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Old 04-13-2010, 07:49 PM   #1
HasstheBoss
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Default "bavarian style" or "blonde" characteristic questions

Could anyone tell me what defines a "bavarian" or "blonde" style of beer? To me, they have similar tastes that I find to be a bit on the stanky & thick side of things, even when it's a lighter beer. The taste reminds of bananas, but not in a good fruity way, more of a decomposing way. I'm not a fan, so I'm trying to find out what I should avoid in my future 5 gallon batches. I just brewed a Honey Hefeweizen (northern brewer Extract kit) and it too has this strong taste that I'm not a fan of. The beer is fine, but it's just not what I'm looking for in the future. Some people seem to love it, but it's not for me.

I would consider New Belgium's "Tripel" as being right on the borderline of this taste that I don't like. I don't think I've found a "blonde" beer besides Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde that I like, and that's a bad example because the strawberry sweetness overpowers the stankness.

Are there specific processes or ingredients that give beers this "bavarian "flavor?

thanks in advance

-Eric

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Old 04-19-2010, 05:57 PM   #2
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Bavarian Weizen yeasts produce an ester (isoamyl acetate) which not only tastes/smells like banana, but is actually found in bananas. I enjoy the character in moderation, but it seems like there is a certain set of people (you included) who are very sensitive to it. So you can avoid using those yeast strains, and if you do want to use one pitch and ferment in the high 50s and low 60s to reduce the amount of the ester produced.

Some Belgian strains produce smaller amounts of the same ester, but they usually also produce others the smell like bubble gum, pears, apples etc... The Chimay strain (White Labs 500 or Wyeast 1214, which New Belgium's strain mutated from) is especially Banana-y for a Belgian.

A regular American Blonde will be fermented with a clean ale yeast and shouldn't have the flavor.

Hope that helps, good luck.

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Old 04-19-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HasstheBoss View Post
Could anyone tell me what defines a "bavarian" or "blonde" style of beer? To me, they have similar tastes that I find to be a bit on the stanky & thick side of things, even when it's a lighter beer. The taste reminds of bananas, but not in a good fruity way, more of a decomposing way. I'm not a fan, so I'm trying to find out what I should avoid in my future 5 gallon batches. I just brewed a Honey Hefeweizen (northern brewer Extract kit) and it too has this strong taste that I'm not a fan of. The beer is fine, but it's just not what I'm looking for in the future. Some people seem to love it, but it's not for me.

I would consider New Belgium's "Tripel" as being right on the borderline of this taste that I don't like. I don't think I've found a "blonde" beer besides Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde that I like, and that's a bad example because the strawberry sweetness overpowers the stankness.

Are there specific processes or ingredients that give beers this "bavarian "flavor?

thanks in advance

-Eric
+1 on Oldsock.

Some people like the crispness of wheat beers, but dislike banana/clove essence. Bavarian beers, mainly the wheat versions, center on these esters/phenols. American wheats are quite different and have a very nuetral finish and try to have zero esters/phenols like the bavarian versions and more of a citrus or crisp profile.

To avoid esters like those found in bavarian beers, ferment at lower temps and use American Ale yeasts or American Wheat yeasts if producing a wheat beer.

Blonde is just a very simple Pale Ale. Edworts has a nice recipe - Haus Pale Ale I think that will fit this style. Cream of Three Crops is another.

Brew a low SRM beer with a modest to low SG, and very little hop aroma or flavor. Use an American Yeast and you will good to go.
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