Mash & Sparge
1. Add all grains to strike water and mix to achieve a uniform temperature of 148°F. Rest the mash at this temperature for 60 – 90 minutes. While the mash rests, collect and heat sparge water.
2. When the mash rest is complete, heat it to 170°F for mashout.
3. Sparge and collect the wort in the boil kettle.
1. Bring the wort to a boil. Add 2 oz. Saaz hops and boil for 60 minutes.
2. Add the remaining 1 oz. Saaz hops 30 minutes before the end of the boil.
3. Cool it!
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Fermentation and beyond
1. Transfer the cooled wort to a sanitized fermenter, aerate well, and pitch yeast.
2. Aim for a fermentation temperature somewhere between 65°-75°F; adjust as needed to suit your chosen yeast strain.
3. Two to three days after fermentation starts in earnest – CO2 through the airlock, krausen on the beer – add the honey. Soak the container in a pan of warm water to make sure the honey is liquified and easily pourable, then remove the lid or stopper from the fermenter and pour in the honey. Re-seal and swirl gently to mix. Expect renewed fermentation – it may be slower than before.
4. Depending on the yeast strain and termperature, primary fermentation should be complete in about 14 days. Use a hydrometer, monitor the gravity, and don’t rush it. We’d like to get Final Gravity as close to 1.012 or so as possible.
5. Rack to a secondary fermenter for a couple weeks of conditioning and clarification, then package. Skip a long secondary and use the carboy space for something else. The monks bottle-age it, and so can we.
6. Bottle-conditioning is the traditional method for Tripel, and it definitely looks handsome – no shame in putting this in a corny keg, though. If we’re careful about avoiding oxygen pickup and store it cool and out of the light, this beer will keep for years.
Until next time: drink it like you brewed it. Cheers!
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Are you using pasteurized honey for this recipe? Wouldn’t adding honey like this introduce wild yeasts and other undesirables?
Good question Malty Dog,
Pasteurized honey would be an option, but not strictly necessary.
Honey is naturally a hostile environment to wild yeast and other beer-spoiling microorganisms – if it wasn’t, it would ferment on the shelf. Its high sugar content and low moisture content inhibit microbial growth.
Plus, the rising alcohol content and dropping pH of the already-underway fermentation will further inhibit microbial activity.