Tripel the Light Fantastic

Tripel the Light Fantastic

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain)
OG = 1.081  FG = 1.015
IBU = 25  SRM = 4  ABV = 8.5%

9.75 lbs. (4.4 kg) Dingemans Belgian Pilsen malt
2.5 lbs. (1.1 kg) Durst Vienna malt (4 °L)
3.0 lbs. (1.4 kg) Belgian clear candi sugar (15 min.)
7.5 AAU Tettnang hops (60 min.) (1.9 oz./53 g of 4% alpha acids)
1 tsp. Irish moss (15 min.)
1/4 tsp. yeast nutrients (15 min.)
Wyeast 3787 (Belgian Trappist) or White Labs WLP500 (Trappist Ale) yeast (3 qt./~3 L yeast starter)
0.75 cups corn sugar (for priming)

Step by Step
In your kettle, heat 3.8 gallons (14 L) of strike water to 151 °F (66 °C) and mash in at 140 °F (60 °C). Once mashed in, immediately begin heating mash to 148 °F (64 °C). Rest for 45 minutes. Heat mash to 167 °F (75 °C) and transfer to lauter tun. Boil wort for 90 minutes, adding hops, Irish moss and nutrients at times specified in ingredient list. Add sugar with 15 minutes remaining in the boil. Ferment at 70 °F (21 °C).

Partial mash option
Replace base grains with 2.0 lbs. (0.91 kg) Pilsner malt, 1.0 lb. (0.45 kg) Coopers Light dried malt extract and 6 lbs. 2 oz (2.8 kg) Coopers Light liquid malt extract. Steep grains at 150 °F (66 °C) in 0.75 gallons (2.8 L) of water for 45 minutes. Add water to make 3 gallons (11 L), add dried malt extract and boil for 60 minutes. Add liquid malt extract at 15 minutes. Follow all-grain instructions for other directions.

Issue: December 2005

Light colors and dry finishes don’t go along with most big beers, but that’s exactly what makes a Belgian tripel great. The road to homebrew heaven is littered with failed tripel attempts, but here’s your path tom salvation — use only light base malts and about 25% clear adjunct (sugar); pitch a big yeast starter and add some yeast nutrients in the boil to supply nitrogen to the yeast.