A homebrewing blog by a novice brewer. I make mistakes so you don't have to.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tripel Resurrection

It's been a while since my last update in March. I've recently rejoined the working class and I'm really missing the free time I had when I was unemployed...I guess I had a lot less money then too, but I digress.

Since my last posting I have brewed 3 5-gallon batches. I re-brewed and finished the Belgian tripel disaster from Learning the hard way, I brewed what I hope will turn out to be a Flying Dog Raging Bitch clone (first recipe I've come up with on my own), and a California Common.

I really enjoyed the tripel, which I named Tripel Resurrection in honor of it's deceased brother. However, I learned that Belgian beers take a lot of patience. The primary fermentation took a looong time. Those Belgian yeasts are like the Charlie Sheen of yeasts. They were partying and multiplying (yeast sex! bow chicka wow wow) for 3 weeks! Once they started to come down from their 3 week bender I moved the beer into the secondary fermenter where the yeast started the party right back up. Talk about stamina! After a week they were all tuckered out and I racked the beer into a keg.

4 weeks had past since I brewed this batch and I was struggling. I wanted to drink it!...so I did. Man was it awful! It had a really really really fruity/banana-y taste up front (think juicy fruit) and a really harsh and very dry alcohol finish. Needless to say, I was bummed.

I let Tripel Resurrection sit...and sit...and sit. I would taste it once every couple days at the beginning, and then I kind of forgot about it. It must have been about 3 or 4 weeks after kegging when I remembered I hadn't tried the tripel in a while. To my surprise, the fruitiness and the intensely dry alcohol finish had mellowed greatly. And to my dismay, the beer was very flat.

Tripels are characterized by their thick foamy aromatic head (gigidy)..and mine had none. This was odd because it had been conditioning under pressurized CO2 for weeks. I added more CO2 and tried it again the next day and it was great! Good flavors, good aromas, high in alcohol content (8.7%), and a nice head on it.

Two days later it was flat again! I added more CO2 and it was great the following day. I tried it a couple days later and flat again! What the %@*# is going on here!?

After some soul searching and beer drinking I realized that there must be a leak in the keg. Sure enough, after a thorough investigation, I realized the lid of the keg wasn't seated properly and the seal wasn't tight.

From then on the beer was glorious. 3-4 finger head and great flavors that just got better every time I drank it. And the Belgian Tripel and I lived happily ever after...


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