Friday, June 3, 2016

Belgian Tripel - Total Brewing Geekery - No Sparge, Water Adjustments, Step Mash, Decoction, Partigyle

So this coming weekend, we will all be brewing together again for the first time in a long while.  I for one am looking forward to it.  We will be brewing our Belgian Tripel.  A truly amazing beer.  And we will be beer geeking out about as much as home brewers can geek out; No Sparge / Infusion step mash / Decotion / Partigyle/ with full water adjustments.  Without crazy expenses and fancy brewing systems this is about as brew geeky as you can get.

The infusion mash has been covered in previous posts.  I hope you all will read them.  I am a big believer in step mashing.  If you are hoping to make a Belgian style beer you should step mash every single time (whether or not you are using well modified grains).   A Belgian mout (wort) is a complete wort.  It is developed in every way, the protein, the mouth feel, the ferment ability.   You can not do that with a single infusion.  You can get close, but it will never be the same.  This beer is a great example.   This beer features 8.5% ABV, but the alcohol is balanced by the right amount of sweetness, and a luxurious mouth feel, tastes of honey, orange and spices. Amazing.

A Beer Geek Guide to step mashing part 1 understanding the science
A Beer Geek Guide to step mashing part 2 planning the recipe

Desir et la Nuit - Belgian Sytle Tripel
11 Gallon
1.083 OG
1.019 FG
25 IBUs
6  SRM
8.5% ABV
19.5 lbs of Pilsner Malt -  Europils by Cargill
 5.5 lbs of Wheat Malt
 4.0 lbs of Honey
 1.0 lbs of Biscuit Malt
 1.0 lbs of Aromatic Malt
 .75 lbs of Acidulated Malt
2.6 oz of Styrian Golding at 60 minutes
2.0 oz of Styrian Golding at 25 minutes
1 package of Fermentis Safale BE256 (abbaye) - Fermentis
2 packages of Fermentis Safale T58 -
2 tsp of yeast nutrient at 10 minuts
2 ounces of orange peel at 10 minutes
1 tsp of Corriander at 10 minutes
2 tsp of Irish Moss at 5 minutes

The mash schedule is so well detailed in a previous post.  To understand the mash schedule you really need to read that post.   But to be brief,  We'll do a beta glucan rest, then a protein rest, then a sac rest, then a second sac rest.  All of these will be made by infusion mashing.  Finally, we will be pulling a thin mash decoction and using it to do our mash out.    It is a wonderful, and complicated mash.   It will be a lot of fun, and should create a world class mout...or wort...or gyle... or what ever you want to call it.

We're actualy brewing this one at our local home brew store.  So that should be a blast.   That is all for now sports fans.



  1. At what point in the boil do you add the honey, or did you mean Honey Malt to be used in the mash?

  2. Matthew, sorry you are absolutely correct. The honey is added at 10 minutes in a slow but steady stream.

  3. For a 5.5G batch, should we just divide the ingredients by 2, or should we change the steps temperature / time as well?

    1. the ingredients will divide by 2. No problem there. The water infusion must be calculated. My best advice is to use brewers friend mash infusion calculator to figure out your water adjustments. And take very good notes. Every system is different. Your heat loss will be different in every system. We like to step mash most of the beers we make. But we also make a lot of belgian influenced beers. You might also consider a no sparge decoction if you have the space in your mash tun. It is actually a more reliable process, even though it takes longer.

    2. If you choose decoction. Make your first rest at 113 for 15 to 20 minutes. If you want to develop the phenolic estery tastes.