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Old 09-20-2011, 01:57 AM   #1
Walking_Target
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Default Belgian Ale question

Just need some quick advice for hopping an belgian ale.

I've got a recipe that calls for 4 liters of LME (2 of dark, 2 of light) and the hopping schedule seems off.

It calls for 1.5oz of Saaz and 1.5oz of Cascades for 60 minutes of the boil, then 1oz of Saaz for the last 10 minutes of the boil.

This seems a bit off from a traditional Belgian ale as it's using a north american hop variety.

Would hopping with Hallertau and Saaz be a good combo? I've used Saaz and Galena in combination to provide both the alpha bitterness and the aroma... but i've never tried a combination of two of the noble varieties.

I've also heard suggestions for using a Fuggles and Hallertau... any thoughts?

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Old 09-20-2011, 02:19 AM   #2
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I agree. Cascade seems out of place. I've used saaz and tettnang in combination in a tripel, and it turned out nice. I think you're on the right track to stick with noble hops for that style. Here's a pretty good overview of the varieties. http://beeradvocate.com/beer/101/hops

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response.

I'm happy to hear i'm on the right track... It's not quite Lager weather up this way yet, so I'm hoping to squeeze another batch of ale out before temps drop.

Any thoughts on using a Trappist ale as a starter? I've done that previously with proper weisse beers, but never for a belgian.

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Old 09-20-2011, 03:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walking_Target View Post
Any thoughts on using a Trappist ale as a starter? I've done that previously with proper weisse beers, but never for a belgian.
Are you talking about harvesting the yeast from a bottle? I've never done that with a Belgian either. I have done it with Bell's Two Hearted Ale, and after stepping it up, it's working well. Here is a thread on here about which bottle-conditioned beers yield viable brewing yeast.
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Old 09-20-2011, 01:26 PM   #5
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Yeah Cascades would not seem to be right for a Belgian. Hallertau is a good suggestion, but you might need a little more as it's AA% is pretty low. I just brewed a Patersbier that used German Tradition, which is a little highter AA%.

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Old 09-20-2011, 02:42 PM   #6
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Cascades are not right for a Belgian.

Here is a quote from the BJCB guidelines

Quote:
Noble hops or Styrian Goldings are commonly used. Belgian yeast strains are used - those that produce fruity esters, spicy phenolics and higher alcohols - often aided by slightly warmer fermentation temperatures.
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Old 09-20-2011, 03:37 PM   #7
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Last Golden Strong Ale I brewed was all Saaz and it turned out really well. Save the cascade an american ale.

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Old 09-20-2011, 06:33 PM   #8
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while the cascade is out of place, since its just the bittering add its not really a big deal. the flavor impact will be minimal. if you have a homebrew shop nearby, then sure save the cascade for something american, but if not, dont worry about it

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Old 09-20-2011, 11:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soup67 View Post
Last Golden Strong Ale I brewed was all Saaz and it turned out really well. Save the cascade an american ale.
I don't do americans, so have little knowledge of american hopping types. Even most 'modern' IPAs that i've done I use a blend of true UK and European hopps.

Truth be told, i'm more of a mead brewer, but that stuff kicks too darn hard to drink regularly, so I'm getting back into doing beers and now that I have a local shop that sells both LME and DME and some grains, i'm never touching a kit again.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:44 AM   #10
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BJCP styles are purely an American attempt at breaking down an eclectic creative spirit of ale adventures.

If you want to brew based on how the BJCP dictates then stay away from cascade. And fresh hops as well. But there are many examples of wonderful exceptions that have been around for a very long time.

If you really want to brew Belgian styles, grab some Belgian yeast, free your mind and have some fun

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