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Belgian Tripel questions

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CoastalEmpireBrewery

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It's been a long time since I've been on here but I'm glad to be back! I just recently brewed my first Belgian Tripel. It has been in the primary for about 9 days. Just to help in going to post the recipe:

Recipe:

12lbs Pilsner Malt
.5 Caravienne
.25 Aromatic Malt
WLP 500 yeast (2L yeast starter)
2lbs of Belgian light candi sugar

So after brewing I poured in the yeast starter. After about 5 hours I noticed movement in the airlock. Next morning I had to put a blow off tube on it. After about 3 days most of the activity slowed down. Note that we are on day 9 you can clearly see the sediment falling out of the beer.

So my question really is since it appears that the yeast have converted the sugars into alcohol and cleaned up after themselves should I rack into secondary now or wait another week or so and place it straight into the keg? Any advise on this would be much appreciated. I have pictures if you would like to see.

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StoutFan

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What was your FG you were hoping to hit? I would check it with your hydrometer and see when you have 3 days consecutively with the same reading, then bottle/keg and condition in the bottle/keg avoiding the secondary unless you have other things to add flavor wise.
 

JosephN

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^^ agree with above. I'd hate to see you keg too early and I personally wouldn't transfer to a secondary. If I'm not mistaken I think triples need to be lagared for 30 days at 45-50f.
 

BamaPhil

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My tripel took deceptively long to reach terminal gravity. I used WY3787 and although the krausen had dropped after 13 days, the gravity kept falling until sometime between days 17-19. This was at temps of 68-72.

I didn't lager mine, just my usual 2 day cold condition. A BJCP judge gave me an unofficial 38-40 score, so perhaps it's not completely necessary. Can't hurt though!
 

JosephN

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BamaPhil [emoji106]🏻[emoji106]🏻 I didn't want to lager mine either. That's precious space in this apartment. At least I do have a chest freezer I can use here.
 

m00ps

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Tripels dont need to be (and traditionally arent) lagered. Its an ale

I wouldnt secondary it. Just do a bit longer primary than you would most lower gravity beers. It will still take time to reach its best once you bottle it.

Personally, I would not keg a tripel. I have a lot of kegs, but I find the bottle conditioning seems to help it age better. I bottle condition all ym belgians
 

griffi

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If this were my beer (and I wish it was) I'd bulk age it in that carboy for a month then bottle in two cases of Belgian corked bottles and let it bottle condition for a few months...
 

andrewmaixner

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So my question really is since it appears that the yeast have converted the sugars into alcohol and cleaned up after themselves should I rack into secondary now or wait another week or so and place it straight into the keg? Any advise on this would be much appreciated. I have pictures if you would like to see.
Don't bother. Check the gravity, when it has not not changed for 3 days, you can go straight to keg.

If you aren't in a hurry, naturally carb it in the keg -- mix in sugar, then seal the keg with 40PSI, and come back in 2 to 20 weeks depending on your patience.

I personally recommend a cold-crash + gelatin first, which will improve clarity and reduce later sediment in the keg, but that's your choice.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=155255

https://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing/comments/3kjwiu/psa_stop_racking_to_secondary/

http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/12/primary-only-vs-transfer-to-secondary-exbeeriment-results/
 

cyanmonkey

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Don't bother. Check the gravity, when it has not not changed for 3 days, you can go straight to keg.

If you aren't in a hurry, naturally carb it in the keg -- mix in sugar, then seal the keg with 40PSI, and come back in 2 to 20 weeks depending on your patience.

I personally recommend a cold-crash + gelatin first, which will improve clarity and reduce later sediment in the keg, but that's your choice.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=155255

https://www.reddit.com/r/Homebrewing/comments/3kjwiu/psa_stop_racking_to_secondary/

http://brulosophy.com/2014/08/12/primary-only-vs-transfer-to-secondary-exbeeriment-results/

You pressurize to 40 PSI and THEN naturally carbonate?
 

andrewmaixner

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You pressurize to 40 PSI and THEN naturally carbonate?
The 40PSI hit is just to make sure the keg seals are sealed well. If they aren't, then it won't carbonate because the CO2 produced by the yeast will escape.

The amount of CO2 actually forced into solution by 30 seconds of high pressure is effectively zero.
 

blizz81

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Personally, I would not keg a tripel. I have a lot of kegs, but I find the bottle conditioning seems to help it age better. I bottle condition all ym belgians

What about natural carb bulk in a keg?
 

m00ps

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Im sure it would bulk age fine in the keg, but if you bottled some from the keg to save, I think the lack of yeast in the bottle wouldn't let it age as well. Just what I've noticed when I tried bottling some of my saisons from the keg with my beer gun
 
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CoastalEmpireBrewery

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I just checked it with a thermohydrometer and it said it was 1.041 at 72°F... Should it really be that high after ten days with barely any movement in the airlock?

It was mashed for an hour at 154°F on my Sabco Brew Magic..
 

StoutFan

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That is fairly high, but give your yeast some time to clean up the whole job.
 

cyanmonkey

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I just checked it with a thermohydrometer and it said it was 1.041 at 88°F... Should it really be that high after ten days with barely any movement in the airlock?

It was mashed for an hour at 154°F on my Sabco Brew Magic..
No. That's much too high, especially for a tripel; both temperature and gravity. Try cooling it off to about 70*F and repitch a healthy yeast pitch.
 
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CoastalEmpireBrewery

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I don't have any more of that yeast.. I only ordered one tube of it.. WLP500... Can I try adding some yeast nutrient? The yeast I got wasn't but a few weeks old..
 

JosephN

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I don't have any more of that yeast.. I only ordered one tube of it.. WLP500... Can I try adding some yeast nutrient? The yeast I got wasn't but a few weeks old..

Jamil, if I remember correctly, suggests 3 vials worth of yeast for a triple. This might have made the difference.
 

cyanmonkey

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What do you mean by flocculation? Do you mean krausen?

A 2L would be sufficient.

Gravity is still too high. For some reason your yeast pooped out and we need to figure out why.

Should be closer to 1.010.
 

IslandLizard

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Are you sure that hydrometer is working alright? Test it in some tap water it should be 1.000 or near that. Also, your beer may contain CO2, giving you a false high reading. Let the sample sit in a beaker and stir it well a few times over a few hours. Then measure the gravity.

You could calibrate/test the workings of your hydrometer with a known sugar solution. That hydrometer is for sugar, right, not saline?
 

JosephN

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Question in relation to triples. Can you use normal 12oz bottles and crown caps for packaging if you keep the carb level down lower? I'm considering just purchasing the Belgian champagne style bottles so I can cork and cage them, but I'm really running out of room.
 

cyanmonkey

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Question in relation to triples. Can you use normal 12oz bottles and crown caps for packaging if you keep the carb level down lower? I'm considering just purchasing the Belgian champagne style bottles so I can cork and cage them, but I'm really running out of room.

Of course. Those bottles should handle about 3.5 volumes of CO2 just fine.
 

madscientist451

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Question in relation to triples. Can you use normal 12oz bottles and crown caps for packaging if you keep the carb level down lower? I'm considering just purchasing the Belgian champagne style bottles so I can cork and cage them, but I'm really running out of room.
If you bottle your beer that has a gravity reading of 1.043 you will have burst bottles. You need to let that beer finish. Some yeast nutrient at the time of pitching would have been a good idea. There are lots of ways to deal with a stuck fermentation, not sure what's best in your situation. What was your mash temperature?
The WLP 500 is pretty reliable and you can re-pitch what you have into another brew, but I'm skeptical that pitching more of the same into your current tripel will change anything.
 

cyanmonkey

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If you bottle your beer that has a gravity reading of 1.043 you will have burst bottles. You need to let that beer finish. Some yeast nutrient at the time of pitching would have been a good idea. There are lots of ways to deal with a stuck fermentation, not sure what's best in your situation. What was your mash temperature?
The WLP 500 is pretty reliable and you can re-pitch what you have into another brew, but I'm skeptical that pitching more of the same into your current tripel will change anything.

Person asking about bottles is different than the person with a stuck ferment.

Cheers.
 

andrewmaixner

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Question in relation to triples. Can you use normal 12oz bottles and crown caps for packaging if you keep the carb level down lower? I'm considering just purchasing the Belgian champagne style bottles so I can cork and cage them, but I'm really running out of room.
Yes.

Science:
Note that the highest temperature at which your beer finishes fermenting / bulk conditioning, will determine how much carbonation it has to start, and therefor how much carb you end with ( https://byo.com/mead/item/1271-priming-with-sugar )
See this chart: http://beerandwinejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Screen-shot-2013-09-20-at-4.40.17-PM.png at: http://beerandwinejournal.com/residual-co2/
Notice that a beer fermented at 60F would have about 0.97 volumes, while a belgian tripple that reached 75F would only have 0.75 volumes. That's a large difference in final carb level, if you use the "standard" amount of priming sugar!


Experiment:
Warning: potential safety risk! :
I experimented with increasing the carb level on an undercarbed tripple in normal bottles. This beer had fermented at up to 74F, so started with a lower than 'normal ale' carb level.
I had started with 5x Munton's Carb Tabs (the package says to use 3/4/5 tablets for low.med.high carb) but it was well undercarbed.
I chilled down a dozen bottles, and did a uncap, add tablet(s), and re-cap on them. Note that the re-cap after adding tablets is the part where you have about 1 second to get it capped.
I added 1, 2, and 3 more tablets and labeled the bottles. Then I let them all sit in a covered 5gal bucket for a month. I gave it all a good rattling, and even at room temperature, nothing burst. The 5+3=8 tablets were at acceptable carb level, 5+2=7 was close.


I also have noted that the "carb tabs", while giving more flexibility, have a binder that leaves more bottle sediment.
I have switched to "Brewers Best Carbonation Drops" which don't give flexibility, but don't leave extra sediment, and seem to have more sugar than 5x Carb Drops did, for a little more fizz.
 
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CoastalEmpireBrewery

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Okay let me clarify here because I'm doing a lot of miss readings..

1. This beer was made with a 2L yeast starter along with servomyces from white labs and hydration nutrient
2. As soon as the yeast got to my house it went into the starter hours later
 
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