Belgian Trippel help

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homebrewer26

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Does anyone have suggestions, past experience, etc with brewing Belgian trippels. I'm going to be brewing one soon and its only my second brew. Any equipment suggestions or fruit additives preferred. I love Belgian beer and was thinking about putting orange I'm this one. I just want it to turn out well so any help is appreciated.

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adrock430

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What kind of yeast will be using? Do you have fermentation control? WLP530, the Westmalle Yeast, makes a good tripel with pitch and hold at 64 for three days, then take straight up to 70 until finished.

Use 1.5#-2# of sugar, added after day three, and pils only to whatever gravity you'd like. 1/2 oz - 1oz Saaz or something like that for some hop flavor around 15 min. 30-40 ibu total makes for a good tripel!
 
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homebrewer26

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I was going to use the wyeast 3787 trappist high gravity. I have a brew belt but my apt runs around 63-65 this time of year do you think I will get enough heat from that

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adrock430

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Yeah, I think you'd be good @ those temps. You could slap the brewbelt on for the last few days for full attenuation.

The important thing for all belgian yeast is that they only go up in ferm temp, not down. If there's a temp swing down, then they just go to sleep. Good luck!
 

SaguaroMan

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Some breweries also ramp up their temperatures to the mid 70s after starting them in the high 60s.

As far as additives, don't go too overboard with those. Much of the taste of what makes a "Belgian" ale is the yeast. I did a Belgian IPA for my first and didn't add a thing; turned out really well.

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homebrewer26

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Cool. Thanks for the suggestions. On the equipment side I have a 6.5 gallon carboy I plan to use for the primary with a blowoff into a bucket of san. I use a 5 gallon pot for my boil. I have a wort chiller and oxygen set up along with a lot of the regular stuff. Anything key I might be missing?

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adrock430

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Nothings else needed (I'd save up for a bigger pot tho)...good luck and let us know how it turns out!
 

bknifefight

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was thinking about putting orange im this one.
Don't add orange. The yeast will give you all the flavor you want.

Everyone has given good advice about the yeast and it's temperatures. It is also important to start your yeast a little cooler. This will limit fussel alcohol production, which may not ever age out. After a few days it is fine to warm it up for the yeast to finish.
 

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If you have any issues keeping it warm with the belt, a sleeping bag or blanket wrapped around the fermenter is a quick and easy fix.

I wouldn't add any spices or fruit to start. Just brew it up and see how it tastes. If you think it could use a little something at the end, then you can add spices or zest to the fermenter and let it sit until you get the flavor you want.
 

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Lots of good advice. Starting on the cooler side and slowly ramping the temp up works great. 3787 is a good choice for a tripel. Just be aware that this yeast is famous for starting of quickly but taking a long time to get the last few points of attenuation. The first time I used it I thought the brew was done, but it obviously was not and I ended up with overcarbed brew. Don't be a fraid to keep it in the fermenter for a long time to make sure that it is fully done.
 
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homebrewer26

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Thanks so much for all the good advice so far. How long would everyone recommend leaving this beer in the primary and would anyone rack to a secondary? Also if I were to rack to secondary is temp control still as vital or should the yeast have settled down a bit?

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homebrewer26

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Also does anyone think there would be any issue racking to a smaller carboy for the secondary

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SaguaroMan

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Doesn't hurt. If you need to dry hop or add additives I would.

Many of the Trappist/abbey breweries rack to secondary.

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cgg

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I mash tripels low, 149, to get a very fermentable wort and dry finish. The sugar also helps with this.

+1 on getting the spice from the yeast alone.

Have fun.
 
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homebrewer26

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So no issues on going from a larger carboy to a smaller? I also forgot and I'm not sure how important it is but this isn't a full grain brew just an extract kit

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adrock430

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If using extract, all the more reason for a long primary, a lot of bigger sugars that the yeast can chew on slowly. I'd give it a solid three week in the primary. No need for a 2ndary, it'll stand up better in the bottle over time without it.

I'd suggest priming a bit below your target carbonation. I had a tripel go from 1.080 to 1.006 and I believe it still lost a point or two in the bottle. Use this site for bottle priming: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html
 
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homebrewer26

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Sorry that I'm kind of bouncing around here but the questions just keep popping up in my head. This is the first time I'm going to be using my oxygen kit and I'm not sure how long to let it run. I have a sort of home made kit consisting of the home depot tank with their on off valve going through clear tubing to a clean air filter and into a .5 micron stone. Also would it be safe to dip everything below the air filter into starsan solution before immersion into my chilled wort?

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adrock430

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That's what I do, just give it a quick dunk...I min of air should do it.
 
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homebrewer26

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Great thanks so much for the help

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sweetcell

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skip the secondary unless you plan on bulk aging it. not required for a beer like a trippel and transfers are best avoided when not necessary. (aside: "many breweries do X" isn't a good reason to do X. we're brewing on a home scale, what a big brewery does rarely applies to us. beer behaves differently in a 100 barrel tank, vs. a 5 gallon carboy). you can leave your beer in primary for 4-6 weeks with no issue if you've taken care of your yeast.

speaking of which, i didn't see you mention anything about a starter - so will you be pitching multiple packs/vials of yeast? for a big beer like a trippel, a single dose of yeast isn't going to cut it. some yeast nutrient might be a good thing to throw in at the end of the boil.

i have a belgian dark strong fermenting with 3787 right now. i'm 12 days in and there is still plenty of visible activity (churn) in the carboy. westmalle yeast is awesome and flavorful but it's on its own schedule. there is no set amount of time you can prescribe. wait for it to do it's thing (however long that takes), take a gravity reading once activity completely stops, give it a few more days then take a reading again. if the readings are the same, you can bottle/keg. otherwise, let it sit a few days more and take gravity again.
 
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homebrewer26

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I'm not yet set up for yeast starters but I was going to pitch 3 packs of the 3787 and add the nutrient. I haven't done the exact math on how much yeast so if three sounds like too much or too little let me know.

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sweetcell

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I'm not yet set up for yeast starters but I was going to pitch 3 packs of the 3787 and add the nutrient. I haven't done the exact math on how much yeast so if three sounds like too much or too little let me know.
how big is your batch, and what is your projected OG (without the sugar that you'll be adding after fermentation is well underway)? plug these numbers, plus the freshness of the yeast, into mrmalty.com and it'll tell you how many packs you need.

ex: if you're fermenting 5.5 gallons of 1.068 wort (late sugar additions bring you up to 1.080), you'll need 3.4 packs of yeast that are a month old. i'd consider 3 packs close enough. so as long as the yeast isn't more than a month old, and your recipe falls within the above numbers, you should be good to go.
 

SaguaroMan

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Also, you don't necessarily need an lab flask to create a starter. You can clean and sanitize an old growler too. Really clean it tho.

I'd definitely go with a starter though on this one.

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bknifefight

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I'm not yet set up for yeast starters but I was going to pitch 3 packs of the 3787 and add the nutrient. I haven't done the exact math on how much yeast so if three sounds like too much or too little let me know.

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3 packs of yeast?!
 

pvault98

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I usually start my Triple out at 62 and hold it steady for about 48 hours or slightly more until the krausen starts up pretty active, then let it free rise slowly over several days until reaching 70. At this point the krausen and blow off will be big and I leave it there until the krausen just starts to subside and that is when I add in my sugar. I usually add just enough water and boil it to make a moderately thick syrup. Your fermentation should remain very active and I keep ramping the temperature up 1-2 degrees as I see the activity slowing. You can get the temps up to the mid 70's up to about 77 or 78 without any flavor issues as the growth phase as already done. I usually hold it around 75-77 for a week or so to try get it to attenuate out. Overall my fermentation for this beer will be about 2.5 weeks; I keep an eye on the activity and once I feel that is should be complete I take a hydrometer reading and do a forced diacetyl test. By 3 weeks I transfer it to a keg for cold conditioning. I wouldn't bother with a secondary, especially if you are bottle conditioning. The yeast are pretty tired out after a big beer like this and I find it best to bottle as soon as the fermentation is done, let them carb up at room temp and then cold condition for a month or longer to get the alcohol to soften up some.

The most important aspect of making this beer is pitching the right amount of yeast and supplying adequate oxygen and yeast nutrient. I usually do 1 min of O2 when pitching and then about 4 hours later I add another minute of O2 to really give the yeast what they need. You really want this beer to attenuate well and be dry, any perceived sweetness should come from the alcohol, not unfermented sugars.
 

adrock430

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I usually start my Triple out at 62 and hold it steady for about 48 hours or slightly more until the krausen starts up pretty active, then let it free rise slowly over several days until reaching 70. At this point the krausen and blow off will be big and I leave it there until the krausen just starts to subside and that is when I add in my sugar. I usually add just enough water and boil it to make a moderately thick syrup. Your fermentation should remain very active and I keep ramping the temperature up 1-2 degrees as I see the activity slowing. You can get the temps up to the mid 70's up to about 77 or 78 without any flavor issues as the growth phase as already done. I usually hold it around 75-77 for a week or so to try get it to attenuate out. Overall my fermentation for this beer will be about 2.5 weeks; I keep an eye on the activity and once I feel that is should be complete I take a hydrometer reading and do a forced diacetyl test. By 3 weeks I transfer it to a keg for cold conditioning. I wouldn't bother with a secondary, especially if you are bottle conditioning. The yeast are pretty tired out after a big beer like this and I find it best to bottle as soon as the fermentation is done, let them carb up at room temp and then cold condition for a month or longer to get the alcohol to soften up some.

The most important aspect of making this beer is pitching the right amount of yeast and supplying adequate oxygen and yeast nutrient. I usually do 1 min of O2 when pitching and then about 4 hours later I add another minute of O2 to really give the yeast what they need. You really want this beer to attenuate well and be dry, any perceived sweetness should come from the alcohol, not unfermented sugars.
+1 to this, follow these directions and you'll get a great tripel
 
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homebrewer26

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Okay I've gotten a bunch of great advice. Few more questions. If I were to do a starter how much would you suggest I do and do you think I will be able to achieve the temperature control close enough without an actual temperature controller? And I read that brew belts aren't meant for carboys is this true and if so what would you recommend using for the heat control?

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sweetcell

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Okay I've gotten a bunch of great advice. Few more questions. If I were to do a starter how much would you suggest I do and do you think I will be able to achieve the temperature control close enough without an actual temperature controller? And I read that brew belts aren't meant for carboys is this true and if so what would you recommend using for the heat control?
size of starter will depend on age of the yeast, size of your batch (in gallons) and its gravity (OG).

starter calculators: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html, or www.yeastcalc.com

temp control: look up "swamp cooler". you can make a "swamp heater" buy using an aquarium heater instead of ice. i sometimes use a cheap timer on my heat belt and have it turn on and off every 30 mins. that helps with an even heat ramping.

i've been using a brew belt on my carboys with no probs. be sure to keep the belt low, below the level of the liquid. do not put it up high above the beer. you don't want air on the other side of the belt, you want beer that can absorb and distribute the heat.
 
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