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Home Brew Beer Recipes - Partial/Extract
Beer Brew 1 - Hubert's Belgium Trippel
  Beer Brew 2 - Straw Dog Kolsch

  Beer Brew 3 - Blow My Windmill Pilsner
  Beer Brew 4 - What to Wheat for Dinner
  Beer Brew 5 - Let the Oktoberfestivities Begin
  Beer Brew 6 - Belgian Battleground Ale
  Beer Brew 7 - Pablo's Kolsch
  Beer Brew 8 - Belgian Golden Ale
  Beer Brew 9 - Ichabod's Cranium Pumpkin Beer
  Beer Brew 10 - Appalachian Pale Ale (OAPA)
  Beer Brew 11 - Appalachian Pale Ale 2 (OAPA)
  Beer Brew 12 - It's Good to be American Pale Ale
  Beer Brew 13 - Another Munich Beer Tent Brau
  Beer Brew 14 - Up Under Australian Lager
  Beer Brew 15 - Monks Gone A Rye Ale
  Beer Brew 16 - Trouble With Belgian Dubbel
  Beer Brew 17 - Hubert's Belgium Tripel 2

About Hubert's Belgian Tripel Home Brew Beer

This is a strong pale ale beer typical of the Belgium and Netherlands area of Western Europe.  It ranges from 5.2% to 10.2% abv.  Used by other breweries, the Trappist Brewery of Westmalle first referred to the beer in 1956, representing their strongest beer, and making the term famous.  Trappist beer refers to where it comes from - not the style of beer.

Many of Belgium's breweries have an imitation of the brew, including the La Trappe Tripel from Koningshoeven, Netherlands.  That's the beer the author, Rick Morris enjoyed during his 5 years in Holland, many times over with his Dutch father-in-law, Hubert - the namesake for this special homebrew.  Here's a picture of bottles of beer from the 7 Trappist breweries.

Image of bottles of beer from all 7 Trappist Monasteries.

You're basically looking at two varying origins of the term tripel.  1.  It derived from the "x" they put on the cask, indicating the level of alcohol.  One X meant it was a weak beer.  Two XX's and you had a somewhat stronger beer.  Three XXX's and you had the strongest beer.  The other indicated the original gravity from 3% to 6%, and up to the Tripel, which was 9% abv.

The Trappist Tripel beer is brewed, yes, by monks.  It must meet certain requirements such as being brewed by monks in a monastery.  And, all profits from its sell must go to supporting the monastery.  There are currently just 7 monasteries that hold the certification: Rochefort, Westmalle, Orval, Chimay, Achel, and Westvleteren (all from Belgium), and De Koningshoeven Brewery in the Netherlands.

Hops Used

Bittering - Czech Saaz hops.

Flavoring - Czech Saaz hops.

Technical Stuff

Image of a hops cone as it appears on a bine.

Styles of Beer
Many have said the taste of beer must be "acquired".  That may be true.  Although factors such as the brewing process and various spices, fruits, etc. play a role, the taste of beer chiefly comes from the malt and water used, esters (or lack of) from the yeast, and the hops.  And, it's the hops that people are inherently tasting when we say beer is an acquired taste... more

Choosing the Right Beer Glass

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Discover the wonderful world of home brew.  If you've ever wanted to brew at home, but didn't know how to get started, this website serves to provide information on how to make home brew beer and the home brew process.  Get recipes for home brew beer, and step-by-step instructions on how to home brew beer.  No detail has been left out. 

Every new home brewer is going to need a basic set of brew equipment.  Read about all the home brew supplies available and typically used within the hobby.  Get information about home brew kits - one of the first purchases you'll make.  Find your local home brew stores and shops

You'll find that most beginners use bottles for their home brewed beer.  But, as you advance your knowledge and experience in brewing beer at home, you'll likely want to move away from bottling to kegging your beer.  Learn about the various home brew kegs and kegging systems.

Get answers about the home brew system, the best home brew kits, all the different pieces of home brew gear, and even where to obtain beer labels for your bottles!

Our Favorite Brew Supply Store
If you live in Western North Carolina, we highly recommend you visit the guys over at Asheville Brewers Supply!


Our Favorite Commercial Beers
Chimay Trappistes
Any of the Belgian Monk beers brewed within the walls of the Trappist Monastery and controlled by the International Trappist Association.  World renowned beers that are considered by us among the finest brews.

RJ Rockers
Great beer, brewed in a fashion familiar to any of us who have served with the Army/Air Force in Germany during the Cold War.  Love the new Pint Glass they sent me recently.  Ummmmmm!

BrandBrand Bier - The Brand Beer from The Netherlands.
While stationed in The Netherlands, this was the more popular beer, after Heineken.  In our opinion, it is a far better brew than the big "H" beer!  Unfortunately, Brand beer is not available in the United States.


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Beer Brew 1 - Hubert's Belgium Tripel

July 25, 2014 by Rick Morris:

Recipe for this Belgium Tripel/Triple Home Brew

1. Briess Pilsen Malt Extract - 9.9 pounds
2. Light Candi Sugar - 1 pound DurstPilsen Malt - 1 pound
3. Czech Saaz hops - 3 ounces (for bittering)
4. Czech Saaz hops - 1 ounce (for flavoring)
5. Trappist Ale Yeast - 1 vial White Labs
6. Corn Sugar - 1/2 cup

August 10, 2012 - 3pm - This is our second go with this Abbey/Monk-style Tripel.  Since the Belgian Tripel  was the first batch of beer we ever brewed (back in January of this year), it didn't make it on the site because we didn't take photos or track the process with notes. 

This time around, we were prepared.

Starting out, we returned to the usual amount of sanitizing - everything got a dip or wash in the sanitation mixture of One Step No Rinse Cleanser and water.  The home brewer can never sanitize too much!

Cleaning and sanitizing your carboy is very important.  Here, we clean with soap and water.   A good scrubbing with a carboy brush ensures we remove any remnants of our previous batch of home brew.

Rinsing the carboy thoroughly is crucial.   Cover the opening of the carboy with one hand, and vigorously shake the sanitizing solution.

After everything was cleaned and sanitized, we began transferring filtered water from the fridge, adding it one glass at a time to the 6-gallon fermentation carboy.  Bringing that up to about two gallons of fresh, clean water, we placed it into the fridge to cool down.

We secured our filtered water from the fridge.   Time and again, we poured one glass of filtered water into the carboy, raising it to about 3 gallons in total.

On the stove, we added about 3 gallons of filtered water and brought the temperature up to the standard grain-steeping level... about 150 to 155 degrees F.  In went the 1-pound boiling bag of DurstPilsen Malt grain.  Carefully watching the temperature, the grain bag steeped for about 50 - 55 minutes.  During that time, we clearly couldn't let the two Warsteiner's we had in the fridge go to waste!

One of the first steps in brewing beer from a kit is the addition of the crushed grain bag for steeping.   If you're brewing beer at home, you'll have to drink quality commercial beer until your first batch of homebrew is ready to drink - about 3 weeks to 1 month from now!

Important: Do not add your grain bag until the temperature of your water has risen to, and is holding steady at 150 - 155 degrees F.  Why?  Well, if you forget about monitoring your water for a few minutes, you can always adjust for temperatures higher than 155 degrees F. (by cooling, obviously).  If the grain bag was placed in the water as the temperature was rising, and you step away for a minute, the grains may accidently steep at a higher temperature and produce off-flavors.

After steeping, we removed the grain bag and placed it on a strainer above a bowl (both sanitized, of course).

After 50 minutes of steeping at 155 degrees, the grain bag was removed and rested above a strainer to collect the remaining juices for later addition to the wort.

The temperature was quickly increased to a near boiling point and removed from the heat.  At this point, we added our nearly 10 pounds of Briess Pilsen malt extract and 1 pound of light Belgium candi sugar.

Adding the malt extract can be messy if you let it!  Be careful and watch for a boil over.  Stir constantly.   A pound of Belgian Candi Sugar is added to the wort at the same time we added the malt extract.  In fact, you may not really need to use Belgian candi sugar (it's pricey).  Try regular sugar or brown sugar.

Watching for a boil-over (which can be a messy experience!), we returned the wort to the heat and brought it to a gentle boil.  After about 10 minutes into the boil, the 3 ounces of Czech Saaz hops were added.  These are the bittering hops. 

Heating the wort to a boil.   After the hops were added, the brew really starts to smell great!

20 minutes later, we added the unused grain bag juice to the boil...

Adding the remaining juices from the grain bag back to the brewing wort.

Another 40 minutes of boil and the wort was removed from the heat.  At that point the 1 ounce of flavoring hops (same type as the earlier hops) was added.

We let the homebrew rest in a cold water bath for 5 minutes and then tossed in a few pounds of ice (filtered water), in an attempt to drop the temperature down to 72-74 degrees F, or yeast-pitching temperature.  In the past this worked well, as the temperature dropped in less than about 5 minutes.  In the homebrew business (and all beer brewing situations), its important to get the temperature down to yeast-pitching temperature for one primary reason - reduce the opportunity for bacteria or foreign contaminants to enter the brew.

Homebrew placed in a water bath in the sink to assist in immediate cooling.   About 3 pounds of ice was added to the brew to cool it rapidly.

So, we were scratching our heads as to why our brew didn't drop down in temperature like the last few batches where we used a combination of cold water and ice.  We determined the problem was two-fold.  First, we cooked 3 gallons of wort over heat, instead of two.  And, we had just two gallons of chilled water waiting instead of three.  We had it backwards!  Good lesson.

As we are growing more and more serious in this homebrew hobby, talk has begun about investing in a wort chiller - basically a copper coil through which cold water flows, chilling the wort in about 10 minutes.  Looking at about $75 for that, but I think its going to be worth it.

Unfortunately, we had to wait about five hours for the wort to chill to 74 degrees.  At that point, we took a measurement with the hydrometer (which indicated a 9% abv), pitched the yeast and shook the carboy vigorously.  It was sealed with an air lock and placed in a cool place with a towel covering it to keep out light.

Note:  The next day, we brewed another Belgium beer, a standard Belgium Ale.  It was at that time we noticed we had a vial of White Labs Trappist Ale Yeast, instead of Belgium Ale Yeast.  That's when we discovered we used the Belgium Ale Yeast yesterday in this Tripel brew!  So, we have to use the Trappist Ale Yeast in the Belgium Ale we are brewing today.  After further research, the mistake was found on our recipe/instructions sheet we got from the local brew store.  They had the wrong yeast listed.  So, we'll bring that to their attention.

The fermenting brew will remain in this cool location for 7 to 10 days, after which it will be siphoned to a secondary fermentor (another glass carboy).  After 7 to 10 more days, we'll bottle.  Then, it's a matter of waiting.  The longer the better.  As this is expected to be about 9% abv beer, it's treated like wine, when storing.  It will keep just fine up to two years, and perhaps more.  But, we know from experience that it will be ready for consumption after about 2 weeks in the bottle.  But, like I said, waiting 6 months or more is going to make it a better brew!  Will keep you posted.

August 11, 2012 - Fermentation started about 11-12 hours after the carboy was sealed, with a temperature of 71-72 degrees F.  Within an hour, it had become very active, with the air-lock "bubbling" (releasing CO2) faster than 1 per second.  And, the temperature from the brewing activity increased to about 74 degrees F.  So, we wrapped a dark towel around the brew and rested the edge of the carboy over the central air AC vent.  It is mid-late summer so our AC keeps the house at a constant 70 degrees.  The cool air blowing over the fermenting carboy from the bottom is keeping the brew temp at 66 - 70 degrees F.  A 2-inch head of foam formed as well.  We kept the dark towel around the carboy to protect the fermenting home brew from light.  Here are two images of fermentation (without the towel) - the first just as it started, and the second an hour later (notice the dark spots on top of the foam in the second pic)...

Belgian Tripel Homebrew Fermenting about an hour after yeast was pitched in this homebrew.   Fermenting Homebrew called Hubert's Belgian Tripel about two hours after fermentation begain.

Now, some 5 hours after initial fermentation began, the temperature has fallen to about 71 degrees F (because of the cool air from the central air vent).  Here is a video of this initial fermentation...

August 13, 2012 - It has been more than 2 days since fermentation began, and this homebrew is still actively fermenting.

August 14, 2012 - Fermentation has slowed to about 1 bubble per three seconds (20 per minute).  Temperature is steady at about 70 degrees F.  The idea of resting the edge of the carboy on the central air vent is working perfectly at keeping the temp at or just below 70.

August 15, 2012 - Five days after pitching yeast, and 4 days after fermentation began, it is still active at about 10 bubbles a minute.  The color is a beautiful yellowish-brownish.  The temperature is steady at about 70 degrees F.  One of the nicest things I like to do is smell the release each time the air-lock plops up and down.  This Belgian Tripel homebrew smells fabulous!

August 18, 2012 - It has been a full week since fermentation began.  It has pretty much slowed to about 4 bubbles per minute.  So, we are going to let it rest for a few more days before moving to the secondary fermentation carboy.

August 19, 2012 - 8 days and fermentation is still slightly active.  Temperature is steady around 70 degrees F.  We are getting about 3 bubbles of the air-lock every minute.  The color is a pale yellow and there are still signs of fermentation.  The yeast and sediment has not started to fall to the bottom of the carboy as yet, and the brew is still cloudy with tiny fermenting bubbles evident at the surface.  This is the longest we've seen fermentation continue with our home brews and we attribute that to the cooler temperatures (it has dropped to as low as 66 degrees), and possible the style of yeast (Belgium Ale, instead of the required Trappist Ale).  Of course, the longer your fermentation activity, the better the beer!

August 20, 2012 - Will it ever end?  This is going to be an awesome brew.  The high amount of sugars available and the lower fermenting temperature of 68 - 70 degrees F has slowed the fermenting of this batch.  And, that's exactly what we prefer.  We are still getting a couple air-lock bubbles each minute.  Instead of fermenting rapidly at a higher temperature of 74 (like the last batch), the slower fermenting generally will create a better beer.  Also, there will be less esters and fruitiness, which are otherwise ok, when fermented at 68 - 70 F.  This is what we prefer. 

August 25, 2012 - Still going, and going, and going, and....  Here is a pic of the fermenting process, a full two weeks after fermentation began.  Temperature is steady at 68 - 70 degrees F.

Hubert's Belgian Tripel Homebrew Fermenting After Two Weeks.

August 27, 2012 - Temperature holding steady at 70 degrees F.  Air-lock bubbles about 2 times per minute.

August 29, 2012 - Nearly three weeks since pitching the yeast, the home brew is still fermenting!  We moved it from the HVAC vent to increase the temperature slightly to about 72 degrees F.  We hoped this would hasten the fermenting and bring it to a halt.  But, it's still going steady with about 2 bubbles per minute.

September 2, 2012 - The air-lock is plopping about 1 time per minute so we are going to be moving this delicate homebrew to the secondary fermentation carboy today.

September 30, 2012 - After a four-week rest in the secondary fermenter, we bottled the beer.  We are going to be really patient this go around and give this delicate, high abv brew a good three months to bottle condition.  We expect to try it around Christmas, about 85 days from bottling.

Here are some better pics of the ingredients we used for this homebrew...

A look at the ingredients used in the Belgian Tripel Homebrew.  A 3.3 pound tub of CBW Pilsen Light Pure Malt Extract from Briess malt & Ingredients Company.

A typical 1/2 cup of corn sugar used in priming your home brew before bottling or kegging.   Czech Saaz Pellet Hops used in the Belgian Trippel Ale Homebrew.

Many Belgian Ales call for a pound or two of Candi Sugar.  This incraeses the alcohol by volume in the homebrew.   Belgian Golden Ale Yeast was used in the batch of Belgium Triple Homebrew.

Crushed grains in the grain bag.  Used in homebrewing.   A 3.3 pound tub of CBW Pilsen Light Pure Malt Extract from Briess malt & Ingredients Company.


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