Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Belgian Tripel

In honor of Lent (although, I have to admit, this is in no form giving something up, actually probably the opposite, oh well) I brewed a traditional style beer that originated in Trappist monasteries, the Belgian Tripel. What I should do, is say the Liturgy of the Hours while I drink one in the evening; that way as I partake in their beer, I can also partake in their prayers. I did some research on the history of the Belgian Tripel, and found it quite interesting. Here is a short excerpt that describes the beer.

"Part of the mystique of a tripel is the color. They are pure gold or deep-gold, a trait that hides their formidable character, but showcases the softness. This color is achieved by the use of pilsner malt almost exclusively. Any deep hues come from the sheer amount of malt used, or an extended boil. The absence of any character malts will result in a highly-fermentable wort, heightening the alcoholic strength, but lightening the body.
Most have a fairly liberal dose of candi sugar (sucrose, up to 20 percent) in the kettle, which takes the strength and body in opposite direction, just like the pale pilsner malt. Though the body is light, it is not necessarily a thin beer, as brewers tend to balance the mouthfeel by using a slightly elevated mash temperature. On average, a tripel will ferment out to about 7.5 to 10 percent ABV, a strapping level that belies the coy facade. The supple pilsner malt aids in the drinkability, the light body, and the appetizing quality of the brew.
They are generally quite effervescent, which is not normal for a beer of such strength, so they should be poured in a wide goblet or tulip to both accommodate the mousse and allow the multifarious aroma to be appreciated."1

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