Maris Otter v Pale Ale Malt

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Steve SPF, Mar 28, 2020.

  1. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    I found a supply of malt that really suits my needs so have switched supplier. I've subbed in Maris Otter in my last brew though and am just wondering how much difference it's making.

    The beers that I really enjoy are old style pale ales with quite subtle flavours. My last brew has some really vague sweetness about it and I'm wondering if it's the Maris Otter. It's not offensive at all, just different, and I'm wondering if it's the malt or if I've done something different somewhere else along the line.

    Any experience with using Maris Otter malt and what it might bring to the party?
     
  2. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I personally use MO for stouts, and porters, but have also used in IPA'S, my taste buds are not discerning enough to tell the difference. Others will chime in on the difference you can expect. The additional sweetness could be related to mash temp, did you mash at a higher temp when you ised the MO?
     
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  3. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    That's a possibility for sure. My efficiency has been really coming on so retaining more temp in the mash wouldn't be a surprise. Will check my notes.
     
  4. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    I use MO in stouts, British bitter and more recently my session IPA. They all have fair amounts of specialty malts so it’s hard to say what the MO is contributing. I would have to do a basic pale ale or blond ale side by side to tell for sure. The big difference for me is the price with MO costing $20 per bag more than Great Western 2-row.
     
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  5. Hamner Brewhouse

    Hamner Brewhouse Active Member

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    American 2-row: clean, sweet, mild malty. Marris Otter: nutty, deep maltiness. MO has about 1/2 the diastatic power. That's all I have found on these.

    I have not used MO, so I don't have any real world experience with it. I tend to be cheap, so if I do eventually use MO, I'll likely substitute 1/2 or more of the MO amount with 2-row. Although it would be fun to do a comparison brew of an English Mild or Brown.
     
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  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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  7. Group W

    Group W Well-Known Member

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    Good read Craigerrr. Thanks!

    A couple more thoughts. The MO I use is made by Bairds. I get more dough balls with it than Great Western 2-row, perhaps the difference in DP is causing this, idk. We have access to Lamonta malt from Mecca Grade. Same price point as MO, and similar reported attributes. However Lamonta is malted from raw grains as inventory requires. So malt freshness becomes a deciding factor for some brewers.
     
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  8. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    That's really interesting. I've just been back to the beer again and there's a definite mellow sweetness about it that wasn't there in the previous batch, it's absolutely delicous though so I'm very pleased with it now.

    I'm thinking that the slightly higher mash temp from the efficiency gains and the Marris Otter have maybe both brought a little difference. Interesting. Thanks for input folks.
     
  9. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    I get the MO at a really good price so will probably stick with it. It comes direct from the farm too so I'm assuming freshness isn't an issue for us here.
     
  10. Vallka

    Vallka Well-Known Member

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    I use 2row mainly but to add richness and depth to the 2row I will add some Munich to it. Learned this from the local brewmaster in our town.
     
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  11. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    My LHBS carries Crisp Malting's Maris Otter, the distributor has this narrative about it on their website.

    The variety Maris Otter® was bred and developed in the 1960’s by Dr GDH Bell at the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge by crossing the varieties Proctor and Pioneer and has become one of the most enduring malting varieties in the history of modern barley cultivation.

    Maris Otter® has been grown for malting for more than 45 years and its pedigree and track record of delivering, year after year, consistent, processable and flavorful malt is unsurpassed.

    Crisp Malting Maris Otter® is grown under contact by selected Norfolk farmers and is recognized worldwide as the benchmark barley for the best ale malt. In malting, as with brewing, the importance and the quality of raw materials cannot be underestimated.

    The reliability of Maris Otter® malt quality has allowed brewers to develop, stabilize and maintain many of the world famous English cask conditioned ale brands we know today.
     
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  12. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered some Munich too, spreading my wings a bit on the malt front and trying to understand what the different varieties bring.
     
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  13. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    @Craigerrr That's about as ringing an endorsement as it's possible to get isn't it? I tried the beer again last night, actually very tried it :) , and it's conditioned really well. I think there's a very subtle difference to the body of the beer and a richness about it that I really like, whether that's down to the malt or not I couldn't say but I'm definitely keeping the MO just in case it is!
     
  14. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    IIRC, James Spencer recently did an episode on his Basic Brewing podcast where they compared Maris Otter, Golden Promise and Briess Pale Ale malt used in a pretty basic ale recipe. Might be worth a listen.
     
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  15. Steve SPF

    Steve SPF Well-Known Member

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    Listening to that right now...
     
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  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    i have both and basically have stopped using Pilsner malt cause I just don't care about it being that light. I can tell a difference between 2-row and Vienna for example but I'm not sure about MO. I should see if I can tell.
     
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