Well-rounded specialty malt

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Sunfire96, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning on doing darker/amber beers in the next couple of months, and was hoping for some advice for a well-rounded specialty malt addition that I could use to increase the SRM of all the recipes I want to try, without being too roasted/bitter so it can be used in a wider variety of beers.

    My upcoming brews are: american red, american brown, pumpkin ale, and oktoberfest/marzen. Based on my LHBS's website, I've narrowed it down to these options for grain: belgian special B, carafa type I, english pale chocolate (220L), or caramel 120.

    Or is it a terrible idea to buy one malt for all these styles, and I should instead buy the best specialty malt for the particular beer I'm making? I can post the recipes if needed, but without a mid-high lovibond malt, they look a little off.

    Here is the shop's website if you're interested:
    https://www.thebeveragepeople.com/beer-brewing/ingredients/malted-grain.html

    Thank you!
     
  2. Frankenbrewer

    Frankenbrewer Well-Known Member

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    I like Blackprinz malt. It doesn't impart the roasty bitterness but will give the dark malt taste. It doesn't take much though.
     
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  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Blackprinz is a great choice but it's a bad idea to try to add just a little color with very dark roasted malts. Better to use the really dark malts for anything over 15 SRM or thereabouts and use lighter malts - Caramunich, Special B, etc to impart color for amber beers. A selection of CaraMunich (or C-40), Brown malt ( or C-60, C-80) Special B, Chocolate, Blackprinz will cover just about anything you need. Don't forget, these malts don't just change the color, they can pretty drastically change the flavor.
    To me there's nothing worse than an IPA that tastes like raisins and roast instead of caramel because it was made with C-60 and a pinch of roasted barley rather than a larger quantity of C-40. Or a Pale Ale with just a hint of "ash tray" burnt flavor because the only color addition is an ounce of Black Patent.
     
  4. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I think special B and pale chocolate malt should cover what I'm planning. For the marzen my plan is 45% vienna, 40% Munich, 10% special B, and 5% victory...what do you think? Screenshot_20200902-093850_Chrome.jpg
     
  5. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Special B is very .............intense. It's distinctly toffee/raisin and it's nice, but 10% would be undrinkable for me. Definitely out of place in a Marzen.
     
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  6. Daniel Parshley

    Daniel Parshley Active Member

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    Yep on the Special B. I like it, and liked it too much. A little bit goes a long ways but I still use it in English Browns and a malty amber (stuff for my bride).
     
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  7. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the response, would you recommend something like caramunich instead?
     
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  8. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You can drop the caramel malts completely. Maerzen is bready, not caramelly. You're going to get a ton of bread flavor out of that grain bill (likely too much). For my Maerzens, I rely on Pilsner, dark Munich malt and nothing else, well, I add some Carafoam for head retention. Everything else looks solid.
     
  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    German beers tend to be really simple malt bills. Dark Munich is usually the darkest malt in the bill. For an Altbier or Schwarzbier you'll find some dark roasted and, personally, I like the flavor of a little CaraMunich in Amber Lagers and Marzen but for the most part Pilsner, Vienna, Munich and Dark Munich is the palette to use for traditional German beers.
     
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  11. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I agree with J A and Nosy here. A mix of Munich and pils would suffice but your choice of Vienna and Munich would work. In that regard I probably wouldn't add the caramunich - if you do though I'd add about a 1/4 of what you currently have.

    I have added caramunich in small amounts (2-3%) before and/or melanoidin but they aren't really needed.

    This is up to you of course. I do think your newest grain bill is better than the first. While not CLASSIC, it is interesting and I'd be curious how the victory's dryness plays with the rest.
     
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  12. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    As for a well-rounded specialty malt for all of these - Munich Type II aka Dark Munich :)

    Obviously, the brown ale could use a touch of chocolate and/or brown malt depending on your pallet's preference. :)
     
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  13. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone! This really is the best forum :) I tried using pilsner as the base malt, but just wasn't happy with the color. To me, a marzen is more orange than dark yellow. Please let me know what you think of the new recipe. I tried to keep it simple, but used grain that would get me close to 9 SRM.

    https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1045167/snoktoberfest
     
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  14. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    #14 thunderwagn, Sep 3, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
    Red X is a great malt. It can be used as your main base malt, mix, or solo. Nice deep red/amber and pretty tasty. I'd say perfect for your red ale and may bend the rules a little but it'd work fine in an oktoberfest also.
     
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  15. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I've been wanting to try this malt myself. I've read a lot of good things.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I love Victory for it's toasty-nutty notes. I usually use it in American Pales and IPAs to add a little character to the "malt backbone". it's cousin Biscuit is one I use in Belgian Pales, etc. I think there's a little more "grape-nut" sweetness in the Biscuit but it's got a nice toasty, crackery flavor that holds up to the more strident Belgian yeasts.
     
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  17. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I too enjoy this malt and am always trying to work it into one beer or another! Not long ago I made a recipe called "Victory for Munich" that was very similar to what @Sunfire96 posted... Now if only I could find time to brew it!
     
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  18. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I think it looks good! I think if you boil it a little longer it will darken up - I do 90 minute boils and find I like the results but you may not feel it is worth the extra time.
     
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  19. Sunfire96

    Sunfire96 Well-Known Member

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    Great advice!
     
  20. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    munich malt is technically a base malt in my experience, but it makes a fantastic specialty malt for German styles.
     

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