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Brakspear Triple

by Roger Protz, 05/05

The latest addition to the rejuvenated Brakspear range is a powerful Old Ale style beer. Triple refers not to the grains or hops used but to the method of fermentation. When Brakspear moved from Henley-on-Thames to Witney in Oxfordshire, the "double drop" fermenting vessels went too. This system of fermentation is now unique to Brakspear and involves two banks of wooden vessels: fermentation begins in the top storey and after a few days the fermenting sugary and hopped extract is literally dropped into the second bank of vessels below. Dead yeast cells and unwanted protein are left behind, encouraging a cleaner fermentation.

It is this system that creates the renowned toffee or butterscotch note in Brakspear beers from a bi-product of fermentation known as diacetyl. In the case of Triple, a third fermentation takes place in the bottle: this is a naturally conditioned beer with live yeast and it will improve for several months.

Triple is brewed with Maris Otter pale, crystal and black malts. Northdown hops are used in the copper boil for bitterness while American Cascades are added at the end of the boil for aroma. The russet beer has bitter oranges, candy fruit, sultanas and grassy hops on the nose. The sultana note builds in the mouth, balanced by bitter hop resins and a touch of butterscotch. The hops make a strong presence in the finish, balancing creamy malt and vine fruits. 7.2% ABV, 50cl, 1.99, Waitrose.


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