Call me slow – I just realized what posters were talking about when they mentioned “BLAM”. It’s taking me a while to realize some of the points of the book, “Brew Like a Monk”, but the section on Chimay was one that I should have read before posting my question. It states what you mentioned about bittering hops from Yakima Valley/German Hallertau for flavor, fermentation temp starting at 68F and allowed to rise to as much as 93F, an OG of 1.069, ABV of 8.2%, and IBU of 35. (It also says that the original recipe incorporated hop extracts.) It also goes on to describe some controversy about use of wheat FLOUR for head retention (I’ve not run across that before!) and that sugars are less than 5% of fermentables. Any comments on the use of six versus two-row barley for homebrewing this? BLAM suggests there may be an advantage to using the six row (winter!?) from Belgium.
I’m glad to hear that I’m on the same wave-length regarding making a lower OG beer first to develop a high number of yeast for the tripel. I’ve done this for several high OG beers and most recently for a batch of Belgian Dark Strong, using yeast (WY1762) from a relatively low OG Dubbel and WOW, both taste great so far. (Dubble recipe based on the one from BLAM and DS from Brewing Classic Styles.)
Now, one last question. To get yeast for the Chimay Tripel clone, I had intended to use WY1214 (WL500). Would that work for a Belgian Blond – I’m concerned that it might produce too much yeast character. One of you mentioned Westmalle yeast (showing my ignorance here – is that WY1762 or some other strain?). Would that work well in the Chimay Tripel clone recipe? What kind of fermentation temperatures would you suggest?
Thanks again for all the help on this recipe!!