I recently taught a beer tasting continuing education course at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside. It was a lot of fun! I brought in ten different commercial beers and we tried them all, discussing characteristics and history of the styles as we went. One of the beers I brought was St. Bernardus Pater 6, a dubbel. I've had their Abt 12 (quad) many times, but hadn't had Pater 6 before. It was one of the better commercial dubbels I can remember trying. Most of them are too sweet, too phenolic, to harsh in general, for my taste. Pater 6 was nice and cleanly malty while still exhibiting classic abbey character. I resolved, that night, to brew one soon and that's just what I did a couple days ago!
In trying to get as close to the Pater 6 character as I could I went with the Wyeast Trappist High Gravity strain, WY3787. It supposedly originated from Westmalle abbey brewery, which is where St. Bernardus (and Westvletern) got their yeast from as well. I opted for a simple grain bill with some aromstic malt for nice malty complexity. I'm fermenting it at 65F, on the low side for an abbey ale, to keep some of the harsher characteristics in check.
brewed on: 11/28/12
mash temp: 150F
6 gallon batch
90 minute boil
75% efficiency assumed
11 lbs Pils
8 oz Aromatic
8 oz Special B
4 oz Caramunich I
26g Styrian Goldings @ 5.2% (60 minutes)
15g Styrian Goldings @ 3.8% (60 minutes)
WY3787 Trappist High Gravity - 1800mL starter
fermented at 65F
secondary cold conditioning at 30F
sample while kegging - Banana and fresh figs. Caramel-like maltiness behind it. Not too sweet though. Looking forward to trying this once carbed!