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Author Topic: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.  (Read 1109 times)

Offline HopDen

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Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« on: October 17, 2023, 04:43:08 pm »
I'm currently putting together a BDSA ( Chimay Grand Reserve) recipe. I've read that they triple ferment this beer. First ferment followed by a second fermentation in a French oak barrel  (I will be doing this in a corny keg with French medium toast oak chips) followed by a third fermentation in the bottle.

I can't find much detail on how do a multiple fermentation. Here is how I think it should progress, First fermentation...ferment it to completion. Second ferment...add a sugar, either candi syrup, dextrose or cane sugar and some yeast slurry from the first ferment. Let it ferment to completion, cold crash, transfer under pressure to another corny keg that has a dose of priming sugar and yeast, then bottle into 750 ml bombers with cork and wire.

Thoughts?



Online Drewch

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2023, 06:38:03 pm »
After a bit of googling, I'm wondering if they're not using "secondary fermentation" in the wine sense of just maturing rather than meaning they actually add fermentables in the barrel. Nothing I can find mentions adding sugar or young wort when they barrel it.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2023, 03:54:33 am »
After a bit of googling, I'm wondering if they're not using "secondary fermentation" in the wine sense of just maturing rather than meaning they actually add fermentables in the barrel. Nothing I can find mentions adding sugar or young wort when they barrel it.

From what I read, Chimay claims it is a second fermentation in oak barrels followed by a bottle fermentation.

Offline denny

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2023, 07:50:16 am »
Curious where you read that. Never heard it before and the beer doesn't  taste like it to me.

ETA: this piqued my curiosity, so I've been doing some research. I can't find a single reference to it being barrel aged, so if you've got one I'd love to see it.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2023, 08:42:29 am by denny »
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2023, 09:40:54 am »
Curious where you read that. Never heard it before and the beer doesn't  taste like it to me.

ETA: this piqued my curiosity, so I've been doing some research. I can't find a single reference to it being barrel aged, so if you've got one I'd love to see it.
So I just found out that they do the second ferment in Calvados barrels. Chimay_official IG post.


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Offline denny

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2023, 10:02:04 am »
Curious where you read that. Never heard it before and the beer doesn't  taste like it to me.

ETA: this piqued my curiosity, so I've been doing some research. I can't find a single reference to it being barrel aged, so if you've got one I'd love to see it.
So I just found out that they do the second ferment in Calvados barrels. Chimay_official IG post.


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Interesting. Is that normal or a special release? The website doesn't mention it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2023, 10:54:53 am »
Curious where you read that. Never heard it before and the beer doesn't  taste like it to me.

ETA: this piqued my curiosity, so I've been doing some research. I can't find a single reference to it being barrel aged, so if you've got one I'd love to see it.
So I just found out that they do the second ferment in Calvados barrels. Chimay_official IG post.


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Just found it. Appears to have been a one time thing in 2018. Maybe they did it again, but it's not the way it's normally made.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline HopDen

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2023, 01:50:51 pm »
Curious where you read that. Never heard it before and the beer doesn't  taste like it to me.

ETA: this piqued my curiosity, so I've been doing some research. I can't find a single reference to it being barrel aged, so if you've got one I'd love to see it.
So I just found out that they do the second ferment in Calvados barrels. Chimay_official IG post.


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Just found it. Appears to have been a one time thing in 2018. Maybe they did it again, but it's not the way it's normally made.

Yea I seen some google searches that were only bringing up the 18' release. From what I understand this was only a seasonal (Christmas?) release. IIRC Chimay states this particular beer will be in a perpetual rotation. That is according to their IG posts. And FWIW I can vaguely make out the date on the bottle which looks like 2023. I need this beer in my life so the hunt is ON!

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2023, 04:27:53 pm »
The barreled version is different from the normal blue and each year is a different mix of barrels. They describe the barreled version and fermented three times although it's not clear whether they are simply moving it into barrels as primary fermentation winds down or if there is any new fermentables added to the barrel. I'd be surprised if they are adding fermentables to the barrels for a second fermentation as that risks a messy situation. The ABV difference is only 1.5% between the barreled and non-barrel versions which could easily be an amount of alcohol picked up from the residual spirit in the barrels.

Personally I wouldn't add a sugar source with the oak and after some aging make a judgment call. I would consider adding a small amount of a spirit with the oak to emulate a release of choice. I believe the most recent was calvados but I had the whiskey release last year. If you are going to add spirits to age, start low as the spirit flavor is a character not the character of the beer.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2023, 03:06:09 pm »
The barreled version is different from the normal blue and each year is a different mix of barrels. They describe the barreled version and fermented three times although it's not clear whether they are simply moving it into barrels as primary fermentation winds down or if there is any new fermentables added to the barrel. I'd be surprised if they are adding fermentables to the barrels for a second fermentation as that risks a messy situation. The ABV difference is only 1.5% between the barreled and non-barrel versions which could easily be an amount of alcohol picked up from the residual spirit in the barrels.

Personally I wouldn't add a sugar source with the oak and after some aging make a judgment call. I would consider adding a small amount of a spirit with the oak to emulate a release of choice. I believe the most recent was calvados but I had the whiskey release last year. If you are going to add spirits to age, start low as the spirit flavor is a character not the character of the beer.

In general I agree with this, but what makes me think that there is an addition of more fermentables in the barrel, is the champaign like effervescence.
Of course bottle conditioning can create that effervescence.

Since a apple brandy barrel is out of reach in both cost and size (only brewing 12 gallons) I am going to soak medium toast french oak chips in apple brandy and let it ferment in  3 corny kegs.

Please tell me why you think I shouldn't add sugar to the wood.

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2023, 07:36:09 pm »
I've emailed their customer service to ask if they add fermentables in the barrel. We'll see if they answer.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2023, 07:48:11 pm by Drewch »
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Offline fredthecat

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2023, 07:55:04 pm »
unibroue used to always include some claim about their beers having a "secondary fermentation". it just meant bottle conditioned afaik.

Online Drewch

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2023, 08:17:44 pm »
The bottle conditioning is the third fermentation in Chimay's description of their Grande Réserve Barrel Aged.  Primary (in presumably steel), secondary in wood (for 4 months according to one article), and tertiary in bottles.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2023, 08:21:17 pm by Drewch »
The Other Drew

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Online Drewch

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2023, 05:51:43 am »
From Chimay:

Quote
It’s exactly the same recipe as our Grande Réserve or Blue, except that instead of going to bottle after yeast and sugar addition, beer goes to the barrels for a second fermentation.

This fermentation within the barrels is really slow (1 to 1,5 month) because the temperature is low.

Thanks to this, aromas coming from the yeast are keeped within the beer.

After more than 5 months within barrels, each barrel is tasted in order to avoid undesired contaminations (Brett, acetic or lactic) before to transfer the beer within a maturation tank at 0°C during 15 days.

The following step is the centrifugation, sugar addition and yeast addition before the bottling and the third fermentation.
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Offline HopDen

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Re: Triple (3) Times Fermentation.
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2023, 10:38:31 am »
From Chimay:

Quote
It’s exactly the same recipe as our Grande Réserve or Blue, except that instead of going to bottle after yeast and sugar addition, beer goes to the barrels for a second fermentation.

This fermentation within the barrels is really slow (1 to 1,5 month) because the temperature is low.

Thanks to this, aromas coming from the yeast are keeped within the beer.

After more than 5 months within barrels, each barrel is tasted in order to avoid undesired contaminations (Brett, acetic or lactic) before to transfer the beer within a maturation tank at 0°C during 15 days.

The following step is the centrifugation, sugar addition and yeast addition before the bottling and the third fermentation.
That is good to know! Helpful information. I wonder if the yeast for the 2nd and 3rd fermentations is the same as primary? Or at least the 2nd one. It’s possible that the yeast for the bottle fermentation is neutral but could very well be a singular strain across all 3 fermentations.

And then of course comes the question of What type of fermentable is used in the second fermentation?

Thanks for contacting them!!
Cheers!


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