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15. Belgian Strong Guidelines

Discussion in '15. BELGIAN STRONG ALE (>6% ABV)' started by Yob, 9/2/16.

 

  1. Yob

    Hop to it

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    Posted 9/2/16
    15.1 Belgian Blond Ale [BJCP]

    Aroma: Light earthy or spicy hop nose, along with a lightly sweet pils malt character. Shows a subtle yeast
    character that may include spicy phenolics, perfumy or honey-like alcohol, or yeasty, fruity esters (commonly
    orange-like or lemony). Light sweetness that may have a slightly sugar-like character. Subtle yet complex.

    Appearance: Light to deep gold colour. Generally very clear. Large, dense, and creamy white to off-white head.
    Good head retention with Belgian lace.

    Flavour: Smooth, light to moderate pils malt sweetness initially, but finishes medium-dry to dry with some smooth alcohol becoming evident in the aftertaste. Medium hop and alcohol bitterness to balance. Light hop flavour, can be spicy or earthy. Very soft yeast character (esters and alcohols, which are sometimes perfumy or orange/lemon-like).
    Light spicy phenolics optional. Some candi lightly caramelised sugar or honey-like sweetness on palate.

    Mouthfeel: Medium-high to high carbonation, can give mouth-filling bubbly sensation. Medium body. Light to moderate alcohol warmth, but smooth. Can be somewhat creamy.

    Overall Impression: A moderate-strength golden ale that has a subtle Belgian complexity, slightly sweet flavour, and dry finish.

    History: Relatively recent development to further appeal to European Pils drinkers, becoming more popular as it is widely marketed and distributed.

    Comments: Similar strength as a dubbel, similar character as a Belgian Strong Golden Ale or Tripel, although a bit sweeter and not as bitter. Often has an almost lager-like character, which gives it a cleaner profile in comparison to the other styles. Belgians use the term “Blond,” while the French spell it “Blonde.” Most commercial examples are in the 6.5–7% range. Many Trappist table beers (singles or Enkels) are called “Blonde” but these are not representative of this style.

    Ingredients: Belgian pils malt, aromatic malts, sugar candi sugar or sucrose, Belgian yeast strains that produce
    complex alcohol, phenolics and perfumy esters, noble, Styrian Goldings or East Kent Goldings hops. No spices are
    traditionally used, although the ingredients and fermentation by-products may give an impression of spicing (often
    reminiscent of oranges or lemons).

    Vital Statistics: (Most are 6.5-7% alcohol by vol.).

    OG FG IBUs SRM ABV
    1062-1075 1008-1018 15-30 4-7 6-7.5%

    Commercial Examples: Leffe Blond, Affligem Blond, La Trappe (Koningshoeven) Blond, Grimbergen Blond,
    Val-Dieu Blond, Straffe Hendrik Blonde, Pater Lieven Blond Abbey Ale


    15.2 Belgian Golden Strong Ale [BJCP]

    Aroma: Complex with significant fruity esters, moderate spiciness and low to moderate alcohol and hop aromas. Esters are reminiscent of lighter fruits such as pears, oranges or apples. Moderate spicy, peppery phenols. A low to moderate yet distinctive perfumy, floral hop character is often present. Alcohols are soft, spicy, perfumy and lowto-moderate in intensity. No hot alcohol or solventy aromas. The malt character is light. No diacetyl.

    Appearance: Yellow to medium gold in colour. Good clarity. Effervescent. Massive, long-lasting, rocky, often beady, white head resulting in characteristic “Belgian lace” on the glass as it fades.

    Flavour: Marriage of fruity, spicy and alcohol flavours supported by a soft malt character. Esters are reminiscent of pears, oranges or apples. Low to moderate phenols are peppery in character. A low to moderate spicy hop character is often present. Alcohols are soft, spicy, often a bit sweet and are low-to-moderate in intensity. Bitterness is typically medium to high from a combination of hop bitterness and yeast-produced phenolics. Substantial carbonation and bitterness leads to a dry finish with a low to moderately bitter aftertaste. No diacetyl.

    Mouthfeel: Very highly carbonated. Light to medium body, although lighter than the substantial gravity would suggest (thanks to candi sugar and high carbonation). Smooth but noticeable alcohol warmth. No hot alcohol or solventy character. Always effervescent. Never astringent.

    Overall Impression: A golden, complex, effervescent, strong Belgian-style ale.

    History: Originally developed by the Moortgat brewery after WWII as a response to the growing popularity of
    Pilsner beers.

    Comments: Strongly resembles a Tripel, but may be even paler, lighter-bodied and even crisper and drier. The drier finish and lighter body also serve to make the assertive hopping and spiciness more prominent. References to the devil are included in the names of many commercial examples of this style, referring to their potent alcoholic strength and as a tribute to the original example (Duvel). The best examples are complex and delicate. High carbonation helps to bring out the many flavours and to increase the perception of a dry finish. Traditionally bottle conditioned.

    Ingredients: The light colour and relatively light body for a beer of this strength are the result of using pilsner malt
    and up to 20% white sugar. Noble hops or Styrian Goldings are commonly used. Belgian yeast strains are used –
    those that produce fruity esters, spicy phenolics and higher alcohols – often aided by slightly warmer fermentation
    temperatures. Fairly soft water,

    Vital Statistics:
    OG FG IBUs SRM ABV
    1070-1095 1005-1016 22-35 3-6 7.5-10.5%

    Commercial Examples: Duvel, Hapkin, Lucifer, Brigand, Judas, Delirium Tremens, Dulle Teve, Avery Salvation,
    North Coast Pranqster, Unibroue Eau Benite


    15.3 Tripel [BJCP]

    Aroma: Complex with moderate to significant spiciness, moderate fruity esters and low alcohol and hop aromas. Generous spicy, peppery, sometimes clove-like phenols. Esters are often reminiscent of citrus fruits such as oranges, but may sometimes have a slight banana character. A low yet distinctive spicy, floral, sometimes perfumy hop character is usually found. Alcohols are soft, spicy and low in intensity. No hot alcohol or solventy aromas. The malt character is light. No diacetyl.

    Appearance: Deep yellow to deep gold in colour. Good clarity. Effervescent. Long-lasting, creamy, rocky, white head resulting in characteristic “Belgian lace” on the glass as it fades.

    Flavour: Marriage of spicy, fruity and alcohol flavours supported by a soft malt character. Low to moderate phenols are peppery in character. Esters are reminiscent of citrus fruit such as orange or sometimes lemon. A low to moderate spicy hop character is usually found. Alcohols are soft, spicy, often a bit sweet and low in intensity. Bitterness is typically medium to high from a combination of hop bitterness and yeast-produced phenolics. Substantial carbonation and bitterness lends a dry finish with a moderately bitter aftertaste. No diacetyl.

    Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body, although lighter than the substantial gravity would suggest (thanks to
    candi sugar and high carbonation). High alcohol content adds a pleasant creaminess but little to no obvious
    warming sensation. No hot alcohol or solventy character. Always effervescent. Never astringent.

    Overall Impression: Strongly resembles a Strong Golden Ale but slightly darker and somewhat fuller-bodied.
    Usually has a more rounded malt flavour but should not be sweet.

    History: Originally popularised by the Trappist monastery at Westmalle.

    Comments: High in alcohol but does not taste strongly of alcohol. The best examples are sneaky, not obvious.
    High carbonation and attenuation helps to bring out the many flavours and to increase the perception of a dry
    finish. Most Trappist versions have at least 30 IBUs and are very dry. Traditionally bottle conditioned
    (“refermented in the bottle”).

    Ingredients: The light colour and relatively light body for a beer of this strength are the result of using pilsner malt
    and up to 20% white sugar. Noble hops or Styrian Goldings are commonly used. Belgian yeast strains are used –
    those that produce fruity esters, spicy phenolics and higher alcohols – often aided by slightly warmer fermentation
    temperatures. Spice additions are generally not traditional and, if used, should not be recognisable as such. Fairly
    soft water.

    Vital Statistics:
    OG FG IBUs SRM ABV
    1075-1085 1008-1014 20-40 4.5-7 7.5-9.5%

    Commercial Examples: Westmalle Tripel, Chimay Cinq Cents (White), Tripel Karmeliet, Val-Dieu Triple, St.
    Bernardus Tripel, Affligem Tripel, Grimbergen Tripel, La Trappe Tripel, Witkap Pater Tripel, Corsendonk Abbey
    Pale Ale, St. Feuillien Tripel, New Belgium Trippel, Unibroue La Fin du Monde, Dragonmead Final Absolution


    15.4 Dubbel [BJCP]

    Aroma: Complex, rich malty sweetness; malt may have hints of chocolate, caramel and/or toast (but never roasted or burnt aromas). Moderate fruity esters (usually including raisins and plums, sometimes also dried cherries). Esters sometimes include banana or apple. Spicy phenols and higher alcohols are common (may include light clove and spice, peppery, rose-like and/or perfumy notes). Spicy qualities can be moderate to very low. Alcohol, if present, is soft and never hot or solventy. A small number of examples may include a low noble hop aroma, but hops are usually absent. No diacetyl.

    Appearance: Dark amber to copper in colour, with an attractive reddish depth of colour. Generally clear. Large, dense, and long-lasting creamy off-white head.

    Flavour: Similar qualities as aroma. Rich, complex medium to medium-full malty sweetness on the palate yet finishes moderately dry. Complex malt, ester, alcohol and phenol interplay (raisiny flavours are common; dried fruit flavours are welcome; clove-like spiciness is optional). Balance is always toward the malt. Medium-low bitterness that doesn’t persist into the finish. Low noble hop flavour is optional and not usually present. No diacetyl. Should not be as malty as a bock and should not have crystal malt-type sweetness. No spices.

    Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation, which can influence the perception of body. Low alcohol warmth. Smooth, never hot or solventy.

    Overall Impression: A deep reddish, moderately strong, malty, complex Belgian ale.

    History: Originated at monasteries in the Middle Ages, and was revived in the mid-1800s after the Napoleonic era.

    Comments: Most commercial examples are in the 6.5 – 7% ABV range. Traditionally bottle-conditioned.

    Ingredients: Belgian yeast strains prone to production of higher alcohols, esters, and phenolics are commonly used. Water can be soft to hard. Impression of complex grain bill, although traditional versions are typically
    Belgian Pils malt with caramelised sugar syrup or other unrefined sugars providing much of the character. Homebrewers may use Belgian Pils or pale base malt, Munich-type malts for maltiness, Special B for raisin
    flavours, Cara Vienne or CaraMunich for dried fruit flavours, other specialty grains for character. Dark caramelised sugar syrup or sugars for colour and rum-raisin flavours. Noble-type, English-type or Styrian Goldings hops commonly used. No spices are traditionally used, although restrained use is allowable.

    Vital Statistics:
    OG FG IBUs SRM ABV
    1062-1075 1008-1018 15-25 10-17 6-7.6%

    Commercial Examples: Westmalle Dubbel, La Trappe Dubbel, Corsendonk Abbey Brown Ale, Grimbergen
    Double, Affligem Dubbel, Chimay Premiere (Red), Duinen Dubbel, St. Feuillien Brune, New Belgium Abbey
    Belgian Style Ale, Stoudts Abbey Double Ale
     
  2. EalingDrop

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 4/2/17
    Are Quads also Belgium Golden Strong (15.3 BJCP)? Looking at the recipe, profile and characteristics it all reads exactly the same, unless I've missed something.

    Is it a 'Sparkling White wine' instead of 'Champagne ' thing?
     
  3. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 4/2/17
    Quad = Beldian Dark Strong usually.

    26D in 2015 guidelines
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Batz

    Batz Brewery...Hand crafted beers from the 'Batcav

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    Posted 4/2/17
    I love so many Belgium beers.
    Now I brew them for me rather than the BJCP, best beers I have ever brewed. Take tasting notes on every beer you brew, then improve it the way you would like it not how someone tells you.

    Batz
     
    3 people like this.
  5. ramu_gupta

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 19/2/17
    Batz - looking to start my journey into Belgian beers. Going to try the following recipe - any thoughts?

    1064
    25 IBU

    80% Pils
    8% Crystal - medium
    12% sugar

    45° C for 15 minutes
    62° C for 35 minutes
    70° C for 25 minutes
    78° C for 5 minutes

    Syrian goldings for 25 IBU at 60 min
     
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