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Third extract brew Belgian Tripel

Well I was very happy with my first brew( chinook iPa), my second brew, the Bavarian Heffe is going into bottles tomorrow. So now my son wants the Belgian Tripel. It will be an extract kit as I am still far from doing all- grains.

I noticed this Belgian recommends a yeast starter. I have no experience ( yet) with starters. I notice NB has cans of starter. Do I just add the recommended starter along with the yeast packet? I have been using dry yeast packets.

Thanks for any insight!


Yes and no. You can buy the canned starter wort but still want to oxygenate it. I’ve been using the “shaken not stirred method” with great success. This just means that you prepare your wort and put it in a jug. Shake it until it’s completely foam, and then pitch the yeast. You want to pitch this at high krausen so prepare this about 12 hours before brewing.

If you’re using dry yeast, just buy a second package. Easier than a starter. No chance of infection. More yeast.

I believe that’s a win-win-win situation.

Plus, dry yeast is prepared with nutrients in reserve. Making a starter with dry yeast depletes the yeast of these nutrients.

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It’s complicated.

First off, I love canned starter. Dirt simple and quick. Sanitize a jug, the top of the can, your yeast packet. Dump contents of can into jug. Fill can with water, dump into jug. Shake, add yeast, done. I do this all the time with liquid yeast.

Dry yeast, though, folks say not to do a starter with. Something to do with the fact that its designed to direct pitch, and a starter hurts its reserves. It’s easy enough to just do 2 packets of dry.

Maybe a middle ground could be to rehydrate the dry before adding to the starter. I personally don’t do dry yeast, so definitely wait for other opinions on this.

Thank you for the help, I agree …just buy 2 dry yeast packets and be done with it.

I am still reading my joy of home brewing book to hopefully get more of a feel for all these variables.

Thank you again !


Well the Belgian Tripel is in the fermentor as of yesterday afternoon. I have to say, this is one very active fermentation ( 2 packets of dry yeast). Plenty of space in the big mouth bubbler but I am keeping a close watch.

I bought a glass 5 gal carboy for the 2 month secondary.

I may try a “partial mash” for the next brew.

When the Belgian tripel goes into the long secondary conditioning phase is there any preferred temperature I should keep it at? I will of course keep it in the dark for the 2 months.

Thank you,


Belgians like it warm I’d go for 70 give or take. Room temp is fine

Thanks , I will leave it where it is then. Looks like I may need to pick up a second secondary so I can get another batch going soon…:slight_smile:

Getting ready to transfer the tripel into the secondary hopefully this weekend. I just took a refractometer reading and got 1.031, had an OG reading of 1.072 before pitching the yeast about 9 days ago. Activity in the bubbler seemed to stop yesterday. I will take another reading tomorrow then a third a day after. If all the same I guess I am safe to transfer to the secondary. I was thinking the gravity reading would be a bit lower but this is my first experience with such a strong brew. Hopefully it’s going to be ok. Smells good anyway.

Refractometer or hydrometer? If refracto you will have to correct for the presence of alcohol.

Here is a calculator for correcting a refractometer reading when alcohol is present.

I would take SG readings a few or more days apart with such a short time in the primary. Some yeasts are very slow to finish the last few points. Taking the beer off the yeast may stall the fermentation if it isn’t done. A stalled fermentation can finish in the bottle causing explosive pressures.

It looks like the NB calculator requires you to have BRIX as a starting point (which you didn’t list):

if you don’t have the initial BRIX, the Brewers Friend calculator works with SG in BRIX, Plato, or SG: Refractometer Calculator | Brewer's Friend

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Well I am awfully glad you guys are here:).

My refractometer reads both Brix and sg, so looking at the scale my original Brix was 17, and my reading today was 7.
Running through the calulator looks like fg corrected to about 1.005.

I think I will definitely cool my jets and not hurry into the secondary ( thank you for that advice). It will be two weeks in the primary next weds. I will check periodically until then. I just did not want it to sit too long in the primary, but this is a much stronger brew than I have done till now. I am not in a big hurry, just ordered an Irish red ale kit that won’t be here for at least another week with the free shipping.

Thanks again guys for your help. Really easy to make a "beer fatal " mistake… I have a 22 year old son that is looking forward to this batch, maybe too much so. I will have to hide a few bottles for myself I think.


If your corrected reading is at .005, I would confirm that in another couple of day, then send it to the 2nd fermentor… Your Belgium won’t finish any/much lower. The Disneyland of brewing, Belgium! Sneezles61

Seems to be a little more action in the airlock … Few bubbles at a rate of maybe once per minute. Not sure if it is fermentation still, or just because I had popped the top yesterday to take a reading.

Just watch it for a few more days… You brewed a big beer, and now it needs to complete its process. Try your reading Monday-Tuesday and see what you are at. I’m not much for refractors for finishing brews, maybe try get a finishing hydrometer. You can clearly see where your at with that. Sneezles61

Thank you, and I agree regarding the finishing hydrometer. I had one and learned the hard way how fragile those can be. Never got to use it as I was trying to do too many things at once and broke it while getting the lid off the bubbler.

I will get another one as you are right, it would simplify the fg readings.

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Just curious, the Brewers friend site talks about a “wort correction factor” when using. Refractometer. The NB site calculator, I did not see this mentioned.

I have another finishing grade hydrometer on the way, I will try to be more careful with this one. I like the idea of the refractometer …but I think hydrometer readings will be a more direct method for me. Maybe the refractometer will be useful brewing all-grain recipes.

A refractometer is really handy during an all grain brew. Small samples that quickly become room temperature for an accurate SG. Finishing hydrometer is better 10 days after the yeast pitch.

Always handle a hydrometer in the vertical position. Never shake it.

Yes, I use the refractometer during my brew day, and thats it… Hydrometer from there after… Sneezles61

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