When I get the hankering for making a big Belgian ale, such as Trippel, I like to kick things off with a lower gravity brew to get the yeast going. This recipe is something I made up on the fly, but the basic idea is there for a beer that can be modified in many ways. Here is what we did:
Grain Bill: 9 lbs Pilsner Malt (In this case, Avangard)
Hops: 25 IBU's (In this case, Sterling, 8 alpha)
1oz pelletized Tettnanger into the mash
Belgian candi sugar: 1 lb table sugar, disolved in a small amount of water, cooked with an addition of Acid Blend until water boils off and temp rises above 250 degrees on low heat. The liquid is added directly to kettle at the beginning of the boil. Or simply add 1 lb clear Belgian candi sugar to the boil.
Irish Moss or other clarifier : 15 minutes left in boil
White Labs Trappist Ale Yeast, with active and robust starter.
Mash in at 120F and hold for 10-15 minutes (dough-in, use just enough water to wet the grains)
Raise temperature slowly up to 155 F using remaining water and hold until conversion is complete. I do this in steps, where there is a rest in between where I take a temperature measurement, and hold for 5-10 minutes before adding more water to get the temperature up to 150. Let sit for 30 minutes. In this case, I wanted to extend the malt flavor, so a 10 minute decoction was done, but is not something that is necessarily required. Finish by raising the temperature to around 170F. Sparge and collect around 6 gallons of wort.
As the wort comes to a boil, add the hot liquid candi sugar. Boil for 15 minutes, then add bittering hops. Boil for 75 minutes and add irish moss or clarifying pellet. Boil another 5 minutes and add the cooling coil to the pot for sanitization. Boil 10 more minutes, cool and transfer to carboy. Aerate (we use a stone). Pitch the starter.
Fermentation usually takes about 1 week, give or take a day depending on temperature. The cooler the longer. Transfer to secondary at this time and let sit another week. My method is to bottle at this time with one and a quarter cups of malt extract (DME).
OG: Approx 15 Plato
1) Any quality pils malt will do, but the Avangard increases yield do another pound may be required to hit target OG
2) I am using water in the 70-100 ppm solids range.
3) I do recommend having some acid blend on hand as well as common table sugar in bulk. You never know when you may want to add some Belgian candi sugar, and making your own is cheaper, and easy to do. Cook it longer to make it darker if desired.