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Old 05-15-2009, 04:23 PM   #1
EdK
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Default Belgian Blond brewed, not what we expected.

So we finally poured a couple pints of a Belgian Blond we kegged (NB's Lefse). I have some questions and hopefully you can add some insight (10 gallon AG batch, split into 2 different fermenters, secondary after a couple weeks, cold crashed, force carbed, totaled about 6 weeks).

Comparing to the BJCP style guidelines, I would say it definiately has the hop nose and pils malt aromas. Subtle fruit esters of a lemon-nature are there. Side by side with an actual Leffe, the smells are completely different however, as are the color (though ours is obviously unfiltered) and taste.

As far as armoa goes, would the pils malt give a slight funk smell? Comparable to a more generic pilsner? That almost sounds like a dumb question but that smell (and taste) I wasn't really expecting to be so intense.

It becomes a bit more complex in the flavor and feel. On first taste we both thought it had a slight tartness which leads me to believe we go that phenolic character... had to look that one up, so correct me if I'm wrong - phenolics = acidity = tartness?

We both also thought it had subtle notes of fruity esters as in the smell. I felt it was more on the lemon side as opposed to my compatriot who thought orange.

What I really felt it was devoid of was any sort of sweetness. It called for soft belgian candi sugar - which we may or may not have pitched right as all we did was toss it in prior to the yeast, no boiling or syrup making. Could that have caused the lack of sweetness?

In the mouthful I could detect the ever so small tinge of maybe banana and sweetness that I wanted - but it was brief and gone in instant.

We aren't unhappy with it, and its drinkable, we just didn't expect what we got. I almost want to just call it Belgian Pale Ale rather than the more specific Blond.

Your thoughts?

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Old 05-15-2009, 08:38 PM   #2
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I find that the majority of a Belgians flavor comes from the yeast. So a Belgian yeast will put off different aromas and flavors based on the condition it was fermented in. Different temperatures will yield more or less fruity esters.

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Old 05-15-2009, 08:49 PM   #3
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The yeast was Wyeast #1762Belgian Abbey II. I see the optimum temperature is 65-75 I believe my buddy might have mentioned is may have fermented a bit cold.

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Old 06-22-2009, 03:12 AM   #4
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Leffe uses a very unique yeast. I doubt anyone could make a successful clone without some of the 769 year old strain of yeast they use. I would also assume that it is very hard to get a hold of.

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Old 06-22-2009, 05:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RevRon View Post
Leffe uses a very unique yeast. I doubt anyone could make a successful clone without some of the 769 year old strain of yeast they use. I would also assume that it is very hard to get a hold of.
I agree with this. Also, if you want banana out of a Belgian yeast, you need to push the temperature a bit higher. The funk smell is also likely from the yeast strain you used.

As far as the lack of sweetness... What was your final gravity? The Trappist and Belgian strains will attenuate more than they indicate on the label, especially with simple sugars in there.
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