A recipe to try…
Orange Blossom Tripel
Target OG: 1.080
Target IBU: 30
- Grain. 12 lbs. Belgian Pilsner Malt
- Hops. 3 oz. Saaz
- Yeast. A liquid Trappist or Abbey-style ale strain of your choice. I’m using Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity Ale.
- Honey. 2 lbs orange blossom honey. Save for day 2-3 of fermentation.
Key Points for Key Pints:
- Good yeast, lots of it. Like many Belgian styles, Tripel is about the yeast. Authentic Belgian and Trappist-style strains are readily available and will give optimal results. Propagating a starter is non-optional today!
- Fingernail polish remover is for hands, not beer. In a well-brewed example, the alcohol profile of a Tripel is subtle and never harsh, burny, or solvent-like. Besides pitching plenty of yeast, give the cooled wort plenty of O2 prior to inoculation and keep a leash on the fermentation temperature. Fermenting a beer like this too warm will produce unpleasant tasting fusels and higher alcohols, which is a common defect in homebrewed Tripels. Consult the manufacturer specs for the recommended temperature range of your chosen yeast strain and try to err on the low side.
- No orange blossom honey? Try another light, fruity varietal. Clover or basswood would be my top picks for a substitute.
- Be ready for blow-off. Some of my favorite Trappist-style strains are top-croppers, which is usually just another way of saying have at least 33% headspace in your primary fermenter or else just start out with a blow-off hose right away.
To the homebrewer:
Note: these steps are general guidelines and assume you’re already familiar with the all-grain brewing process – refer to the instructions for your brew system, and adjust as needed based on experience with your own particular equipment.
1. Make a yeast starter prior to brew day. This is a big beer and will need lots of yeast
2. On brew day, collect strike water and heat to approximately 158°F
3. Mill the grains, or have it done for you at the shop