Belgian Tripel - Worth the Wait

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

tagz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
2,034
Reaction score
282
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.
 

insubordinateK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
255
Reaction score
5
Location
raleigh
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.
 

Calichusetts

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2011
Messages
3,022
Reaction score
537
Location
Plymouth
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
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
4,877
Reaction score
260
Location
Keller, Texas
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).
 

insubordinateK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
255
Reaction score
5
Location
raleigh
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.
 

superslomo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
182
Reaction score
0
Location
Beacon
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.
 

GGGsPorter

Active Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
Location
Puyallup
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?:drunk:
 

Wvbrewer77

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
44
Reaction score
0
Location
martinsburg
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.
 
OP
T

tagz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
2,034
Reaction score
282
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?:drunk:
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.
 

Saxomophone

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2010
Messages
86
Reaction score
6
Location
SE Michigan
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.
 
Top