Beer 24: Dry Hopped Belgian Tripel

Another solid beer from my silly little system. Honesty, after 24 drinkable, decent beers – some better than others, but all just fine – I don’t consider this an ‘experiment’ anymore. One Pot Brewing is a way to make good beers fast and easy. Anyway, the idea for this particular beer was really simple: a nice Beglian Tripel with a little Centenial dry hop character. And that’s pretty much it. It’s not the best beer I’ve had, and improvements could be made, but I enjoyed drinking it. And yes, it’s gone, so I have to remember what it tasted like. At first I thought it had a touch of cider, possibly due to stressing the yeast, and there might be some truth to that, but I think I was confusing that with a slight tinge from the hops – something I’m not used to tasting in a Tripel.

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When it comes to the yeast, I took advice from Gordon Strong’s Modern Homebrew Recipes, a book I’ve been getting a lot of recipes from lately. He says to use a Beglian Strong Ale yeast, as opposed to the traditional Monastery or Abbey yeast for a Tripel. Based on this beer I would have to disagree. The yeast is too subdued.

This recipe is purely from memory. I went into my garage today and realized I had erased the recipe from my white board. Yeah, I’m getting sloppy, but that’s my style, so whatever. I’m two batches ahead right now, so this beer is dead to me.

Dry Hopped Belgian Tripel
10 Ib. 2-Row
3.5 lb. Pilsen (BE)
.5 lb Belgian Aromatic
1.5 lb. Corn Sugar (FO)
————–
2 oz Sterling (FO) 30 minute boil
2 oz Fuggles (FO)
—————–
Abbey Ale Yeast (liquid)

I’m pretty sure I did a 30 minute mash, 30 minute boil (or less), no aeration before pitching, no starter, and the partial chill method (using a wort chiller to get to about 110 degrees or so).

My next beer with showcase a new method for me: the ‘vitality’ starter method. Stay tuned.

 

Beer 20: Dry, Bitter Belgian IPA

The concept for this beer was a hybrid of my two favorite beers: IPA and Belgian Tripel. The recipe can from Gordon Strong’s new recipe book. This is a good beer, and it came at the perfect time, as I was craving an IPA and Belgian Tripel, all at the same time. However, the beer’s not exactly what I expected, especially looking at the recipe. Clearly this is due to method, which I’ll talk about. What I really wanted and expected was a nice, dry, Belgian Tripel with a huge hop aroma and flavor. What I got is basically a Belgian Strong Ale with some bitterness and lemony hop flavor. Definitely not bad, and very drinkable, as any Belgian should be.

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Belgian Tripel IPA
8.5 lb. Pilsner malt (Belgian)
2.8 lb. Vienna malt
2 lb. Cane Sugar
————–
2 oz. Denali hops (FW, 30 min.)
3 oz. Denali (FO, no chill)
3 oz. Denali DH (3 days)
WLP 545 Belgian Strong Ale Yeast
——————
4/16: brewed, took about 2 hours, no chill
4/17: 1:00 pitched at 75F
4/23: hydrometer reading 1.010 (sample tasted very bitter)
4/24: 1.008 (tasted less bitter) noticed slight sulfur smell, decided to let clean up for a couple days
4/26: Dry hopped 3 oz Denali
4/30: bottled 30 22 oz. beers

Why is this so bitter? Probably because of the ‘no chill’ method. The combination of high-alpha hops added at the end of the boil (flame out) with the no chill method added more bitterness than I wanted. With no chill, you have to be careful with the flame out hops; they continue to extract bitterness as they sit. The bigger mystery is why this beer doesn’t have a hop aroma. With three ounces of Denali dry hops, there should be a better aroma. Or, perhaps Denali isn’t good for aroma? I’m not sure. In hindsight, I would probably go with Simcoe instead.