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Old 09-05-2007, 11:33 PM   #1
jay29
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Default Would like to brew a Belgian Ale...help.

I know zero about Belgian ales. In fact, NEVER tasted one except for Chimay Red. Trying to decide which one I should make. A Belgian Blonde Ale? Chimay Red Clone? I would like to brew a BIG BEER.

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Old 09-06-2007, 12:22 AM   #2
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be sure to make a HUGE starter

I'd go with a belgian dark strong ale or a belgian triple...those are probably my favorite belgians. there are tons of recipes out there.

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Old 09-06-2007, 01:37 PM   #3
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I made a Dubble by reducing the size of Jamil's Belgian Dark Strong Ale
http://beerdujour.com/JamilsRecipes.htm
It has only been a couple weeks in the bottle but is very good. Not as quite as fruity as the Chimay Red but very similar. Belgians like to be fermented a little warmer so they are good if your fermentation room is in the 70's.
Personally I've perfered the darker Dubbles and Dark Strong ales over the Tripples, and Pale Strong ales. There are alot of interesting Belgian beers out there.

Craig

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Old 09-06-2007, 01:59 PM   #4
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Why would you make something if you haven't tried it? Belgians tend to be wonderfully complex beasts, but they aren't for everyone. Get yourself to a good beer store and try some different things. There are some great Belgian-style brews that are made by domestic producers, too; give 'em a shot and see what you like.

One thing to know, though, is that "Belgian" brews represent a huge range of styles, and they are much less constained by the "rules" than beers produced in most other areas.

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Old 09-06-2007, 02:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
Why would you make something if you haven't tried it? Belgians tend to be wonderfully complex beasts, but they aren't for everyone. Get yourself to a good beer store and try some different things. There are some great Belgian-style brews that are made by domestic producers, too; give 'em a shot and see what you like.

One thing to know, though, is that "Belgian" brews represent a huge range of styles, and they are much less constained by the "rules" than beers produced in most other areas.

I would second the suggestion of tasting a few different belgains to figure out if you really want 5+ gallons of one and to focus what you want to brew. Lots of people are not fans of many belgain style brews.
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewt00l
I would second the suggestion of tasting a few different belgains to figure out if you really want 5+ gallons of one and to focus what you want to brew. Lots of people are not fans of many belgain style brews.
+1. I brewed 5 gallons of a high gravity saison (at 9% it turned out to be more like a tripple) just to see if I could do it. It turned out nice, and people who like Belgians complement it, but I don't think I can finish it. I can appriciate Belgians in small amounts, but 5 gallons was a little much for me.
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Old 09-10-2007, 02:49 PM   #7
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I like the Belgians that are light amber in color with a yeasty flavor similar to a hefeweisen. Commercial examples: Leffe Blonde, Grimbergen blonde, if you can get Ommegang Saison call Hennepin it is outstanding, plus its brewed in NY so its fresher and less expensive than say Chimay or whatnot. I brewed one recently, I used 8lb liquid lite, 1lb amber dry, 1.5oz Styrain Goldings, 6oz toasted crystal 20L. The all-important yeast is Whitelabs Belgian style BLEND, which is comprised of two trappist yeasts and 1 belgian ale yeast. I find that this yeast delivers the good flavor. Anyhoo the beer is five weeks in bottles today, and it is very delicious and suprisingly popular with my friends. I figured no one would like it. Hope you have success because Belgian Ales are some of the best!

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Old 09-10-2007, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff
+1. I brewed 5 gallons of a high gravity saison (at 9% it turned out to be more like a tripple) just to see if I could do it. It turned out nice, and people who like Belgians complement it, but I don't think I can finish it. I can appriciate Belgians in small amounts, but 5 gallons was a little much for me.
Well then you know what to do with it? Send it to me.

I'll agree caution and tasting a few is the safe road to go. However, it sounds like you're(jay29) adventurous, and gerenerally I think that's a good thing in homebrewing. For example, I did not like big/roasty/bitter stouts when I brewed one of Brewpastor's Russian Imperials. I brewed it, because I wanted to see how a big RIS would age, for others to enjoy, and to broaden my horizens. Well, after sampling, tasting ,bottling, etc. I not only like this beer - but others of its kind and its one of my favorite beers and style now. The other positive possibility is you brew a strong dark ale or something that will age, don't like it, let it sit for a year, eventually grow to appreciate belgians, try it again, love it, and then have 5 gallons of well aged beer to enjoy. But obviously, the best bet is to just try a few, at least to decide what Belgian style you want to brew.
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:41 AM   #9
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Default Drink them first...

Jay, try several first so you will know what you like. If you don't have a good supply locally, try www.beergeek.biz. You really have to try:

Duvel
Affligem Tripel
Rochefort 8 or 10
Hoegaarden
Lindeman's Frambois

All are totally unique and there are hundreds. I can never really decide which is my favorite.

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Old 09-14-2007, 03:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
It has only been a couple weeks in the bottle but is very good. Not as quite as fruity as the Chimay Red but very similar.
age that sucker for a year it'll get some much more depth and wonderful fruity taste to it
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