Back in March I wrote about my plans to experiment with Belgian Ales this year. I had brewed a test batch up using different malts. I brewed four different varieties. All four used Belgian Pilsner malt as the base malt. One of the four was just Pilsner. The other three had different malts added, Caravienne, Munich and Abbey Ale malts. I brewed a small amount of those three malts and added them to separate carboys.
Those ales were fermented, bottled and were ready to drink. I labeled each bottle according to the malt that was used. There was C for Caravienne, A for Abbey Ale, M for Munich and P for Pilsner only. Lining up the bottle I realized that I had brewed a CAMP beer.
Now it was time to taste. I have to admit that I’m no expert at tasting and being able to describe what I taste. My most frequent tasting comment is, “I like this beer.” I did a pour of all four beers and sampled each one. Using my criteria of how much I liked each beer I ranked them. My slight favorite was the beer brewed with the Abbey Ale malt. The beer brewed with the Munich malt was my bottom ranking. Not that it was bad, but in comparison it just didn’t compare. After a day and thinking back on the tastes the Pilsner alone seemed to stand out in my mind as the best.
I invited a couple of homebrew friends to taste the beer and give me their opinions. They both agreed with me that the Munich malt brew was the least favorite. Although, one of them said that if I had asked him to sample just that he would have said it was a good beer. He favored the Caravienne. My other friend favored the Pilsner alone.
We had an interesting conversation, sitting around tasting beer. But I didn’t have a clear idea of what I would brew next. After some reflection, I decided that I wanted to brew a Golden Belgian. The only one’s of the four types that would match the color profile needed for that would be either Pilsner alone or Munich malt. And it was clear the Munich malt had not been preferred. It was on to brewing a new batch with Pilsner malt alone.
That experimental batch has been bottled and is waiting to age before I taste that batch. I’ll write about it soon.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.