Belgian Tripel Recipe – Brett McMillan

7700gm Pilsner Malt

750 gm Dextrose
15gm Northern Brewer Hop Pellets (8.0%AA) 60 min boil
30gm Saaz Hop Pellets (3.5%AA) 60 min
20gm Styrian Golding Hop Pellets (4.1%AA) 60 min
30gm Styrian Golding Hop Pellets (4.1%AA) 10 min
30gm Saaz Hop Pellets (3.5%AA) 2 min
1gm Koppafloc 15 min
Wyeast 3787 – Trappist High Gravity

Volume 23L
OG 1.073
FG 1.007
ABV 8.6%
IBU 32

Bulk prime with about 160gm of sugar (boil in water to sterilise). This needs to be highly carbonated

Comments:

  • Very simple malt bill. I’ve had bad results from using other malts, melanoiden etc. Keep it simple. A Tripel should look like a pilsner… You can easily use sucrose instead of dextrose no problem.
  • Most European hops are suitable. I think the three I’ve used work very well in this beer. And Northern Brewer is a very good bittering hop as it has a relatively high AA%
  • Don’t be scared of the high level of sugar! Tripels should be very drinkable and not to malty and cloying. The sugar helps to thin out the beer and there’s enough malt base in there so you won’t get that cidery taste. A tripel is not a Belgian Barley wine!
  • You need a large, strong starter, or even use the yeast for a lower gravity beer first and reuse most of the yeast cake. Note that the FG needs to be around the 1.007 or 1.008 mark, again for ease of drinking. There are plenty of different liquid belgian yeasts from wyeast and Whitelabs. I’ve had good results from 3787 (the Westmalle strain) but by all means try any of the trappist strains. I wouldn’t recommend using a dry yeast for this. A tripel is all about the yeast and I just don’t think the dry yeasts deliver.
  • A good idea is to add the original sugar only once the beer has started to ferment for a couple of days (boiled in water of course) so that the yeast starts on the malt sugars first and not the easier to digest sucrose. This will help to avoid the beer finishing too high
  • Ferment at around 20c raising to about 24c. Some people ferment higher (up to 26 or 28c) The higher the temperature the more esters you’ll get, but you can run he risk of producing hot alcohol in such a big beer, so I prefer to play it safe.
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