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Old 10-10-2012, 06:13 PM   #21
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I'm playing around with Brewer's Friend and plugged in my recipe. It does seem to qualify as a slightly dark Trippel, which is nice, although the flavor from the yeast I think is most important - I don't care that much about the ranking.

What did catch my eye, though is the high final gravity predicted. BF tells me that I'll have OG around 1.075 and FG around 1.017. Does that mean the final beer will be overly sweet? Is it due to the carapils in the DME? And for next time, if I use LME instead, will the result be drier?

I understand I could dry it out a bit by adding more sugar, but I already have 1.5lbs in there, 17% of the fermentables - I am loathe to add any more.

thanks

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Old 10-10-2012, 06:46 PM   #22
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If I did the math right, that's 77% attenuation. If you want better than that you may need a different yeast strain or more sugar (up to 20%).

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Old 10-10-2012, 08:00 PM   #23
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another 0.5lb sugar wouldnt hurt, but the calculator likely just used the average attenuation of the strain, not calculated it so it may not be accurate. the hang up is the extract, its just not as fermentable as AG can be, so i dunno if you'll get much lower (i'd say around 80%).

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Old 10-10-2012, 09:36 PM   #24
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Ok, thanks - I'll probably throw in another 0.5lb of invert sugar (homemade candi).

It always confused me that adding more sugar would "dry out" the beer to a lower FG, until I realized what is going on - more sugar means higher ABV, which means a lower FG. So the same absolute amount of residual, non-fermentable sugar is still in the beer, but the overall gravity is lower due to the increased alcohol. Do I have that right?

I love a good complex tripel, so if this one doesn't work out because it is extract-only, that is yet another reason to move up to all grain.

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Old 10-15-2012, 12:19 AM   #25
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Finally brewed!

Final recipe:
5lbs light DME
2.5lbs amber DME
1.5 lbs invert sugar (cane juice reduced to syrup with 1T lemon juice)

60 minute boil:
2oz Wilammette (60 mins)
2oz Kent Golding (15 mins)
1 whirfloc tablet (15 mins)

WPL500 starter

cooled to room temp (72) after about 45 minutes in a cool bath
pitched about 1/3 gallon starter, also at 72 (had poured off clear liquid)

OG: 1.080, both before and after pitch

primary placed in a large bucket filled with water at about 65, with a blowoff tube

Notes: darker color than I had expected, probably due to using evaporated cane juice for the syrup rather than processed table sugar, but all in all close to the same color as my personal target beer (Anderson Valley's Brother David's Triple). The wort is noticeably thick and rich, and tastes excessively hoppy and a bit bitter, as expected. I have never used that much hops before, but I understand the malt flavors will come out and the hops will recede over time.

Next steps:
Watch the blowoff tube.
Keep ambient at about 66 for now, letting it rise to 70 later in the week.
Switch to a standard airlock when krausen subsides.
Rack to a glass secondary when gravity gets down in the 1.020 range, which I expect in 3 weeks or so.
Age in secondary for several months, or as long as I can stand it.

As it happens, I didn't take a single picture! but will try to get a shot of the wort if I ever have to take the lid off, or at least when I rack next month.

Now, I need to plan what to make when my primary is free again... something that will age a bit faster than a tripel!

thanks again to everyone for advice

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Old 10-17-2012, 04:49 AM   #26
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At Brewer's Friend, the FG is based on the yeast's average attenuation. You can override the value if you want to. There are number of factors that go into calculating FG (mash temps, yeast health, fermentation temp, nature of ingredients...).. so for now that is left to the humans.

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Old 10-17-2012, 09:57 PM   #27
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larrybrewer - yup, definitely. Mine are almost always different from expectations (usually higher = less attenuation).

Mine is bubbling away nicely now, no volcano action, but it has also been quite cool - keeping it at 64-66 as that is the ambient temp. I'll need to buy an aquarium heater to get it higher than that & will probably do so later this week, but for now as long as it is going I'm happy. I'll keep a blowoff tube on it for a while yet.

One thing that worries me is that I may have over-hopped it. I looked at a few other Tripel recipes and most have 2-3oz of hops total, and Charlie Papazian's only has 1.5oz bittering hops. Mine has 2oz Wilammette bittering and 2oz Kent Goldings flavor, so I'm worried it will be too floral for a Tripel. Also aware that it will mellow over time, so I'm not too worried. It sure smells nice in the fermenter!

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Old 10-21-2012, 06:06 PM   #28
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Brewed 1 week ago, down to 1.030 (from 1.080). It has been holding at 65 degrees or so day and night, so has been very steady, and tastes and smells fantastic. It got cold last night, though, and bucket is down to 54 deg. In the house warming up now, and I'll rack to secondary today (rousing the yeast) and will keep it above 65 from here on - need to buy that aquarium heater

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:37 AM   #29
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I may be too late but I wouldn't rack to secondary yet. You've still got a ways to go and should keep it on the primary yeast cake with all that good active yeast. Just swirl it to keep the yeast in suspension. Belgians take time, don't rush it. And yeah, you should raise the temp if possible.

Oh, and if you did rack it already don't worry too much. You might still get it to dry out but it will probably take longer.

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Old 10-22-2012, 04:20 PM   #30
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hogwash - thanks! I haven't actually racked it yet, ran out of time and figured I'd do it at lunch today. I'll keep it on the cake for now. I have it in the house and it is back up to 66 and bubbling away. Was down to 1.024 last night (from 1.030 the previous day) so it is definitely on the right path.

UPDATE: also, when I drew a sample last night it was completely opaque with yeast - tons of those busy little guys in there

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