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I've been brewing belgian beers with belgian pilsner malt, and german lagers with german pilsner malt without really thinking about it.

But what is it that distinguishes these malts to make them most suitable for their respective styles?

I've tried chewing on a few, but it's hard to draw a comparison, They both taste grainy and sweet. Is there really a difference?

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I've been using both for a long time and I don't think there's any more difference between Belgian and German malts than there is between maltsters in the same country. I interchange them at will, although these days I mainly use Best pils malt (German) for both German and Belgian styles. I think it's the best tasting pils malt of all I've tried, and I want the best tasting malt for whichever style I make. Of course, there's absolutely nothing wrong with using the malt from the country of origin of the beer you're making, but to me the differences are so small in this case that it isn't worth the effort to keep both German and Belgian pils malts on hand.

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Thanks, that's what I suspected. Is that Bestmalz you're using? I just got a few sacks of that and it tastes really good! –  mdma Aug 25 '11 at 20:37
    
Yep, that's the one. I use (and LOVE) their Munich, also. –  Denny Conn Aug 28 '11 at 18:58

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