Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tripel Hose

One of the brews in my ever-changing Top 5 list has been Schlafly's Tripel. While my tongue hasn't been calibrated as a BJCP judge or a brewing QC personnel I do know what I like. I view the Schlafly Tripel as Americanized Chinese food, meaning that the style has been tainted by American characteristics (and I like it!). I feel that this version is a bit more sugary, slightly higher in IBU's and a hint more chewy than, let's say, a La Fin Du Monde. Let's just say it's damn good and in my opinion under-rated.

As a beginner home brewer I hadn't felt I was ready to break off and do my own variables in brews so I wanted to semi-clone the Schlafly brew. I got a hold of Stephen Hale at Schlafly who guided me through the beer. I won't be posting my ingredients on here for the integrity of Schlafly, but I will say that the key was in the yeast. And boy did this yeast work. The name "Tripel Hose" came about because I roasted my garden hose on my burner when I was about to chill the wort. One of the many things you can do wrong when drinking while home brewing.

I listened to a show on the brewing network with Jamil about Tripels and the candy sugars. It was suggested that you let the yeast work on the more complicated sugars from the malts first then once attenuation starts to slow down, dump in the candy sugars. He equated to filling up too fast on the junk food and not having any of the healthy food because you're too full. The yeast sure did it's job finishing out with a Specific Gravity of 1.009 meaning I had 91% apparent attenuation which is crazy. I have heard of a lot of tripels getting around 95% attenuation and mine almost got there. I am very sad to say that I did not get an original gravity so I can only roughly estimate the abv. However with a 70% brewhouse efficiency I would estimate a range from 11.5-12% abv whereas Schlafly's is about 10%. This is far too high to be judged properly in the Tripel category where BJCP looks for 7.5-9%, but you know what, I don't care. This beer is mighty tasty. It is a bit dry, but the heavier malt backbone gives a good balance as long as their is high carbonation. Leave it to us Americans to bastardize recipes and double up on ingredients.

Because I did not get an original gravity reading, the good people at Boulevard took a sample to get an Ethanol spike using their chromatography machine (GC). While I actually never got a reading for my ABV, I did get a ton more and I was very happy with my results. While some were marked as high, sometimes they are acceptable for a Belgian-Styled brew. It was also ran through a 7 person tasting panel and received a 6.8 rating which is right in line with many commercial brews.
  • Acetaldehyde (ppm) - 25.80177
  • Diacetyl (ppb) - 12.38845
  • DMS (ppb) - 136.67268
  • Ethyl Acetate (ppm) - 40.55405
  • Ethyl Butyrate (ppb) - 1527.58567
  • Isoamyl Acetate (ppb) - 3002.76315
  • Isoamyl Alcohol (ppm) - 256.3184
  • Ethyl Hexanoate (ppb) - 186.61994

1 comment:

bearcamp said...

Looks and probably tastes really good! Congrats on a good brew! Thinking of brewing a dubbel next and might use your tip and add the dark candy sugar after a few days of primary fermentation.