Author Topic: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews  (Read 3152 times)

Offline erockrph

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Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« on: January 04, 2013, 10:15:14 AM »
So my new grain mill is en route, and now I obviously need to buy a sack of grain to go with it :)

I plan on brewing a lot of Belgian styles this year, so I was thinking of getting a sack of Castle Pils. Anyone have any differing suggestions?
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 11:13:07 AM »
I prefer whatever the brewpub I'm buying from has to sell ;D.  I like Weyermanns Pilsner for my Belgians, but when I was buying from the brewpub just up the highway I used Cargill's Pilsner malt with good results.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 11:40:48 AM »
My palate can't really tell the difference between continental pils malts. I can taste the difference between continental and NA. For me, Castle is a lot more expensive than Weyermann. It's not like Belgium grows a lot of barley, so Castle and Dingeman's barley is coming from somewhere else, probably Germany or eastern Europe.

I like the Weyermann Bohemian malts. The floor-malted kind is Tolar or Bojos, and the regular-malted kind is Hanka. While I can't taste the difference, for some reason I feel better knowing the name of my barley variety.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 12:21:34 PM »
It depends on what kind of Belgian beers you're brewing. Pilsner is sort of the default base malt for Belgian beers but there's actually quite a few Belgian beers using pale malt as a base because it gets you a less dry, grainy taste. If you are going to brew a lot of tripels, Belgian blondes and BGSA then yes, pilsner is the appropriate choice. Anything else could easily be brewed with pale malt, even saisons. Just depends on what flavor profile and mouthfeel you want in the beer.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 12:39:59 PM »
It depends on what kind of Belgian beers you're brewing. Pilsner is sort of the default base malt for Belgian beers but there's actually quite a few Belgian beers using pale malt as a base because it gets you a less dry, grainy taste. If you are going to brew a lot of tripels, Belgian blondes and BGSA then yes, pilsner is the appropriate choice. Anything else could easily be brewed with pale malt, even saisons. Just depends on what flavor profile and mouthfeel you want in the beer.

I feel like pils malt gives me a sweeter finished impression than pale or pale ale malts.
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Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 01:26:12 PM »
Belgian or German pils malt is what I recommend. Rahr pils is good too.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 01:42:16 PM »
Belgian or German pils malt is what I recommend. Rahr pils is good too.

I used to use Rahr pils, because it's the cheapest malt at my LHBS. It's not bad, but I think for styles without a lot of specialty grain (like a Trippel or Golden Strong) I think a continental pils is a better choice. After a few disappointing continental-style beers, I ended up using the rest of the Rahr in American-style beers.
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Offline denny

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 02:56:51 PM »
So my new grain mill is en route, and now I obviously need to buy a sack of grain to go with it :)

I plan on brewing a lot of Belgian styles this year, so I was thinking of getting a sack of Castle Pils. Anyone have any differing suggestions?

Castle is good.  I've tried it, MFB, Weyermann, Durst, and Best (maybe another one or 2).  For my tastes, best beat everything else.
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Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 03:02:24 PM »
So my new grain mill is en route, and now I obviously need to buy a sack of grain to go with it :)

I plan on brewing a lot of Belgian styles this year, so I was thinking of getting a sack of Castle Pils. Anyone have any differing suggestions?

Castle is good.  I've tried it, MFB, Weyermann, Durst, and Best (maybe another one or 2).  For my tastes, best beat everything else.

Best is what I use for everything - even my IPA!
Keith Y.
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Offline denny

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 03:10:47 PM »
Castle is good.  I've tried it, MFB, Weyermann, Durst, and Best (maybe another one or 2).  For my tastes, best beat everything else.

Best is what I use for everything - even my IPA!

What can I say...Best is best!
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Offline bluesman

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Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 05:24:28 PM »
I use Best and Weyermann. I like both equally well. I'm on a Best kick now, mostly because the price is right.
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Offline denny

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Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 07:22:27 PM »
I use Best and Weyermann. I like both equally well. I'm on a Best kick now, mostly because the price is right.

I thought I detected a little "grassiness" the last couple times I used Weyermann.  I might have been imagining it.
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Offline Mark G

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 09:27:57 PM »
I agree that Best is a great pils malt. I also like MFB for my Belgians. I just bought a sack of each.
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Offline brewmasternpb

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 10:19:42 PM »
This is an interesting thread for me.  I plan on Brewing Belgians this summer, so I plan on doing to SMaSH beers, changing the malt between batches.  I might do one with a Belgian Pilsner malt and one with a Belgian Pale malt.  I might try two different pilsner malts...
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Offline smkranz

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Re: Base malt recommendation for Belgian brews
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 10:25:00 PM »
I also like MFB for my Belgians.

+1

I've been brewing Biere de Garde, Saison, and Belgian you-name-its with MFB Pale malt for years, sometimes along with Dingemans Pilsen and sometimes not, but either way with great results.
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