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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: factory on January 09, 2014, 04:06:54 PM

Title: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: factory on January 09, 2014, 04:06:54 PM
I've been wondering, if I need to add some body to my beers, which malts should I try?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: davidgzach on January 09, 2014, 04:09:18 PM
Add body as in mouth-feel or a maltier flavor profile?  Two different animals.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: factory on January 09, 2014, 04:21:24 PM
Sorry, I mean body as in mouth-feel.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: denny on January 09, 2014, 04:25:33 PM
Sorry, I mean body as in mouth-feel.

I'd hope so, since flavor isn't body!

Cara malts work well for body....carapils, carafoam, or ab out any crystal.  The trick will be balancing the body addition against any flavor the malt might add.  Obviously, the lighter the malt, the less flavor.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: factory on January 09, 2014, 04:34:56 PM
Thanks Denny!

If I were making a Pale Ale, and wanted to add some body (because personnally I think it tastes a little thin), would 10% of the grain bill for a crystal or cara-something be a good starting point?  Or should I go higher?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: blatz on January 09, 2014, 04:40:05 PM
I'm not denny, but what was the crystal/cara in the first run of the recipe you made, assuming there was at least some?

might actually help us if you posted all the recipe specifics, at least the grain bill, yeast and mash temp.

10% is a pretty good weight for a crystal/cara malt to get you a medium to full body, if using a moderate mash temp (150-155df).  but we'll know more once you let us in on where you're at currently.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: factory on January 09, 2014, 04:50:01 PM
I'm not denny, but what was the crystal/cara in the first run of the recipe you made, assuming there was at least some?

might actually help us if you posted all the recipe specifics, at least the grain bill, yeast and mash temp.

10% is a pretty good weight for a crystal/cara malt to get you a medium to full body, if using a moderate mash temp (150-155df).  but we'll know more once you let us in on where you're at currently.

I had no crystal or cara-anything in the original recipe.  It had a 100% base of Marris Otter (10 or 11 lbs, I think).  I used plain old WLP001 yeast and I mashed at 154F for about 60 to 75 minutes IIRC.  I also batch sparge with equal amounts of water.  I forget the exact amounts and times (recipe is in BeerSmith on my computer at home) but I used Columbus for bittering (FWH addition) and then amarillo for flavor.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: denny on January 09, 2014, 04:56:47 PM
Thanks Denny!

If I were making a Pale Ale, and wanted to add some body (because personnally I think it tastes a little thin), would 10% of the grain bill for a crystal or cara-something be a good starting point?  Or should I go higher?

I always use about 10% C60 for APA and AIPA.  If you want something with less impact on flavor, you could try 1/2 lb. of carapils.  Mashing at a higher temp will increase body, but also have an impact on flavor.

Yeast can also have an impact.  One of the reasons I like WY1450 so much is the silky mouthfeel it leaves in the beer.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: davidgzach on January 09, 2014, 04:57:08 PM
Sorry, I mean body as in mouth-feel.

I'd hope so, since flavor isn't body!

Cara malts work well for body....carapils, carafoam, or ab out any crystal.  The trick will be balancing the body addition against any flavor the malt might add.  Obviously, the lighter the malt, the less flavor.

Exactly.  Seems you mashed at a good temp, could even go a little higher. 
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: jeffy on January 09, 2014, 05:27:08 PM
I use about 20% Munich malt and 10% Crystal (usually 40-45L) in my IPA's.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: denny on January 09, 2014, 05:44:27 PM
I use about 20% Munich malt and 10% Crystal (usually 40-45L) in my IPA's.

Do you think the Munich does much for body?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: bluesman on January 09, 2014, 05:46:10 PM
I use about 20% Munich malt and 10% Crystal (usually 40-45L) in my IPA's.

I like this idea Jeff...maybe I'll give it a try.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: kylekohlmorgen on January 09, 2014, 05:48:17 PM
I always use about 10% C60 for APA and AIPA.  If you want something with less impact on flavor, you could try 1/2 lb. of carapils.  Mashing at a higher temp will increase body, but also have an impact on flavor.

Yeast can also have an impact.  One of the reasons I like WY1450 so much is the silky mouthfeel it leaves in the beer.

So many ways to skin a cat!

10% crystal/caramel malt will add body, but it will also have a significant impact on flavor (even the lighter varieties). If you go this route, go light if you're shooting for the "west coast style" (carapils, C10, etc).

Other things you can try:

1. You can increase mash temp. Try the upper end (158F) next time and work your way down if the result is too full/sweet. A 100% Maris Otter grist is a great place to start in a deliciously simple hoppy beer.

2. Add a touch of flaked wheat or oats (3-5%). I like Golden Naked Oats (which are malted, available from NB) instead of the regular flaked stuff.

3. Increase the amount of Chloride in your water. This will also have an impact on hop expression and bitterness, but it will enhance the perception of body without increasing residual sweetness or reducing fermentability.


Make one small change per brew, omitting the change in the next brew if it doesn't get you closer to your target.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: goschman on January 09, 2014, 05:50:46 PM
I always use about 10% C60 for APA and AIPA.  If you want something with less impact on flavor, you could try 1/2 lb. of carapils.  Mashing at a higher temp will increase body, but also have an impact on flavor.

Yeast can also have an impact.  One of the reasons I like WY1450 so much is the silky mouthfeel it leaves in the beer.

So many ways to skin a cat!

10% crystal/caramel malt will add body, but it will also have a significant impact on flavor (even the lighter varieties). If you go this route, go light if you're shooting for the "west coast style" (carapils, C10, etc).

Other things you can try:

1. You can increase mash temp. Try the upper end (158F) next time and work your way down if the result is too full/sweet. A 100% Maris Otter grist is a great place to start in a deliciously simple hoppy beer.

2. Add a touch of flaked wheat or oats (3-5%). I like Golden Naked Oats (which are malted, available from NB) instead of the regular flaked stuff.

3. Increase the amount of Chloride in your water. This will also have an impact on hop expression and bitterness, but it will enhance the perception of body without increasing residual sweetness or reducing fermentability.


Make one small change per brew, omitting the change in the next brew if it doesn't get you closer to your target.

Don't want to go off topic but I have a quick question. I have seen Golden Naked Oats desribed as a "crystal" huskless oat. It it really a type of crystal malt?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: denny on January 09, 2014, 05:56:24 PM
I use about 20% Munich malt and 10% Crystal (usually 40-45L) in my IPA's.

I like this idea Jeff...maybe I'll give it a try.

ever try an all Munich AIPA?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: denny on January 09, 2014, 05:57:33 PM
Don't want to go off topic but I have a quick question. I have seen Golden Naked Oats desribed as a "crystal" huskless oat. It it really a type of crystal malt?

Yep.  Discovered that doing research for the book.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: morticaixavier on January 09, 2014, 06:30:06 PM
I use about 20% Munich malt and 10% Crystal (usually 40-45L) in my IPA's.

I like this idea Jeff...maybe I'll give it a try.

ever try an all Munich AIPA?

I've done a couple all munich brews. pretty intense bready/malty thing going on. especially in the all munich barley wine I did. That one attenuated poorly but my wife loved it. Started calling it an old ale and won a 3rd in flight with it.

There is a flavor impact of munich. but in the 20-30% range it's not overwhelming in my opinion.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: theoman on January 13, 2014, 12:36:40 PM
I always use about 10% C60 for APA and AIPA.  If you want something with less impact on flavor, you could try 1/2 lb. of carapils.  Mashing at a higher temp will increase body, but also have an impact on flavor.

Yeast can also have an impact.  One of the reasons I like WY1450 so much is the silky mouthfeel it leaves in the beer.

2. Add a touch of flaked wheat or oats (3-5%). I like Golden Naked Oats (which are malted, available from NB) instead of the regular flaked stuff.

+1
I'm a big fan of using oats for body, especially on light, low ABV ales. Then again, I always add oats to my black lagers/ales. Love the stuff.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: natebriscoe on January 13, 2014, 05:45:44 PM
I'm not denny, but what was the crystal/cara in the first run of the recipe you made, assuming there was at least some?

might actually help us if you posted all the recipe specifics, at least the grain bill, yeast and mash temp.

10% is a pretty good weight for a crystal/cara malt to get you a medium to full body, if using a moderate mash temp (150-155df).  but we'll know more once you let us in on where you're at currently.

I had no crystal or cara-anything in the original recipe.  It had a 100% base of Marris Otter (10 or 11 lbs, I think).  I used plain old WLP001 yeast and I mashed at 154F for about 60 to 75 minutes IIRC.  I also batch sparge with equal amounts of water.  I forget the exact amounts and times (recipe is in BeerSmith on my computer at home) but I used Columbus for bittering (FWH addition) and then amarillo for flavor.
+1 for just upping the mash temp. I find when batch sparging you need to go higher with the mash temp than you would think. What kind of fg are you getting?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: denny on January 13, 2014, 06:03:40 PM
+1 for just upping the mash temp. I find when batch sparging you need to go higher with the mash temp than you would think. What kind of fg are you getting?

That's a very interesting observation.  What do you attribute that to?  I certainly don't mash any higher because of batch sparging.  AAMOF, my mash temps have been trending downwards.  What is it about batch sparging that makes a higher mash temp necessary?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: natebriscoe on January 13, 2014, 10:00:37 PM
+1 for just upping the mash temp. I find when batch sparging you need to go higher with the mash temp than you would think. What kind of fg are you getting?

That's a very interesting observation.  What do you attribute that to?  I certainly don't mash any higher because of batch sparging.  AAMOF, my mash temps have been trending downwards.  What is it about batch sparging that makes a higher mash temp necessary?
I attribute it to temp loss in a cooler, the amount of time lautered wort stays at mash temp, the inability to do a thorough mashout. This is all compared to my rims system and beersmith (and I already know how you feel about brewing calculator estimations). But by upping about 2deg when batch sparging I hit my numbers the same both ways.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: denny on January 13, 2014, 10:03:13 PM
+1 for just upping the mash temp. I find when batch sparging you need to go higher with the mash temp than you would think. What kind of fg are you getting?

That's a very interesting observation.  What do you attribute that to?  I certainly don't mash any higher because of batch sparging.  AAMOF, my mash temps have been trending downwards.  What is it about batch sparging that makes a higher mash temp necessary?
I attribute it to temp loss in a cooler, the amount of time lautered wort stays at mash temp, the inability to do a thorough mashout. This is all compared to my rims system and beersmith (and I already know how you feel about brewing calculator estimations). But by upping about 2deg when batch sparging I hit my numbers the same both ways.

Interesting....whatever works for ya is the right thing to do! 
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: natebriscoe on January 13, 2014, 10:09:15 PM
The Op's fg could shed some light on what's really going on for him.

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Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: factory on January 17, 2014, 02:02:37 PM
I'm not denny, but what was the crystal/cara in the first run of the recipe you made, assuming there was at least some?

might actually help us if you posted all the recipe specifics, at least the grain bill, yeast and mash temp.

10% is a pretty good weight for a crystal/cara malt to get you a medium to full body, if using a moderate mash temp (150-155df).  but we'll know more once you let us in on where you're at currently.

I had no crystal or cara-anything in the original recipe.  It had a 100% base of Marris Otter (10 or 11 lbs, I think).  I used plain old WLP001 yeast and I mashed at 154F for about 60 to 75 minutes IIRC.  I also batch sparge with equal amounts of water.  I forget the exact amounts and times (recipe is in BeerSmith on my computer at home) but I used Columbus for bittering (FWH addition) and then amarillo for flavor.
+1 for just upping the mash temp. I find when batch sparging you need to go higher with the mash temp than you would think. What kind of fg are you getting?

My FG for the last 2 brews were 1.010 and 1.012.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: blatz on January 17, 2014, 02:23:13 PM
My FG for the last 2 brews were 1.010 and 1.012.

pretty consistent with what i'd expect an all basemalt FG.

If you want to stick with all MO, try 158df mash temp as Kyle suggested above. I'd expect a little less attenuation.  If you are fly sparging, are you raising to mashout before sparging?  Just checking as if not, the extra 45-60min at mash temps could make your wort more fermentable.

If you want to use some crystal, which I personally would prefer for some flavor complexity, I would actually start at 7% of a medium (15-45L) crystal, and keep your mid range mash temp.  Then if its too much, rachet down to 5% next time or up to 10% if you still want more.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: factory on January 17, 2014, 02:34:25 PM
My FG for the last 2 brews were 1.010 and 1.012.

pretty consistent with what i'd expect an all basemalt FG.

If you want to stick with all MO, try 158df mash temp as Kyle suggested above. I'd expect a little less attenuation.  If you are fly sparging, are you raising to mashout before sparging?  Just checking as if not, the extra 45-60min at mash temps could make your wort more fermentable.

If you want to use some crystal, which I personally would prefer for some flavor complexity, I would actually start at 7% of a medium (15-45L) crystal, and keep your mid range mash temp.  Then if its too much, rachet down to 5% next time or up to 10% if you still want more.

I batch sparge, so I don't raise up to mash-out temps.  I'm going to try the middle of the road approach with the Crystal and then go from there.  Of course, now that will be later this summer before I get an opportunity to brew again.  I'm in the Navy and I'll be going away for a bit and visiting a hotter climate.  Thanks for all the help and suggestions!
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: klickitat jim on January 17, 2014, 02:39:24 PM
Be safe. Thanks for your service
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: blatz on January 17, 2014, 02:40:07 PM
Be safe. Thanks for your service

+1 to that.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: Jimmy K on January 17, 2014, 03:31:18 PM
+1 for just upping the mash temp. I find when batch sparging you need to go higher with the mash temp than you would think. What kind of fg are you getting?

That's a very interesting observation.  What do you attribute that to?  I certainly don't mash any higher because of batch sparging.  AAMOF, my mash temps have been trending downwards.  What is it about batch sparging that makes a higher mash temp necessary?
I attribute it to temp loss in a cooler, the amount of time lautered wort stays at mash temp, the inability to do a thorough mashout. This is all compared to my rims system and beersmith (and I already know how you feel about brewing calculator estimations). But by upping about 2deg when batch sparging I hit my numbers the same both ways.
From what you're saying, you'd need to raise mash temp a little when fly sparging with a cooler. What you're saying makes sense, but it's not batch vs fly sparging. You're really comparing RIMS vs infusion mash. Right?
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: natebriscoe on January 17, 2014, 04:13:10 PM
+1 for just upping the mash temp. I find when batch sparging you need to go higher with the mash temp than you would think. What kind of fg are you getting?

That's a very interesting observation.  What do you attribute that to?  I certainly don't mash any higher because of batch sparging.  AAMOF, my mash temps have been trending downwards.  What is it about batch sparging that makes a higher mash temp necessary?
I attribute it to temp loss in a cooler, the amount of time lautered wort stays at mash temp, the inability to do a thorough mashout. This is all compared to my rims system and beersmith (and I already know how you feel about brewing calculator estimations). But by upping about 2deg when batch sparging I hit my numbers the same both ways.
From what you're saying, you'd need to raise mash temp a little when fly sparging with a cooler. What you're saying makes sense, but it's not batch vs fly sparging. You're really comparing RIMS vs infusion mash. Right?
I suppose so.  I haven't fly sparged with the cooler in years. So for an infusion mash with out the ability to heat as the runnings go in the boil kettle I would up 2 degrees to start with, to match software estimations and my rims setup.
Title: Re: Malts that add body to beer
Post by: natebriscoe on January 17, 2014, 04:38:29 PM
My FG for the last 2 brews were 1.010 and 1.012.

pretty consistent with what i'd expect an all basemalt FG.

If you want to stick with all MO, try 158df mash temp as Kyle suggested above. I'd expect a little less attenuation.  If you are fly sparging, are you raising to mashout before sparging?  Just checking as if not, the extra 45-60min at mash temps could make your wort more fermentable.

If you want to use some crystal, which I personally would prefer for some flavor complexity, I would actually start at 7% of a medium (15-45L) crystal, and keep your mid range mash temp.  Then if its too much, rachet down to 5% next time or up to 10% if you still want more.

I batch sparge, so I don't raise up to mash-out temps.  I'm going to try the middle of the road approach with the Crystal and then go from there.  Of course, now that will be later this summer before I get an opportunity to brew again.  I'm in the Navy and I'll be going away for a bit and visiting a hotter climate.  Thanks for all the help and suggestions!
I guess it depends if you want the Carmel malt character/sweetness in your beer (excluding carapils which don't add much flavor). The ester profile has a lot to do with the body as well, so pitching rates, fermentation temp and yeast strain can make a big difference on the body.  Take care in that hotter climate.

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