Tapping the Keg!

Regular readers will recall that I won the opportunity to have a full batch of my beer brewed at 75th Street Brewery. It now appears to be ready for prime time – they’ll be serving “Triple Sugar Tripel” beginning on Monday, December 29th. Yes, I’m working on putting together some kind of party for that evening, and I’ll post details here when I work them out.

I haven’t sampled the beer, and we made a few significant changes to my 10 gallon recipe in the process of scaling it up to 200+ gallons, so I’m relying a bit on guesswork to predict how it will taste. The last time I saw this beer it was nothing more than sweet, tea colored water being pumped from the boiling kettle through the chiller and into a fermentation vessel where it would meet up with the special Belgian yeast that does all the work.

I expect that this beer will be the color of medium-strong tea, with a subdued but long-lasting head. The aroma will probably be honey mixed with just a suggestion of hops. The flavor will be sweet, with a strong note of honey flavor, followed by all the esters thrown off by the 75th Street Brewery’s Belgian strain of yeast. Those esters will add a fruity, spicy taste to the beer, which I hope will combine with the honey to create a sweet, warming beer that will stand up to rich holiday meals and accompany traditional holiday desserts. At 9% alcohol, it will be a strong sipping beer. My hope is that the sweetness will make it appealing to those who think all craft beer is dark, hoppy and bitter, while the Belgian complexity of the beer will appeal to the beer snobs. It’s not really a Belgian Tripel, because those ales focus more on the yeast characteristics than on the sugar, and it’s a little dark for the style. Go here for a good article on the tripel style.

In light of the monkish lineage of this beer, it seems appropriate to use the occasion of its tapping to support a good religious cause here in Kansas City. While I’m still working out exactly how it’s going to work, I’ll make certain that samplers of the beer will have some opportunity to voluntarily support the Central City School Fund, which helps four wonderful Catholic elementary schools in the Old Northeast and the Westside give kids a great education.

Stay posted for more info on the party and the beer.

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