Tripel Triple, a recipe

Sometimes simplicity is best, although I have a knack for mucking up something pretty simple. It is just how my brain works. I brewed this a couple of months ago, and it sat on primary for about 6 weeks, and another 8 weeks or so in a bright tank, all at room temps. For the past 2 weeks, the Tripel has been lagering on tap in my kegerator. Oh – three malts, three hops = Triple. Not original at all.

Tripels are one of my favorite Belgian styles, driven by pils, sugars and yeast characters. I subbed in some Aromatic for Biscuit, and let the kettle cooked piloncillo sugar drive the color to a golden orange.

Here’s the recipe:

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
12 gal 90 min 41.7 IBUs 5.9 SRM 1.082 1.010 9.5 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Belgian Tripel 18 C 1.075 - 1.085 1.008 - 1.014 20 - 40 4.5 - 7 2.4 - 3 7.5 - 9.5 %

Fermentables

Name Amount %
Pilsner (2 Row) Bel 30 lbs 84.51
Acid Malt 12 oz 2.11
Biscuit Malt 12 oz 2.11
Brown Sugar, Light 1 lbs 2.82
Sugar, Table (Sucrose) 3 lbs 8.45

Hops

Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Bravo 28 g 60 min First Wort Pellet 15.5
Hallertauer Mittelfrueh 28 g 45 min Boil Pellet 4
Saaz 28 g 15 min Boil Pellet 4

Miscs

Name Amount Time Use Type
Whirlfloc Tablet 3.00 Items 15 min Boil Fining
Coriander Seed 5.00 g 5 min Boil Spice
Yeast Nutrient 2.20 tsp 3 days Primary Other

Yeast

Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
SafBrew Specialty Ale (T-58) DCL/Fermentis 73% 60°F - 72°F
Belgian Strong Ale (1388) Wyeast Labs 76% 65°F - 75°F

Mash

Step Temperature Time
Protein Rest 122°F 30 min
Saccharification 148°F 75 min
Mash Out 168°F 10 min

Fermentation

Step Time Temperature
Primary 4 days 67°F
Secondary 10 days 67°F
Aging 30 days 65°F

Notes

Water additions should include the following
Mash
1.1 g gypsum
2.5 g Epsom
2.5 g Cal Chlor

Sparge
0.8 g gypssum
1.8 g Epsom
1.8 g Cal Chlor

This should produce an ion level similar to Antwerp treated water.

Hit Mash pH at ambient temp at 20 minutes 5.3. Wort is beautifully pale and clean. Hot break formed in kettle nearly immediately.

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Added three large handfuls of rice hulls as I had a lot of flour in the crush again. New pilsner (Western Malting) is meatier than the old Belgian pils mixed to create this.

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Something is wrong with volumes. I usually drain mash right to BK pre-volumes. This time, I noticed I had 14g in kettle and rising. Stopped the sparge. Need to check volumes again on grist and mash. Will extend this to a 90 minute boil to hit gravity and right volumes. I didn't boil as strong as normal - given the 14G boil volume. As a result - at the Whirlfloc add - we still have 13+ gallons. So will ride this into the fermenter - going to use the Sabco Fermenter this time and bring this into the office at 70F. Wort is cooling.

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Used Piloncillo instead of Light Brown sugar… excited as the flavor is really interesting.

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Will add the additional sugar at high krausen in staggered additions.

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Whirlpooled for 30 minutes - no counter water flow. My hybrid whirlpool is no longer effective with the massive hot and cold break. Need to find a solution.

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Reached 10 brix in 5 days, approx. 1.017, will let this stay on primary for at least 1 full month.

Big beers mean lower efficiency, and this was no different, barely hit 70%. I collected a massive amount of wort and had to watch the boil carefully. Sort of snuck up on a hard rolling boil when I was confident I could do so without a boil over. Even so – there was a sticky mess on the kettle and burner after.

I made a modest salt addition to my RO liquor, 1.1 g Gypsum, 2.5 g Epsom and 2.5 Calcium Chloride into the mash (remember there is aciduated in the mash) to hit a 5.2 pH, followed with 0.8 g Gypsum, 1.8 g Epsom and 1.8 g Calcium Chloride into the sparge water.

I added the table sugar into the primary fermenter, dissolved with a little yeast nutrient, during the first two days of fermentation. The brown sugar indicated was replaced with Piloncillo cones in the boil kettle for 90 minutes. I need to add piloncillo into BeerSmith, just been lazy about that.

I also mixed (2) re-hydrated T-58 packets with a single vial of White Labs Trappist High Gravity yeast, hoping the latter would allow it to dry out. This actually finished at 1.009 for a 8.7% ABV, but remains very sweet to the taste with very little hot alcohol taste. Light hits of caramel banana, tiny bit of clove. Fermented in primary at 72 F with a rise into 80 F after 3 weeks to lower the gravity some.

This will continue to lager through the holidays if I can keep my glass away from the tap. Will post a more formal tasting review with pics at a later date.

I also racked a half gallon of this onto a slurry from a bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru when I transferred into my bright tank. I bottled two bottles of extremely bright beer about 2 weeks ago – and hope these will age into some sourness over time. The taste into the bottle was very interesting – and the aroma quite musty. Should be fun!

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