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Old 03-09-2012, 02:53 AM   #1
JLem
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My first attempt at a Tripel has been in the bottle for 2 weeks. I couldn't wait any longer, so I cracked one open tonight. CLEARLY needs some age. I KNOW that it is not ready. I did NOT expect it to be after just two weeks in the bottle (I just had to reassure myself that it was carbing up OK - it is). I'll be cellaring these for a while for sure, but I'm curious, just how long can a Tripel age? I routinely lay down big, dark beers for years, but I've never brewed something this big and this light in color before. Are we talking a few months before this starts to turn south? 6 months? Can I lay them down for a year and still have something good?

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Old 03-09-2012, 07:18 AM   #2
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If commercial examples are any example of this I would say you're probably ok for two or three years.

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Old 03-09-2012, 07:31 AM   #3
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I like mine on the young side, I guess, when they still have a touch of bubblegum, fresh graininess, and robust bitterness. Those qualities go away by 4-6 months. If you keg it you can take little tastes along the way, and take note of how the hops drop out, the crispness evolves, and the phenols get woodier.

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Old 03-09-2012, 07:36 AM   #4
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When I brew triples, Quads, and golden strongs I always let them sit in secondary for 6 months or more. Strong belgian beers love the age. They only get better with time!

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Old 03-09-2012, 10:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregscsu View Post
When I brew triples, Quads, and golden strongs I always let them sit in secondary for 6 months or more. Strong belgian beers love the age. They only get better with time!
This!

I gave up on Belgians due to my impatience and need to use the carboys for other brews. The best I could make it was 5 months and it was the best of the batch. Chimays are aged for 18 months BEFORE they even leave the Abbey, so thats a great guideline for where you want yours to be.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregscsu View Post
When I brew triples, Quads, and golden strongs I always let them sit in secondary for 6 months or more. Strong belgian beers love the age. They only get better with time!
Yup. 6 months to a year bulk aging for mine as well.

Since yours is already in the bottle, just forget about it for 6 months or so.
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:11 AM   #7
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Awesome. Thanks all. This is what I was hoping to hear. The beer actually spent 4 weeks lagering in secondary. I didn't think to leave it in bulk for longer. Next time I guess. For this batch, I'll stash these bottles away for a while.

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Old 03-10-2012, 07:38 PM   #8
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i aged for 3 weeks in secondary, and now going on 2+ months in the bottle. i tried one after a month in the bottle and it was pretty good, but you could tell it could use a bunch more time aging

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Old 03-10-2012, 07:52 PM   #9
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I have a BGSA and a tripel (is there really a difference?) I brewed two years ago that are still delicious.

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Old 03-10-2012, 09:38 PM   #10
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I have the "Clone Brews" book by Tess and Mark Szamatulski and on some of the belgian tripel recipes in the book it explicitly recommends drinking them young, "before it dries out as it ages." Just providing one example, the Petrus Tripel recipe I recently brewed up suggests that it will peak at 2-5 months and will keep at cellar temperatures for 10 months. Granted this is only a 7.5% brew which I think is kind of on the lower end of the scale for a tripel.

From personal experience I agree with most of the folks here saying that aging these types of beers is fine, but just thought I'd throw this out there since I had just brewed up this clone and was a bit surprised to see this advice in the book. I'm definitely going to be paying closer attention to how this one ages over time.

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