Belgian Tripel Recipe

Here is the recipe I plan on using for the Belgian Tripel this weekend.

Anticipated OG: 1090
Anticipated IBU: 32

18.5 lb German Pilsner Malt
1 lb Vienna Malt
1.5 lb Light Belgian Candi Sugar

1.5oz Tettnanger (4.5%AA) 60min
1.0oz Saaz (3.75%AA) 30min
0.5oz Saaz (3.75%AA) 15min

Mash: 145F for 90 minutes, (max out the fermentability).
Yeast: depending on availability, in order of preference WLP530, WLP500, WLP550.
WLP530 (Abbey Ale) is supposed to result in complex esters but be a little cleaner than the WLP500 (Trappist Ale).
WLP530 is also supposedly the famous strain from Westmalle, a classic example of the style.

Comments

  1. Why not all Saaz hops? What does the Tettnanger bring to the mix?

  2. Well, both Tettnanger and Saaz are classic Noble hops and acceptable to the style. My first inclination was to use all Tettnanger actually, mainly because I have a lot of these on hand as pellets.
    I like the mild, smoother bitterness that Tettnanger brings to the table. The Saaz should add a mild spice and fruit/hoppy note to the flavor. Both varieties bring similar flavors to the recipe that I expect the yeast (WLP530) to bring as well.
    Using the two varieties should add depth to the hop profile rather than being just a Saaz or Tettnanger showcase.
    Good question.

  3. What would you recommend for an extract version?

  4. If you can get a hold of pilsner malt extract, it should be an easy conversion.

    Substitute the 18.5 lbs of pilsner malt in my recipe with approximately 12-13 pounds of pilsner LME. That should get you to about 1.070. Steep the one lb of vienna malt in 2 qts of 155 F water for 40 minutes to mash it. Just use a grain bag and a small pot on the stove. Transfer that Vienna 1lb mini mash wort to your main pot, add the LME and you are off to the races. Continue with the same hopping schedule.
    I added my sugar later in the boil during the final 15 minutes.

  5. How much water did you mash with on this one? Is that 5 gallons for the entire mash? Sorry if it’s a dumb question, I have only done extract brewing so far. Also, do you think this would work with Mt. Hood and Crystal hops?

  6. I normally mash it at 1qt:lb so that would be about 5 gallons. I like to do that so that if I have to increase my mash temp I have some wiggle room and I don’t dilute my mash too much. I think I collected about 4 gallons from that mash, then I topped off the mash with another 5 gallons of water and collected another 5 gallons wort. SO I had about 9 gallons preboil volume… I can’t remember my gravity at that point. I’d have to check my notes.
    Crystal and Mt. Hood???? Well if those are the only hops you can get they will have to work right? While not traditional, if they taste good to you in other beers I would say used them. I have little experience with Mt. Hood and none with crystal.

  7. How did the final product come out?

  8. @Dylan:
    This beer was pretty good from what I remember it. I love the clean crisp taste that you get with the malt bill and the slight black pepper like quality you get from the Belgian yeast. I might revisit this recipe and age it out for a while.

  9. I brewed this almost two years ago. It ages amazingly well and actually tasted better after about a year in the bottle. Almost all of the residual sugars were gone and it became more of a fruit forward dry finish Belgian. Initially it is very sweet and I found that I preferred drinking it after the aging process. Also if you get the proper mash attenuation plus the sugar be prepared for a very high alcohol content. I am getting ready to do another brew of this with the specific purpose of bottle conditioning it for at least 6 months before tasting.

  10. Hi Chad,

    Thanks for the update. We’re glad that it came out great and aged well.

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