I racked my beer over to the glass carboy this weekend. It's still pretty sharp and probably needs another two weeks in the carboy at least before it's close enough to complete to bottle/keg it.
However, I did steal about 2 liters of it whilst transferring it, both to do a gravity reading and also to taste.
I have one of these things, so I put the beer in the freezer for a half hour, cranked my regulator up to 30psi, attached it to the 2 liter bottle, shook the hell out of the bottle and then put it in the fridge for about an hour. What I ended up with was a perfectly carbonated, but still slightly sharp (from the suspended yeast) beer. I think this is going to be a mighty fine beer indeed once it's done.
The gritty details:
All measurements done at 68 degrees Fahrenheit with a 60 degree hydrometer.
Original specific gravity: 1.083
Final (so far) specific gravity: 1.018
I'm not going to correct the readings for the temperature difference since both readings were taken at the same temp, and this is only an approximation anyway (and not the final gravity anyway).
So, taking the formula to convert to the Plato scale:
°P[initial] = °Pi = (-463.37) + (668.72 × 1.083) - (205.35 × 1.0832) = 20.001
°P[final] = °Pf = (-463.37) + (668.72 × 1.018) - (205.35 × 1.0182) = 4.578
Then, using the Plato data:
My Apparent Attenuation is: 1 - (4.578 / 20.001) = .771 => about 77%
Given that I expect a full attenuation of .8, I'm pretty close even before hitting the secondary fermenter. It may be that I get no more fermentation in secondary. That's not uncommon.
This gives me an approximate ABV of (1.083 - 1.018) / .75 = 8.7% alcohol by volume.
That's about right for a Dubbel. I was expecting a little more, to tell you the truth, maybe I didn't get enough starches out of my mash.
Anyway. This is a pretty fine beer.
My wife and I recently had a nice dinner out at The Refuge, where they feature many Belgian and Belgian style ales. We sampled quite a few, and I'll put my neck out there and say that my beer compares favorably with any of these. She suggests that I sell a couple bottles to the restaurant, but being a home-brewer, I'm not legally allowed to sell beer.
However, I can sell glass.
So - if you'd like to buy an extremely overpriced decorative piece of glass that happens to contain some beer that I forgot to remove, let me know and I'll see what I can do.