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Dave I
10/31/07 03:55 PM  
Flanders Red VS. Oud Bruin
From a taste perspective, what is the difference between a Flanders Red and a Flanders Brown Ale (a.k.a. Oud Bruin)? This is one of those I've-never-tried-one-but-they-sound-interesting sort of scenarios.

From my understanding, the Flanders Reds are a bit more tart, use Munich a/o Vienna for the base malts, yet are somehow not as malty as the Oud Bruins. They also seem to be lower gravity and aged in wooden barrels (not sure of oak chips will cut it or not.

The Oud Bruins are apparently sweeter and maltier, not quite as vinous or tart early on, and tend to just use Pils, dark Cara-malts, and Maize. They are apparently higher gravity of the two, although not crazy OG's like a barleywine, and aged in stainless steel (not sure if oak chips would be appropriate here or not).

All of that is what I picked up from WildBrews and the BJCP guidelines. Any comparisons as far as taste, aroma, body, etc.? Do you use the same yeasts/bugs and fermentation schedule between the two styles, or do the Reds get the funky stuff right off the bat while the Browns get a clean yeast first and THEN the bugs in the secondary? Do you prefer one over the other, and if so, why?


11/01/07 02:45 PM  
Re: Flanders Red VS. Oud Bruin
I'll give you a take that you'll get from no judge. Flanders Red is oud bruin.

My first drinking session in Belgium was at 't Brugs beertje, I was interested in oud bruins so I ordered all they had (not that many). I commented about one in particular that was very pale. The bartender said with a snicker that oud bruin has nothing to do with color. I had heard something similar from Johnny at Global Beer Network - a Belgian national. Having newly established the online version of belgianstyle.com I dug and questioned and came up with this:

The term Flanders Red was deveoped by Rodenbach as a marketing scheme to set themselves apart from the rest of the oud bruin pack.

Dave I
11/06/07 10:22 AM  
Re: Flanders Red VS. Oud Bruin
By the way, thank you for the reply SteveG. I think I will make a couple of Oud Bruins, one with Munich and Vienna, maybe some Pils, ala Rodenbach (or perhaps, more like Duchess de Bourgogne), and one with Pils, dark CaraMunich a/o CaraVienna, and maybe a touch or Roasted Barley or Carafa for a slightly darker, browner color. I think it will be fun just to see what difference the two grists make. I do appreciate the clarification though.


Brian Richards
11/06/07 09:07 PM  
Re: Flanders Red VS. Oud Bruin
<<The term Flanders Red was deveoped by Rodenbach as a marketing scheme to set themselves apart from the rest of the oud bruin pack.


No kidding, so "flanders red" is to belgium as "ESB" is to the U.S.--Brands that we are trying to turn into styles. Very interesting.

11/07/07 10:25 AM  
Re: Flanders Red VS. Oud Bruin
I think when Jackson started publishing material on Belgium he ran with this idea and the notion of "Flanders Red" became all the more popularized. But I've heard some deliniations that were - IMO - pretty hair brained. 7, 8 years ago the popular notion was that oud bruin was set apart by its "malty backbone" that balanced the sourness. Having made oud bruin by that point I knew that the bugs that make Flanders sours beers take no prisoners. Still, Goudenband at that time had an awesome balance so the beer community hailed that one the benchmark. This of course ignored the fact that Leifmans also made a beer called "Leifmans Oud Bruin" which was the dry, sour beer you would expect. I asked Jackson about this, suspecting that Goudenband must have somehow ceased bug activity then been blended to get that taste. He agreed. So the beer that the US beer community was measuring all oud bruin by was not a pure oud bruin. If all you knew of oud bruin 8-10 years ago was Goudenband then it was easy to make the observation that it was real different from Rodenbach thus legitimaizing separate styles. I was on that band wagon too - till I went to Belgium and gained an understanding that exceeded a single brand.

I'll mention while stepping off the soapbox that the thing that really cemented my understanding was actually making an oud bruin. I think the best way to really question the malty backbone theory is to directly observe cause and effect when brewing with bacteria.

Dave I
11/07/07 10:58 AM  
Re: Flanders Red VS. Oud Bruin
<<I think the best way to really question the malty backbone theory is to directly observe cause and effect when brewing with bacteria.>>

That always struck me as odd (and by always, I mean the stretch of time between when I really started reading up on sour ales about two weeks ago and now) that the Oud Bruin would be Malty and sweet when it was just Pils malt and dark CaraMunich, maybe a touch of Roasted Barley, when "Flanders Reds" were Vienna and Munich malt-based but somehow drier and more sour. That just seemed kind of counter to what I would have guessed.


11/07/07 11:15 AM  
Re: Flanders Red VS. Oud Bruin
<<That just seemed kind of counter to what I would have guessed.>>

And to logic. It's hard for me to believe the people who developed the BJCP description of oud bruin had ever had a Oud Zottegem or Felix in front of them. Or for that matter an actual Liefmans oud bruin. Harder still to imagine they ever themselves made an unblended oud bruin!

Oh, and they don't actually have to have dark malt. Oud Zottegem (defunct now I believe) looked like a pale ale.

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