Belgian Tripel Questions

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bc23

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I have a tripel in my secondary, and I have some questions about timing and technique. It was a kit from Homebrew Adventures, but the kit didn't give any instructions on times. This tripel was my second batch.

It was in my primary for two weeks (1.078 - 1.019), and it has now been in my secondary for two weeks. There's quite a bit of sediment at the bottom of the carboy, and when I shine a flashlight through the glass I can see some minor bubbling.

How long should it sit in my secondary? (The temp is between 68-65 in my basement where the secondary is).

Will leaving it in the secondary for too long mean that I will have a hard time getting the bottles carbonated?

Once I've bottled, how long should I let those condition, and at what temp?

Any other thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for the help!
 

joshpooh

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Two weeks in secondary for a trippel is definately not enough time. I'd leave it another 2 weeks maybe, then bottle. If you leave a beer in secondary for too long eventually the yeast count will be too low to ferment the beer, but you should be fine with a 4 week secondary.
 
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bc23

bc23

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joshpooh said:
Two weeks in secondary for a trippel is definately not enough time. I'd leave it another 2 weeks maybe, then bottle. If you leave a beer in secondary for too long eventually the yeast count will be too low to ferment the beer, but you should be fine with a 4 week secondary.


Oh yeah, for sure - I was originally planning on at least a month in the secondary. I guess my question has arisen since I've heard that some people might leave the tripel in the secondary for 6 -12 months. I wondered if I have to do that, what its benefit is, and what if I bottle it earlier.

Thanks for the help
 

joshpooh

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If you age 6-12 months you are running the risk of not being able to naturally carbonate your beer. Most people that advocate extrememy long secondaries keg and force carbonate, and if you do that you can age as long as you want with no ill effects. With bottle conditioning you shouldn't secondary that long.

I made a belgian that was a little bigger than yours, and still only aged it 30 some days in the carboy. I just ran down and looked at my notes. I waited about 2 months after bottleing before I even cracked open the first one though. After 2 months the harsh alcohol flavor was still there, but I could tell it mellowed since I bottled it, so I waited another month b4 deciding it was ready to drink. The beer was excellent at this point. However, now its almost gone and I feel like it just reached its peak in the past month.

This beer was bottled in 8-30 after spending about a month in secondary. My point is it does need almost 6 months to age properly, but the bulk of that time can be in the bottles.
 

the_bird

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joshpooh said:
If you age 6-12 months you are running the risk of not being able to naturally carbonate your beer. Most people that advocate extrememy long secondaries keg and force carbonate, and if you do that you can age as long as you want with no ill effects. With bottle conditioning you shouldn't secondary that long.
If you're worried about that, just re-dose with a bit of a clean ale yeast at bottling. For the minute amount of fermentation that occurs in bottle conditioning, you won't be able to tell if it's the Belgian strain or US-04 that did the conditioning.
 
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bc23

bc23

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Oh, ok, thanks very much - I guess that must have been the aspect that I was missing (ie, force carbonating vs. bottle conditioning). Since I will be bottle conditioning, I'll probably bottle it in about 2 weeks, and then age it for 3-6 months.

thanks again for the help
 

avidhomebrewer

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I've made many a big Belgian brew over the years (some about 12%) and keep in primary about 2-3 weeks, then rack to secondary for about 2-3 months. After that, I still find that there are enough viable yeast to carbonate after about 6 months minimum in the bottle, without pitching a new strain to carbonate.
 

doublegun

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We just tried a Tripel that was bottled 2 weeks ago. Carbed up very nice after spending 10 weeks in a secondary, no additional yeast added, just dextrose. I had to try just one.

Edit: Ok, I've had to try about 7 now.
 

The Bone2

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secondary? If the fermentation is done, why not just go straight to the bottle?

I understand why the brew should sit in the bottle to condition for a long time, I'm just not sure what additional advantage to a long secondary?
 
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