Belgian Strong Ale

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

Moderator: slothrob

Belgian Strong Ale

Postby fitz » Wed Jan 22, 2003 9:32 am

I'm making a Belgian Strong ale. It will have an alcohol content around 10% but it isn't a blond ale, so I don't think you can call it a trippel with the Style gestauppo. I used 1/2 a pound of belgian dark candy sugar, so it changed the color more to a light amber color. This is my first attempt at a "trippel" so how long should I age it before trying it? I usually try my wares as soon as carbonation takes place, but with the higher alcohol content should I treat it as a barley wine type beer, and age it for awhile before even considering a try. My curiosity will probably get the best of me and I'll dive in too soon. I didn't add any spices, because I thought the German Purity Law of 1516 was, and still is a good idea. I drank a "domestic" the other night after having a few homebrews. I really thought I might heave. Corn is for cattle keep it far from your beer!
fitz
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:36 am

ReinheitsgaWHAT?

Postby Gravity Thrills » Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:02 pm

The Belgian candi sugar in your brew already puts you in violation of that Purity Law thingy. I never have been much of a Reinheitsgabot stickler, so if you want to send your tainted tripel reserves this way, I promise I won't be offended :-)

Cheers,
Jim

Cheers
Gravity Thrills
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2001 10:12 pm

What he say.

Postby Freon12 » Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:11 pm

I drank my trippel 1 week after carbonation, so I can't comment.

Steve
Freon12
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 404
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 8:27 pm
Location: WHITELAND, IN, US

Got Me

Postby fitz » Thu Jan 23, 2003 3:28 am

Jim got me on the 1516 law. This is the first time in abot 5 years that I have broken it though, so that's not too bad. The US mega brewers over do the corn to the extent it turns me off.
Thanks Steve, I'll try mine then too probably. The brew closet smells good enough to try to drink it now.
fitz
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:36 am

We Are Not In Germany Dorthy...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:00 am

Brew what pleases you with any ingredient you see fit. After all, that is what homebrewing is all about, creating beer that you cannot buy ! Blindly following an archaic, former law from another country simply stiffles creativity and originality. If the law had become world wide, we would not have many of the classics that we so enjoy... particulary those from Belgium.

To dispel an urban myth: The Reinheitsgebot was NOT created to ensure beer quality... it was enacted to serve as a trade barrier to those outside of the area that eventually became Germany. This fact later became its undoing... it was repealed so that Germany could become a member of the European Union which stipulated that signatory countries must completely eliminate all trade barriers for inter-EU trade. The former law now serves as a quality statement for some of Germany's remaining independant breweries, but, unfortunatly has been reduced to a marketing statement for most of the others. An example is Becks, which definitely uses practices that fall outside the dictates, but they still print that they are compliant on their labels.

And on to style guidelines... The BJCP/AOB/AHA style guidelines were created so that beer could be objectively evaluated in COMPETITION, not as a be all, end all for evaluating beer in any setting. These guidelines also serve to assist brewers in trying to recreate classic, recognized beer styles. Brewing is a constantly evolving science and art. The style guidelines are appended to reflect this fact. Recently, the style guidelines were ammended to account for the popularity of American IPAs that had IBU statistics well above the defined AIPA style guidelines.

I, personally, am not a fan of alternate adjunct grain usage beyond wheat malt, wheat, barley malt, barley and torrified and flaked barley and rye (although I had a great spelt beer once!). What we have to remember is that all brewers do not share the same goals as we do. The same is true of beer consumers... not everyone is desiring the same benefits from beer as those we seek. We simply are not the target market for some brewers products. That is what makes home and craft brewing so great... we make beer that you cannot regularly buy. Continue to spread the gospel about quality beers, home brewing and craft breweries to those who will listen. This will go along way to ensure that the beers and breweries we live for will continue to survive for our enjoyment.

Eric
User avatar
Mesa Maltworks
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:16 pm
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island

Dorothy

Postby fitz » Thu Jan 23, 2003 10:53 am

You Guys are awful sensitive. If you want to use adjuncts, do so. I would rather have more flavor in my beer. Most wheat beers seem overdone to me also. Wheat makes the beer sour. Wheat, Rye, and yes maybe even corn may not be bad in small quantities, all I'm saying is if it is overdone, it doesn't taste like BEER. Yes I use some adjuncts, but not more than 10%. That's my rule, do your own thing.
fitz
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:36 am

Sensitive?.. Naw... evidently a poor attempt at humor....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Jan 23, 2003 4:10 pm

Sorry if it appeared I was somehow riled by my attempt (poor, evidently !) at humor by using a homage to the Wizard of Oz as my header. I wanted to point out that most of us are NOT German brewers, but rather brewers in our own countries with the ability to incorporate our own ideas into what can constitute a beer. I wasn't riled, I just felt compelled to take the opportunity to dispel some myths and prevent other from being discouraged to try alternative ingredients and possibly miss creating a great brew. I also wanted to point out that the term adjunct does not only mean ingredients used to produce beers with light flavor profiles. Indeed, the use of rice, corn and sugars does allow one to suppliment a malt grist to produce a higher gravity without imparting additional flavors. But, these ingredients are, to my knowledge, the only adjuncts that do so. Most adjuncts add unique flavors or supply desirable mouthfeel attributes when used. Malted wheat is a great example. It can be used to suppliment an all-malt grist of lower intended gravity to increase heading and mouthfeel via the high dextrine content without adding color or flavor (<10% wheat does not seem to impart a detectable flavor contribution to most persons, but I have met others with a low threshold).

As you pointed out, the overuse of any adjunct can, and often does, produce disasterous results ! Rye and oats are some of the most hard to use adjuncts. Both are high in glucans and make lautering more difficult as well as can impart sour, harsh flavors as well as an "oily" mouthfeel.

As far as wheat malt leading to sour flavors, I think I may misunderstand what you mean by sour. I perceive beers containing wheat malt in a >10% grist ratio as having a spicy note, The only wheat beers that I have had that possessed sour flavors were Lambics and Berliner Weisse. In the case of both, the sourness was derived by using unmalted wheat in combination with bacterial yeast cultures (Berliner Weisse = s. delbrukki + ale cultures) or wild yeast ( traditional Lambics use wild yeast strains, sometimes with s. bruxellensis) in their production. Please reply with some commercially available wheat beers with that exhibit this attribute to you so that I may experience them from your perspective... I may be missing something.

Ahh... more beer experiments ! Life IS good !!! :)

Eric
User avatar
Mesa Maltworks
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:16 pm
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island

Tin man

Postby jayhawk » Thu Jan 23, 2003 10:17 pm

It is hard to have a heart on the net. The one drawback to interacting on the net is that you can not interpret signals outside written language. If we were having a true face to face conversation, I am sure that we could interpret the nuances of each others messages better. I am with you, Fitz, on the wheat beer...I have yet to taste a great wheat beer. But I have tasted some really good beers with corn or rice in them. Sometimes that clean, crisp flavour is wonderful. I also agree with Mesa in that unusual adjuncts can create beer that is very unique and certainly is not availible commercially. Then again, one does not need adjuncts to create unique and fantastic beer.

Maybe we need some "brew-ins". You know, we could just like, get together, you know, and like brew...man...yeah....(I hope you old timers get the reference to the 60s...after all, humour is hard to convey over the net:)

Git brewin'
Chris
jayhawk
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA

Adjuncts or add junk

Postby fitz » Fri Jan 24, 2003 5:11 am

I'm not a real sticler on any "laws" I gues I should ellaborate. I began brewing, because I didn't like the flavor of the US Mega Brewers offerings. Even the so called "specialty beers" they produce leave a lot to be desired. When Amber Bock came out, I rushed out to buy some, and was very disappointed (Budweiser with a little color) It isn't their fault totally, the american public seem to want less taste, because it is less filling. I myself think it is less taste and less satisfying. I have drank some great beers with adjuncts, and if that is your thing, then do it. I like adjuncts in small quantities though. A little wheat for a creamy head is a good thing. A lot of Wheat turns me off. I really started to get into imports about 8-10 years ago when my Mother-in-law lived in Michigan. We used to visit and travel to Frankenmouth(spelling?) and I would get a couple cases of mix and match beers and taste test them. This actually made a visit with the mother-in-law bearable, and sometimes quite enjoyable. Anyway, the Wheat beers were normally too much for me(overdone) They didn't taste like my kind of beer. The Rye wasn't bad. The belgiums, as long as they weren't too yeasty were great (I know many different adjuncts) But the Belgians know how to balance things. I also don't try to pack as much hops into my beer as I can get. If it tastes good hoppy, I'l make it hoppy, but I don't over hop all of my beer. These are my personal preferences. That's why we homebrew. I think it would be easies for Mesa and I to meet up more than anyone. I think he lives a couple hours away from me. I would like to try some of his adjunct beers to see if I have been giving them a bad rap. But as this date, I didn't care for the wheat beers I have tried. I have to assume these were 40% wheat though. Like I said 10% of any one adjunct(20% total possible combination) suits my needs. I really do not use corn except for priming sometimes. I tried them when I first started brewing, and gradually got away from them. I have used rice and honey in beers too, as long as it isn't too much. I guess everything in moderation.
Good brewing, good drinking
fitz
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:36 am

My use of adjuncts (professionally)....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Jan 24, 2003 7:18 am

Fitz,

Actually, I use very few ingredients in my commercial brews that could be considered adjuncts. All of my regular brews are all barley malt with the exception being our Honey Blonde which, obviously, contains honey. My seasonals, however, sometimes contain adjuncts. During the summer months I do a Hefe(wheat malt) and a Witbier (unmalted wheat) and occasionally a Kolsch (wheat malt). Other than those, I'm brewing with all-barley malt & un-malted barley grists. The base malts I use are Crisp Maris Otter, Weyermann Pilsner and Dingeman's Pale Ale.

At the prior breweries I've worked for, I was always brewing with all barley malt with the exception being the Wynkoop pub, where I did use some wheat malt.

All of my remaining experience with adjuncted brewing was gained at home. Most of them were Belgian styles with candi sugar being the adjunct, but some were attempts at recreating classic English beers which very often use sugars to suppliment the grist extract. Other than that, the only other adjunct I used was the one time I did a Cream Ale (corn).

I would be happy to host anyone wanting to sample my brews, but if you are looking to experience adjuncted beers, I only regularly have one !

PS: The get together thing sounds cool... I don't know how geographically dispersed we are, but two of the forum contributors are within 3 hours of me. I'm always up for a weekend get away, schedule allowing. Or... I could host?

Eric
User avatar
Mesa Maltworks
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:16 pm
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island

Moundsville/Wheeling

Postby fitz » Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:10 am

I am in the Moundsville/Wheeling area. You are around Clarksburgh/Charleston aren't you? I don't ALWAYS brew according to "style, but I like most of my wares. Even if one isn't outstanding, I can always drink my mistakes.
We should set something up. Most of my taste testers aren't homebrewers. Some of them have no concept of what difference an ale is to a lager, or why would you want to drink anything but Bud light or Coors light. It would be interesting to see what a fellow brewer, and especially one with a bunch of experience, thinks of my beer. Like you said, the only thing that matters is what the individual brewer thinks of his own, but it would be interesting.
I'll be going to Charleston for business next month(day or two)
fitz
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:36 am

Expatriate West Virginian...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Fri Jan 24, 2003 8:52 am

Well...

Actually I'm in deep southern Indiana now, but I am from Clarksburg, WV, from which my brewing microbiology business served breweries in WV, MD, PA & OH. I did brew at Nail City in Wheeling, WV (a former Wynkoop pub now known as River City Ale Works).

I'd love to meet you, but it would be one hell of a drive... 8~9 hours as it takes me 7.5 to get to Clarksburg ! Even from Charleston you are looking at 5.5 hours or so. Maybe when I'm intending on being in those areas I can give you a ring and we can meet then. I'd love to sample your brews and learn a thing or 6 !

Eric
User avatar
Mesa Maltworks
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:16 pm
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island

when

Postby fitz » Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:04 am

When did you brew at Nail city?
It was a nice place, then went a little too artsy, now its back to being a nice place. When they first started, the offerings were a bit hoppy for my taste. They started to mello it out, then the brewmaster(I guess it was you) left. They do not brew at the site anymore(I think) I have heard they get their beer shipped in from Pittsburgh. The latest ones I have had there have all been good beers though. As for you learning a few things, I don't know if I can help you there. From the posts I read, you know quite a bit. Might be like Gilligan trying to teach the professor. All I know is that I like beer, it makes me a "jolly good fellow".
I've dabbled in wine, but it doesn't satisfy me like beer.
fitz
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 442
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 9:36 am

Nail City...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Jan 28, 2003 11:04 am

I brewed there 2000~2001. When I got there, their former brewer had retrenched back to his other location, Foundry Aleworks in Pittsburgh, PA. The management at the place thought that both jobs could be handled by one guy... wrong ! When I got there, things were a disaster... all the beer on tap was over 3 months old and covered every brand of phenolic I have encountered ! From what I could tell (!) the beers were not overly hoppy, so the period you mentioned must have been during his reign. I got them back up and running well, although they need to replace alot of equipment. I trained my assistant to replace me over the year and left in October '01. He left 5 month later and now works for Mass Bay Brewing (Harpoon Brand) at the former Catamount Brewery in Vermont.

The brewer which I replaced is still brewing at the Foundry Ale Works in Pittsburgh. To my knowledge, he does not transfer beer from PA to WV for service at River City Ale Works. This would be legally complicated ! They hired a brewer that had been one of my Wynkoop predicessors (John?) and at last notice, he was still working there, so I think they are his brews.

Eric

Eric
User avatar
Mesa Maltworks
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
 
Posts: 474
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2001 11:16 pm
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman Island

I'm in.

Postby Push Eject » Wed Jan 29, 2003 3:11 pm

Count me in for sure.

How long a drive is it, do you think, from Palmdale, CA?

Ollie
User avatar
Push Eject
Double IPA
Double IPA
 
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2001 2:01 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA, US


Return to Ingredients, Kits & Recipes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests

cron