Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Unbeliever Belgian Tripel

This is it. The big one. This is the beer I've been working up to for a while. I had a couple beers brewed on my new system, one of them a Belgian, my fermentation chamber was up and running, and now I felt ready to take on this beer that had been on my mind for ages. A lot of thought has gone into this, my notes on my goals for this beer are about three times longer than usual. A golden coloured beer around 9% but drinkable with a reasonably light body. Well attenuated without too much residual sweetness. High carbonation from bottle fermentation, with a dense white head. Clean flavour, not too bitter, low banana flavour, no fusels. We will see how close I get.

My first tripel I brewed for one of the components of my blended Belgian IPA. I was able to bottle some on its own, and it was good, but too dark and a bit too sweet, perhaps from the partially unrefined sugars. This time I used almost strictly Pilsner malt with just a touch of aromatic for complexity and wheat for head retention. I also changed from turbinado to plain old table sugar to ensure the high gravity, high attenuation, and drinkability that should be the mark of a good tripel. My first tripel also had a hot alcohol character to it that became more apparent as it warmed in the glass. This was something I wanted to prevent, and careful temperature control in my fermentation chamber would hopefully see to this. It was chilled to 18 degrees before the yeast was pitched and over the course of its first week of fermentation I allowed it to rise up to 21, to hopefully get enough attenuation as well as flavour from the Trappist yeast I used. I trust I will get some volunteers out there to sample this one with me in a month or two.

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