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TheFreeman

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Hi,

Guys would you mind sharing any knowledge you have regarding brewing Triples?

So basically apart from the high alc content what should a beer have to be considered a tripel? Any info or resources shared would be greatly appreciated.
 

nrjones89

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Light candi sugar and some kind of abbey yeast. I have only done dubbels, but I expect a biscuity, bready flavor... so maybe some special B and biscuit malt. It should be lighter in color and dry, more malty than hoppy.
 

Comfort_Zone

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Depends on which one you're talking about. Tripels are very much a yeast-forward style. In terms of fermentables you really only need pilsner malt and sugar. In terms of yeast I prefer WY3787/OY Belgian ale W. Hops should be there but certainly not the star of the show.

In terms of sugar I just use table sugar. I used to use candy sugar but judges couldn't tell the difference so now I just save the money. The most critical thing is patience. I've never had a tripel that tasted good young. Let it sit in the bottle for at least 6-7 months.
 

nrjones89

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That's interesting that judges wouldn't pick up on candi sugar; maybe because it's lighter than a dubbel or quad? I couldn't bring myself to buy candi sugar from the LBHS so I made some from cane sugar; pretty easy to find a guide online for doing so. Just gotta watch it to get the right color.

I also wanted to add that a lot of abbey breweries seem to add a second yeast for bottle conditioning, as with the high gravity the yeast may be spent already.
 

davidabcd

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Regarding the yeast at bottling, I've seen quite a bit about that. I don't know how long those breweries leave the beer to condition before bottling but I would guess it's a lot longer than the three weeks I do. As a result, I've never added additional yeast.
I just drank a Westmalle Trappist Ale clone that came in at 9.3% ABV and it was only six days old but I wanted to see how it was doing. It's about 75% carbed already. I used two packs of T-58, let it do what it wanted in a 70 degree environment and that was it.
Regarding table sugar vs. candi sugar, I just used table sugar (2.5 pounds) and I cannot tell the difference. Making the stuff is a great idea and not too big of a hassle.
In any case, the beer is nuanced (for being only six days in the bottle) and if I didn't know better, there was a hint of orange. If it was totally carbed, I would be perfectly happy if nothing else changed.
 

jtp137

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This is a yeast forward style just pilsner malt and sugar it’s important to mash low and use the sugar to dry the beer out there is nothing worse than a sweet tripel. Pitch low and let temp rise over time
 

Lefou

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Get your bittering-to-gravity ratio near .4-.5.
This beer can age for months and I guarantee it will change over time.
Victory Brewing's Golden Monkey is a US brewed tripel beer with an ABV of about 9.5%. I drank one out of a sixpack and saved the other five for about ten months. The beer mellowed out and changed subtly but still kicked my ass.
 

danielthemaniel

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I have brewed a tripel a few times. What I find helpful is to keep the grain bill mostly pilsner with 1 other malt for a little nuance. I use honey malt but it's mainly to support the berry flavoring I use with my tripel. You could use vienna for a traditional tripel. Keep your mash temps low, like 148ish to make sure your wort is highly fermentable. Dont waste your money or time on candi sugar. Table sugar produces the same result as it will be fermented out anyway. Keep to noble hops and only use for bittering. No flavor additions necessary. For yeast you have plenty of good options. I do a 50/50 split of wlp530 and wlp545. Ferment at least 70 degrees if not higher to get the esters and phenols from the yeast, just make sure you pitch enough so you dont produce off flavors. Let it age and test it. I find mine are ready to first enjoy around 3 months. They will mellow over time and it certainly wont hurt to keep them for as long as you wish. I have some that are 14 months old that I will open every once and a while. It may be a little too long as the flavor has faded a little too much. I'd estimate the sweet spot to be around 6-8 months old.
 

Jayjay1976

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Get your bittering-to-gravity ratio near .4-.5.
This beer can age for months and I guarantee it will change over time.
Victory Brewing's Golden Monkey is a US brewed tripel beer with an ABV of about 9.5%. I drank one out of a sixpack and saved the other five for about ten months. The beer mellowed out and changed subtly but still kicked my ass.
I love golden monkey. Tried to clone it myself but effed it all up by toasting the coriander. Has an aroma/aftertaste like Chinese carryout, and several months later it's not improving. Down to my last 6 bottles; it might not taste good but it gets the job done :yes:
 
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TheFreeman

TheFreeman

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Regarding the yeast at bottling, I've seen quite a bit about that. I don't know how long those breweries leave the beer to condition before bottling but I would guess it's a lot longer than the three weeks I do. As a result, I've never added additional yeast.
I just drank a Westmalle Trappist Ale clone that came in at 9.3% ABV and it was only six days old but I wanted to see how it was doing. It's about 75% carbed already. I used two packs of T-58, let it do what it wanted in a 70 degree environment and that was it.
Regarding table sugar vs. candi sugar, I just used table sugar (2.5 pounds) and I cannot tell the difference. Making the stuff is a great idea and not too big of a hassle.
In any case, the beer is nuanced (for being only six days in the bottle) and if I didn't know better, there was a hint of orange. If it was totally carbed, I would be perfectly happy if nothing else changed.
Could you share the westmalle trippel recipe and method please? That's one of my favorite would love to see what malts are used.
 
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TheFreeman

TheFreeman

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I have brewed a tripel a few times. What I find helpful is to keep the grain bill mostly pilsner with 1 other malt for a little nuance. I use honey malt but it's mainly to support the berry flavoring I use with my tripel. You could use vienna for a traditional tripel. Keep your mash temps low, like 148ish to make sure your wort is highly fermentable. Dont waste your money or time on candi sugar. Table sugar produces the same result as it will be fermented out anyway. Keep to noble hops and only use for bittering. No flavor additions necessary. For yeast you have plenty of good options. I do a 50/50 split of wlp530 and wlp545. Ferment at least 70 degrees if not higher to get the esters and phenols from the yeast, just make sure you pitch enough so you dont produce off flavors. Let it age and test it. I find mine are ready to first enjoy around 3 months. They will mellow over time and it certainly wont hurt to keep them for as long as you wish. I have some that are 14 months old that I will open every once and a while. It may be a little too long as the flavor has faded a little too much. I'd estimate the sweet spot to be around 6-8 months old.
Hi thanks for the info, regarding this line: " I do a 50/50 split of wlp530 and wlp545. Ferment at least 70 degrees if not higher to get the esters and phenols from the yeast, just make sure you pitch enough so you dont produce off flavors"

1) How do you know which yeast to pitch?
2) Can these be found dry?
3) What do you mean by pitch enough so you dont produce off flavors?
 

davidabcd

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Could you share the westmalle trippel recipe and method please? That's one of my favorite would love to see what malts are used.
I tried a bottle of actual Westmalle Trappist ale and I have to say I didn't really like it. And, I don't think there was anything wrong with it. That said, this Westmalle clone tastes almost nothing like Westmalle but more like Dragonmead's Final Absolution and Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde.
The recipe for the Westmalle clone for AG uses only pilsner (12.75 pounds) as stated above. It's the yeast, as someone has said, and the sugar, I think, that make this beer good.
 

jtp137

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I tried a bottle of actual Westmalle Trappist ale and I have to say I didn't really like it. And, I don't think there was anything wrong with it. That said, this Westmalle clone tastes almost nothing like Westmalle but more like Dragonmead's Final Absolution and Unibroue's La Fin Du Monde.
The recipe for the Westmalle clone for AG uses only pilsner (12.75 pounds) as stated above. It's the yeast, as someone has said, and the sugar, I think, that make this beer good.
I am in the same camp Westmalle tripel is one of my least favorites. I would prefer la fin du monde or Alagash. That is why I never used wlp530 for a tripel. Does wlp530 produce a tripel that taste different from westmalle?
 

davidabcd

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I am in the same camp Westmalle tripel is one of my least favorites. I would prefer la fin du monde or Alagash. That is why I never used wlp530 for a tripel. Does wlp530 produce a tripel that taste different from westmalle?
I've only used T-58 for Belgians (dry yeast person here except for Kolsch) so I wouldn't know.
I was really shocked and a bit sad by how little I liked the Westmalle since my expectations for it were very high (drank it all though, being a good sport about it plus the cost was out the roof).
Alagash, hm? I'll have to try it or try and make it since I haven't seen it around.
Just learned about the La Fin Du Monde and Final Absolution a month or two ago. A knowledgeable guy at Trader Joe's pointed them out to me.
The La Fin Du Monde, with its champagne-style bottling, caused me a problem the first time. I got startled by the cork popping out so aggressively so I instinctively dropped the bottle! Foamed out on me, got about six ounces--maybe--so OUCH. It's expensive too. Bought it again and opened it carefully. Delicious.
 

nrjones89

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I think the best Belgian trippels come from Chimay (cinq cents) and Delirium (tremens). And you have to get the big bomber, too. Definitely give those a whirl. I don't care for Westmalle either. It will, in fact, give you a poopy butthole.
 

divrack

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Hi,

Guys would you mind sharing any knowledge you have regarding brewing Triples?

So basically apart from the high alc content what should a beer have to be considered a tripel? Any info or resources shared would be greatly appreciated.
Go for any Belgian yeast with phenolic dominant over ester or you will have a golden strong... No terrible misfortune.
 

madscientist451

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I highly recommend the book "Brew like a Monk" by Stan Hieronymus, if you want to brew Belgian beers.
What a tripel is "supposed to be" isn't something that that is firmly established, but there are some rough parameters.
Cloning a commercial example is a great place to start and then you can make adjustments on re-brews to suit your taste.
In "Brew like a Monk", it says Westmalle uses malts from " three French malthouses". Most recipes just say Belgian pilsner, and if you really want to make an exact clone you might have to experiment with the malts.
I'm thinking the monks use a secret combination of specific malts, but maybe they just use whatever they can get at the best price. Their recipes are not supposed to be changed except if ingredients become unavailable.
Note that both 2-row and 6-row pilsner malts are produced in France.
It would be interesting to compare tripel brewed with US and European malts.
The Candi-syrup recipes are worth looking over, there's a lot there I'd like to try. Someday I'll do a split batch of wort using candi-syrup and table sugar and see if I can detect any difference.
 

TropicThunder

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I've got a batch of Belgian Tripel in the fermentor right now! The main thing I saw as the differentiator was the clear candi sugar and the yeast. Here's the recipe I'm using:

· Malt
o 9.9 lbs. Gold LME
o ½ lb. Belgian Carapils

· Hops
o 1 oz. Perle (7.0-9.5% alpha / 4.0-5.0% beta)
o 1 oz. Saaz (2.5-4.5% alpha / 4.0-6.0% beta)

· Yeast
o Safbrew BE-256

· Other
o 1 lb. Clear Belgian Candi Sugar

IBU: 32 – 44
SRM: 5 – 7
Original Gravity: 1.081
Final Gravity: 1.015
Alcohol by Volume: 8.66%
Calories from Alcohol: 182
Calories from Carbs: 96
Total Calories (12 oz.): 277
 
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TheFreeman

TheFreeman

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I highly recommend the book "Brew like a Monk" by Stan Hieronymus, if you want to brew Belgian beers.
What a tripel is "supposed to be" isn't something that that is firmly established, but there are some rough parameters.
Cloning a commercial example is a great place to start and then you can make adjustments on re-brews to suit your taste.
In "Brew like a Monk", it says Westmalle uses malts from " three French malthouses". Most recipes just say Belgian pilsner, and if you really want to make an exact clone you might have to experiment with the malts.
I'm thinking the monks use a secret combination of specific malts, but maybe they just use whatever they can get at the best price. Their recipes are not supposed to be changed except if ingredients become unavailable.
Note that both 2-row and 6-row pilsner malts are produced in France.
It would be interesting to compare tripel brewed with US and European malts.
The Candi-syrup recipes are worth looking over, there's a lot there I'd like to try. Someday I'll do a split batch of wort using candi-syrup and table sugar and see if I can detect any difference.
Will defiantly buy this book :) My friend is mainly interested in Belgian beers so he will be very happy when I let him know about it. Although I understand the concept of trial and error I mainly prefer to have something to follow with explanations and reasons since I am sure a Westmalle is not just using Belgian pilsner, I do no think it is that simple.
 

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