What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

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What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby seymour » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:25 pm

Our grainbills are usually mostly pale base malt. What is your next most essential fermentable?

The sky's the limit: we'll accept cara/crystal malts, toasted, roasted, unmalted grains, hell even simple sugars...

Discuss.
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Re: What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby jeffjm » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:09 am

Again, it depends on what I'm making. The darker beers get the usual array of chocolate/roast barley/black patent, again trying to match country of origin with the style. Ordinary bitter gets Fawcett light crystal malt, while special bitters and ESBs use Fawcett dark crystal. Continental beers that need a bit of caramel sweetness get caramunich II. Dunkels and bocks get a touch of debittered carafa II.

It's not really a specialty malt, but I'll use about 5-10% Munich in my hoppier beers, just to add a little more breadiness to support the hops. I'll also use a small amount of Victory to augment the Munich. I really, really limit the amount of crystal malt I use so my beers don't get too sweet. The Munich/Victory combination takes its place.
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Re: What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby Mike C-Z » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:32 pm

I frequently use rye malt. I've put it in milds, porters, reds, ipa, and most recently a table beer. I like Crystal 120 quite a bit too. Like Jeff said it depends. I always put Special B in a RIS.
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Re: What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby beermikester » Wed Jun 04, 2014 3:38 pm

jeffjm wrote:It's not really a specialty malt, but I'll use about 5-10% Munich in my hoppier beers, just to add a little more breadiness to support the hops.


+1. I really like the increased depth and "fullness" of flavor that a little Munich contributes.

I also find myself using a bit of Cara Pils in most of my beers to increase mouthfeel and head retention a bit. Usually only about 0.5 lb per 5 gallons.

On Tap: Northern Brown Ale, Imperial Oktoberfest, Saison, Kolsch
Fermenting: Saison, IPA
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Re: What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby siwelwerd » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:49 pm

I'll interpret "favorite" to mean "something I use often that perhaps other brewers don't". And my answer would be Vienna malt. It gives a lighter, breadier character than Munich, which is like a lightly toasted bread to me. I used to use Munich and Victory in my pale ales, but have switched to Vienna and a touch of Munich.

Another one would be pale chocolate malt. It gives a unique, slightly nutty, chocolate character when compared to the darker chocolate malts. I like to mix in a little of both pale chocolate and a 400L or so chocolate for a bit of complexity in my dark beers.
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Re: What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby seymour » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:45 pm

+1 to the Vienna and Pale Chocolate malt suggestions, both so very perfect when the time is right.


What does everyone think about Honey Malt? I've had some beers containing it which were delicious and others with really unpleasant malt-derived traits. It seems to me Honey Malt's soft, round, mellow caramel sweetness can be complimentary, or it can just make the finished beer seem bland, mushy, and sticky-sweet. Is there a trick to using it correctly?
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Re: What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:57 am

I've used honey malt in my IPAs a couple times. It was suggested to me to remove my Munich malt and replace it with that. It was a really unique contribution, but I stopped using it a couple years ago. I think it would lend itself better to an Amber or APA than it did to my IPAs.

I never thought it was "mushy" or overly sweet, but I never used more than half a pound for a 5.5 gallon batch.
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Re: What is your favorite specialty malt/grain?

Postby Mike C-Z » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:13 pm

I've used .25 lb honey malt in an IPA and 1 lb in a sour with good results.
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