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Old 02-10-2012, 05:17 AM   #1
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Default Question about beer styles, Belgian Wheat vs Belgian Ale/Double/Triple etc

Hey guys, Im confused

I'm planning out my next (second) brew and have come across some confusing information. I would like it to be somewhere along the lines of the Victory Golden Monkey (Belgian Tripel) or the Flying Dog Raging Bitch (Belgian IPA) which I thought were both a form of wheat ale

In my research for recipes I seem to have learned that a Belgian ale is not a wheat ale...This confused me because Golden Monkey seems to have that wheat ale taste. All the Belgian double & Triple recipes that I've seen seem to just have a crap ton of Pilsner extract.....but no wheat. Before looking into all this the word "Belgian" and "wheat ale" were pretty much the same thing in my head. Is it just the Wheat ale yeast that makes a Belgian ale.... Belgian? And does wheat ale yeast give a beer are more "wheaty" flavor?

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:02 AM   #2
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A belgian style beer almost invariably refers to a Belgian yeast strain. The wheat ale yeast you refer to is probably a hefeweizen yeast strain, that's German, as opposed to Belgian. Belgian wits are a fairly popular style, so maybe that's why you confused the two? That being said, you can throw a Belgian yeast strain on just about any grain bill and it will come out cool - which is why you see a lot of these beers like Raging Bitch, Cali-Belgique, and Tank 7 Ale.

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Old 02-10-2012, 06:30 AM   #3
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The term wheat beer just refers to the fact that a large portion of the base malt is wheat, but there are many styles. As was mentioned, it sounds like you are picking up the banana and fruity esters that are created by German hefeweizen yeasts, some of the same characteristics present with many Belgian strains. This would be in contrast to American style wheat beers - which typically are fermented with yeasts that give much cleaner profiles.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:27 AM   #4
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I think it's time for some research! Awesome research! Get a whole bunch of Belgian beers, some Belgian wit and some German style wheat beers and compare. There is a rediculous variety of Belgians. Damn it I love them
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Old 02-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
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Belgian ale yeasts usually have a major trait in common with hefeweizen strains - they are POF (phenolic off flavor) positive. The POF gene allows the yeast to metabolize ferulic acid into 4VG (4-vinyl guaiacol), which smells like clove.

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