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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Trouble with Tripples or How I learned to brew a Westmalle Clone without worries
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Old 08-21-2013, 02:55 AM   #1
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Default Trouble with Tripples or How I learned to brew a Westmalle Clone without worries

Pardon thread title puns...

Looking to brew a trippel soon.

Inspiration taken from the very limited commercial examples available to me.

Started to read up on the style: BYO recent article (Trippel Threat), BYO recipe for Westmalle Trippel, Clone Brews book, Brew Like a Monk book, and Brewing Classic Styles Book, plus a few threads here on HBT.

Here is what I've come up with: The different sources are all over the board.
I don't really want to plagarize content, but I do own all the above sources, and want to point out that there are differences between the varied references to the actual Westmalle recipe.

I consider BLAM (Brew Like A Monk - and yes I like BLAM as an acronym) to be probably most accurate, as there is documentation, footnotes, etc, and photos. The specs given match almost identically with BYO specs, differing in the SRM only. Clonebrews is rather far off the mark in comparison. Also the CB grist is off the mark with other sources to a degree.

The Grist seems to be 80% Pils 20% or close to it sugar. No mention of other fermentables. BLAM reports a step infusion mash and France sourced grain.

Hops seems to be variable, and they may blend different batches before bottling, to further confound. Styrian Goldings comes up in several sources as does Tettnang, and Saaz, which are both admitted to in the BYO article by the brewmaster or CEO. A few oddballs mentioned in BLAM that I don't see in other sources: Fuggles, Spalt Select, and unspecified Russian hops.

Fermentation is reported to be mid 60's pitch with rise to high 60's but not above 70's, followed by a secondary/conditioning period of at least 4 weeks depending on the source, and performed at pseudo-lagering temps, below 50º.

Mashing is reported, again, as a step infusion, and its hard to find details as the BYO recipe looks like it was written by a 5th grader with nonsensical numbers that require interpolation to understand. I can probably manage the mash however using the Trippel Threat article which is pretty succinct, but seems a temperature step mash may be adequate as opposed to infusion step mash. Clearly the CloneBrews mash seems out of whack.

What is left then in my planned Trippel brew is the hop additions.
After reading the BYO trippel threat article, seems that a single bittering addition would be appropriate to style. The BYO recipe indicated 15 and 5 minute additions however, and the CB book is concordant to a degree. It seems Styrian Goldings may be the bittering hops used. There may be small tettnang 15 min flavor and saaz 5 min aroma additions. This however is somewhat contrary to the trippel threat article (although the interviewed CEO/masterbrewer reportedly admitted to using Saaz and Tettnang and this is also reported by BLAM. Where and how they use the hosp however is not specified).

I've not brewed a trippel before, so would rather like to get it right. I am worried that my planned recipe might be heavy handed on late hops, and somewhat overly complex in the grist. I was thinking of modelling or clone attempt at the Westmalle brew first before I try mixing it up for in any future brews of this style.

I typically brew batches aimed at collecting 10 gallons of finished packaged beer. I was thinking of limiting any flavor 15 minute hop additions to .5 to .25 oz at the most, and ditto on 5-0 minute aroma hops. I have some Bohemian Floor Malted Pils, as well as "ordinary" german Pils malt (both weyermann) that I was planning to use for the grist, probably just the ordinary pils, plus clear candi syrup for the sugar. I was also planning to use the Safbrew T-58 yeast, though I am not committed to it. I have some mixed yeast slurry (WLP 550 & 500) from a previous Belgian brew that I could also use but with more effort to wash and re-populate. Hops I am looking for suggestions here.

Thanks for any recommendations and advice!

TD

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Old 08-21-2013, 03:11 AM   #2
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You probably should use Westmalle yeast (wlp530 or WY3787) instead of t-58.

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Old 08-21-2013, 03:31 AM   #3
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There are two good Westmalle Tripel recipes here:

http://www.candisyrup.com/recipes.html

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Old 08-21-2013, 03:41 AM   #4
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I would say use the WLP 550 instead of the dry yeast. Since that is a second generation yeast, it will be happy and healthy and ready to go. Definitely wash it and do a starter. You will need tons of yeast. Also, you could toss a tiny amount of Aromatic malt for a bit of complexity. For adding the sugar, I would recommend adding it after 3-4 days of fermentation. This would be so the yeast doesn't eat all the simple sugars and get tired and go dormant. You can liken it to the yeast having dessert before dinner. They will chew through the glucose and then not have enough energy to break down the maltose, maltotriose, etc...

Cheers!

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Old 08-21-2013, 03:53 AM   #5
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Sorry if I missed it but I've had a few homebrews and your post is long, do you have the planned recipe? You said you're worried it's overly complex in the grist but then you say you're just using pils malt and sugar.

I've done Jamil's recipe minus the small aromatic addition, which is essentially the tripel threat recipe plus a Saaz flavor addition. I would recommend it for a nice tripel to style and would be the Tettanang/Saaz combo you mentioned. Save some money on the candi syrup and go with table sugar. I've tried both and it makes no difference I can tell, and is supported in BLAM and that tripel article as well as what Jamil calls for. I do like the 530/3787 and have used them a lot. Otherwise I think your mixed slurry sounds good.

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Old 08-21-2013, 01:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickypad
Sorry if I missed it but I've had a few homebrews and your post is long, do you have the planned recipe? You said you're worried it's overly complex in the grist but then you say you're just using pils malt and sugar.

I've done Jamil's recipe minus the small aromatic addition, which is essentially the tripel threat recipe plus a Saaz flavor addition. I would recommend it for a nice tripel to style and would be the Tettanang/Saaz combo you mentioned. Save some money on the candi syrup and go with table sugar. I've tried both and it makes no difference I can tell, and is supported in BLAM and that tripel article as well as what Jamil calls for. I do like the 530/3787 and have used them a lot. Otherwise I think your mixed slurry sounds good.
Sorry, I tend to ramble..... And even worse with a few home brews last night.

My initial planned trippel recipe I think might be overly complex compared with what I've read the westmalle uses. Mine had 1% wheat, 9% Munich and 10% sugar, but I'm thinking that might be too heavy on the Munich. I read the trippel threat and the other sources after i had formulated my recipe, months ago, but getting ready to brew it in september. I'm thinking it needs revisions, and thought why not just brew in the westmalle style if I could find a legit clone attempt. The CB book is clearly foolish after reading the other sources.

My initially planned hop schedule I think also needs revisions. I had planned to bitter with hallertau, a 30 minute addition of Styrian goldings, and a flameout Saaz addition. The flameout addition seems inappropriate, especially since I had considered a rather large addition. Maybe I just do a mix of Saaz and tettnang for a bittering addition and a flavor addition around 20 minutes and skip aroma additions.

Where is the jamil recipe by the way?

My yeast I think could work, but it has not been well kept: sitting in fridge , unwashed, basically just collected from the primary (dubbel) back in may. In a sanitized jar with an airlock. Probably time for new yeast. Have no idea how to determine accurate cell count, and viability at this point from my old yeast. I have been increasingly thinking about doing yeast banking and slants and getting gear to do real counts, but I'm not there yet. Living in FL really puts a damper on the liquid yeast. It just plain too darn hot. No LHBS for me. Maybe I could have sent to my business for earlier delivery so its not sitting on a hot truck all day. Ice packs in a hot truck become heat packs.

Thanks.
See what I mean about the rambling. Maybe I need some Ritalin.

TD
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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Ah, okay. I've heard other questionable things from that CB book, someone bought me the first addition before I ever started brewing but I don't think I have it anymore. I would trust the other sources first and I agree the 9% Munich sounds high to me. I was referring to Jamil's recipe in Brewing Classic Styles (you have the book, right? page 240). If you need new yeast anyway I highly recommend the WL530(WY3787).

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Old 08-21-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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Thanks again. Yes I have the book, ill check it when I get home. Just planning my brewing schedule for the year. I may postpone this brew I lieu of a cream ale for football season, and take a stab at the Trippel in October or November. On the once a month schedule, and might squeeze in an extra brew during November and December holiday weeks if I'm lucky.

Have not used 530 before. Will have to try. The trippel threat article suggests under pitching by 50-75% of recommended rates for increased ester production I believe. Planned to ferment at 64 with free rise up to 68. Ill need my fermentation freezer for this feat, even if the weather holds, and my freezer currently still fermenting the dopplebock, so postponing to October or November would be good for that reason as well. What fermentation scheme did you use? It didn't seem that the brewing classic styles book gets as in depth with technique compared with the trippel threat article did. Not all the BYO series highlighting specific styles are as well written as I think the trippel threat article was IMHO.

TD

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Old 08-21-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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With that strain I do something similar to what you are planning - pitch around 64-65 and slow rise to 69 or so. I actually don't underpitch and I oxygenate really well. I tried underpitching on a few big Belgians early on and wasn't all that crazy about the banana and ester profile (tried it with 3522 for sure and I think the 3787 as well). I've also tried fermenting the various strains hotter and I don't like the results so much either. I prefer the pear/apple fruitiness and light spice but minimal if any phenolics that I get from 530/3787 with a normal pitch rate, good oxygenation, and temps above. Something you may want to experiment with yourself.
I agree the tripel article is pretty helpful. Jamil also does the style profiles monthly for BYO in which he goes into more detail than in the book.

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Old 08-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #10
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This is the greatest thread title ever.

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