Brewing Belgian Style Beer
Belgium has some of the richest culture when it comes to brewing beers. They have some real classics known all over the world and some really awesome local breweries that make fabulous beers unbeknown to most. Some of our favorites include, Orval, Averbode Abbey, Boon Oude Geuze, St Feuillien Brune, Chimay Blue and Zinnebir from Brasserie De La Senne.
Brewing Belgian style beer is not a fast process, for those who dabble in a bit of home brewing know how hard it is to brew a decent Belgian inspired Beer. To be honest it took us a while to nail all the aspects of the process before we could start formulating and experimenting with recipes.
We step mash every brew. What that means is that we raise the temperature during sugar extraction from the grain. We do this for 3 reasons; First, to control the simple sugars we extract from the grain. These will be 100% converted into alcohol. Secondly, to extract unfermentable sugars, these add undertones of sweetness to the beers, and finally to control dextrins and provide the body we are aiming for (in the beer that is!).
We don’t use that many hops. A little bit for bittering and a little bit for flavour, this could be why some many women who say, I don’t like beer, are always pleasantly surprised when they taste one of ours.
In some of our beers we add Coriander, orange peel or other spices. This needs to be finely balanced as over spicing can ruin your batch. A lot of Traditional Belgian beers have their own secret recipes for creating the flavours, so we’d better not give too much away I’m afraid!
All the yeasts we use are derived from Belgian strains. In order to control the flavours we control the temperature of the fermentation. This aides to develop the characteristics we want in our beers. This is a key element when Brewing Belgian style beer.
Our beers are highly carbonated to aid the release of flavours. All our bottles are naturally carbonated using secondary fermentation in bottle.
Our beers are well aged so they are ready for immediate consumption. All our beers are placed into a conditioning room and kept at a constant temperature for a number of weeks, sometimes months to allow the flavours to develop.
Our beers will gain their flavour from a combination of elements; The grain in combination with the step-mash, yeast strain; and temperature controlled fermentation will decide most of our beers flavour. Hops, spices and fruits are there to enhance these flavours. Brewing Belgian Style beer is not easy but we love it.