Sunday, January 18, 2009

Belgian IPA

Bottled yesterday, 17Feb2009, FG low can you go? a taste of the gravity sample revealed just what I had expected...very dry, very hoppy, now quite concerned that there'll be little to no malt backbone. why are my FGs completely all over the map?
a tasting update will be next, once adequately carbonated.

Houblon Chouffe...fantastic hybrid style.
I wanted to see if I could brew an DIPA with the complex belgian yeast flavor that can satisfy both the hop head and the belgian fanatic in me. I really want the ale to develop that distinct and beautiful meringue like head. I plan on getting a descent CO2 volume on this, and bottle conditioning it in some of my larger format champagne bottles, to get proof of concept (get consistent CO2 across the various bottles + proper sealing via corks). I feel confident that the yeast and hops should produce the head I'm seeking. The recipe should provide an american hop characteristic, but these citrusy and piney flavors should play a backup role (if at all possible) as I actually wanted the majority of the hop profile to be noble. I wanted sufficient bitterness, but really just enough to balance the aroma and hop flavor. Dry hopping as described below will round out the noble hop aromas.
The grist of the ample base malt (Belgian pilsener) should form a clean canvas for the belgian specialty grains to play off. My first attempt at a tripel proved to be a bit too sweet, due to the high FG as a result of the extract used. In this go, the sucrose (in addition to a loose mash with low-ish temp of ~148, at a lengthy 1.5 hours) will drive the FG down to dry levels. The specialty grains will provide a touch of toasty/biscuit to the malt profile.
the yeast starter was stepped up several times, and I would take a noseful of the belgian yeast.
I plan to drink the majority of this batch very young to appreciate the full hop profile. I wish the LHBS had the 3522 (achoufe yeast). But, the nose tells me the 1214 (chimay) is producing an excellent ester profile that shouts belgian.

Tripel IPA
Belgian Tripel

Type: All Grain
Date: 1/18/2009
Batch Size: 5.00 gal
12 lbs Pilsner (2 Row) Bel (2.0 SRM) Grain 75.00 %
8.0 oz Aromatic Malt (26.0 SRM) Grain 3.13 %
8.0 oz Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 3.13 %
8.0 oz Caravienne Malt (22.0 SRM) Grain 3.13 %
2 lbs 8.0 oz Cane (Beet) Sugar (0.0 SRM) Sugar 15.63 %
1.00 oz Challenger [6.50 %] (60 min) Hops 17.1 IBU
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.80 %] (60 min) Hops 12.6 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.50 %] (60 min) Hops 14.5 IBU
1.00 oz Tradition [5.70 %] (15 min) Hops 7.4 IBU
1.00 oz Cascade [5.40 %] (10 min) Hops 5.1 IBU
1.00 oz Tettnang [4.80 %] (10 min) Hops 4.6 IBU
1.00 oz Styrian Goldings [4.50 %] (8 min) Hops 3.6 IBU
1.00 oz Strisslespalt [2.60 %] (5 min) Hops 1.4 IBU

1.00 oz Cascade[5.50%] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops
1.00 oz Saaz [4.00 %] (Dry Hop 3 days) Hops
1 Pkgs Belgian Ale (Wyeast Labs #1214) Yeast-Ale

Est Original Gravity: 1.091 SG
Measured Original Gravity: 1.091 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.022 SG
Measured Final Gravity: 1.002 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 9.08 %
Actual Alcohol by Vol: 11.67 %
Bitterness: 66.3 IBU
Calories: 411 cal/pint
Est Color: 8.2 SRM


  1. If by "loose mash" you mean a thin mash, and you want a highly fermentable wort, I would suggest doing a very thick mash

    In a thick mash beta-amylase is less likely to be denatured that in a comparatively thin mash, this is because beta-amylase is more stable when it is attached to substrate

    as far as your yeast, why not buy a bottle of chouffe houblon and culture the yeast, Ive never gotten a bottle that Ive been able to drink the last ~8oz anyway without massive amount of yeast in the glass

  2. Interesting...I've read that a thinner mash leads to a slower, but more thorough conversion to fermentable wort vs. a thick mash which converts faster, but not down to simpler sugars. that is why I did a thin 2 hour mash. I did some stirring as well, to enhance enzyme to substrate contact.

    "The grist/water ratio is another factor influencing the performance of the mash. A thinner mash of >2 quarts of water per pound of grain dilutes the relative concentration of the enzymes, slowing the conversion, but ultimately leads to a more fermentable mash because the enzymes are not inhibited by a high concentration of sugars. "

  3. oh, and as for bottle culturing...I've done it a few times in the past...see my post about the quad (eventually, I get to the point where I talk about culturing Duvel yeast to make the first tripel attempt).

    I sure do like the romance behind using a favorite brewery's yeast, but I guess buying the $5 smack pack in this case was a bit easier/more reliable/on a sure timetable.

    I'm sure I'll do more yeast wrangling in the future though.

  4. when do you think you will be trying this beer? I am looking for a Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA Tripel clone. If you have already, how did it turn out? Similar or way off?

  5. ooops, I need to finish this post with tasting notes...but the beer is quite old at this point, so any fresh hop character is muted by now.

    Either way, I was WAY OFF for an actual clone (but that wasn't the original intention, as you can read above). I was also pretty far off in the style as well, in that it wasn't a true american IPA + belgian tripel cross. I made a too-big tripel, with muddled hopping. Boy, I've learned alot since this beer.

    from the a'chouffe clone perspective...
    the abv was too high (11.5% vs 9%)
    I didn't use the A'chouffe yeast (ie. WLP550),
    I didn't CTZ for bittering,
    I didn't use enough/fresh enough Saaz,
    and I didn't use Amarillo.

    I certainly made a solid beer, but the abv was too high

  6. this looks like a pretty solid clone, though I'd scale the sugar to get you to a FG around 1.010-.012 range (which the yeast may actually get you there on its own)


Related Posts with Thumbnails