Golden Falcon Belgian Style Tripel - Thoughts on this recipe and process?

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luckybeagle

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I stumbled upon this recipe and haven't found anything on HBT by the same name. I appreciate the simplicity of it (single step mash, 68F fermentation, cane sugar vs Belgian Candisyrup, etc). I'm very curious to have more experienced eyes look over this and post comments/ideas/concerns in this thread!!

From: https://beerandbrewing.com/golden-falcon-belgian-tripel-recipe/
The Recipe Creator's commentary: https://beerandbrewing.com/make-your-best-belgian-tripel/

ALL-GRAIN

Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.076
FG: 1.012
IBU: 34
SRM: 7
ABV: 7.8%

MALT/GRAIN BILL
12 lb (5.4 kg) Pilsner malt
8 oz (227 g) Victory malt
8 oz (227 g) Aromatic malt
1 lb (454 g) Cane sugar

HOPS & ADDITIONS SCHEDULE
0.8 oz (23 g) Nugget [10% AA] at 60 minutes
0.5 tsp ground coriander at 60 minutes
1 oz (28 g) Crystal [6% AA] at 5 minutes

YEAST
Wyeast 3522 (Belgian Ardennes) Yeast

Has anyone brewed this, or anything remotely close to it? Brew days and free time are both in short supply so I'm hoping for a bit of feedback before setting out to brew this!
 

505-Brewer

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Ive brewed other recipes from that site and they have turned out well. Looks solid. I would brew it and see what you think and then tweak to your liking or palette. Only way to really understand the ingredients is to brew with them. E.g. for me I would nix the victory in this recipe. Oh and focus on hitting the process parameters. Not a lot to hide flaws behind. Avoid fusels and make sure it attenuates. Enjoy!
 
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luckybeagle

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Ive brewed other recipes from that site and they have turned out well. Looks solid. I would brew it and see what you think and then tweak to your liking or palette. Only way to really understand the ingredients is to brew with them. E.g. for me I would nix the victory in this recipe. Oh and focus on hitting the process parameters. Not a lot to hide flaws behind. Avoid fusels and make sure it attenuates. Enjoy!
Thanks! That's good to hear. I looked up the flavor profile of Victory--it does sound a little off for the style.

I plugged the recipe into brewersfriend and referenced my iPhone app (Modern Brewer). The numbers don't all agree with one another (OG is 4 points higher, and the FG is 5 points higher). But maybe that's close enough?

I also entered the hops I have on hand for bittering. Think that'll show through in a negative way in the final product (Hallertau Blanc and Nugget)?

https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/748993/after-hours-belgian-tripel
 

chickypad

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I usually make my tripels with just pilsner malt and sugar. I've never personally been able to tell the difference between something like simplicity clear candi sugar and regular table sugar in the same recipe. A little aromatic is okay though since I find it pretty intense I'd probably knock that down to 3-4 oz. I agree the victory sounds out of place and I'm not generally a fan of coriander, though as mentioned above it's your beer so unless you're brewing for a competition all this is up to you. At least it sounds like a proven recipe. Subbing in your bittering hops should be fine.

With any software you need to adjust everything to your actual system - volumes, efficiency, etc. That's usually why you'd be getting different numbers from different calculators.
 
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luckybeagle

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I usually make my tripels with just pilsner malt and sugar. I've never personally been able to tell the difference between something like simplicity clear candi sugar and regular table sugar in the same recipe. A little aromatic is okay though since I find it pretty intense I'd probably knock that down to 3-4 oz. I agree the victory sounds out of place and I'm not generally a fan of coriander, though as mentioned above it's your beer so unless you're brewing for a competition all this is up to you. At least it sounds like a proven recipe. Subbing in your bittering hops should be fine.

With any software you need to adjust everything to your actual system - volumes, efficiency, etc. That's usually why you'd be getting different numbers from different calculators.
Thank you for this very helpful response!

Not entering a competition on this one, but am a big fan of Belgian tripels and quads so this is likely not a one-and-done. Maybe I should brew it as-is according to the recipe and then tweak to preference on further iterations. I do like coriander but not for any one flavor to take center stage. I made that mistake with an overdose of vanilla extract in a Porter -- every other flavor was wiped out by overwhelming synthetic vanilla flavoring.

Would you suggest building up a 1L starter for this one to give fermentation a boost, even though the Belgian Ardennes yeast is good up to 12% ABV?
 
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luckybeagle

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I would definitely do a starter.
:mug:
Starter in the works!! Thanks

I know adding coriander is a no no with a lot of people, but I'd like to do it anyway :p

The recipe designer said to add it at 60 minutes... wouldn't that kill the flavor by having it in a boil for so long? I've seen other threads suggest 15 minutes, flame-out, direct into the fermenter, etc. Can't find anything re: a 60 minute coriander addition.. Any thoughts on this?
 

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I’ve seen many Triple recipes w coriander. I’ve not used it in mine. I do use a small amount of Aromatic and cane sugar in mine. Triple is about the yeast character, so I use a light hand on any other additions. Love this style
 
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Thanks all for the great input and suggestions!

Update: (for my record-keeping and if anyone's curious)

Brew day was a success! Mash temp, preboil volume, post boil volume, and OG were all perfect or near-perfect.

Mash temp target: 152, actual: 152.2
Preboil gravity target: 1.060, actual: 1.059
OG target: 1.080, actual: 1.081
Fermenter volume target: 5 gal, actual: 5 gal

I've never gotten this close on volumes and temps--in fact I usually miss my fermenter volume and OG by quite a bit and have to correct with boiled water--so I'm very excited and optimistic about this beer! I made some additional adjustments in my brew calc since my boil-off percentage was set at 10% (15% is more like it for my setup), and I didn't account for enough BK and equipment loss (0.5g is accurate).

The slight difference in preboil gravity could be due to a poor calculation for temp adjustment on my behalf (I pulled from the BK and estimated it). I also boiled a little too vigorously on the front-end and had to turn down my burner to keep things a little more managed.

I pitched at about 65F using a 2L starter with slight decanting. I'm a little nervous about pitching near 10% fermenter volume in starter, but it was at high krausen so hopefully it won't have a negative effect. It seems the jury is split on whether or not decanting makes a huge difference for higher-gravity/non-lager beers, so I just dumped a majority of it in. The carboy's airlock started bubbling within about 15 minutes.

I built a makeshift fermentation chamber in my constant 60F attic using an alcove in the wall, a space heater set to 66, and a cardboard door. Hopefully the exothermic effects don't heat the wort beyond 68F. So far so good. Will update as fermentation progresses.
 
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5 day update. Holy smokes this thing ferments like a BEAST. Imagine one of those pollution awareness photos where it shows a huge wave carrying chunks of garbage, or a washing machine with a glass front chugging away--that's what it looked like in there for 4 straight days. It peaked at 71F in the fermenter despite my low 60's attic temps, so I had to put the carboy in a tub of cool water. I brought it back down to 68, which was my target. Still bubbling with a huge krausen head. My attic smells like a Belgian Brewery--the yeast is fantastic.

I'm wondering if I should ramp up to 71-73ish after things die down in the carboy, or if it's necessary? I'm trying to avoid banana and super strong pepper flavors (I read about someone who fermented in the mid 70's and got an undrinkable "pepper bomb").

Thoughts?
 
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luckybeagle

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Today is day 12 since brewing this beer, and I took a gravity sample since airlock activity has subsided and krausen has dropped. Holy smokes it tastes amazing. It is now sitting at 1.012, down from 1.081 OG (85% attenuation?!). It's been at this level for a couple days.

I detect no off flavors, no alcohol taste, no undesirable characteristics whatsoever, really. The ardennes flocculated well, too--so much that I don't plan to cold crash it.

Ok to bottle?
 

brownni5

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Just a couple days? 12 days isn't that long for a big beer. I would give it time - 3 weeks in primary isn't too long, especially since you brought it down already. Best to let Belgians go as high as they want. I'm not familiar with this yeast, but other Belgians will go higher on attenuation.
 
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luckybeagle

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Just a couple days? 12 days isn't that long for a big beer. I would give it time - 3 weeks in primary isn't too long, especially since you brought it down already. Best to let Belgians go as high as they want. I'm not familiar with this yeast, but other Belgians will go higher on attenuation.
Good call. Patience is a virtue. I'll give it some more time and try to keep my wine thief out of it. Thanks :)
 

505-Brewer

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Ramp the temp if you can to encourage it finishing dry. Sounds great so far! Makes me want to brew a Tripel!
 
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luckybeagle

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Ramp the temp if you can to encourage it finishing dry. Sounds great so far! Makes me want to brew a Tripel!
Go for it!! This is only my 7th or 8th batch, but I'm enjoying it the most so far. I always assumed belgians of any kind were out of reach given some of the candisyrup.com recipes that call for multirest mashes, crazy fermentation temp schedules that my current system can't do very well, and impossibly long bottle conditioning. I ended up ramping this one up from 64F to 72F. A space heater in my attic helped get it to about 70 over 8 or 9 days, and moving the carboy downstairs to my closet got it to about 72. The most surprising thing so far is that it has no alcohol burn, even at 9% ABV. My 8% ABV Scotch Ale tasted like rocket fuel by comparison!
 
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Fermenter is still bubbling the airlock every so often and I did drop another point in gravity... on day 14. That puts my ABV calculation at 9.2%. Hoping it doesn't keep dropping... I was aiming for about 8%. Oh well.
 
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How’d it turn out?
So far so good! I hit FG around day 10 or 11 and let it sit for another 5-6 days before bottling. Today is day 5 in the bottle. I opened one up this evening and loved it! Not greatly carbonated yet, but I can tell it's going to be very tasty, especially once it's more fizzy. The carbonation should really help subdue some residual sweetness and make it more refreshing. I am in disbelief that this beer is 9.3%--it hides the alcohol so well.

My wife is encouraging me to enter it into a competition taking place before our annual Brewfest put on by KLCC (our local NPR station). If it carbs up and tastes good in another week, I think I might do it. Just wish I could take credit for the recipe!

I'll post back once it's properly carbonated (with pics)
 
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Brewed this one again 2 weeks ago--this time a 9.2 gallon batch. I ended up submitting the first one after all and took 2nd for the Belgian Trappist category in the KLCC Brewfest (Eugene, OR). The BJCP judges' notes were super helpful, so I did my best to adjust accordingly. One note that came up in 2 of the 3 reports was a slight hop astringency, burn, fusels. Top score 41/50, bottom score 36/50. I (hopefully) corrected these by managing fermentation temp a little better, hitting a lower OG, and not mashing out with such hot water.

Corrections:
  • Ferment 68 degrees via rubbermaid tub filled with water, space heater and AC unit (diy attic fermentation chamber). Previous attempt had carboy temp spike to 76F for a day due to hyper active yeast
  • Batch Sparge with 185ish rather than near-boiling
  • Corrected volumes and hit slightly lower than desired OG: 1.073 rather than 1.076 per brewersfriend & recipe creator. Previous attempt was 1.081 - 5 points higher than recipe creator's #s
  • Adjusted Brewersfriend calculations and Modern Brewer loss calculations to be more accurate (originally calculated wrong boiloff and equipment losses, which led to a higher OG and lower carboy volume previously)
  • Bittered with Magnum rather than Hallertauer Blanc again, which I used with poor results in a Hefeweizen previously (perhaps this is where the astringent hop flavor came from?).
  • Either whirlpooled or did a 5 minute addition with blend of Crystal and Mt Hood 50/50 (can't remember exactly) rather than just Crystal. Looking for that spice/herb/black pepper flavor to come through more -- and not just from the yeast

I'm at day 14 of fermentation and 1.013. 82% attenuation. I hit 85%ish previously, and am using the same yeast (saved a bunch of slurry from the previous Tripel batch and pitched half of it into a Belgian Blonde, which tasted fantastic, and stored the other half for this beer.

Getting antsy. I bottled the previous one up at day 17. Wine thief pulls taste way better. May let it go a few more days yet.
 

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