:
Wyeast 3787 (Belgian Strong Ale)

1. Create 2l starter with .2kg LDME 2 days prior?

Few questions.
  1. Is the starter the right volume?
I've plugged your figures (but not all ingredients) into BeerSmith and I'm a noob so offer the following for what it's worth. The number of viable cells you start off with in a Wyeast pack is determined by the date on which it was manufactured amongst other things.

If you were to brew today with a 3787 manufactured mid-April you would start off with 76 billion viable cells in the pack. With an OG of 1.070 you would need to pitch 339 billion cells. You could grow that from one Wyeast pack in a 1.84L starter using a stir plate - without a stir plate you're going to be struggling to get a high enough pitch rate even with a 2L starter and 2 yeast packs - which I believe would yield 264 billion cells

Using Wyeast 1388 (as suggested above) it seems you would need only 254 billion cells and a pack manufactured in mid-April would give you that in a starter of 1.22L using a stir plate. Without a stir plate a 2L starter with 2 Wyeast packs would give you 264 billion cells, 1 yeast pack only 182 billion.

As for the starter, a volume of 2L containing 219gm DME would give you an SG of 1.040 which seems normal - 200gm DME would give an SG of 1.036 which might be a bit low.

Glad to stand corrected by those with greater knowledge and experience especially of the importance of pitch rates.
probably impossibel to get a extract beer to attenuate enought to resemeble Duvel,
but a big pitch of 1388 and us ethe moortgaat fermentation regime ( im sure I have posted it beofre here), will get you some great flavours

Latest posts