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Dave I
03/20/06 07:36 PM  
Base Malts for a Belgian
What is the best route to go for in a Belgian? Is there any difference between going all Pilsen malt and mixing Pilsen malt and Pale malt?

Also, for a Dubbel or Quadrupel, any thoughts between using Pilsen, Pale, Vienna, or Munich malts? My understanding is to always use Pilsen malt as the base and add color through the crystal malts and any dark sugar/Special B additions (candi syrup or homemade caramelized) with maybe a bit of Munich or Aromatic for maltiness. How far off am I in my assessment of Belgian recipe formulation?


Jim Keaveney
03/21/06 10:32 AM  
Re: Base Malts for a Belgian
I can't say what is right or wrong, only what I do. If I want a lighter bodied beer (say a single or a Strong golden) I go with pilsner malt. If I am making a darker, heavier brew I use Marris Otter. I will sometimes use some of each depending on what I have on hand. I dont think I have ever used crystal for a darker belgian style because I would prefer Special B, Aromatic, chocolate malt, biscuit, etc. Depends on what you are shooting for.

Sean Paxton
03/22/06 12:03 PM  
Re: Base Malts for a Belgian
Hi Dave,

You pose some interesting questions. I am of the mind set that in order to brew more ethnic Belgians, you need to use malt for that country. I have grown very fond of the Castle malt from Belgian. Depending on the style, I use straight pilsner or pale, or a combo for more grain flavor and added complexity. For a triple or dubbel, just pilsner, for blonde, a combo, for a Belgian pale, all pale malt.

To add more malt character to my brews, I use Caramunich, Caravienna, Special B, Aromatic, Biscuit and some Chocolate malts: quantities depending on the style.

Occasionally I will use Maris Otter Floor Malt in a Dark Strong to get a little more caramel notes from the base malt.

Happy Brewing,


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Around Bruges in 80 Beers: 2nd Edition

Around London in 80 Beers

Around Brussels in 80 Beers

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