Brew Day: Belgian Tripel

26 Apr

Sunday was brew day, and this time Chris chose a Belgian tripel. He had Friday afternoon off, so I picked him up from work and, after paying about a quarter of a month’s salary on property tax for the car and motorcycle, we drove out to our local home brewing store. I love this store! The people who own it are really helpful and friendly. Anyway, Chris started the yeast on Friday night and brewed Sunday morning.

He boiled the grain,

Stirred in the malt,

Poured the wort,

Pitched the yeast,

and took the gravity.

Now the beer is sitting in his office bubbling away–and I am under strict orders not to disturb its peaceful fermentation environment!

I know he refined his technique this time, but I’m hazy on the details. As substitute for helpful information, here’s some new-to-me background on Belgian tripels:

According to the Beeradvocate and Wikipedia, the style’s been around since after World War II and was probably first brewed by the Westmalle Brewery. It’s a strong pale ale with a high volume of malt, which is likely what gives it the name “Tripel” (and Chris did use three jars of malt!) Belgian candy sugar makes the beer light-colored, maybe desirable originally because pale lagers were popular at the time. A good Tripel should be a little darker than a pilsner, with a thick head and complex, spicy, fruity aroma. High bitterness for a light body, but the malts and hops are supposed to balance it out. Tripels have a high alcoholic content–up to 10%.

Examples: Chimay Cinq Cents, Duinen Tripel, Leffe Tripel, Allagash Triple Reserve.

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