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Old 05-19-2006, 04:25 PM   #31
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Default Subjective report on Unibroue

First off let me prepare you. My friend is not into belgian, or as he calls them weird beers. He considers any phenolic taste in a beer flawed. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Here is what he sent me today after his tour this week. take it wtih a grain of phenol.

---------SNIP>
i don't know why u would bother trying to replicate these beers. they ranged from mediocre to unsaleable. most of them were just awful, and all but 1 or 2 were highlky phenolic. one could make the excuse that "it's part of the style", but i really dislike phenolic beers. nonetheless, there is nothing "to style" about a phenolic pilsner. anyway...

the malt is canada malting, essentially identical (but cheaper) to the domestic malt you're getting ... harrington/klages blend. the specialty malts are hugh baird, which i think you're also getting . curacao orange is used in the blanche, licorice, anise, cardamom also used in their beers. hops are barely used, saaz, hallertau, golding, all typical of belgian beers. 4 diff yeasts are used for their various ales, 1 per brew, but the yeast used for refermentation may not be the same as the 1 used in primary. beers are centrifuged and unfiltered, the centrifugation prob removes the vast majority, then pasteurized. cane sugar to increase alc by .5% added with the "bottle" yeast, then stored 3 weeks at 25c b4 release. we can do the math later to determine the exact amount of sugar needed to recreate their carbonation levels.

the lagers were a little better. i had a perfectly nice pils at their restaurant, and an ok honey pils at the brewery, batch 1 on the bottling line as we went thru, so it was absolutely fresh, but i don't have anything nice to say about it otherwise. beers filtered thru d.e. and tunnel pasteurized
----------SNIP>

With that said I will be bugging him for additional help in developing a clone for maudite. Despite his disdain for this style, he is actually quite brilliant, and should be able to provide additional valuable insight.
Baron, I think we are getting somewhere with this.

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Old 05-22-2006, 02:32 AM   #32
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Cool. I'm currently trying to cultivate the yeast from a bottle of Maudite. However, according to this information it may not be the primary strain. I might go ahead and order the Wyeast. The spicing will be hard to recreate, but there are lots of Indian groceries around here, so the spices will be cheap.

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Old 05-22-2006, 01:52 PM   #33
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I'm waiting on cultivating the yeast from the bottle at this time. I'm going to look into this a little further before I order the Wyeast 3864. My friend indicated that they use at least for different strains for their brews, not including the one for refermentation.

Any verifyable data on the Wyeast 3864 as the same strain used in Maudite, or is it just non specific yeast.

Wyeast describes it as:
3864 Canadian/Belgian Style Yeast. From a Franco-Belgie Canadian brewery which produces many styles of classic Belgian beers. Mild phenolics, which increase with elevated fermentation temperatures. Low ester profile with a dry, slightly tart finish. Complex and well-balanced, alcohol tolerant. Flocculation - medium; apparent attenuation: 75-79%. (65-80° F, 18-27° C)

This conflicts with the information my friend obtained. I wonder if they start with the 3864, and then let the yeast take on the characteristics of the indivi dual beers by repitching in those specific beers. makes sense?

I'll consider borrowing my friends lab to do a little analysis of the yeast found in the maudite bottles, and compare that with the 3864 strain under the microscope.

Let me know if you know how one may be able to obtain the curacao orange. That's may be difficult for me to get locally even with a resource like the Brattleboro food coop.

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Old 05-25-2006, 05:11 PM   #34
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I spoke with my resource in a little more depth today. While he was adamant about Unibroue using at least four diferent yeast strains for their products. We concluded that they use the same strain for bottle refermentation for all their beers.

He reported that he saw no belgian candy sugar in the brewhouse whatsoever, so we have also concluded that their beers are likely all malt, with some flaked barley wherever necc. ( He observed bags of it in the brewery).

Instead of procuring the 3864 strain I have decided to cultivate the yeast they use for refermentation and then use this yeast for primary fermentation, as well as bottle refermentation.

I'm going to work on a Grist over the next couple days and see what I can come up with, and maybe try to shoot for brewing this on Memorial day

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Old 05-25-2006, 05:17 PM   #35
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My understanding is that Unibroue just uses sugar for their beers instead of Belgian candi sugar. I've seen that referenced in a few places. My reculturing efforts are tbd...I'll probably be doing a spin of the Highland Gaelic and shoot for a Maudite-esque beer in a few weeks. I've got a grist put together at home I can post later.

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Old 05-25-2006, 05:41 PM   #36
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I'd like to see that and compare notes.

Thanks B!

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Old 06-03-2006, 06:47 PM   #37
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I love La Maudite. As a matter of fact, it was the beer that opened my eyes past the typical american beers... The guy at my LHBS gave me this recipe and said that he tried it and it was very very very close to Maudite.

5.5 lb 55% Pilsener Malt
2.5 lb 25% Munich Malt
1.0 lb 10% Malted wheat
1.0 lb 10% piloncillo


1.0 oz 60 min Northern brewer (7% AA)
1.5 oz 30 min Saaz (3% AA)
2.0 oz 5 min Kent Goldings (5% AA)

Last five minutes of the boil

0.67 Indian coriander
Zest of 1 seville/sour orange or 1 regular orange plus zest from one fourth a grapefruit
0.25 tsp grains of paradise or black pepper coarsely crushed
0.25 tsp clove

The yeast he said he used was cultured from a bottle of maudite...

I haven't quite moved myself up to AG brewing yet so let me know if anyone tries this and it is close....

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Old 06-03-2006, 06:57 PM   #38
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Thanks, g! I'll feed this into the machine and see what I get...haven't cultured this yeast yet (need to try a 750ml, I think) so it's still in the queue.

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Old 11-13-2006, 04:33 PM   #39
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hey guys,

Im 95% sure that the yeast strain that unibroue uses is highly protected. I personally LOVE unibroue but from what ive heard that yeast strain was cultured from the wild and had to be worked with to tame it. Because of this, the original strain is filtered before bottling takes place, and a different, more neutral yeast strain is used for bottle conditioning.

The Wyeast canadian/belgian strain 3864 is pretty good. Ive used it in a AG triple i brewed. From what ive observed, to get the crazy complexity that comes close to unibroue, you have to ferment that strain at high temperatures, like 28 degrees celcius. I didnt ferment it that high so i didnt get the complexity, although one can taste/smell basic similarities to the unibroue strain. Still, i maintain that the 3864 is not the unibroue strain, even though its close. The flavours of the 3864 are not nearly as wild as the unibroue strain.

By the way, do you know the history? I guess the brewmaster is certified from traditional begian schools of brewing, which is where the tamed wild yeast idea comes from. I dont know where they got the strain from though (canada or belgium). The brewery began independant, then was PURCHASED by Sleemans about 5 years ago. Now, more recently, the Sleemans empire has been purchased my SAPPORO, so Sapporo owns Unibroue.... which sucks....

AND, dont bother saving your emply 750ml unibroue bottles unless you have mushroom corks... plastic champagne corks wont work because they are about 1-2 mm to small.... big suprise to me. And mushroom corks are so expensive!! To bad!!


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Old 11-14-2006, 01:45 AM   #40
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You know, I had forgotten about this project. It'll probably stay on hold in my case for a while, but if anybody comes up with a good Maudite clone post up!

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