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Old 11-13-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
danbrewtan
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Default First Trappist Ale - Any Tips?

I have ordered the ingredients to brew a Dubbel Trappist from Austin Homebrew Supply. I ordered the "AHS Belgian Trappist Ale Dubbel" package. Anywho, I've brewed a couple ciders and a few beers so I still consider myself new at the art. Are there any tips or useful factoids that I should know before diving into this brew? Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Fermentation temperature control is important for Belgians (well all beers, but...). I don't know which yeast strain you're using, but typically you pitch at a temp in the mid 60's and slowly let it rise for the first couple of days. Maybe let it get to 69-70. Then as fermentation is nearly complete raise the temp a few more degrees to help get the last few points. Belgian yeast are often slow to finish. They will start out strong, but the last few points can take as long as the first 75%. Also, extended aging does wonders for the taste of most Belgian beers. The last dubbel that I did was bulk lagered at 50F for 4 weeks after primary fermentation was complete and then its flavor improved as it aged in the bottle. It's 6 months in the bottle now and tastes better than ever.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:31 PM   #3
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It will likely be a high gravity beer, so you'll want to make a big starter to pitch the correct number of cells to make sure your beer finishes dry enough. Use the mrmalty.com calculator to determine how much starter you'll need and don't forget the age of the yeast! Also, be sure to oxygenate the heck out of your wort before pitching. Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:32 AM   #4
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+1 Pitch the proper amount and temperature control.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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At this stage in the game, I really don't have a way to regulate the temperature other than my AC setting. Is there any easy way to do this that I'm not considering? My first thought is a water bath that I can check 2-3 times per day and drop a few ice cubes in there if it's too warm.
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:52 PM   #6
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Thanks for the calculator link. The yeast I am using is White Labs Trappist Ale WLP500, which is a liquid yeast if I remember correctly.

So this calculator can help me determine the amount of yeast starter to add with 1 vial of yeast. The starter amount is reported in Liters. Is the starter something I dissolve in water and pitch in along with the yeast? Since it's given in liters, my guess is that there is a standard concentration of yeast starter?

Thanks for the tips so far!
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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Belgian dubbel sounds like a good plan (I’ve got one fermenting now ;-). I used a fairly standard starter of 200g DME in water making a 2l solution (which gave a gravity of 1.040). They suggest to have the starter a little warmer (24C) to promote yeast growth.
Good luck.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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I just did a dubbel and fermented at room temperature (~68-70). After 3 weeks in primary I naturally carbonated/aged 3 weeks in a corny it came out amazing. Probably my best beer according to style that I have made.

This was using WLP530 in a 2 liter starter, decanted to 500 ml and pitched. It was 1.072 OG if I remember correctly.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:09 AM   #9
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Just transferred it to the secondary today. It had a gravity of 1.023 (OG was 1.082) which rings this up at about 7.8% ABV. Of course I took a little sample and it was delicious! Can't wait to bottle this baby
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:41 AM   #10
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Default First Trappist Ale - Any Tips?

I have my first Trappist yeast brew ready for the secondary tomarrow morning. My temps started out 82 degrees overnight (pitched @70) took temps down to 74 and slowly, in two weeks, took it up tp 84. Much warmer temps than I've ever tried. It is a saison and I will see how the esters developed. Let us know how what yours was like after bottle conditioning!
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