For our latest foray into homebrewing, we looked to the Clone Brews book I got Adam for our paper anniversary. CloneBrews, 2nd Edition: Recipes for 200 Brand-Name Beers,* available on Amazon, is a pretty nifty book with a lot of copycat recipes for pretty reconizable beers. As it turns out, we hadn’t run across the particular beer we chose, Affligem Abbey Tripel, commercially but it stood out to us as a tripel that is ready to drink as soon as it is done fermenting; the others had longer aging periods.
The brewing was fairly easy; made even more so by some schmancy equipment we procured: a giant stockpot and a propane burner. It was much more pleasant to brew at scale out in the fresh air, rather than trying to jam into our kitchen and use our tiny pots.
The final product definitely fit the description in the book: “finely carbonated and displays a large, white, creamy, dense head with a bright golden color,” though I suppose that might be more of a bright golden-caramel color in our case. Close enough.
The clone brew was smooth, and tasted like a Belgian tripel, so success there. It has a dry, slightly bitter finish and has gotten more marked as the beer comes into peak maturity (it’s at two months, with a 2-6 month peak). Our hydrometer claimed 4.5% ABV, but everyone who drank it noted that it felt like more… more like the expected 8.5%. Not sure what that was all about, but even folks who didn’t know it was supposed to be 8.5% remarked about the beer’s effect.
All in all we think it turned out well, considering we did have to make some availability-based substitutions to the recipe. Our next brew will probably come from the Clone Brews book, too!
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