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Old 05-12-2009, 11:56 AM   #1
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Default Maris otter in a Belgian Abbey/Pale?

....back with another nit-picky question about pale malts.

I am brewing Roaring Brewer's recipe below from the database, but I have Maris Otter and not Belgian Pale malt. will this wreck the 'belgian' character of this beer? how different will MO make this recipe, really? doesn't the most important aspect of 'belgian character' come from the yeast?

6.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) Bel (3.0 SRM) Grain 66.7 %
2.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 22.2 %
1.00 lb Munich Malt ('Dark') - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 11.1 %
1.50 oz Hallertauer [3.20%] (60 min) Hops 17.9 IBU
0.66 oz Hallertauer [3.70%] (15 min) Hops 4.5 IBU
0.66 oz Hallertauer [3.70%] (10 min) Hops 3.3 IBU
1 Pkgs Abbey Ale (White Labs #WLP530) [Starter 1 Pint - 1 Quart]

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Old 05-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #2
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It won't be "to style" but i just made a Belgian pale ale using domestic 2-row and i think it is going to come out just fine.

I think the MO would be closer to a belgian pale malt than domestic 2-row would be.

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Old 05-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #3
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I'm not sure about this, but i think it would be a different beer.

You might be able to get away with that in something darker or more strong in flavor like a dubbel or dark strong, but i think for the light Belgians you need to use Belgian pale or pilsner malts.

But again, i have never done a Belgian with anything besides belgian pils, so see if anyone with more experience chimes in.

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:12 PM   #4
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In my opinion, the base malt in this recipe is just a canvas upon which the other ingredients shine. In other words, the most neutral base malt is arguably the best. The crackery, overtly malty character of Maris Otter will, when combined with the relatively large proportions of Vienna and Munich malts, possibly take the beer out of balance. I'd substitute a very neutral base malt, like US 2-row.

You are correct that the ingredient which makes a Belgian-style beer recognizable is the yeast.

Cheers,

Bob

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:13 PM   #5
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Belgian pale ale malt would be a very good sub for MO and the reverse is also true. You may pick up slight differences in the toasty/bready notes that either provide but nothing to put you out of style. Dingemans', a malter of Belgian Pale Ale malt, says that British pale and Belgian pale are interchangeable. *shrug*

American 2-row would need a few specialty additions of biscuit or victory to get the near the same flavor profile.

EDIT: A little more reading if you want to get Dr. Fix's take on it.
http://www.brewingtechniques.com/library/backissues/issue1.1/fix.html

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Old 05-12-2009, 02:32 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. Food for thought from all of you.

This will be my first official 'belgian' beer so I want it to be characteristic of the style, but when weighing the prospects of an absolutely authentic belgian vs ordering more brewing stuff and being thrown into the ubiquitous 'doghouse' by my increasingly-agitated-by-my-brewing-obsession wifey, (breath)....I'll probably take the slightly-less-authentic-but-still-gets-the-gist-of-the-style-across brew.

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Old 05-12-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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With them being so close chances are some other aspect of the beer or your process will be more noticeable than a difference in those two base malts.

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