Tuesday, March 6, 2012

“[Triple] Button Hand Me Down" aka “Triple Jump"

Rod. Before he got lame.
Brew date: March 4, 2012
2.5 gal.

Yeah, that title is a mouthful. I'm hoping the beer is too. This batch finds me trying my hand at a Triple. I like the idea of naming beers after what I'm listening to while brewing. In this case, I confess to stretching it a bit. Riffing off Rod Stewart's seminal album, "Every Picture Tells A Story" -- which was jamming during the wort boil -- I decided to go with the only Rod connection I could think of: "Three Button Hand Me Down" by the Faces. "Three button...;" "triple button." Get it? *Sigh.* I'm already sorry. The wife wanted to call it "Triple Jump." That explains the "aka." Anyway, let's not get bogged down with the name...

Overall, I was going for pretty classic Belgian flavors with this style: Strong, fairly sweet, frothy head, spicy with citrus and coriander notes, and a solid gold color.

Toasting the malt.
Since I have a fair number of bottles of my porter on hand -- It's finally becoming more developed! More on that in another post -- and not wanting to totally overwhelm my wife with beer stored throughout the house, I made the executive decision to try a half-batch. Ideally, I would brew more often, so smaller batches do make sense. (Unless, of course, it turns out amazing, and then I'll be pissed I didn't brew more.) I confess, I liked having to deal with less volume. It made the boil easier to maintain, moving the carboy lighter, and kick-starting the yeast a flash. One thing's for sure, the high sugar content and double the yeast really got this batch moving.
Measuring OG.

  • 2.792 kg (~6 lbs) Light Malt Extract Syrup (Briess Golden Light)
  • ~½ lb Cara 20 Malt (Dingemans (Belgian) ~19-27L)
  • ~¼ lb Carapils Malt (Dextrine) (Briess ~1L) [for head retention and mouth-feel]
  • 117 g (~¼ lb) Candi Sugar (Brewers Best) [looks similar to rock candy]
  • 1 oz Styrian Golding hops (boiling)
  • ¼ oz French Strisselspalt hops (aroma)
  • 10 g Dried Bitter Orange Peel (Brewers Best)
  • 15 g Coriander Seed (McCormick) (crushed)
  • Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong
  • ⅝ Briess Light Dried Malt Extract (for bottling)

Toast ground Cara 20 and Carapils malt at 350 'F for 10 min. Used only 275 g (9 ¾ oz) of the malt. Add grain to 1 gal cold water and steep (in bag) at 150-160 'F for 30 min. Strain. Add Light ME syrup, candi sugar, Styrian hops. Boil for 45 min. Add orange peel and crushed coriander seed (hand-ground in mortar and pestle). Boil for 10 min. Add Strisselspalt hops. Boil 5 min. Strain. Place boiling pot with hot wort in sink with ice water. Cool wort to 140 'F. Add to 1 gal cold water in fermentor. Top off to 2.5 gal. with cold water. Pitch yeast at 70 'F. Ferment at 70-75 'F.

Pitched yeast ~4 hrs after activation. Placed yeast packet in large bowl of warm water to speed activation.

First impressions:

Heat wrap affixed to carboy
Original gravity: 1.041 (1.040 @ 65 'F). Beer has a rich, deep gold color, slight orange hue. Moderately cloudy. Quite sweet to taste, with slight spiciness. Hint of citrus?


This is the first chance I've had to use my new Fermentap FermWrap Heater to better manage my fermentation temperature. The heat wrap is affixed to the outside of the carboy with electrical tape. I don't have a temperature controller, but it supposedly only uses 40 watts of power to heat the wort to the optimal 70-75 'F temp. We shall see. I'm tempted to take a reading, but I hate to muck around in the beer once it starts fermenting. I'll probably just keep my fingers crossed. There will still be some varied heating and cooling taking place; however, because I don't like having the wrap plugged in while I'm gone for work. That means the fermentor will cool slightly over the ~9 hrs that I'm gone each day. I will wrap the carboy in a few towels while I'm gone to hopefully better maintain the temp.


  • Once the steeping water has reached 150-160 'F, reduce heat to low, stir often, and largely leave uncovered. I feel that I did a better job at maintaining the temperature range this time around.
  • Place yeast packet in warm water to help speed activation prior to pitch.
  • Get a bigger thermometer. I'm tired of steam burning my hand.
  • Get a Beer Thief to easily pipe a sample out of the carboy for testing.

Yeast: Feverishly eating and having sex with itself. Isn't fermentation beautiful?

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