Doctor Duvel

I'm like a sommelier, but for beer.

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Location: Upstate New York, United States

Favorite Beers: Orval, Samuel Smith, Duvel, Hennepin, Oude Gueze, Chimay, Dogfish Head, Anchor Steam, and anything made by Trappist monks.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Westmalle Tripel

How am I gonna do this? In preparation for a tripel brewing session Tuesday, I broke out the big daddy. It's a really delicate gold. Pils malt only. Head is pretty solid. I think Hieronymus says the percentage of sugar is close to twenty--I can do that. I've got a lively 3787 yeast cake. The hopping is the tough part.

The malt character here is lovely and warming. It's also incredibly tightly controlled--not even a hint of chewiness or sweetness.

Shit, running downstairs to pour a couple half glasses of First Tripel. It's not that far off the mark actually, and it may help me calculate hops. O.K. Most of what I'm smelling in the Westy is the yeast. I used (where the hell I came up with this I have no idea) 1.5 oz Saaz at 15 and .6 oz Styrians + .1 oz Saaz at 5. I also over-bittered it statistically. The only thing this really tells me is that a full ounce of finishing hops would probably be overkill. Take the goddamned Munich out of First Tripel and it's really pretty close. What the hell was I thinking?

Anyway the Westmalle was gorgeous. More on recipe formulation to follow. Probably will hit the Westmalle stats, using only pils and sugar, mash at 145 (that got me very close to the correct attenuation last time), bitter to spec with Styrian, finish lightly with 1/3 each Styrian, Saaz, and Tettnang. Maybe a total of .8 oz total with a minute or two left in the boil? I think that might get me the slightly lighter, brighter spiciness of the Westmalle. Is a flavor addition neccesary?


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