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Old 05-12-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
Schnitzengiggle
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Default Belgian Tripel sugar addition advice

I brewed a Belgian Tripel this past Wednesday and I decided to leave the sugar addition out of the boil and add it during fermentation. Here is the recipe:

Style: Belgian Tripel
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (30.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Boil Size: 14.48 gal
Post Boil Volume: 12.48 gal
Batch Size (fermenter): 11.00 gal
Bottling Volume: 11.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.082 SG
Estimated Color: 4.0 SRM
Estimated IBU: 36.7 IBUs
Brewhouse Efficiency: 79.00 %
Est Mash Efficiency: 86.2 %
Boil Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
21 lbs 11.5 oz Pilsen (Dingemans) (1.6 SRM) Grain 1 77.3 %
13.7 oz Acidulated (Weyermann) (1.8 SRM) Grain 2 3.0 %
8.6 oz Aromatic Malt (Dingemans) (19.0 SRM) Grain 3 1.9 %
84.50 g Saaz [5.80 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop 4 35.3 IBUs
15.87 g Saaz [5.80 %] - Boil 10.0 min Hop 5 1.3 IBUs
1.0 pkg Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) [35.49 ml Yeast 6 -
5 lbs Sugar, Table (Sucrose) (1.0 SRM) Sugar 7 17.8 %


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Light Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 28 lbs 1.7 oz
----------------------------
Name Description Step Temperature Step Time
Mash In Add 30.83 qt of water at 162.3 F 149.0 F 75 min

Sparge: Batch sparge with 3 steps (Drain mash tun, , 4.78gal, 4.78gal) of 168.0 F water

Like I said this was brewed Wednesday, and I split the 10 gallon batch into two fermenters, one I inoculated with WLP 530, and the other with WLP 550. Since I had foregone the sugar addition, the gravity was about 1.062 into the fermenters, and I pitched a 3L decanted starter into each fermenter. I pitched around 64°F, and placed the fermenters into the fermentation chamber at 65°F at about 3:00pm.

About 24 hours after noticeable fermentation started (Thursday night around 11:00 pm) I bumped the temperature up to 70°F, and allowed the temperature to free rise to the new set temp.

There is still a decent kreausen, but fermentation has definitely slowed so I am thinking it is time to add the sugar. Last night I made some light Belgian Candi Syrup following the recipe found HERE .

The questions or advice I am seeking are:

1. do I drop the temperature back down to reduce fusel alcohol production?

2. What is the best way of mixing the sugar with the wort/beer (they are in 6 gallon PET carboys)? I have a degassing wand that I used to use for aeration, I figured I could attach it to my drill and stir the beer slowly until all the syrup was mixed in.

3. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers!

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Old 05-12-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
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I have no idea the best way, but when I've added significant Amounts of candi syrup, the yeast took care of mixing for me,,,,lots of turbulence occurred shortly, and I do mean shortly, after adding. As for temp, I don't know, but I would be prepared at least to have some temp control measures available....

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Old 05-12-2012, 09:06 PM   #3
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I happen to be a big advocate of late sugar additions like this. It will get you a higher attenuation.

Although higher temps at this stage won't be as detrimental as higher temps at the lag phase, I would still personally keep fermentation temperatures below 70 until visible fermentation subsides before ramping up above 70 to drop a few more points.

As far as mixing in sugar, I wouldn't bother. Aeration serves no benefit at this point, and the yeast will find the sugar and eat it no matter what you do.

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Old 05-12-2012, 09:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by House12 View Post
I happen to be a big advocate of late sugar additions like this. It will get you a higher attenuation.
I haven't found it to make any difference myself. I add it to the kettle and still get the attenuation I expect. YMMV.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
I haven't found it to make any difference myself. I add it to the kettle and still get the attenuation I expect. YMMV.
This was my concern, not getting the "full" attenuation I was looking for. I want this beer to be dry. I have only done a late sugar addition with one other Belgian beer which was a Quad I brewed a couple years ago. ABV was over 11%, so I figured it would be best to let the yeast consume all of the larger chain sugars they could before adding the easily metabolized sugars in an effort to prevent them from fizzling out early.

I was actually torn between adding the sugar to the kettle or to the fermenter. On the one hand adding to the kettle would make my life a lot easier, and reduce chances of infection or anything else that could go wrong.

On the other hand, playing the better-safe-than-sorry card will ensure I get full attenuation, and with the 3L starters I originally pitched, there should be a heap of yeast to get the job done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by House12 View Post
As far as mixing in sugar, I wouldn't bother. Aeration serves no benefit at this point, and the yeast will find the sugar and eat it no matter what you do.
I am not trying to aerate it (that would be bad at this point), I just want to make sure the syrup is dissolved and well mixed so there isn't a lump of sugar sitting on the bottom of the fermenter.

So now my second dilemma, just pour it in, or stir it gently to mix it?
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:37 PM   #6
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You can stir,,,,but the yeast are goin to have a dance party in there.....going to go nuts,,,if your in a carboy expect blowoff...going to mix thoroughly.

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Old 05-13-2012, 02:20 AM   #7
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You can stir,,,,but the yeast are goin to have a dance party in there.....going to go nuts,,,if your in a carboy expect blowoff...going to mix thoroughly.
Alright, I mixed in my syrup this evening. It was friggin thick! Next time I am not heating to the 250°F that the recipe says, 230°F MAX! I would say I gt about 95% of the sugar into the fermenters, but with some crystallization that occurred and the extreme thickness of the solution I got as much out as I could with the use of a silicone spatula.

And I stirred because it was so thick, I knew it sunk straight to the bottom of the fermenter, and stirring only confirmed it, I oculd fill the thickness of it while I mixed it in.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:58 PM   #8
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I agree with Denny. I've done Tripels in the 1.090 area and they've come out quite dry. With the proper pitch rate and ferm temperature it's not a problem. Don't understand why brewers freak out over this. A gentile swirl may be needed late in the process but it's a better alternative (IMO) then doing what you're doing. Seems to me you have oxidized your beer a bit. By removing the air lock, adding sugar and stirring you removed the original CO2 blanket and introduced oxygen. I guess I just don't get it!

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Old 05-13-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poobah58 View Post
I agree with Denny. I've done Tripels in the 1.090 area and they've come out quite dry. With the proper pitch rate and ferm temperature it's not a problem. Don't understand why brewers freak out over this. A gentile swirl may be needed late in the process but it's a better alternative (IMO) then doing what you're doing. Seems to me you have oxidized your beer a bit. By removing the air lock, adding sugar and stirring you removed the original CO2 blanket and introduced oxygen. I guess I just don't get it!
I just happen to have my brewing notes next to me so I checked on a tripel I made a couple months ago with sugar in the kettle. Table sugar was about 20% of the fermentables. Started at 1.082, ended at 1.008 for just under 90% ADF.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Poobah58 View Post
Seems to me you have oxidized your beer a bit. By removing the air lock, adding sugar and stirring you removed the original CO2 blanket and introduced oxygen. I guess I just don't get it!
There was still some kreausen in the fermenter, and the syrup was boiled so there was little to no o2 in the syrup. The beer is in 6 gallon carboys and I'd think that the entire co2 blanket would not be pushed out by some gentle stirring, also fermentaion was not complete, the beer was not "still" and since the addition of sugar will spark another vigorous fermentation I think that oxygenation isn't really an issue at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny View Post
I just happen to have my brewing notes next to me so I checked on a tripel I made a couple months ago with sugar in the kettle. Table sugar was about 20% of the fermentables. Started at 1.082, ended at 1.008 for just under 90% ADF.
Alright so next time I brew this recipe, I will add the sugar to the kettle, and do a taste comparison between the two.

Out of curiosity Denny, what yeast do you prefer in your Tripels? I am particular to the WLP 530 for almost all of my Belgian beers, I really like the way the yeast performs and the esters and phenols it adds to the overall falvor flavor.
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