As I had said in my Belgian Experiment #1 post, my next batch was going to be done with pilsner malt and without any of the other malts I had tried using in the other samples. That was an error. In the first experiment, the recipe also included some grain flakes. This gives the beer a better mouthfeel. For experiment #2, I used different ingredients to give the beer a better mouthfeel in conjunction with using the pilsner malt as the base.
My four variations were:
1. Oat flakes
2. Wheat flakes
3. Barley flakes
4. Carapils malt
And the results, after one tasting with three people, were similar to my first experiment. There was one that was clearly in last place with two that were favored. The barley flakes were everyone’s least favorite. Oat Flakes and Carapils were both picked as favorites.
Personally, I liked the oat flakes best. But I do agree there was some additional flavor with the carapils. I didn’t find a lot of difference between the oats and wheat, but there was enough that I picked the carapils as my second choice. The carapils was mentioned by one of us as having an additional peppery or spicy flavor.
Right now, I’m undecided on what to use for my next batch. I’ll probably have to do another tasting. (One of the benefits of experimenting.) Once I make a choice then it will be on to round #3.
My plan for the Belgian Experiment #3 is to try different hops. Hops are what adds the bitterness to beer. Belgian ales are not very bitter, and the hops are not a large component of the flavor. Typically, they have a spicy earthy flavor. I’m going to try to get some Triple Pearl hops as one of my choices. These are grown in Minnesota by Mighty Axe Hops, so I’d like to give them a try. For the others, I’ll probably pick Saaz, Styrian Goldings, and something else. Stay tuned for the results.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.