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Dark Belgian Ale

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Tony Dyer

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Brewed today my Dark Belgian Ale. Based on a paler version I mad a couple of months ago:

Lager Malt 2000g
Vienna Malt: 650g
Carafa Special 1: 50g
Cara Munich 1: 50g
Temp stepped mash: 50C for 30 mins, 67C for 60 mins

Saaz hops: 30g at start of boil
Styrian Goldings hops: 15g last 15 mins
Irish Moss: 10g last 15 mins
Boil for 90 mins

Mangrove Jack M41 Belgian Ale yeast: 5g at 23C
OG 1048

This is the first time I've brewed in the kitchen instaed of on the shed veranda! Much more comfortable personally and far easier to manage temperatures. I long for a dedicated heated brewing shed with electric and water!

I've put the Carafa and Cara Munich in instead of 50g of chocolate malt as the choc didn't seem to contribute anything last time and you have to try somthing don't you?. I also added the Styrian Goldings to get a bit more flavour. High hopes
🙂acheers.
 

Northern_Brewer

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You might be interested in this post and its sequel talking about getting the taste of dark Belgians right by different approaches to sugar
 

Tony Dyer

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You might be interested in this post and its sequel talking about getting the taste of dark Belgians right by different approaches to sugar
Blimey! Thanks NB. There's a lot of detail in there that I just don't have time to get my head around! It does explain the point of the Chocolate Malt tough, as it darkened the beer (just a shade, it was still on the blond side of amber) but added no discernable flavour. The Carafa that I just used has darkened the brew considerably and I'll be pleased if it and the CaraMunich add a bit more caramel to the flavour. We'll see.
 

Northern_Brewer

Landlord.
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Got to love watching someone get *really* into something though.

One thing, one of the biggest mistakes people make is using "flavour" ingredients to match the colour of commercial beers - that's how USians end up putting 15% crystal into bitter and wonder why it tastes nothing like Landlord. Get the flavour right, and then worry about the colour, adding brewer's caramel or something if need be - that's what the commercial brewers do as it allows them to adjust the colour "upwards" to a standard hue, regardless of the colour that comes out of the fermenter. And you have extreme examples like Ram Tam/Landlord Dark or a lot of brown ale, where it's just the pale beer coloured up a bit.

I like PoA for being about the "spirit" of a Belgian brewer rather than the US approach of "if only I can get some of the $50/kg sugar that's hand-fettled by Flemish virgins, my beer will be a Perfect Belgian Beer™", it doesn't work like that. But I guess the short-version of his stuff is that you do need dark sugar to make Belgian beers taste "right" or something like "right", even if it's really hard to nail it exactly.
 

Tony Dyer

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**Got to love watching someone get *really* into something though. ** Absolutely - and it means I don't have to!

I take your point about the flavour vs colour thing. Frankly though, I don't worry too much about the colour if the flavour is good. Lager that tastes like Baltic Trader might be a bit strange (but have you tried Special Brew? 🙂).
 

Northern_Brewer

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Never had the "pleasure", I have to admit - or at least I've not drunk it when sober enough to remember the next day....

There was a bit of a thing a while back for "white stouts", using things like smoked pale malt and coffee beans to get stout-type flavours into as pale a beer as possible.
 

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