Author Topic: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong  (Read 2025 times)

Offline JJeffers09

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Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« on: May 15, 2017, 01:54:50 PM »
https://beerandbrewing.com/belgian-beer-youre-probably-doing-it-wrong/

So, in short.  I found some positive tips, I found some just douchebagery.  Like saying "brut can't be champagne"  It is just something that really irks me.

I totally disagree with #5 and the Belgian brewer making Belgian beer with US05 equivalent, his beer is not Belgian.  It's American style.  A Belgian stout wouldn't be a Belgian stout without Belgian yeast.  A German lager wouldn't be a German lager without lager yeast.  I don't give a rat's a** what soil you're brewing on.  No american brewery I am aware of, says they serve Belgian beer brewed in Belgium.  No American brewery says they brew English IPAs brewed in the UK.  #5 is pure douchebagery In My Not So Humble Opinion.

#douchebagery (I hope that to be the last millennial thing I do)

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2017, 02:27:58 PM »
Great article.  I agree with most of it.  My argument would be against #3, that a step mash is virtually required to make a Belgian style beer, otherwise the body and flavors would be all wrong.  Yeah right.  Just mash low at 147-148 F for as long as you feel necessary, and you'll get your Belgian-style mouthfeel and everything else.  And don't even get me started on the protein rest in the 21st century -- OMG.

Other than that, great article with plenty of food for thought.  Cheers.
Dave

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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2017, 02:53:09 PM »
Acid rest aiding in complexity, dare I say replacing spices.  Protein rest for tradition with unmodified malt in the grain bill, okay I can get with that.  However mouthfeel and head retention has so much more complexity than - keep 'er between 147-148F.  We know that, but hey I am just a nobody

Reading this article makes me remember when I put together my very first brew and said to my LHBS guy - what does yeast have to do with the final flavor other than booze?  He laughed and said, "It has everything to do with the flavor of any beer!"  That has not changed.  I don't care what century it is...

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 03:22:24 PM »
Yeah, I agree with most of it, however definitely not the US05 working well part. No damn way. But I agree that most American attempts are underattenuated, over spiced, and undercarbed. On the saison yeast part, of course any beer brewed in Belgium could be seen as Belgian, but IIRC Dupont, Blaugies and the other examples I've tried use what is universally recognized as saison yeast.
Jon H.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 05:51:54 PM »
Some good points, but some I think pretty far off.  And the writer does have a tinge of douche to him.

When you, me, or pretty much anyone else thinks "Belgian beer" we are thinking of some of the classic examples. I'm not thinking about some guy in Belgian trying to brew a double-IPA with the Chico strain.  That's a west-coast IPA wherever it's brewed and not a Belgian IPA simply because it's brewed in Belgium.  That train of thought borders on stupid.

Same thing with the hops.  We're (99% of the time) looking at the classic examples of Belgian brewing.  Not recent derivations.

As far as yeast, of course farmers in Belgium don't order saison yeast from Wyeast.  But where else am I likely to get it since I live in Chicago?  Be real.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline Koch

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 06:24:28 PM »
The authors' totally valid points regarding recipe and characteristics of "traditional" Belgian beers are overshadowed by his attitude and what I consider to be bordering on magical thinking.

If a beer is made with the exact same ingredients (down to the same water profile and yeast) on the same equipment, using the same techniques or those scientifically proven to be equivalent, in substantially similar physical environments, it doesn't matter one bit whether it was produced on Belgian soil or in some facility in Arkansas.  The only thing that distinguishes those two beers is where the tax is owed.

I've got a "Belgian Witbier" fermenting right now. If anybody I share it with thinks I am actually claiming to have brewed it in Belgium using the full Monty of traditional ingredients and processes, they're a little slow.  What is means is I am attempting to reproduce some of the qualities in the traditional Belgian beers I've tried and love. If it turns out dissimilar to the beer it's inspired by (and I'm sure it will be in one dimension or more), I'll be the first to point that out.  You catch more flies with honey than with being a dick, sir.

Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 07:28:50 PM »
completely disagree with his attitude on yeasts. Yeah, if you want to get pedantic, Belgian beer is made in Belgium, but when I think Belgian beer, I think flavors and style characteristics long before I think location of production. And "you don't need a saison yeast to make a saison". ugh, yes, you do. That is one of the most yeast driven styles of beer out there because so much of the rest of the ingredients are up for grabs. A table strength saison made with 100 % pils malt is as much of a saison as a 6.5 %, but one overwhelming characteristic they all share is yeast expression.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 07:33:33 PM »
Yes.  Belgian beer (and British and whatever else you like) is a stylistic descriptor.  Not a reference to where it was brewed.

If I drink a Bud in Dublin, and it was brewed in Ireland, it's not an Irish beer.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 07:36:41 PM »
Yes.  Belgian beer (and British and whatever else you like) is a stylistic descriptor.  Not a reference to where it was brewed.

If I drink a Bud in Dublin, and it was brewed in Ireland, it's not an Irish beer.
I'm gonna have a Palo Alto pale ale tonight followed by a Menlo Park Marzen finished up with a San Francisco imperial stout.

you hit the nail on the head. 

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 07:40:40 PM »
Yes.  Belgian beer (and British and whatever else you like) is a stylistic descriptor.  Not a reference to where it was brewed.

If I drink a Bud in Dublin, and it was brewed in Ireland, it's not an Irish beer.


Yup. And I've had quite a few domestic 'saisons' brewed with 3787 (and too warm and banana-y at that).  None of those were saisons IMO, regardless of what soil they were brewed on. Belgian beers are by nature yeast driven and yeast specific.
Jon H.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 07:44:28 PM »
Quote:
For the moment, let’s set aside the question of why an American would feel the need to brew a “Belgian-style” beer. Maybe it is homage, maybe inspiration, or maybe it is trading on a name with proven selling power. Maybe it is all of the above.

This is what started the, OSTFU feeling for me.... it was definitely downhill from there.

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 07:45:16 PM »
I always use the term Monastic instead of Belgian so that people know exactly what I am talking about. Part of the issue with talking about Belgian beers is semantics: Most people are talking about the Trappists, some mean regional specialties, some mean saison.

I always preface my statements with the term Monastic be clear.

Offline denny

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 07:46:18 PM »
I want the 5 minutes of my life I spent reading that back.  My reactions go from "well, duh!" to "WTF are you talking about"
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Offline denny

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 07:47:20 PM »
I always use the term Monastic instead of Belgian so that people know exactly what I am talking about. Part of the issue with talking about Belgian beers is semantics: Most people are talking about the Trappists, some mean regional specialties, some mean saison.

I always preface my statements with the term Monastic be clear.

What about non Monastic Belgian styles?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 07:48:21 PM »
I want the 5 minutes of my life I spent reading that back.  My reactions go from "well, duh!" to "WTF are you talking about"

I can't give you 5 minutes back, but I can send you a Chicago ale.
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