A friend of mine recently brewed a Belgian Blonde Ale shooting for a recipe like Leffe Blonde, based on Revvy's recipe, see:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f71/revvys- ... ne-202852/
It appears there are many recipes similar to this one, which use Munich and Melanoidin (and wheat) malts in this beer. I started doing some research and am curious on thoughts about the recipe for this. If I were a Belgian trying to make a strong pilsner-like low hopped yellow beer, I would probably use Pilsner malt, aromatic and maybe something like carahell (if it needs more grain flavor) and acidulated (to adjust pH). But I wouldn't add Munich or Melanoidin malts, and if I mashed properly, wouldn't need wheat. And if I needed sugar to dry it out, I wouldn't mash at 158F, I'd shoot for something lower like 148-150F.
Are those basically sound thoughts, or what am I missing? I'm trying to figure out the best approach to a light-colored strong Belgian ale with light hopping, and don't see recipe using a high mash temp and the additional malts. I have been trying to make some fresh, tasty German lagers and keep simplifying my recipe and low mash temp to dry them out, and the same seems true here. So many folks seem to like that recipe, it's in books, etc. But it seems like too much to me. On my trips to Germany, the yellow beers are really tasty, and they are very grainy flavorful tasting, but very light and so well balanced between malt, hops/floral, and very subtle yeasty flavor and some sulfur. Like you taste the essence of each of the ingredients, yet in perfect harmony with each other,and you can taste the process...e.g. sulfur flavor, but subtle like it was in there as part of fermentation, but has been lagered down in intensity. Munich and Melanoidin would just make them muddy and too complicated.
My experience with adding Munich, Vienna, and Meladnoidin to a Pilsner, for example, just muds it up. My most recent Pilsner, 91% Weyermann Pilsner malt, 7% Carahell, 2% Acidulated, mashed at 148F is the closest I've come so far and is really grainy tasty, with some pilsner sweetness to it, and nice light color. It's only been lagering for a week, but is well on track to be very flavorful, despite the lack of extra malts.
I'd think a similar grain bill (at Maibock gravity) and mash temp, fermented with a Belgian ale yeast would make the Belgian equivalent.