Fourth Time One Pot Brewing: Belgian Tripel got some Cider

I’ve already drank it, so it wasn’t bad by any means. But it also wasn’t a perfect Belgian Tripel. I’m looking for a ton of Belgian yeast aroma and flavor (usually described as spicy, bubble gun, cotton candy). I’m looking for a dry, simple, alcoholic, and well carbonated beer. This one came out a little too sweet with a detectable cider taste, which either covered up the yeast aroma or snuffed it out. I’m almost positive this is a fermentation issue. I distinctly remember that, on the very important fourth day of fermentation, the day when you are supposed to ramp up the temperature, this beer suffered a drop in temperature at night (it’s summer, I ferment in my closet, and this happens…I don’t have temperature control, yet). I remember worrying about it. I was right. The trick to a good Tripel is to slowly ramp up the temperature, even to 80 degrees if you can.

Belgian Tripel  9.1%
12 lb Pilsner
2 lb Corn Sugar
1 oz Styrian Goldings 60m
1 oz Styrian Goldings 20m
Trappist yeast (reused)

As you see in the picture, this beer had no head retention at all, probably do to the recipe. I’ve read several recipes with “Cara” malts in them, which I assume supports the head. Also, this one took forever to carbonate and it didn’t carbonated very well. Perhaps the yeast was stressed.

I’m looking forward to brewing this again, adding some carapils and some temperature control to the process. After IPAs and Scotch Ales, I do love Belgian beers. update: I brewed a really good one.

6 thoughts on “Fourth Time One Pot Brewing: Belgian Tripel got some Cider

  1. Sorry to hear. Brulosophy did experiments with temperature neither showed it was a factor

    this page :

    says yeast might be the culprit, but that it may go away with time.


    that 2 lbs of sugar is too much.

    or it may be both!!

    ironically – higher fermentation temp should have given you nore of that “belgian” taste.

    I think some of it is that bigger, higher alcohol beers are harder.


    Tastes/Smells Like:
    Green apples, rotten-apples, freshly cut pumpkin
    Possible Causes:
    Acetaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical produced by yeast during fermentation.
    It is usually converted into Ethanol alcohol, although this process may take longer in
    beers with high alcohol content or when not enough yeast is pitched. Some bacteria
    can cause green apple flavors as well.
    How to Avoid:
    Let the beer age and condition over a couple months time. This will give the yeast
    time to convert the Acetaldehyde into Ethanol. Always use high quality yeast and make
    sure you are pitching the correct amount for the gravity of the wort or make a yeast


    Tastes/Smells Like:
    Apple Cider, Wine, Acetaldehyde (apples)
    Possible Causes:
    Using too much corn or cane sugar is the most common cause for wine or cidery
    flavors. Generally, 1lb of sugar per 5 gallon batch is considered the limit before cidery
    flavors start developing. Acetaldehyde can also give off a cider-like quality.
    How to Avoid:
    Try cutting down on the amount of corn or cane sugar being used. Using an alternate
    source of fermentable sugar can help to reduce cidery or winey flavors. Dried or Liquid
    malt extract will not give off any cider flavors. Honey is another good substitution as
    it is almost fully fermentable but it will leave a slight to strong honey aroma and taste
    depending on how much is used. If the cause is the yeast rather than cane or corn
    sugar, lagering may help cidery flavors to dissipate over time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt Smith says:

      I did use more corn sugar than I normally do.This one is almost 17% of the grain bill, which is higher than most people recommend, as you point out. That probably explains it. I remember reading somewhere (maybe Brew Like a Monk?) that in Belgium they use a ton of table sugar in their traditional Belgian beers, so perhaps that’s what I was thinking. However, not sure that translates well to my own brewing system.

      As for the brulosopher’s first experiment, his beer only dropped to 68 on the 4th day. Mine probably dropped lower, but I’m not sure how much. I would love to see an experiment like this done with a high gravity beer, like a belgian tripel or something, because it seems like increasing temperature does affect the flavors significantly with this yeast.

      Waiting is not my strong suit.

      Thanks Ed


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