08/09/05 07:15 AM
Curious, why would you say they don't get attention/respect? I can say there has been a little thread activity here on dubbels, see the thread called "Belgian style embarrassment". The embarrassment part is how difficult it can be to capture this style.
I think right now there are some budding brewing directions that overshadow more time-honored practices. The application of various brettanomyces strains, introduction of Rodenbachish yeast blends, barrel aging and the publishing of a couple books that focus on the funkier side of brewing (farmhouse ales and wild beer) have created more than a little buzz for the seasoned homebrewer. That's mostly the type of brewer who has been contributing to this particular board so I think its natural that when new ground is broken it gets a misproportional amount of attention.
But I can say for myself, though right now my focus is elsewhere that I have no shortage of respect for dubbels. I've had some great luck with Belgians, taken first place awards with oud bruins and lambics, even won BOS honors with a flanders red and a saison. But to date I still have not been able to make a half decent dubbel. I can do a triple with my eyes closed by I can't figure out a dubbel!
I think you'll find homebrewing focus is a swinging pendulum Conrad. This is a unique time to be a homebrewer as the craft industry seems to be energized like never before, and that in turn can only energize us. I noticed 5 or 6 years ago that it started getting harder to place in competitions (at least for me). I believe this is because the brewers who were drawn in by brewings "fad appeal" have faded and much of what is left are those of us who started 10 or 15 years ago. Of course new brewers are, and I hope always, still out there but homebrewing really started to roll in the late 80s/early 90s. And many of us who started then are still rollin'. You can get pretty good at something you've been doing for that long. Naturally, after a decade plus of brewing, new ideas are going to be very tantelizing. But after these new brewing challenges have settled in and we all have figured out the stuff that is so fascinating us right now a return of attention to more traditional things - like a good dubbel or trippel - is inevitable.
So, you make any killer dubbels lately? Steve