Homebrew Recipe: Orange Blossom Honey Tripel

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!

Like this recipe? You can find it and 63 other witty and detailed homebrew recipes in Michael Dawson’s book, “Mashmaker: A Citizen-Brewer’s Guide to Making Great Beer at Home.” In each recipe, Dawson includes suggestions on how to modify and customize each beer, along with all-new essays on Malt, Hops, Yeast, and Water, giving readers critical insight into the building blocks of every successful brew. On sale now for $24.95 at mashmakerbook.com.

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  1. 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.

      -Michael Dawson

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