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Old 06-20-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
vinnythering
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Default Belgian Tripel

This one is going to be brewed on July 13. I figure this time I will seek the help of professionals BEFORE ordering my ingredients. This is what I determined to be best for me. I am going to share my recipes and, with help, develop them to a point that I can set the recipe in stone. Basically, I want to perfect my beers. Here's the recipe (fairly simple I think):

Style: Belgian Tripel

Estimated Measurements:
SRM: 4.2 SRM
IBU: 34.8 IBUs
OG: 1.080 SG
FG: 1.006 SG
ABV: 9.7 %

82.8% 12 lb Belgian 2 Row Pilsner
3.4 % 8.0 oz Cara-Pils/Dextrine
13.8% 2.0 lb Candi Sugar, Clear

Add 9 qt of 135F water - 122F for 30 min
Add 5 qt of 210F water - 148F for 30 min
Decoct 6 qt of mash and boil it - 168F for 10 min

1.00 oz Saaz 4.0 % -------------------- Boil 60 min
0.50 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 4.0 % - Boil 60 min
0.50 oz Tettnang 4.5 % ---------------- Boil 60 min
1.00 oz Saaz 4.0 % -------------------- Boil 15 min
0.50 oz Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 4.0 % - Boil 15 min
0.50 oz Tettnang 4.5 % ---------------- Boil 15 min
0.50 tsp Yeast Nutrient --------------- Boil 15 min
1 Whirlfloc Tablet -------------------- Boil 15 min

Abbey Ale Yeast WLP530
0.5 gal starter made with 0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient and 0.5 lb Light DME

2 weeks primary at 67F
2 weeks secondary at 67F


What I am really concerned about it the fermentation temps and times. I've already done some research on this and gave up. Too many differing opinions out there. I'll just post it instead.

This is my standard schedule for all my ales and it has been working so far, but after reading May/June's BYO it actually kind of seems like I am a little out of my league (well it is intimidating anyway). For temperatures I've got a kegerator and a temp controller, but I always have a primary and a secondary in there with it. For example, when this is brewed I will have an American Pale Ale just starting secondary. and after two weeks (when this goes to secondary) I will be brewing another batch, this time an ESB.

I think that I could just leave my fridge set at 67 like always, but I'm afraid I will miss out on the characteristics that define a tripel. I also have an available space that stays in the mid 70's at all times of day, but everywhere else in the house gets very hot (low-mid 80's).

As for my starter, I feel like it is probably a little low. I'm considering using a larger container and a full pound of DME. Would a 0.5 gal growler be too small for this? Maybe make two starters (I have two growlers)?

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Last edited by vinnythering; 06-21-2012 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Wrong brew date. Added starter info.
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Old 06-27-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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A good route to go for a Tripel is to pitch at 64 F and then let the ferm temp rise slowly over the course of one week to 70 F (about a 1 degree temp increase per day). I'd just leave it in the primary until it attenuates fully and then lager/cold condition it at 45 - 50 F for a 3 or 4 weeks, hope this helps

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:24 PM   #3
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Absolutely no reason for cara-pils in a Tripel. If you must add something try a little wheat, aromatic or munich. Unless you're doing a Tripel IPA, that's too much finishing hops.

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Old 06-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #4
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I agree with poobah, remove the carapils as they certainly do not belong in a Tripel. One pound of Munich will give you a little bit of malt character, and is what I use when I brew a Tripel.
Also, save yourself some money and just use table sugar instead of candi sugar. If you're adding it in the boil it will not make a bit of a difference taste-wise and they ferment the same.
It seems like you have a huge amount of hops for a Tripel. Check your IBU calculations. I'd use a 1-1.5 oz @ 60 min, 1 oz @ 15 min, and maybe .5 oz @ 1 min.
For the yeast, I don't use gallons and lbs. I'd use 150 grams with 1.5L. If you're using a stir plate that will get you almost exactly the right amount of yeast.
For the ferment temps, I'd pitch at 65-67F and try to hold it below 68F for the first 36-48 hours. Then ramp it up (slowly if you can, 1F per day) until you reach 75-77F. Getting the temp high at the end of fermentation will help the yeast eat the last few gravity points. I don't know if you'll get down to 1.006, but 1.008-10 is very likely. This depends on your mash temp, which at 148F should be good, but you may want to leave it at 148 for longer than 30 minutes.

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Old 06-27-2012, 11:00 PM   #5
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Great feedback, thanks. I don't know why I keep adding extra ingredients. I should focus on simplicity and do more research before designing a recipe. Anyway, this is the new recipe I developed with your combined input (also, I failed to mention before that this will be a 90 minute boil with the first hop additions at 60 mins):

Style: Belgian Tripel

Estimated Measurements:
SRM: 4.3 SRM
IBU: 23.9 IBUs
OG: 1.080 SG
FG: 1.007 SG
ABV: 9.5 %

91.2% 13.0 lb Belgian 2 Row Pilsner
8.8 % 1.25 lb Table Sugar

Add 10.5 qt of 133F water - 122F for 20 min
Add 5.5 qt boiling water - 148F for 60 min
Decoct 7 qt of mash and boil it - 168F for 10 min

1.00 oz Saaz 4.0 % --------------- Boil 60 min
0.50 oz Tettnang 4.5 % ----------- Boil 60 min
0.50 oz Saaz 4.0 % --------------- Boil 15 min
0.50 oz Tettnang 4.5 % ----------- Boil 15 min
1 Whirlfloc Tablet --------------- Boil 15 min
0.50 oz Saaz 4.0 % --------------- Boil 1 min

White Labs Abbey Ale Yeast WLP530
1.5L starter made with 0.5 tsp Yeast Nutrient and 0.5 lb Light DME on a stir plate

2 days primary at 67F
12 days primary at 75F
28 days secondary at 67F

Bottle with 5.5 oz Corn Sugar


I don't have the capability to lager any lower than where it already is due to the fact that my fridge only holds two containers at a time and I have nowhere else cool enough to do the trick. Like I said above, I brew on a two week cycle and my house gets pretty warm during the day, in the low 80's, except for one room that is always ~73-75. I also can't gradually ramp up the temperature without doing the same to whatever beer will be fermenting in the fridge along with this tripel. I think it is an American Pale Ale that will be in secondary. I may end up pushing this one back if I can't make room for it or if I don't feel confident enough in the process.

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Old 06-28-2012, 04:19 AM   #6
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I think that everything looks good. You just have to ask yourself how you like a tripel to taste. If you like a lot of hop flavor and aroma then keep it as is. If you just want the hop bitterness to balance the gravity then I would move the .5 tettnang from 15 min to 60 min, and remove the flameout addition. Forget the style and just decide how you want the beer to taste.

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Old 06-28-2012, 04:56 AM   #7
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I just brewed a Tripel and added orange peel in the last few minutes of the boil. Added a nice citrus hint to the final product.

I would love to know how yours turns out. keep us posted.

Cheers!

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Old 06-28-2012, 07:38 AM   #8
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I definitely like my hops. I tend to focus more on my late additions in all my beers, but also try to keep my hop obsession in check when it comes to staying within style boundaries. I still don't want to overpower this because I know that tripels don't normally have a heavy hop profile, but I do still want to know that they're there. I still might move some to earlier in the boil due to the fact that my IBUs are a little low according to BeerSmith, but I am as of yet undecided.

I fiddled around with the idea of putting a twist on this recipe, such as adding some kind of subtle yet aromatic fruit such as lemon, orange, or even apricot, but ultimately chose to keep it traditional and get some practice making beer that is according to style. I will tinker later.

This won't be ready for quite a while, and unless I can figure out my refrigeration dilemma, I unfortunately may end up shelving this for a bit until I can get that under control.

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Old 06-28-2012, 09:08 AM   #9
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My favourite Tripel - Triepl Karmeleit has oats in it (maybe wheat too). It's nice and almondy, almost marzipan, not quite as bitter as Westamalle. More like a Duvel, still dry but with a nice silky mouthfeel.

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