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Old 10-03-2013, 07:03 PM   #1
jmhbutler
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I'm currently planning a Belgian pale ale and my recipe calls for Belgian Pale Malt, Belgian Crystal, and Belgian Aromatic. My LHBS doesn't have a Belgian specific variety of any of these malts. Will doing without have a significant impact on my beer's flavour characteristics?

 
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:46 PM   #2
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From this, I don't think so. A good English pale ale malt (Maris Otter, etc) would be a good replacement. Same goes with crystal malts. Try to find English crystals. For Aromatic, I would choose whatever your LHBS has on hand. Using different malts will give you a different flavor/color/mouthfeel/etc, but even if you use the same malt from the same maltster year after year, the malt will change from crop to crop, so it may be different, but maybe not noticeably so. If you are trying to clone a recipe and are given the exact maltsters used, using a different malt may make you experience a difference if doing a side-by-side. Otherwise, it'll likely be too close to notice.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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Significant difference, probably not, the yeast you select will have more bearing on the final taste of the beer than the malt but IMO, whenever you try to brew a beer specific to a region it's best to use grain from the region when available.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
Significant difference, probably not, the yeast you select will have more bearing on the final taste of the beer than the malt but IMO, whenever you try to brew a beer specific to a region it's best to use grain from the region when available.
+1

Belgian yeasts are more responsible for the characteristic Belgian flavors than the specific malts. My LHBS says that Melanoidin malt is a direct substitute for Aromatic, but I'm not sure about that. I don't think I've even seen specialty Belgian Crystal malts. In order words, it shouldn't make a huge difference.

 
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