Clone Brews: Affligem Abbey Tripel

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.


Brewing requires beers

Brewing requires beers to drink, of course!

Adding hops to homebrew Affligem Abbey Tripel

Adding hops to the wort.

Orange peels for homebrew

The recipe called for orange peel, among other things.

Stirring the Affligem Abbey clone

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.

Stirring the Affligem Abbey clone

Cooling down the wort

Cooling down the wort.

The wort, prior to getting the additional water

The wort, prior to getting the additional water.


Bottling homebrew

This bottle filler lets you fill the bottle from the bottom up, which is better for the beer (technically still wort).

Silliness with wort

Silliness with wort… this is basically flat beer. Sampling the dregs is a good way to preview your brew…
or at least, it’s good fodder for speculation.

Homebrewed Affligem Abbey Tripel clone

Beer time!

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.

Affligem Abbey clone brew head

Affligem Abbey clone brew

Me sampling the Affligem Abbey clone brew

Sampling… good stuff.

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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Nerd. Foodie. Gamer. Homecook. Perpetual planner. Gardener. Aspiring homesteader. Direct response graphic designer. I use too many damn commas.

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