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Author Topic: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong  (Read 6309 times)

Big Monk

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 01:48:42 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?

That's what I'm talking about. It's important to say what you mean. "Belgian" is too broad.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2017, 01:49:42 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.
A monk beer, ┬┐monastic? would be a table 'session' 4th running brew.  Patersbier so to say.  I mean... right?

Not knocking what you call your beer, more power to ya.  I stick to Belgain pale ale, BGSA, tripel, etc

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Offline denny

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2017, 01:50:09 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?

That's what I'm talking about. It's important to say what you mean. "Belgian" is too broad.

Agreed, but I do think that it describes broadly a range of beers the are ester/phenol forward.  Of course, then you have the outliers like Duvel.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2017, 01:50:18 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"

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


;D 
Jon H.

Big Monk

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2017, 01:53:12 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.
A monk beer, ┬┐monastic? would be a table 'session' 4th running brew.  Patersbier so to say.  I mean... right?

Not knocking what you call your beer, more power to ya.  I stick to Belgain pale ale, BGSA, tripel, etc

Sent from my SM-N920C using Tapatalk

Monastic, Trappist. That's what I mean.

Big Monk

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2017, 02:20:48 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?

That's what I'm talking about. It's important to say what you mean. "Belgian" is too broad.

Agreed, but I do think that it describes broadly a range of beers the are ester/phenol forward.  Of course, then you have the outliers like Duvel.

And things like Rodenbach. Lambic. De Koninck. It's a tough thing to try and generalize.

Offline bayareabrewer

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2017, 02:32:50 pm »
after doing some work in the wine industry, I hope beer doesn't fall victim to all the appellation BS.

Big Monk

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2017, 04:22:51 pm »
After reading the article and excluding most on the non-list writing, as well as #5, #1-4 are all solid advice.

EDIT: after reading #4 more closely, while I agree and support step mashing, it's not for the weak cliche arguments presented. So I agree that step mashing good but don't agree with the authors presentation of why.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 05:20:32 pm by Big Monk »

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2017, 09:26:44 am »
I'm not sure of the writers goal, but personally I do think too little care is spent learning about how the beers we're trying to make are actually made.

Look back at homebrewed Belgian styles before candi syrup became available. Yes, they were close, but arguably they weren't correct because the wrong process/ingredients were used.


And maybe someday we'll understand that invert is as vital to British styles as candi is to Belgains...
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Big Monk

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2017, 10:57:50 am »
I'm not sure of the writers goal, but personally I do think too little care is spent learning about how the beers we're trying to make are actually made.

Look back at homebrewed Belgian styles before candi syrup became available. Yes, they were close, but arguably they weren't correct because the wrong process/ingredients were used.


And maybe someday we'll understand that invert is as vital to British styles as candi is to Belgains...

I wouldn't be so quick to say that Candi Syrup is the smoking gun for nailing all Belgian styles or even all the Trappist and Abbey beers. I think they make it easier for people to approximate, to a high degree, certain styles but the notion that their use is ubiquitous in the professional realm over there may be an area of shortsightedness in many people. With that said, there are probably certain beers, Westvleteren and dark strong beers of that ilk, where you really can't nail the flavors without a dark syrup but there are plenty of beers whose color and flavor are coming from other process points and not just a huge dump of dark fermentable sugars.

I think sugar in general, in its myriad forms, is extremely important for a lighter bodied, highly attenuated beer and that seems to be the real hallmark. I'm trying to experiment with malt-focused recipes for Trappist inspired beers now and while I am trying to use malt flavors as a basis, I am still using sugars in the 12-16% range.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2017, 11:20:28 am »
I wouldn't be so quick to say that Candi Syrup is the smoking gun for nailing all Belgian styles or even all the Trappist and Abbey beers. I think they make it easier for people to approximate, to a high degree, certain styles but the notion that their use is ubiquitous in the professional realm over there may be an area of shortsightedness in many people. With that said, there are probably certain beers, Westvleteren and dark strong beers of that ilk, where you really can't nail the flavors without a dark syrup but there are plenty of beers whose color and flavor are coming from other process points and not just a huge dump of dark fermentable sugars.

True. I was hoping the gist of what I was saying was coming through properly, that certain beers require certain techniques, procedures, or ingredients to be considered "to style". Candi syrup was just the low hanging fruit to use as a generalization.

Quote
I think sugar in general, in its myriad forms, is extremely important for a lighter bodied, highly attenuated beer and that seems to be the real hallmark. I'm trying to experiment with malt-focused recipes for Trappist inspired beers now and while I am trying to use malt flavors as a basis, I am still using sugars in the 12-16% range.

That's the range I typically use for a mild or bitter as well. It's getting to the point that many craft "bitters" are getting to be unpalatable due to to high a FG. I think folks are afraid they'll be "thin", but a dry beer is a quaffable beer...and if you can't have two or three Imperial pints of bitter, something is wrong.

And if it's true that Belgain brewers took influence from the Brits way back when, that may explain why both have such an affinity for using sugars...
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline denny

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2017, 12:31:26 pm »
And if it's true that Belgain brewers took influence from the Brits way back when, that may explain why both have such an affinity for using sugars...

I've always heard that they were more influenced by French winemakers.  But it's difficult to know what's apocryphal and what's not.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2017, 01:05:54 pm »
And that's the issue with how my semi-photographic memory works, I remember parts of things, but not where I heard them.

This is something I've been thinking about though...maybe I'll do some research and try and see if it's true or a myth.

It's possible both statements are true. Look at Dupont and their likely mutated red wine yeast...
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2017, 01:40:49 pm »
And that's the issue with how my semi-photographic memory works, I remember parts of things, but not where I heard them.

You and me both.  I'll spout things as truth without providing the basis, only to find later that what I said was partially or fully correct, even though I couldn't remember why.

Along similar lines as above, I believe I'd heard someplace that Scotch ale was developed to emulate either doppelbock or Belgian dubbel, I cannot remember which, except that it does help to explain my extraordinary love for all three malty styles, especially considering if they originally had actually been intended to be somewhat similar in malt character.  But my memory fails me, as usual.  Now that I come to think of it, I wonder if it must be dubbel & Scotch ale that are related, as doppelbock is not quite the same.  But it's equally likely to be a tie between two other ones.  Like a blind triangle -- which of these three is not like the other, come on, can you tell which one.  But I royally digress.
Dave

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Offline zwiller

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Re: Belgian Beer: You're probably doing it wrong
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2017, 02:40:52 pm »
I'm not sure of the writers goal, but personally I do think too little care is spent learning about how the beers we're trying to make are actually made.

Look back at homebrewed Belgian styles before candi syrup became available. Yes, they were close, but arguably they weren't correct because the wrong process/ingredients were used.


And maybe someday we'll understand that invert is as vital to British styles as candi is to Belgains...

I wouldn't be so quick to say that Candi Syrup is the smoking gun for nailing all Belgian styles or even all the Trappist and Abbey beers. I think they make it easier for people to approximate, to a high degree, certain styles but the notion that their use is ubiquitous in the professional realm over there may be an area of shortsightedness in many people. With that said, there are probably certain beers, Westvleteren and dark strong beers of that ilk, where you really can't nail the flavors without a dark syrup but there are plenty of beers whose color and flavor are coming from other process points and not just a huge dump of dark fermentable sugars.

I think sugar in general, in its myriad forms, is extremely important for a lighter bodied, highly attenuated beer and that seems to be the real hallmark. I'm trying to experiment with malt-focused recipes for Trappist inspired beers now and while I am trying to use malt flavors as a basis, I am still using sugars in the 12-16% range.
I'm not sure of the writers goal, but personally I do think too little care is spent learning about how the beers we're trying to make are actually made.

Look back at homebrewed Belgian styles before candi syrup became available. Yes, they were close, but arguably they weren't correct because the wrong process/ingredients were used.


And maybe someday we'll understand that invert is as vital to British styles as candi is to Belgains...

I wouldn't be so quick to say that Candi Syrup is the smoking gun for nailing all Belgian styles or even all the Trappist and Abbey beers. I think they make it easier for people to approximate, to a high degree, certain styles but the notion that their use is ubiquitous in the professional realm over there may be an area of shortsightedness in many people. With that said, there are probably certain beers, Westvleteren and dark strong beers of that ilk, where you really can't nail the flavors without a dark syrup but there are plenty of beers whose color and flavor are coming from other process points and not just a huge dump of dark fermentable sugars.

I think sugar in general, in its myriad forms, is extremely important for a lighter bodied, highly attenuated beer and that seems to be the real hallmark. I'm trying to experiment with malt-focused recipes for Trappist inspired beers now and while I am trying to use malt flavors as a basis, I am still using sugars in the 12-16% range.

I got into a good conversation via PM's with a very experienced homebrewer into the trappist/belgian styles and he said the keys for him were bottle conditioning and aging.  Like 6mos minimum and a year preferably for a tripel.  He also said he "does not like" the yeasts we are using and suggested culturing for optimal authenticity. 
Sam
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