Yes, handling beer is critical due to the high sugar content of the wort. Cabbage not so much.
I miss the aroma of homebrewing, as well as the final product!
Seeing your success, I ask one more question (for now). I made a batch of Belgian beer with a high alcohol content once. It brewed for a week before it was done bubbling and fermenting. (Bottling came after that) I thought it was excellent. Why did it take so long to ferment? Just to be expected with a high level of sugars? Or could I have done better with more yeast? Or?
Do you consider your beer as Belgian because of the ingredients you used? Did you use a Belgian yeast culture? Did you mash grains or use malt syrup? yes high sugar will mean longer fermentation.
There are more breweries per square mile in Belgium than anywhere else. The beers from Belgium are different than any other beers in the world because they are manufactured from wild yeast from their environment. Some old breweries in Belgium pump their wort to the the top floor where the windows are left open to inoculate the wort overnight. No yeast pitching.
This is the same principle as San Francisco sourdough bread is unique to that region because of the particular mixture of microbes that live there.
I once grew a yeast culture from the deposit found at the bottom of a Belgium beer bottle I purchased. When I used it to make a batch of beer, the fermentation was bubbling ferociously like a freshly poured cola for 3 days straight. Very active!!!
At one point, I was so involved in yeast for beer that I developed a homebrewer technique for culturing yeast and maintained a collection of 15 different live cultures I coaxed out of various beers from around the world. It require 10 hour/wk to maintain this collection.
Wow Luc, you sure have experience making beer. Understatement here.
Maybe what I made wasn't really Belgian. I used a Belgian "liquid yeast", and followed a recipe that included candy sugar and I forget what else. Two or three ingredients were imported from Europe and supposedly typical of some Belgian beers. I think I used powdered malt. That was about 20 years ago.
I also improvised what I call "maple mead" using maple syrup and champagne yeast. It was pretty good a week after bottling, and really really good after a couple of months.