Brewing Duvel Single fermented
Created by the Moortgat family, bottled Duvel is one of Belgium’s favorite ales. The secret of its success lies in using only best-quality ingredients, and in the well-balanced, very specific, complex brewing and refermentation process that takes over 90 days.
After brewing and first fermentation – which takes about 30 days – the beer is tasted by the brewmaster and his staff. At this stage this beer is called “single-fermented.” Typical Duvel flavors and aromas are already emerging, but the beer is lower in alcohol and carbonation, and the taste is slightly lighter and crisper.
Duvel Single. The pour
Single-fermented, cold-filtered, and on draft with an ABV of 6.8%
Dry and crisp with mild yeasty citrus notes. More hops on the plate than in the nose. The beer is carefully balanced so that hops play off equally with malt and citrus. Intentionally not heavy or complex.
Golden-blonde, fine soft carbonation, large head with good retention. The beer is transparent with no residual yeast. Lively and enticing carbonation and typical Belgian head.
Subtle citrus notes, and gentle herbal, green hoppiness.
Light on the tongue, smooth, bright and alive. Young, crisp beer taste.
Brewed with drinkability and refreshment high in our minds. Simple, clean, easy-to-have more than one.
Always serve in the tulip-shaped 25cl Duvel glass at 3°C.
Questions and answers
Yes and No. Duvel and Duvel Single Fermented are both brewed in the same installations, using the same ingredients (water, two-row summer malts, Saaz and Styrian Golding Hops) but Duvel undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle while Duvel Single Fermented is cold filtered and packaged in kegs.
Duvel Single Fermented is certainly not a new beer, yet clear differences do exist between classic Duvel and Duvel Single Fermented in bottle or in keg.
The 'classic Duvel' is a sophisticated, full-flavored and aromatic Belgian Golden Ale, with clean, refined, silky sweet dry taste, while a 'Duvel Single Fermented' on draft has a gentle hoppiness, soft carbonation, and a subtle, smooth dryness with hints of fruitiness. The beer is not refermented, but is does have young Duvel flavors emerging from the first fermentation.
Two separate beers, yet from the same family. Familiar taste characteristics, but clearly different.
The single fermented Duvel either leaves for a secondary fermentation (bottle-conditioning) in the bottle for the classic Duvel, or is conditioned for Duvel Single Fermented. The bottle-conditioned Duvel finishes at 8.5% ABV.
Preparing Duvel Single Fermented includes cold-filtering, balancing the raw materials for optimal flavor on draft, and some cold ageing of the kegs. This results in a specific ABV level of 6.8%.
Comparing the Duvel on draft and the Duvel bottle conditioned can be an interesting exercise. The clear differences and the similarities are what make the comparison stimulating.
It is clear that a lot of typical characteristics of Duvel in the bottle are created during the final fermentation of the beer in the warm cellar.
When properly served Duvel Single Fermented will also have a large foam head. But it won't be as dramatic as the bottle-conditioned Duvel since the carbonation in the bottle is higher than in the keg. Also, the smaller 25cl draft glass does not have the carbonation-releasing small "D" carved into the bottom, as in the 33cl glass.