It was non-rhetorical

After we returned from our trip to Madison back in August, I put up a run-down of our trip in a short series of posts. I did a lot of telling, but I also found a question on our trip, and I asked it. Suddenly I realize that no one answered it. It wasn’t a rhetorical question; I really was curious.

Here it is:

I did, however, notice a common theme in a few Midwestern Belgian beers. In at least three or four beers I had, I noticed a common yeast character that I didn’t really enjoy. If these were my first exposure to Belgian styles, I may not like Belgians the way I do. Scary thought. I wasn’t taking notes, and the quantity of flavors that passed over my tongue cloud my memory. Ale Asylum’s Happy Ending was one of these beers. I had several others that I’m convinced used the same yeast at the festival, but I’d be speculating wildly to toss out specific examples (having tried a lot of beers from a lot of [in some cases unfamiliar] breweries). Any body know what’s pestering me?

Seriously, does anybody know?

Here’s another question I asked in that post: Did I mention that my mom was visiting me this weekend? That, however, was pretty much rhetorical.

Oh, yeah, and I once challenged everybody to put a tasting together and report back. Reports have been lamely zero. Buck up, guys.


3 Responses to It was non-rhetorical

  1. Glenn says:

    Not having access to those beers I’m flying blind here, but having thrown together a few Belgians in the past.. IMHO if you can break down anything “Belgian” into general tastes I would say you have “funk”, “spicy”, “clovey”, “bubblegum”, and maybe “phenolic” and/or “estery”? Maybe you can back into figuring out the yeast that way? Unless you are getting into the lambic/sour beers there are only a few general Belgian yeasts even available (at least to homebrewers), and by their characteristic taste profiles you might figure this out? Anyway 2 cents FWIW

  2. Wilson says:

    Well, I use 3787, so rule that one out. I’d also guess, I guess, to rule out 3864, which comes from Unibroue. I love those beers, and wouldn’t say it’s their yeast character.

    I’m sitting here looking at the table on p. 178 of Stan’s Brew Like a Monk, and thinking back to the aromas and flavors and the notes I didn’t take. I’m thinking the character may have been in the neighbor hood of those described for 3538, fermented between 75-85F (bubblegum, solvent, banana, clove, phenolic, light tart). Of course that brings up the whole issue of temperature. And all the variables, as many of these characteristics appear in some of the yeasts I know I like, say 1214.


  3. Glenn says:

    You know just had a stupid idea, but thought I’d say it anyway 😉 Most craft brewing types are pretty cool. If you sent them an email.. “hey I just had your ……. beer, and I’m a homebrewer too. What yeast did you use for it?” You don’t necessarily have to say you weren’t fond of it… Might get a direct answer that way?

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