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Old 11-29-2011, 12:28 AM   #1
tagz
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Default Belgian Tripel - Worth the Wait

I've been sampling my Belgian tripel every month or so since bottling and it's been quite a roller coaster ride. Things started off hot/solvent, turned cidery for a month or two, tasted tolerable at about month 4 or 5, and then went south again for a few months with a grainy flavor. After my last bottle, I figured it wasn't going to get much better, so I forgot about it for a while.

Last week (month 10) I put a bottle in the fridge on a whim. The family was hanging around the table a couple days later and I pulled it out to sample. Holy cow, what a difference 10 months makes! It's spicy and fruity. It has a nice malt profile but a clean, dry finish. The alcohol bite is gone; just a pleasant warming. I can't believe the transformation. It's a thing of beauty.

Just thought I'd pass that along to anyone with a tripel that keeps calling them from the basement. Let it sit. It will be well worth it.


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Old 11-29-2011, 12:32 AM   #2
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Similar experience with my tripel. It started off with a medicinal taste or phenolic character - not really pleasant. It has gradually gotten much better over the last 3 months with this character significantly subsiding giving way to some great flavor from the yeast (Wyeast Trappist High Gravity). I probably brewed it 6 months ago.

Interesting beer so far.


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Old 11-29-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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I'm trying to get on the whole "patience" bandwagon here but I sabotage myself everytime...I have yet to have a Tripel survive more than 3 months...but every time I read a post like this...it gives some more encouragement
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Old 11-29-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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Time is definitely a key ingredient to a good tripel (or dubbel or quad). For people who insist aging is only necessary if you underpitch or underaerate, I point to the trappist breweries that lager and/or age their beers for months before shipping out to retailers (e.g. Chimay).
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calichusetts View Post
I'm trying to get on the whole "patience" bandwagon here but I sabotage myself everytime...I have yet to have a Tripel survive more than 3 months...but every time I read a post like this...it gives some more encouragement
The key to "patience" is having a lot of brews in different stages.

Cheers.
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Old 11-29-2011, 05:29 PM   #6
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I am finding that the semi-tripel (added too much water into the primary, so wound up undershooting the specified OG, but got a decent alcohol content from the Wyeast High Gravity yeast) has definitely gotten better over a few months.

Dubbel had some bubblegum flavor that has now dissipated as well.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:12 PM   #7
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Just finished kegging my first tripel after 5 weeks in primary. Has a bit of hot mouth feel currently. I'll be curious to see how it ages @ 38* in keezer under C02. Mistake?
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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From what I have read big Belgians need a long time to mature. I made a Belgian Framboise and it did come around till after 9 months and should be even better in a few more.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGGsPorter View Post
Just finished kegging my first tripel after 5 weeks in primary. Has a bit of hot mouth feel currently. I'll be curious to see how it ages @ 38* in keezer under C02. Mistake?
That's going to slow down the aging quite a bit. I would seal it and put away at cellar or room temps for a while.
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Old 12-04-2011, 01:28 AM   #10
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I've found the same thing with a strong Belgian Blonde I brewed over a year ago. I brewed it for my wife but she found the flavors too harsh so I ended up drinking most of it.

I found a bottle of it tucked away with a few bottles of barley wine I've been hanging on to. I opened it up and gave it a try and it was a whole different animal than it was 6 months ago. I handed it to my wife for a taste and never got it back from her. The taste was clear, crisp, and much more mellow that it was before.

Unfortunately I made the ultimate homebrewing sin of having the last beer of the batch taste the best.


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