How much does 1% of a chocolate malt affect taste?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by okoncentrerad, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Since I'm too new of a brewer I haven't been able to find this out by experience, so maybe someone could help me out...

    Adding a small amount (1% or so) of a dark malt, like chocolate, how much does that affect taste? Let's say I'm going to make an IPA but want to make it a bit darker, but not change the flavor too much.
     
  2. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    If you just want to modify the colour without adding flavour, use brewers caramel.
    https://www.the-home-brew-shop.co.uk/acatalog/Brewers_Caramel_250ml.html

    I sometimes use ground Carafa III de-husked in the boil, it doesn't take much to darken beer, add small amounts until your happy with the colour. It will add subtle flavour.

    Adding 1% of chocolate malt would be more noticeable.

    Depends on what you want.
     
  3. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Thank you, I suppose generally I wouldn't mind if it had a smaller effect on the taste, but how much depends of the beer of course, as you said. I'm not interested really in changing the colour just because I like it to be dark. I will find out eventually, how different malts affects the result, but I was wondering if there is a general guide line for when a addition of something/how much of it/ takes a more noticeable effect (aroma/taste-wise) on the finished beer. But that's perhaps a too wide question...
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    #4 J A, Dec 8, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    You don't mention how much color you want to add, but I've used a small percentage of Special B to darken the color slightly. That gives a nutty, toasty flavor rather than a burnt roast flavor and goes very well in an IPA.
    Slightly darker base malts like Vienna or a Pale Malt like Maris Otter instead of Pilsner or 2-row (those 2 are essentially the same thing) can make a big difference. Also don't be afraid to use Munich and even a little Dark Munich to boost the malt profile and add a little color.
    Most brewers use a little Crystal malt in their IPAs and instead of the usual 5 to 10 percent of C-20 or C-40 for instance, you could mix in a little 60 or 80. I used to make a nice coppery amber Pale with 2-row, Pale, Munich and C-40. I've tended lately to keep towards lighter Pales and leave the Crystal out, but it's nice to pour an IPA with a deep amber color.
     
  5. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

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    I don't know of a specific guide that says adding this much malt adds this much flavour. All I can say as far as roasted malts are concerned the more you add the more flavour and colour you get. Which is not helpful to you.

    Why not try an experiment next time you brew. Brew two half batches, lets say one with 1% chocolate, the other with 2%. (you would need two fermentors).

    Time and experience will tell! But don't be afraid to experiment!
     
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  6. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Chocolate malt adds a specific flavor that I don't like much unless it's paired with darker malts or is in a very dry, crisp beer with hop bitterness but not much hop flavor, like an ESB, for instance. And even then, it doesn't take a lot.
    An American Amber (essentially an darker Pale/IPA) should have a dark color, but roasted flavors should be kept low to none, preferably none, with caramel flavors enhancing the maltiness.
    American Brown Ale should have a touch of Chocolate or light roast, but not much in the way of hoppiness and no harsh dark roast flavor.
    Even a Black IPA shouldn't have a distinctive chocolate or coffee flavor in the malt, though those notes can be present and shouldn't have any strong "burnt" notes.
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    At 1% of grist, I'd think you'd get a color contribution and not much else. That's about 2.5 ounces of a 12-pound grist. I'd think to get any real flavor contribution you'd need considerably more, 8 ounces at least....
     
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  8. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Thanks all, I appreciate all your input.
     

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