Originally Posted by cjalderman
So I have a question over the grain bill in CSI's recipe, is the combination of belgian pilsner and 2 row necessary for a true clone? Is there a large flavor difference between that and an all pilsner grain bill?
Really, really liked this question. It kind of cuts to the goal of making the perfect Westvleteren 12 clone. Here's our opinion so far for whatever its worth.
Belgian Pils tends to be mildly "sweeter" than german or other pils so it seems to match the clone goals better. Reading between the lines I think what you're asking is if the Belgian Pils and Belgian Pale combination is necessary, (both are 2-Row barley so I hope this assumption is correct). This is the same question we have had in formulating the new Westy 12 clone trials for this Fall 2013. Given the most recent taste testing of the Westvleteren 12 import I have a theory that the St. Sixtus brewers are *currently* using only Belgian Pils with single decoction to add that slight toasted breadiness. That's the theory based on recent tasting anyway. Some say Castle and some say Dingeman's. We're not sure (yet). Hopefully we'll have more testing on that later this year also.
I can't wait to begin the next round of trials.