One of my first beers I made was our wedding beer, called Bride Blond. A typical Belgian style blond ale. The beer was a big success at our wedding so I decided it was time again to brew the same beer.
I have tried to brew a couple of Tripel and blond style beers in the mean time. However, after I got some comments back from the Danish beer judges (I sent in a beer for the DM i håndbryg competition), it was clear that I needed to change the malt types for the beers. The taste was too much caramel-like, as I used too much biscuit malt in the malt bill.
So that is why I went back to my Bride Blonde beer recipe. The malt bill for this beer is quite simple, only some pilsner malt with some malted oat and a little bit of munich malt as well. On top of this, I also added some light kandis sugar to get the correct alcohol percentage. For the hops, I used a mild bitter hop, Mittelfrüh, which has a nice delicate hop taste.
On top of the simple malt bill and sugar, I also added some typical spices used in a lot of Belgian style beers: dried orange peel and koriander seeds.
As usual, I used the Braumeister, my favorite brew system :-).
I wanted to try 2 yeast types, that is why I brewed around 37-38 liter, so I could split the brew. The two yeast types I used were WLP 510 Bastogne Ale yeast and WLP 570 Belgian Golden Ale yeast. I wanted to see the difference between the two as the WLP 570 is more spicy and fruity while the WLP 510 is more clean in taste with a light acid after taste.
After filling the wort in two fermentation buckets, I fermented the two different beers at 22 degrees Celsius. The fermentation took two weeks and then the beers matured for another week before bottling.
The beers were bottled with some added glucose and went into the fermentation cabinet for another 2-3 weeks until it is completely ready. Now it is waiting to be tasted….
In July, after the DM i håndbryg, I started brewing a new Tripel recipe. I really want to get a very good Tripel recipe as this is one of my favorite beers (of course, coming from Belgium, that is not so weird 😉 ).
So I did a little bit of research on the web, looking at different homebrew blogs and also looking through the beercalc.org website to get some inspiration from other homebrewed Tripels.
I found out that typical Belgian malt varieties as well as typical Belgian sugar is the key to get the typical Tripel taste, as well as a Belgian style yeast of course. I therefore used a meriad of malt types for my Tripel:
– pilsner malt
– cara pilsner malt
– cara belge malt
– biscout malt (to get a little of caramel taste)
– munich malt (only little bit)
For the sugar I used both light and dark ‘kandijsuiker’, at least the ones I could find in my favorite shop, Maltbazaren.
And then of course I needed to decide on the yeast. I looked through quite some recipes and read all the Whitelabs descriptions and decided on the WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale Yeast, which is one of their platinum yeast strains and the WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast.
The hop to be used for the Tripel should not be too aromatic, so I used Mittelfrüh. However, as I also like experimenting a bit, I added a little Huell Melon, to get a bit of hop fruitiness.
I brewed the beer in my bathroom, as unfortunately the summer was not the best one in July here in Denmark ;-).
Actually, I brewed it in our shower (after serious cleaning of course), as this was easy to just clean the Braumeister afterwards :-). After brewing, the wort cooled down until the next day before I added the yeast. The WLP530 did not want to start after 24h, so I added the WLP510 as extra in this vessel.
I had two times 20 liter, which was excellent to put in my fermentation cabinet.
I put the temperature on 22 degrees Celsius and the beer fermented for 14 days. After two weeks more at 4 degrees Celsius I put the beer on bottles and added some extra sugar to referment in the bottle. I added quite some, as I like my Tripel quite carbonated. I added 3g of glucose in a 33 cl bottle, which turned out to be perfect :-).
After a couple of weeks, I tasted both Tripels and the WLP510 fermented one was really amazing, very fruity, estery (banana) with a little spicy note (coming from the yeast -> 4-vinyl guaiacol). The 530+510 one was not carbonated enough and tasted a little too yeastie. So the WLP510 is now my favorite Tripel yeast, cheers!