Bearded Hen Oaked Tripel

Tripel_Feb_12_-0283I brewed a Oaked Belgian Tripel today. I have brewed a tripel before, and everyone really liked it, so I thought it was time for another. The main difference this time is that this tripel will be oaked for 30 days using 3 ounces of French medium toast cubes that have been soaked in Jim Beam for 37 days, as well as the use of two yeast varieties. I am planning on doing my usual 30-day primary, and then another 30 days (without racking) with the oak. I see no point in racking, as I have done 60-day primaries before and they always produce a very clean, clear beer.

I also used 1-pound of table sugar in place of 1-pound corn sugar. The sugar is only a bit over 6% of the grain bill, so there should be no issues with taste, and I added it during the last 15 minutes of the boil – the wort should invert the sugar anyway.

As previously mentioned, I am using two strains of yeast for this brew – A Wyeast Belgian Ardennes and a White Labs Belgian Ale yeast. I just made a 2L starter for each yeast. I was planning on no starter, one starter with the yeasts combined, or one starter on the stir plate and a regular 2L starter, but settled on simply making two 2L starters to keep everything even.

As with many of my recipes, this one comes from

Recipe: Bearded Hen Oaked Tripel

Boil Size: 7 gallons
Batch Size: 5.5 Gallons
Boil time: 90 Minutes


86.7% -13 lbs. Pilsner German 
6.7% – 1 lb. Carapils
6.7% – 1 lb. table sugar


0.5 oz. – Tettnang (pellet – 6.3 IBU’s) – 60 Minutes
1 oz. – Hersbrucker (pellet – 11.2 IBU’s) – 60 Minutes
.25 oz. – Tettnang (pellet – 2.4 IBU’s) – 30 Minutes
.5 oz. – Hersbrucker (pellet – 4.3 IBU’s) – 30 Minutes
.25 oz. – Tettnang (pellet – 1.1 IBU’s) – 10 Minutes
.5 oz. – Hersbrucker (pellet – 2.0 IBU’s) – 10 Minutes


1 pk – Wyeast #3522 – Belgian Ardennes – 2L starter
1 pk – White Labs WLP-550 – Belgian Ale Yeast – 2L starter


3 Oz. French Medium Oak cubes soaked in Jim Beam for 37 days.  After 30 days of primary fermentation (March 18th), place oak cubes in primary for additional 30 days.  No additional Jim Beam will be added.

The brew went well with the exception of my efficiency, which was only 70%, much lower than my 75% estimate. 

Next Brew: Caramel Amber Ale

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