This is a Belgian Tripel, a first for me. Some of the best Tripel recipes can be quite simple and this isn't too much different. Pilsner malt as a base is the rule with Tripels, and Belgian Pilsner is even better. Most recipes I've seen will have that and only one or two specialty grains (in small amounts), and up to 20% cane or candy sugar.
This one isn't too different. The malt bill (for a 4 gallon batch) consist of 8 lbs. of Belgian Pilsner malt and 1 lb. of Maris Otter Malt. The Maris Otter may be unconventional here. Normally an Aromatic malt or something with more zip will be used, but in a much smaller quantity. The Maris Otter should impart some flavor, a little color, and leave the beer with a little bit of body.
I'm looking for a smoothish Tripel, not a harsh one nor an overly spicy, controlled esters. So, I'm monitoring the temperature and trying not to stress out the yeast, I've started fermentation only with the grains listed above. Mashed at 149 F, give or take a degree of two. The original gravity was at 1.061 (low for a Tripel, but hang with me here). Fermentation started at 66 F and rose to 70F over the course of 48 hours.
|I know, it's upside down. I claiming artistic license on this.|
The cane sugar contains 46 gravity points, which basically means that in a gallon of water (1.000 gravity) a pound of cane sugar will raise the gravity to (1.046). With these added fermentables going into my 4 gallon batch of beer, that 46 will get divided by 4, resulting in an additional amount of .0115 to the overall net gravity. 1.061 + .0115 = 1.0725. This is getting closer to Tripel strength. But that isn't all.
|Turbinado Sugar boiling|
The books will say to let the temperature raise as fermentation commences, so I'm again dialing up the temperature control and will bring it back to around 70 degrees and maintain...at least that is the plan.
It will get transferred to secondary after a full week, the stay there for at least three more weeks before bottling.