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Old 06-12-2007, 05:09 PM   #1
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Default Secondary for Belgian Tripel

I have a tripel that was in the primary for two weeks and come this weekend will have been in the secondary for a week. The SG when I racked it was 1.009, down from a OG of 1.084. By my calculations that makes for a 9.8% ABV and I could tell when I tasted it during the transfer, very strong alcohol flavor. I could also tell that behind the alcohol was a very good tasting beer, this is my first tripel and it was a welcome change from the wheats and pale ales I've been doing. The beer's already really clear so I don't think it needs to stay in the secondary for clearing purposes.

Should I bottle it this weekend and then let it bottle condition for several weeks until the flavor mellows or should I leave it in the secondary for a couple more weeks and then bottle? There are a couple catches as well, if I don't bottle this weekend or next then I won't be able to till July 14th because I'll be out of town AND if I don't bottle this weekend I'll need to buy another carboy since I need to rack another brew. Not that buying another carboy is a bad thing it's just an expense I didn't want to incur right now.

I guess the crux of my question is will the beer be better if I let it still in the secondary for another 1-4 weeks or will it be just as good or better if I bottle it earlier and let it bottle condition for that time.

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Old 06-12-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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I think the beer will be better if you bulk age it a little longer in the secondary and bottle in a few weeks or whenever you can.

The real question is if the difference would be great enough to compensate for the extra effort/expense you'll need to go through to do it that way. That I can't answer.

I recently secondaried a tripel for about 6 weeks. I gave it a little dose of harvested yeast a couple days before bottling just to ensure healthy carbonation. It's all good now. I've only had a couple because I want to mostly save them until they're at their prime, but they came out great.

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Old 06-12-2007, 05:47 PM   #3
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Also once bottled/kegged I'd let it set for 5-6 months aging.

Put a sticket on it DO NOT OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS

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Old 06-12-2007, 06:01 PM   #4
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That was going to be my next question, if I decide to leave it in the secondary for 5 weeks will I need to add yeast to ensure carbonation? If so, what kind of yeast should I add? The yeast I used for fermentation was the Wyeast Belgian Abbey or something along those lines, I forget the number now, but I didn't save any of it. I don't suppose there's some way to test or tell how much yeast is still in suspension before bottling?

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Old 06-13-2007, 03:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roterdrache
That was going to be my next question, if I decide to leave it in the secondary for 5 weeks will I need to add yeast to ensure carbonation? If so, what kind of yeast should I add? The yeast I used for fermentation was the Wyeast Belgian Abbey or something along those lines, I forget the number now, but I didn't save any of it. I don't suppose there's some way to test or tell how much yeast is still in suspension before bottling?
There should still be plenty of yeast for carbonation - it may take a little longer then the usual 2-3 weeks but as mentioned above this is a beer that will improve with age and should be left for several months anyways.
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:19 AM   #6
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You shouldn't need fresh yeast after such a short time, But with almost 10% alcohol your yeast will not be fresh little kittens anymore. You might want to add some fresh yeast when you bottle if you think it is worth it (there is no formula or certain answer here, you need to listen to the Yeast Whisperer in you). You needn't worry about using a different strain of yeast at bottling just go with a neutral dry yeast and it'll be fine.

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Old 06-22-2007, 04:22 PM   #7
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My Belgian's been in the secondary now for two weeks and this weekend is my last chance to do anything with it for almost three weeks. I'm still debating whether to bottle now and let it condition further there or leave it in the secondary. If I go with the secondary for the next few weeks and bottle when I'm back in town I think I'm going to add some yeast just to be safe. But what kind of yeast do I add? My LHBS carries Safale US-56 and Brewferm Blanche, would either of those work? Obviously I don't want to spend the money for another package of liquid yeast. To add the dry yeast, do I just rehydrate half the packet and then pour it into the bottling bucket?

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