Belgian Tripel

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Fiscus asked me what a belgian tripel was. Here is your answer.

This is an extract based recipe. It requires quite a bit of malt, as well as an ingredient called candi sugar. If you are very lucky you might find candi sugar at an exotic grocery store, but more than likely you will have to make it. Instructions for making candi sugar can be found here.

3 kg Extra Pale malt extract
1.5kg Pale malt extract
750g candi sugar
40g Hallertau hops
30g Tettnanger hops
20g Saaz hops
White Labs WLP530 Abbey Ale or
White Labs WLP500 Trappist Ale
Optional : You could use a little (150 - 200g) vienna grain in this recipe too if you wished.

In a large stock pot empty all the malt extract with 10 litres of water and the candi sugar. Bring to a boil. Add the Hallertau hops and boil for 60 minutes, adding the Tettnanger hops in the last 15 minutes and the Saaz just as you take it off heat. If you chose to use the grain, strain it into the brew pot at this stage.
Empty the contents of the pot into your fermenter and top up to 20 litres. When the temperature is right, add the yeast and ferment as usual.

Both the Abbey and Trappist ale yeast give off a very high krausen. Ensure there is plenty of head space in the fermenter for this. It is the addition of the candi sugar that allows a beer with such a high original gravity reading to still have only a medium body. This is one of my favourite beer styles.

OG 1.091
FG 1.016
alc ~10%


Ok I think this is going to be my first project. Do you make this batch often Pete?

Are the yeasts readily avaliable from the brew shops? Are they just in Sacehts - if not how many grams do u use?

Just some other questions regarding this. Do u just throw your hops in? Like there is no point putting the hops into a bag and boiling is it (I imagine the boil will break the bag anyway).

I have never done an extract brew - so with the grain are the steeped like you mentioned in another thread? Using the coffee plunger method? If no what is the process for this?

Once fermenting, what are the primary/secondary/storage periods you usually allow for this recipe?

I know lots of questions, but I would just like to clarify these things before getting into it.

Sounds great though!
You should be able to get these yeasts at most brew shops, although some don't stock any fresh yeasts due to small demand on them (they are pricey, but if you culture them you can get five to six starters out of one vial.

There is no need to put your hops in a muslin bag, as any hop particles will settle with the trub after fermentation.

The grain in this particular recipe should be used in the coffee plunger method I have described in earlier posts.

Finally, I will ferment in the primary for about six days, then transfer to a secondary, leaving undisturbed for two to three weeks. This brew will age very well over twelve to eighteen months or even longer (if it lasts :D )


Thanks gain Pete - looks like I got all the info I need.

I'll try to get the ingredients tommorow and start it with some free time on the weekend.

Temp wise - just normal ale regions - 18-24 ok?

I doubt mine will last 12-18 months - I might do a couple so I can put some in storage. I know this is a terrible questions to ask, but what would be minimum storage in bottles before testing/tasting?
PMyers said:
then transfer to a secondary, leaving undisturbed for two to three weeks.
When you say leave undisturbed for 2 - 3 weeks this means in a fermenter or in the fridge at low temperature?
Fiscus - about 17 - 21C is ideal for the two belgian yeasts, lower will give more phenols, and higher will bring out the spice/plum characteristics a little more. The last time I used one of these yeasts was in a dubbel at around 23-24C and the clove aroma was a little strong at the two month mark but mellowed out a bit around five months or so.

I would age the tripel at least two months, although it would still be rather green even at this point. Best to wait about four for the flavours to fully develop and blend.

Bl@de - The idea of transfering to the secondary at the six day mark is to remove the fermenting brew off the initial dropped sediment so it cany fully ferment out and clear naturally prior to bottling. If racked at the six day mark, the brew will still be developing enough CO2 to push the trapped air out of the secondary and reduce the chance of oxidation.


Thanks Pete! I understand now.

Geez with all these recipes it's going to take a while, think I need to get an industrial freezer just to keep up with all these new brews to try :chug:

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