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Old 05-14-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
BFitch
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Default first attempt at Belgian tripel (extract)

when i bought my 5 gal kit on craigslist, it came with ingredients from a beer that the guy was attempting to make. so i got him to email me his recipe. i plugged it into beersmith (first time using it) and played with it a little. let me know if it looks somewhat normal to you guys or if it just looks like i dont know what im doing

8lbs extra light DME
2lbs clear candi sugar
1oz bravo hops (60min)
2oz saaz hops (20min)
8oz carmel/crystal malt grains
1 packet Wyeast 1388 (belgian strong ale)
.25oz clearfine (1 day in secondary)

ok, few questions first. will i need more yeast then that? it says in the yeast starter tab that with out a starter i will need 58 packets of liquid yeast. that doesnt seem right. but maybe ill need a second? also, i never added the clearfine to my recipe, that just showed up. never heard of it before either (im pretty green to this stuff). is that something that beersmith added because of my type of beer?

all of the sliders are in the green/yellow with an est ABV of 9.6. so if nothing else, itll be a butt kicker

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
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I would use a Styrian Goldings or Hallertau as a bittering hop instead of bravo. The Candy Syrup should be about 15% of fermentables so 2lbs is a tad high. Also I would steep 0.5# honey malt, 0.5# crystal 20 and 0.5# flaked wheat for 30 min @ 148 degrees F.

Pitch at 64-68 degrees, let it ride up 7 or 8 degrees during primary fermentation and be patient. This yeast can crash if you try to cool it, but if it gets too hot you can end up with seriously off flavors. It's a tough balancing act.

This may stop fermenting high, like 1.018 or higher because of the high OG. Good luck!

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:39 PM   #3
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Also - in regards to the yeast starter, you're definitely under pitching, but this is sometimes desirable in the style. Two of those packs would be better if you can't make a starter. Otherwise this may finish sweet.

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
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ok so i took out a 1/2lb of sugar, got rid of the bravo hops, added 3oz of stryian goldings to give it an IBU of 25. also added the .5lb of flaked wheat and honey malt.


ok, i think i might kick it up to 2 packets, just to be safe.

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Old 05-14-2012, 07:56 PM   #5
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It says so many packs because you didn't change the viability date likely. It tends to start with a date of over a year old giving you like under 10% viability per vial. I would highly recommend a starter. Even if you are under which is fine because you are getting your flavors from esters more in this style beer, you could be more at risk for infections, high FG's stuck fermentations, and more fusels.

Wyeast and White both highly recommend starters at that gravity level. True that an underpitched starter might give you more esters, but you will probably be underpitching a lot.

Just change your viability date, see how many cells it says for you to use, and use Mr. Malty or Yeast Calc.

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:05 PM   #6
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ok, that looks better. its saying i need 280 billion cells. so its saying 3 yeast packets with no starter. never done a starter before, what all is involved in making one?

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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I prefer my Tripels on the drier side, so I only use Pils malt. As for the sugar, do not get the "clear candi sugar" in rock form. You might as well just dump in table sugar and save your money. If you're not using table sugar, you will want a syrup. They sell light colored syrups, or you can make one. There are some threads on how to around here. Takes a little time, but it's easy. I boil mine to a nice light golden syrup color. As for a yeast starter, they take time, but are also very easy, and very important (unless you don't care to buy tons of packs of yeast). You basically just boil up some water and DME in a pot, transfer to a growler or 1gal jug, cool to below 70* and add the yeast. Let it go at least 24 hours. That will grow more cells, then you can pitch the whole thing or crash cool, decant, and pitch the yeast cake on the bottom (leave a small amount of beer to swirl around to get the cake out easier). My average starter is 2L. 100 grams of DME per Liter is a pretty standard starter gravity. I only boil mine 5-10 minutes, then cool down.

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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is the clear candi sugar in rocks that much worse. only reason i have it on there is thats what the guy gave me. he had a grocery bag that contained a total of 8lbs DME, 2lbs clear candi sugar rock form, and 8oz of c20 grains. me getting that with my setup is the reason behind me trying to make up a recipe

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Old 05-14-2012, 09:03 PM   #9
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Clear candi sugar is just sucrose, in big pieces and priced too damn high. Use it up since you've got it, nothing wrong with the stuff. (I just use table sugar in most of my Belgians; it's cheaper.)

I'm gonna second the notion of leaving out the crystal malt, but you can use it if you like. Not like that's a huge quantity that will give you an overly sweet beer.

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Old 05-14-2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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looking at it on beersmith with out the crystal malt, it looks like it makes it a little lighter, where with it it pushed it to the darker side of a tripel. so i might take your advice and leave it out.

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