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06/08/10 10:54 PM  
Tripel with Wyeast 3787
I haven't made a tripel since my early homebrewing days (and yeah, they sucked!).

Anyway I'd like to give it another shot and I have a nice slug of Wyeast 3787 to do the job. Westmalle ferments this yeast pretty cool (start at 4 and ramp to 68 according to BLAM) and that is my favorite tripel, but I was thinking of maybe getting the temp up a little warmer than that. I would definitely like to avoid harsh alcohols though. I'm thinking of maybe starting at 65 and ramping to 75 over 10 days? That seems like a fairly conservative approach to me. Any thoughts? I know Captain Lawrence ferments this yeast up to 80 degrees in the Xtra Gold with no problems, so I'm hoping I will be alright. Of course I can easily keep it cooler if people think it produces better flavors in that range.

06/08/10 11:08 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
Ive used 3787 in a trippel and I fermented it fairly warm 74ish, and it had the normal flavor profile but it also had a fairly strong bubblegum flavor, overall I liked the beer
06/09/10 09:58 AM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
I've spent a good number of batches tweaking and improving tripels and weaker blond ales with 3787.

I pitch in the 65-68F range. In beers whose ferment temp is limited to 71F I notice a dominant honey character. I prefer to ramp them to ~77F in just a couple of days, giving a more estery balance with much less honey impression. (This makes some sense, if the honey flavor is coming from the expected VDK.)

I'm sure the exact temperature points will vary from one brewer to another based on many different variables. But in general if the pitch temp is too high I worry about fusels, and if the temperature ramp is too slow/limited I worry about the honey character (but some folks might like it).

All this assumes a sufficient pitch rate of course.

06/09/10 08:15 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
Thanks for the info. I think right now, I want to leave it below 70 for at least the first 2-3 days. Maybe I will change my opinion before the brew if I listen to the Can You Brew It show of Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold and see how Scott ferments that one.


06/10/10 07:58 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
I believe the CYBI post said they fermented at 74 degrees. I don't know if I would personally go that high right of the bat only b/c I would be worried about fusel alcohol production. I guess if there is a big enough pitch and enough aeration the fusels can be controlled, but I myself would not risk it. I have dumped batches before that have any noticeable fusels as they just really don't ever seem to fade fast enough for me. I think it is a good idea, as you stated to keep the beer under 70 (even probably closer to 65-68 degrees) for at least 2 days. Then let it ramp up to get your desired phenolics. If you are doing this one soon, I will be checking your blog to see what you decided to go with! Cheers!


06/11/10 12:24 AM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
I have fermented 3 or 4 beers with that yeast or the White Labs equivalent. In terms of fermentation activity, I've found that once this yeast hits high krausen it really goes nuts and can make a real mess. After about day 3 though I've had 2 experiences where it totally crashed to the point where the beer became fairly clear. Raising the temperature to about 74 was the only way to keep it going in that case. It did eventually finish but it took some time and was a pain in the ass.

The last beer I did had a much smoother fermentation and it was the first time I've added any yeast nutrient. Folks at White Labs told me via email that this yeast in particular can be very sensitive to low zinc levels. I got very good attenuation fairly quickly starting at 65 and ramping up to 70 over 7 days. The beer was still fairly fruity, sort of tropical, with some phenolics in the background. It also cleared a lot more quickly after fermentation, which leads me to believe that the yeast was a lot happier.

My general experience homebrewing with Belgian yeasts is that you get a lot more esters than you think you'll get at a given temperature even with proper pitch rates and O2. I try to focus on keeping them somewhat at bay while still getting good attenuation by raising them temperature after 2/3 fermentation. I've never made a beer that was too clean ester-wise...

Brewinhard - I was under the impression that phenolics tend to develop more at low temperatures rather than the higher temperatures which favor esters. Is your experience different than this?

tom sawyer
06/11/10 08:13 AM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
I use WLP530 (the WY3787 equivalent) a lot for dubbels and the occasional tripel. It is a great yeast and as was said it makes a heck of a krausen. Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks to drop. I have always fermented in the mid-60's for at least a week before warming to 70, I get plenty of bubblegum esters at these temps. I don't know that 2-3 days at the lower temp is long enough given the length of activity you typically see.
06/11/10 08:15 AM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
with proper o2 ive never gotten a fusely beer with this yeast. the last few i did with it started around 68-70F and let rise. it made a decent amount of banana during fermentation but finished with a decent amount but also lots of other really nice esters of apple, peach, melon.
06/11/10 09:28 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787

I do think that proper aeration is crucial for a nice profile. And when properly done will result in the best fermentation possible.


I think the phenolics that are produced really vary depending on the strain which is also temperature dependent. Coaxing alcohol spices, subtle clove, and tropical esters is always the balancing act in these beers.

06/14/10 07:42 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
Yeah, not even Fermcap could stop my last brew (1.055 pilsner base) from blowing off for days. Definitely a top cropper, and a mess maker if you forget the blow-off hose.

06/15/10 05:09 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
Right now I am with the WY belgian wit yeast and that too is a major top cropper. I pitched a fresh pack (not even a starter made) into my first batch and it blew out of my biggest carboy in less than 24 hrs! What a mess....
06/15/10 11:47 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
I fermented a dark strong with this yeast and was debating whether or not to use a blow off hose and I'm sure glad I errored on the side of caution. This stuff filled two Mason jars before I finally could place an airlock on it. Wound up in the secondary for a few weeks before kegging. Took about four months of lagering before the phenolics dropped. Afterwards, a pretty decent brew. I think I'd have to go with the WLP550 for Tripels though.
06/19/10 11:40 PM  
Re: Tripel with Wyeast 3787
Well I decided to pansy out and go low on the ferment. Day 5 and it's sitting at 68. Well, really the ferment started very cool and it was a bit lagged out so let's call it day 4. I'll start to give it a tiny bit of heat tomorrow.
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