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Old 12-09-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default What makes belgian beers taste belgian?

This might be a silly question, but I'm trying to pinpoint what makes belgian beers taste belgian-y. Lately I've been trying a lot of them, and find them to be quite delicious, but very different from any non-belgian style I've tried, and from the strong ales to tripels to quads, they all have a common sort of underlying flavor, and I don't know what the major contributing factor to this flavor is?

Is it a specific malt? Specific hop? Belgian yeast? Or something else?

Or am I not making sense that they "taste belgian" ?

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Old 12-09-2010, 11:51 PM   #2
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It's the flavors put off by the yeast. Belgian yeasts tend to produce some very distinct spicy and fruity flavors whereas most American yeasts are designed to be relatively neutral and showcase the malt and/or hop flavors.

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Old 12-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #3
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Yep, it's the yeast. Now I do not like Belgians, to me Belgian ales taste like pork chops, Belgian Wits taste like finger nails and Saisons like sauerkraut.

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Old 12-10-2010, 12:32 AM   #4
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+1 yeast is the reason.

Take a basic ale recipe (or better yet, a Pilsner) and substitute Belgian yeast, and it's not even close to the same beer.

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Old 12-10-2010, 12:33 AM   #5
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Well I can get on board with Pork Chops and Sauerkraut, I'm not so certain about the fingernails though.

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Old 12-10-2010, 12:53 AM   #6
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Can it be porkchops with sauerkraut? If so hot me up with that recipe in AG format...mmmm meat beer.

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Old 12-10-2010, 01:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby_Brew View Post
Yep, it's the yeast. Now I do not like Belgians, to me Belgian ales taste like pork chops, Belgian Wits taste like finger nails and Saisons like sauerkraut.
No lambics or other sour ales? What about a Biere de Garde? Those tend to be fairly light on the yeast funk character. So many wonderful beers, from such a small place. It borders on the unbelievable.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:44 AM   #8
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They tend to use adjuncts to lighten the body of the beer at such a high gravity, the base ingredients aren't really that different than those used in Germany otherwise.

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Old 12-10-2010, 03:10 AM   #9
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I brewed a Belgian Tripple about six months ago. I just didn't enjoy the flavor. I thought maybe I did something wrong in the brewing process that gave it an "off" flavor. Couldn't describe the taste, but on matter how long I waited, it never got better. Guess Belgian's aren't my style.

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Old 12-10-2010, 03:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockfish42 View Post
They tend to use adjuncts to lighten the body of the beer at such a high gravity, the base ingredients aren't really that different than those used in Germany otherwise.
That sounds about right. We did an Abdey ale that had candy sugar in it.
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