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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > What (Tripel) Will I Be When I Grow Up
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Old 03-30-2012, 03:01 PM   #1
dmaxdmax
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Default What (Tripel) Will I Be When I Grow Up

I got 2 ingredient packs with my brewing kit and one was a "Trippel XXX Belgian Ale" from Alternative Beverage. This was before I learned about the wide variety amongst tripels. If I make it and get something approximating Gouden Carolus I'll be ecstatic. Chimay Tripel is great too. If it's more like Victory Golden Monkey I'll be very disappointed. (I ordered one in a bar and the waitress was kind enough to take it back when she saw the look on my face). I also couldn't finish a Brother David's tripel.

My beer vocabulary isn't developed yet but I thought Golden Monkey was way too dark and Brother David was sour.

I know it isn't a Tripel but my absolute favorite beer is Duvel.

This may be an unfair question but can any of you tell what sort of beer these ingredients might yield? I'm happy to go out and buy some other hops or specialty grains but don't want to have to spring for a whole new DME.

8# Extra Light Dried Malt Extract
1# Belgian Candi Sugar - Light

3 cups Specialty Malt - Belgian CaraVienne

2oz Hallertauer bittering Pellet hops - Add at boil
1 tab Whirlfloc - 35 minutes
1oz Saaz finishing Pellet hops - 20 minutes later (total 55)

Yeast - choose from
Liquid - White Labs WLP550
Dry - Safbrew #S-33

Thank you!

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Old 03-30-2012, 03:39 PM   #2
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What's the OG, IBU, and grain weight for the Caravienne. It looks more like a BPA or Belgian Golden to me. Triples usually don't have that much crystal or any at all for that matter.

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Old 03-30-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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Starting Grav 1.078
Terminal Grav 1.013 - 1.022
Alcohol 7.4% (Isn't that low for a Tripel?)
IBU 22
Coor Rating 7

CaraVienne ~1pound 2 oz (could be a shade under - I'm guessing at the weight of plastic and muslin bags)

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Old 03-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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I would maybe add half of that caravienne. I've never had any carmel or crystal added to my tripels, so I think you want to minimize this a bit.

Big thing with Tripels is the Yeast. They give it the distinctive esters and phenolics that shine through. I would skip the S-33. Have no idea on Goulden Carolous yeast. If you wanted to mimic a Chimay tripel, you can harvest their yeast directly (I failed at this) or you can take it easy and buy WY1214 which is reportedly their strain. I personally love the WY3787 (Westmalle) for most belgians, but that will be different than 1214. WLP550 is like WY3522, which is the Rochefort yeast. Go for a 3 or 4 liter yeast starter for your tripel.

Also if this is your first tripel, I would suggest pitching and starting the temps low in the temp range for the first 2 days, then start ramping them up to the mid or even mid upper temps over the next 3-5 days. This will help reduce fusels and unwanted byproducts the first 2 days, and then give some belgianny goodness towards middle and end. Ramping towards the end will also help with attenuation and give you a lower finishing gravity.

BTW, if you wanted a little more alcohol kick, you could add an additional .5 lb of sugar to the boil. 1 lb of candi sugar is not high for that recipe. Take your time with this one, give it a month or two in secondary, and a few months at least in the bottle.

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:03 PM   #5
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The sugar is in the recipe to dry it out. Ideally, you will have a FG lower than 1.010. My last Tripel was 20% sugar, 77% pils, 3% Munich and ended up at 1.005. That's where you'll get your alcohol boost. Caravienne is just going to counter that and make your beer cloying IMO.

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:37 PM   #6
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I don't care about alcohol for its own sake - I just want the thing to taste and "feel" like a tripel.

I poked around some and found a number of recipes that call for more than 8 pounds of DME. What do you use? Is Pils the same as Extra Light?

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Old 03-30-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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I'm not an extract expert, but I think extra light is similar to pils.
Lowering the FG doesn't just boost alcohol, it dries the beer out and makes sure it's not too sweet. My last was 1.081 down to 1.005. I'd call it a Belgian Golden Strong except the emphasis is on the spice and hops. I'd plan for a FG of 1.009ish and build your recipe from there to reach the ABV you want.

The beauty in a Tripel is it's characteristic yeast-driven character. They're pretty plain beers grain/extract-wise. It's the phenols/esters/mouthfeel from the yeast mixed with the hops that make this style shine. I can't comment too much for 550 (as I'm using for the first time tonight in a BPA), but I hear it's spicy. I used WLP530 on my last Tripel and fermented cool (62F for the first 72 hours) and it came out excellent with a great spice character. Wyeast 1214 (chimay) will become a banana bomb if you have too high of temps during early fermentation.

Hope this helps.

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Old 03-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SethMasterFlex View Post
I'd plan for a FG of 1.009ish and build your recipe from there to reach the ABV you want.

Hope this helps.
Your overall comment helps a lot but as a noob this particular sentence is in some language I can't quite understand. Is there a particular sticky or site that would tell me how to go about this?
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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I use Beersmith for recipe formulation. You can download a free trial online. There are also numerous sites that do the same, but Beersmith is totally worth the $20.

Your FG will typically increase as your OG does, so the 1.009 isn't gospel, just a general target for you to aim for. Belgian yeasts are sometimes rated 80%+ for attenuation (how much the gravity drops over fermentation), because it can vary depending on temp, sugar percentages, and yeast population. If you're a newer brewer don't get too bogged down by this info and go for it and learn as you go. I would suggest an OG between 1.075-1.080 and just let the FG happen.

If you really like brewing Belgians, pick up Brew Like A Monk. It wont give you recipes per se, but it's an invaluable resource into the history of the style and general guidelines/tips for brewing Belgian beer.

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Old 03-31-2012, 12:09 AM   #10
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Any thoughts on the hops?

I can't wait to start this but will wait a week or so to see if I'm happy with my wheat beer that's been in bottles for 6 days. I don't have room for a significant pipeline and need a spring/summer ale in house before doing something that takes months.

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