Belgium Tripel Recipe
Recipe for this
Belgium Tripel/Triple Home Brew
1. Briess Pilsen Dry Malt Extract - 9.9 pounds
Light Candi Sugar - 1 pound
3. DurstPilsen Malt - 1 pound
3. Czech Saaz hops (Alpha 3.0) - 3 ounces (for bittering)
Czech Saaz hops (Alpha 3.0) - 1 ounce (for flavoring)
5. Belgian Golden Ale Yeast - 1 vial White Labs
Corn Sugar - 1/2 cup
December 7, 2013 - Although the number in the
title indicates "2", this actually is our third go with this
Abbey/Monk-style Tripel. The only change in ingredients
is the type of yeast being used. The first two batches
we used White Labs Belgian Trappist. This time, we are
using White Labs Belgian Golden Ale yeast. Apparently,
as we have been told by our brew gods at Asheville Brewing,
the Golden Ale yeast is more appropriate because it produces
a clean, crisp brew with subtle aromas where "Trappist" yeast
is more associated with darker, full body style brews.
This will again be a stove top brew as we have not moved
to all-grain brewing as yet.
So, here we go. As usual, we have cleaned and
sanitized everything, including the brew kettle, wort
chiller, carboy, etc. We also took the yeast vile out
of the refrigerator so it could reach room temperature in
time for pitching in a couple hours.
One of the first things we have done is boiled about 2
1/2 gallons of water for 15 minutes. This is typical
for the type of brewing we are doing, which is a beginner
level known as stove-top partial mash brewing. This
water will be added to the sanitized carboy and become part
of the final brew. Some home brewers don't do this
practice, and in fact, we previously didn't do it. We
have since learned that it's best to boil and cool the water
we add to the partial wort; it reduces the possibility of
contamination. Why not take care of this before you
start brewing? It does add about 30 minutes to the
home brewing process. But when you're doing it at the
same time you are sanitizing your utensils and handling
other pre-brew tasks, it really isn't an inconvenience...
Next, we heat 3 gallons of water in our brew kettle to
155 degrees F. The grain bag with DurstPilsen Malt was
added, where it remained for 50 minutes...
The grain bag was then removed and allowed to strain in a
bowl (for later return to the brew kettle)...
Next, the brew was removed from the heat and the Dry Malt
Extract (DME) was added...
The heat was applied and the brew was brought to a boil.
We had to really keep an eye on this one, watching for the
hot break, since it was about 4 gallons of brew in a
5-gallon brew pot. And, we almost had the infamous
In fact, it took only 3 seconds for the hot break to rise
to the top of the pot when it started raising. We were
lucky! Another 2 seconds and it would have boiled
over. The lesson for us is to use about a gallon less
water next time, or get a bigger brew pot. It's clear
we are out-growing our hobby and the time for expanding into
all-grain - and outdoor - brewing is at hand.
After about 10 minutes at boil, we added the 3 ounces of
Czech Saaz hops, and the grain juices that were previously
About 30 minutes into the boil we added the candi sugar.
Incidently, "candi" sugar (yeah, with the "i") is an
American term. In Belgium, they just call it sugar.
We often refer to our little rock sugar as candi sugar, but
it's just sugar. You would actually be better off
purchasing regular sugar. It's less expensive.
Belgian monks use a syrup (usually caramel) in their brews,
and this is what they call candi sugar...
About 15 minutes before the end of boil, or at 1 hour of
boiling, we added the Irish moss. As we have stated
before, and as you probably already know, Irish moss helps
coagulate (make lumps) the solids so they drop to the bottom
of the brew kettle. Makes for a cleaner transfer to
the fermentation vessel...
After about 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous boil, we
removed the brew from the heat and added the final ounce of
Czech Saaz hops. The brew kettle then went to the
sink, where we inserted the wort chiller. We also
returned about 2 gallons of the previously boiled water to
the kettle, saving about 3/4 gallon for topping off the
fermenter, if needed...
Total amount in the brew kettle at this point was about 5
1/2 gallons. Interestingly, when we dropped in the
hydrometer, it read an unexpected low of around 7% abv
(estimated), or a specific gravity of 54. We then
noticed that the readings increased in abv and specific
gravity as the temperature fell. When it reached about
86 degrees F. the specific gravity was about 70 (about 9.1%
After reaching 72 F, (yeast-pitching temperature) we
siphoned the wort into the carboy...
And, pitched the yeast...
Since this is a big beer (high specific gravity/fermentables),
we went with a blow-over hose, and moved the fermenter to a cool
area of the house. This time, in an attempt to control
the fermentation temperature at around 68 - 70 degrees, we
covered the carboy with a wet towel. A rise in temperature
above about 74 or 75 F will make the tripel aromatic and
fragrant. We want this one to not be so aromatic.
That's why we are attempting to control the temperature at
about 70 F.
December 8, 2013 - Fermentation began around 12
hours after the yeast was pitched, and had already developed
a full Krausen layer by the 18th hour...