Who’s still brewing Belgian-style ales and what’s your favorite recipe?

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So great to see a thread on Belgians! I love to make Saisons and Tripels. Before Kviek, there were no wide temperature range yeasts to really use except Belgians and living in Florida didn't afford me much choices. I have temp control now, but I still love to do a saison and throw some 3711 or 3724 in and let the thing ferment at room temp! Plus, you have carte blanche to throw in spices and what not. Truly a great set of styles to brew. I would to see more local breweries doing it, but we only get a couple places that dabble in it.
I have a lemon tree out back that is dumping massive lemons right now, sounds like a lemon pepper saison with 3711 might be in my future.
 

jturman35

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I have a Bel Blonde Ale Leffe clone "Revy's version" fermenting using WLP530. The first batch I brewed of this beer scored 30-31 by to Master BJCP judges who said under carbonation alone kept this beer from hitting 40's. Actually on a Dr. Homebrew podcast.

My favorite Belgian beer is Chimay Blue followed by La Trappe Quad then Westy 12. After purchasing a 6 pack of Westy 12 straight from the Monestary and comparing to Chimay Blue which i can buy at Kroger, i learned Chimay holds it's own.
 
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Noob_Brewer

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Do any of you guys try to cellar your bottled beer or kegs? I put a case of bottled Dubbels in a fridge for 1 month at ~45 degrees and did notice a small difference between that and the bottle I kept at 68.

If you cellar, what’s your process?
Ive only brewed a few Belgian dubbels but have always put them straight into keg/keezer at an avg 39 degrees. Just curious what difference you detected? Which one you liked better and why?
 

Jhedrick83

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Ive only brewed a few Belgian dubbels but have always put them straight into keg/keezer at an avg 39 degrees. Just curious what difference you detected? Which one you liked better and why?
It was only 1 month but I felt like the flavors were sharper on the cellared one. It was a blind taste test. It wasn’t a huge difference but I’m wondering. If more time or different conditions make a bigger difference. I see places where they say to brew quads and bottle condition for 12-18 months.
 

Oleson M.D.

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Not us! Not only do we not brew Belgian style beer, we don't even drink it. Unless we are in Brussels.
 
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7th Sun in Dunedin was doing cool Belgian-y stuff a few years ago. Not sure where you are in relation to them.
We get some 7th Sun stuff in Orlando and I do stop in when I am on that coast. Otherwise, my local place Bowigens, does a Triple and Saison in the summer. Still not enough!
 

Kjokkakim

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I've got my hand of a recipe which is close to Glazen Toren Saison d'Erpe-Mere. Got it from a guy who visited the brewery and put it together with information he got.

Quite simple and delicious. This years Norwegian champion in the Belgian category, used this recipe

Grist
87.5% Pilsner
12.5% Wheat
OG 1.050-1.055

Mashing
[email protected]°C (143.4°F)
[email protected]°C (161.6°F)

Boil for 75 minutes

Hops
75 min Saaz 18 IBU
Flameout 2g/l Hallertau Mittelfruh

They use Safale BE-134
Rehydrate
Pitch around 68°F let it free raise to 78-83°F within a couple of days. Let it sit for at least 2 weeks, maybe 3. BE-134 goes low, FG in the area 1.000-1.005 is not unheard of.

Carbonate with sugar, aim around 3.0 co2. They use F-2, but for homebrewing residual yeast work. 3 weeks. Bottle maturing for 3 weeks @28°C. Enjoy.

70004e3c568f34d1ee1dfae73f49a5b7_raw (1).jpg
 

Dog House Brew

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I really like 3864 and La Fin du Monde. I’ve always brewed a LFM clone-ish recipe this time of year. I’m getting ready to brew a quad for next Christmas. Not sure what yeast I’m using, but a quad sounds good in this cold weather!
 

SRJHops

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I really like 3864 and La Fin du Monde. I’ve always brewed a LFM clone-ish recipe this time of year. I’m getting ready to brew a quad for next Christmas. Not sure what yeast I’m using, but a quad sounds good in this cold weather!
My go to is 3522, the Achouffe strain. Give it a spin in the Quad with the 3864 combined - I bet it will rock.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I really like 3864 and La Fin du Monde. I’ve always brewed a LFM clone-ish recipe this time of year. I’m getting ready to brew a quad for next Christmas. Not sure what yeast I’m using, but a quad sounds good in this cold weather!
I have not used Wyeast 3864. I assume it is tied to Unibroue. Unibroue makes some incredible beers and I can usually get it for about half the price of Belgian imports. Unibroue spices most of their beers. While I generally have avoided adding spices to mine, they do a good job of keeping the spices in the background. Any idea if they use the same yeast for the majority of their beers?

Unibroue also contract brews a beer or two sold under a Trader Joes label. The Trader Joe's Vintage Ale is a wonderful beer that sells for like $6 for a 750ml bottle.
 

Dog House Brew

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I have not used Wyeast 3864. I assume it is tied to Unibroue. Unibroue makes some incredible beers and I can usually get it for about half the price of Belgian imports. Unibroue spices most of their beers. While I generally have avoided adding spices to mine, they do a good job of keeping the spices in the background. Any idea if they use the same yeast for the majority of their
beers?

Unibroue also contract brews a beer or two sold under a Trader Joes label. The Trader Joe's Vintage Ale is a wonderful beer that sells for like $6 for a 750ml bottle.
I didn’t realize that they contract brewed the Trader Joe’s. I’ll have to look that up. I don’t spice my beers. I do use orange zest though. I do think they use the same yeast. No way to know for sure. I’ve read they use a bottling yeast. I’ve never tried to culture from a bottle.
 
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I love making and drinking Belgians. I typically brew a batch of Belgian Quad (aka Dark Strong) once a year. Have brewed a couple batches of Dubbel. And recently have brewed some Trippels last couple years.
I use WLP530 Abbey Ale Yeast in all my "Trappist style" Belgians.
I use the Candi Syrup as well. And I just saw they released the D-240 version, so meaning to give that a try!
I've also brewed a couple Saisons
I always bottle condition the dubbel and quad's.

I typically get good reviews from my home brew buddies and have won some bronzes/silver in competitions.

Last Quad I brewed, I did about 3 gallons second runnings and pitched a dry pack of Abbey ale yeast to make a "Single". I liked it so much that I purposely brewed a new batch of Trappist Single! I think it turned out ok, but the keg didn't last long, so guess it was good.

I have travelled to Belgium several times and always go Brewery exploring for more inspiration. Love drinking Belgian Beer. I'm lucky to live in an area that has a really great "Belgian style only" brewery, and they really turn out some great brews!
 

Elric

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I didn’t realize that they contract brewed the Trader Joe’s. I’ll have to look that up. I don’t spice my beers. I do use orange zest though. I do think they use the same yeast. No way to know for sure. I’ve read they use a bottling yeast. I’ve never tried to culture from a bottle.
people say unibroue use a bottling yeast, but if you look up flora brewing on youtube she has a couple videos about doing a fdm clone with harvested yeast that was successful, so you could try it as well and see.
 

marc1

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Are there any POF- saison yeasts? I think something dry like that would be a delicious and refreshing change of pace, but phenolics are disgusting. 🤮 🤣

I could use glucoamylase in the fermenter for attenuation and use a regular yeast - any recommendations?
 

CascadesBrewer

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Are there any POF- saison yeasts? I think something dry like that would be a delicious and refreshing change of pace, but phenolics are disgusting. 🤮 🤣
In my book, the pepper, clove an other phenolic characters are what separates a saison yeast from just another ale yeasts. There are saison strains with less phenolic characters, like some of the French Saison strains or Belle Saison. "Phenolics" are a broad range of characters like the flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. Fermentation temperature can help to control the amounts of phenolic character.

You could try fermenting a typical Saison recipe with a clean yeast like US-05 and see if you enjoy the results.
 

marc1

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In my book, the pepper, clove an other phenolic characters are what separates a saison yeast from just another ale yeasts. There are saison strains with less phenolic characters, like some of the French Saison strains or Belle Saison. "Phenolics" are a broad range of characters like the flavors of cinnamon and vanilla. Fermentation temperature can help to control the amounts of phenolic character.

You could try fermenting a typical Saison recipe with a clean yeast like US-05 and see if you enjoy the results.
Thanks for the response!

I associate the pepper/clove flavors with phenolics.

Cinnamon and vanilla flavors are good, but would require a very judicious application to be good in a beer.

In general I'm not fond of spiced beer - I haven't had a pumpkin, Christmas, or Wit beer that I liked.

Maybe a Kveik yeast with gluco could get some interesting flavors and dryness.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Maybe a Kveik yeast with gluco could get some interesting flavors and dryness.
I brewed a 3 gallon batch of a Saison recipe and split it with 3 yeasts. Two were Saison yeasts (WLP565 and Belle Saison). The other was with Voss. The Voss batch had a little bit of a Saison feel, but mostly just from the base recipe. It was an okay beer, but not much of a Saison. With my Voss beers, I count on a little less attenuation and more residual sweetness than I do with US-05. I am not sure if there is a Kveik that would make something like a Saison. Some of the original Kveik yeasts are multi-strain with some having "wild" components (which might be POF+).

I am not sure what non-Saison yeast would produce a beer similar to a non-phenolic Saison strain. I recall reading about at least one Belgian brewery that makes a "Saison" with a yeast reportedly a Chico/American Ale related strain.

I recently bottled a Saison brewed with Lallemand Farmhouse. I am sure it is POF+, but the first bottled seemed pretty light on the phenolic character...though the beer seems sweeter than I want in a Saison.
 

WESBREW

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This thread got me thinking i could try making a Belgian beer. Like MadKing and a couple others id prefer something somewhat balanced. I've had very few Belgian beers. swore them off years ago finding local versions of the various Belgian styles typically thick, sweet, yeasty and clove heavy. If i were to try a belgian blonde that is unmistakenly Belgian, but want to minimize peppery/clove and have it finish dry with good flocculation, what would be a good yeast to try? i primarly use white labs yeast. I'm open to other styles but feel they would probably have more of the flavors i don't want and too alcholic to have 5gallons
 
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