Author Topic: Belgian Brown Ale and the BJCP  (Read 1108 times)

Offline rgonzalez_me

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Belgian Brown Ale and the BJCP
« on: June 27, 2015, 01:38:51 AM »
After reading the guidelines I can interpret that that a brown ale should fall in the ambiguity of 18E

"Flavor: Similar to aroma (same malt, ester, phenol, alcohol, hop and spice comments apply to flavor as well). Moderately malty or sweet on palate. Finish is variable depending on interpretation (authentic Trappist versions are moderately dry to dry, Abbey versions can be medium-dry to sweet). Low bitterness for a beer of this strength; alcohol provides some of the balance to the malt. Sweeter and more full-bodied beers will have a higher bitterness level to balance. Almost all versions are malty in the balance, although a few are lightly bitter. The complex and varied flavors should blend smoothly and harmoniously"

Mine ended up with an apparent attenuation of 86 which according to BLAM is within the style. I find it somewhat dry without a noticeable malt character (mind you it is still green. I just racked into keg to cold crash.... it might/will change...I hope)

At 86 Attenuation I would expect this beer to be on the dry side.... right?

what is your experience with Belgian browns? do they change a lot when they mature?
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Belgian Brown Ale and the BJCP
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 01:19:40 PM »
The AA% doesn't matter as much as what it tastes like.

The stats may fit but that doesn't mean the flavors fit. When you say 'Belgian Brown, I think of a brown porter-esque grain bill (coffee, chocolate) as opposed to a traditional BDS recipe (burnt sugar, figs, raisins).

If it doesn't fit in 18E, just go with what it does taste like. If it tastes like a 'Belgian Brown', 16E or 34B (Mixed Style Beer) as we transition to the 2015 Guidelines. 

You're saying that the beer is brown but the malt character isn't noticeable? Can you share your recipe? Unless you just used a little bit of roast malt to change the color, there should be some malty flavors in there somewhere.

I like to condition my Belgian ales because I do think they change over time. The 'rough edges' soften, the malt and yeast flavors become more integrated, and clarity improves.

You won't get more malt flavor with age, but you might get a higher perception of flavor as the edges soften and particles settle out. Conditioning time depends on several factors, but a few months wouldn't be unreasonable.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Belgian Brown Ale and the BJCP
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2015, 07:03:35 PM »
I like to condition my Belgian ales because I do think they change over time. The 'rough edges' soften, the malt and yeast flavors become more integrated, and clarity improves.

Especially with certain belgian strains (i.e. WY 3787).