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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: nicneufeld on November 13, 2009, 04:16:07 PM

Title: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: nicneufeld on November 13, 2009, 04:16:07 PM
I just sunk 75 plus shipping into a big sack of Maris Otter.  I plan on keeping it for English bitters only and using domestic pale or pils for other stuff.  But here's my question...MO can run nearing twice as costly as domestic pale malts...I haven't done enough side by side experiments to really know, but is it really worth it?  Is there a significant difference between a bitter brewed with, say, 7 lbs of MO versus 7 lbs of Rahr two row?  I would anticipate that there would be, and I am a lover of good, subtle bitter, hence my actually buying it.  But we as homebrewers often do things out of superstition, too, so I could also see a possibility of the MO not having a big difference in beer flavor, even though I think it unlikely.

Any opinions on that? 
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: valorian on November 13, 2009, 04:29:58 PM
One word......YES

MO malt is a great malt for all beer styles except Pilsner type styles. I use this for english style ales and american pale ales. MO gives a nice malty background to compliment the hops. After finding out how nice MO works for American Ales I stop using dimestic pale malt completely.

Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: theDarkSide on November 13, 2009, 04:46:39 PM
It's Biscuity!  :D

I don't know where you are, but $75 plus shipping seems a little high.  North Country Malt has Thomas Fawcett MO for about $40 uncrushed 50# sack.  I thnk shipping brings it up to around $60-$65. 

Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: bonjour on November 13, 2009, 04:49:14 PM
My goto malt!!!

Fred
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: nicneufeld on November 13, 2009, 05:15:53 PM
North Country Malt, eh.

Will bear them in mind next time! 
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: beerocd on November 13, 2009, 05:43:10 PM
Just reiterating Maris Otter rocks, and I get mine from MidCountry Malt.

-OCD
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: redbeerman on November 13, 2009, 05:53:15 PM
I think the price difference for me is around .92/lb for 2 row American and .98/lb for Marris Otter.  I don't bother with 2 row American pale malt any more.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: pdbreen on November 13, 2009, 06:14:28 PM
Same answer as the others - only using Marris Otter.  Picked up 3 sacks yesterday from North Country Malt @ $40/sack.  Works out to about 0.73/lb.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: blatz on November 13, 2009, 06:39:43 PM
I think the price difference for me is around .92/lb for 2 row American and .98/lb for Marris Otter.  I don't bother with 2 row American pale malt any more.

+1 - and this isn't one of those superstition things.  there is a significantly different type of maltiness with MO vs. 2 row pale.

Quote
I don't know where you are, but $75 plus shipping seems a little high.  North Country Malt has Thomas Fawcett MO for about $40 uncrushed 50# sack.  I thnk shipping brings it up to around $60-$65. 

+1 - I live in South Florida, perhaps as far away from any of the distribution sites as you can be (mine comes from Champaign, NY) and it costs $66-$70 depending on FedEx at the time to get a sack of MO.

IIRC, you live in Missouri, I would think that would be close enough to the Midwest branch to be at least as cheap.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: jackfromjax on November 13, 2009, 06:42:23 PM
+10...There's no substitute.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: smurfe on November 13, 2009, 07:06:19 PM
Another vote. While both make good beer, I can definitely tell the difference and as soon as I can use up the 2 sacks of Rahr I have it will be 100% Marris Otter here as well.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: denny on November 13, 2009, 07:08:57 PM
To me, it depends on what you're making.  For a lot of the styles I like top brew, I find MO to be "too much" flavorwise.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: theDarkSide on November 13, 2009, 07:14:36 PM
Same answer as the others - only using Marris Otter.  Picked up 3 sacks yesterday from North Country Malt @ $40/sack.  Works out to about 0.73/lb.

You say you went over to pick up a few sacks?  Is it hard to get to from Burlington, VT?  I'm in Southern NH but go up to Burlington once in a while and wondered if it is worth the hike over.

Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: nicneufeld on November 13, 2009, 08:03:41 PM
Glad to know I wasn't overestimating its value...as mentioned, I LOVE a good bitter and the day I can truly nail something like Marston's Pedigree will be a fine day indeed, so for that style it sounds like a good Maris Otter is in order.  I had a bulk bag of Optic malt and to be honest couldn't tell you how different it was from domestic two row, but it sounds like Maris Otter is a bit more dramatic in flavor.

I would also agree with Denny in that styles have a big part in it.  The bag of Rahr pils malt is going to likely give me pilsners that are more to style at least, and I bet most breweries in America that define the classic American Pale Ale are likely using domestic pale malts (plus specialties) for economy, although homebrewers can of course come up with very clever and often tasty inversions of traditional practice.  I remember reading about a stout recipe using all munich as a base malt.  That'd be interesting!   So, I'll still use and stock cheap domestic malt, but bitters seem to warrant something richer.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on November 13, 2009, 08:26:57 PM
Nic- I think you're gonna be very happy w/ your MO purchase.  I love bitters and ESBs.  I've strayed from MO and tried Simpson's GP and I was disappointed.  I gotta brew me up an ESB this weekend now   ;D
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: blatz on November 13, 2009, 08:35:03 PM
I had a bulk bag of Optic malt and to be honest couldn't tell you how different it was from domestic two row, but it sounds like Maris Otter is a bit more dramatic in flavor.

I've used Optic a few times, but don't buy it anymore - IMO,  its more muted in richness than MO and has a sublte raisiny maltiness that I did not care for in the ESB I did.  I would agree - not much more umph over 2-row in this case.  YMMV.  

I remember reading about a stout recipe using all munich as a base malt.  That'd be interesting!  

You probably were talking about something else, but I make a munich based stout once a year or so that I discussed several times on the NB forum - if you ever want the recipe, let me know - its killer and always goes over well!
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: SwashBuckling Drunk on November 13, 2009, 08:50:14 PM
+1 on the all MO stout.  Mmmmmmmmm.........mmmmmmmmmm.........good
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: pdbreen on November 13, 2009, 10:12:38 PM
Same answer as the others - only using Marris Otter.  Picked up 3 sacks yesterday from North Country Malt @ $40/sack.  Works out to about 0.73/lb.
You say you went over to pick up a few sacks?  Is it hard to get to from Burlington, VT?  I'm in Southern NH but go up to Burlington once in a while and wondered if it is worth the hike over.

Probably an hour or so from Burlington and with GPS, not hard.  Rather a pleasant drive once you get off 89 actually.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: dean on November 15, 2009, 04:11:15 PM
To me, it depends on what you're making.  For a lot of the styles I like top brew, I find MO to be "too much" flavorwise.

I think I have to agree with Denny.  Some brews aren't as clean tasting if you use MO.  Jmo. 

But I do like MO in the right recipes.  On the other hand... maybe its just me and I can't brew worth a s***?  I'm not a master of brewing thats for sure, I still don't tamper with my water so that tells you something right there.  I just learn as I go and as I can afford to experiment.   ;)
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: mike_sdak on November 16, 2009, 04:00:54 AM
Just reiterating Maris Otter rocks, and I get mine from MidCountry Malt.

-OCD
OCD,

Last time I checked, MidCountry Malt didn't ship small shipments (1  sack or so).  Has that changed?  Or did you do a bulk buy?

It would be great if I could order from MidCountry - they are much closer to  me than their east coast location

Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: majorvices on November 16, 2009, 12:43:04 PM
For English style ales MO or another good English variety will really make a difference. For American ales I like to use MO but I cut it at least 50% with an american Pale malt or, just as often, Pilsner malt.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: bluesman on November 16, 2009, 03:41:55 PM
I just tapped an English IPA with MO...and in two words...hell yeah. I really like the flavor.  8)

I suppose the way to really determine the difference...  between an American 2 row and MO is do a blind tasting with two beer recipes the only difference being the base malts.

Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: The Professor on November 16, 2009, 04:50:30 PM
Maris is great. It is always my first preference.
It is perfect for just about any style of Ale, American, British, or other.

I keep hearing the word "biscuity" to describe Maris...but I don't find that to be the case at all.  Maybe it's my procedures, mayby the water I use...but in any case, Maris Otter makes damned good beer in just about any "style" (if concern about "styles" is your thing).
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: beerocd on November 16, 2009, 10:41:41 PM


Last time I checked, MidCountry Malt didn't ship small shipments (1  sack or so).  Has that changed?  Or did you do a bulk buy?

It would be great if I could order from MidCountry - they are much closer to  me than their east coast location



They probably just ship from their closest warehouse.
I can drive right up to the dock, so I don't know for sure how much shipping is.
Best move would be to call them.

-OCD
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: beerocd on November 16, 2009, 10:43:00 PM
I keep hearing the word "biscuity" to describe Maris...but I don't find that to be the case at all. 

Maybe there's something wrong with your biscuits?  ;)

-OCD
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: The Professor on November 16, 2009, 11:58:51 PM
Maybe there's something wrong with your biscuits?  ;)

-OCD

Ha!  Who knows. 
Once you hit your late 50's your biscuits do get a bit temperamental.  ;D
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: karlh on November 17, 2009, 02:32:07 AM
I've had great results using MO and golden promise malts for my english style beers as well as  american IPA and PA styles.  It contributes a level of malt complexity that I dont get from straight Rahr or Briess PA malts, although adding a bit of victory contributes quite a bit of biscuity character in combination with either MO or american PA malts. 
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: onebarrel on November 18, 2009, 04:18:09 AM
My standard english malt is Crisp and I have been using it for years with great results. Recently
I compaired it to MO to see what all the fuss was about and personally I can't justify the increased cost
for a small increase in quality. When you start dumping 2 bags per batch into the mash tun it adds up
in a hurry ! I guess it is even worse if your buying 10 lbs at a go from the LHBS.

I think to be fair if your compairing MO to other malts then compair it to Scottish or English varietys... the malt
I have been using has a carmel aftertaste I dig that works well with Barley Wines, Porters, and English ESBs
whereas the MO has more of a bready note in the finish.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: The Professor on November 18, 2009, 04:39:25 AM
My standard english malt is Crisp and I have been using it for years with great results. Recently
I compaired it to MO to see what all the fuss was about and personally I can't justify the increased cost
for a small increase in quality.

Was the Maris you tried also made by Crisp?  I've used Crisp regular 2-Row and Crisp Maris 2-row, and I found the latter to be noticeably richer, and hence, always my favorite one to use. 
Unfortunately my good, reasonably priced source for it went out of business so I haven't used it in a while. 
It would still be my first choice for all of my beers..
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: onebarrel on November 18, 2009, 07:00:13 PM
Good question... it was actually Thomas Fawcett & Sons MO, they were out of the Crisp brand at the time and
I only bought half a bag, but it was so pricey it kind of scared me away !

Don't get me wrong, it made fantastic beer but with the way things are money wise I could not justify it. Another thing
was I was the only one in my crew who could tell the difference... it was sort of wasted on my drinking buddies - they just
want me to churn out Bud clones  >:(

Maybe if the price comes down a bit I will give it another try, right now sticking with Domestic malts and the cheapest price I can find. US or Canadian malt make excellent beer.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: hopshead on November 19, 2009, 12:14:36 AM
I have not brewed enough beers with MO to say for sure if "it is worth it."  Other homebrewers I have heard opinions from seem to think a good domestic 2 row coupled with a little bit of Munich malt will get you a base malt bill that is similar to MO malt.  I have not tasted a "side by side" of an all MO base beer and 2row w/munich so I don't know for sure.  I do plan on "testing" this theory in the future.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: majorvices on November 19, 2009, 12:25:09 AM
I would say US 2-row with biscuit will get you close, but not exact. But Munich is the wrong malt to try to emulate MO and don't let anyone tell you differently.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: rep on November 20, 2009, 02:57:16 PM
I would say US 2-row with biscuit will get you close, but not exact. But Munich is the wrong malt to try to emulate MO and don't let anyone tell you differently.

Would you simply sub some of the two row for an equal amount of Biscuit?  Also, what recipe percentages might be used?
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: majorvices on November 21, 2009, 01:39:28 PM
You only use about 3-5% biscuit in substitution of 2 row.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: wilypig on November 23, 2009, 03:28:02 PM
I was once a MO only brewer but I have since move on to Golden Promise. My homebrew club did a Malt Tea(mashed at 150 for 30 min) tasting last week and it is amazing the difference between domestic 2 row, domestic 6 row and the British (MO and GP) malts. You will not be disappointed with the MO. I would recommend doing a malt tea tasting as a club presentation or on your own to see the difference between malts that you will use as a base to get a better understanding of what you are starting with. for yourself all you need is to crush 4 oz and mash for 30 minutes or so. For a group of 15 we used 8 ounces per malt with 8 different malts. Very informative. 
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 23, 2009, 06:53:23 PM
I was once a MO only brewer but I have since move on to Golden Promise. My homebrew club did a Malt Tea(mashed at 150 for 30 min) tasting last week and it is amazing the difference between domestic 2 row, domestic 6 row and the British (MO and GP) malts. You will not be disappointed with the MO. I would recommend doing a malt tea tasting as a club presentation or on your own to see the difference between malts that you will use as a base to get a better understanding of what you are starting with. for yourself all you need is to crush 4 oz and mash for 30 minutes or so. For a group of 15 we used 8 ounces per malt with 8 different malts. Very informative. 
Very interesting idea.
Thank you
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: blatz on November 24, 2009, 04:26:53 PM
I was once a MO only brewer but I have since move on to Golden Promise. My homebrew club did a Malt Tea(mashed at 150 for 30 min) tasting last week and it is amazing the difference between domestic 2 row, domestic 6 row and the British (MO and GP) malts. You will not be disappointed with the MO. I would recommend doing a malt tea tasting as a club presentation or on your own to see the difference between malts that you will use as a base to get a better understanding of what you are starting with. for yourself all you need is to crush 4 oz and mash for 30 minutes or so. For a group of 15 we used 8 ounces per malt with 8 different malts. Very informative. 

very cool idea that would might be fun to do at a meeting.  did you guys cool it down or drink hot?
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: wilypig on November 24, 2009, 05:49:22 PM
It had cooled to room temp by the time we got around to drinking it.
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: yeastmaster on December 08, 2009, 03:53:23 AM
I mostly use Maris Otter and love it.  I just did some Belgians with Weyerman pale and really can't complain about that malt either!
Title: Re: Is Maris Otter worth it?
Post by: yeastmaster on December 08, 2009, 03:54:40 AM
I was once a MO only brewer but I have since move on to Golden Promise. My homebrew club did a Malt Tea(mashed at 150 for 30 min) tasting last week and it is amazing the difference between domestic 2 row, domestic 6 row and the British (MO and GP) malts. You will not be disappointed with the MO. I would recommend doing a malt tea tasting as a club presentation or on your own to see the difference between malts that you will use as a base to get a better understanding of what you are starting with. for yourself all you need is to crush 4 oz and mash for 30 minutes or so. For a group of 15 we used 8 ounces per malt with 8 different malts. Very informative. 

That's a great idea.  I'm going to steal it for my homebrew club! ;D