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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: glassyocean on March 14, 2017, 07:57:57 PM

Title: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: glassyocean on March 14, 2017, 07:57:57 PM
I have recently bumped into this thing called "craft malt". Besides fostering the "locality" in your craft beer, there seems to exist a belief in that beer made with craft malts tastes way better than that using commercial (large scale) malts like Premium 2 Row or Maris Otter. It's like craft beer tastes better than Budw*iser.

Not having brewed with craft malts yet, I wonder if this belief is based on serious evidence. Has anyone done it yet? If so, would you agree?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: denny on March 14, 2017, 08:12:11 PM
"Better" is a subjective judgment call so I won't go there. And it kinda depends on what other malts you're comparing to.  But I will say that the craft malts I've used have had a very good flavor that I've felt enhanced the beers I've used them in.  I hope to get a new batch of locally produced malt soon and do more experimentation with them.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: jjpeanasky on March 14, 2017, 08:18:39 PM
I'd be interested to see if the "craft" malsters are able to maintain the type of  consistency the "regular" guys do. Wouldn't affect us homebrewers too much, but could have an impact on their ability to get into larger breweries.

-Josh Peanasky

Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: jweiss206 on March 14, 2017, 09:59:37 PM
Not sure if a Great Western Malt counts as 'craft' or not, but my favorite cream ale of the 12-15 I've made used Full Pint as the base malt.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 14, 2017, 11:00:46 PM
A brewer here in MI says he loves the beers he makes with them as the malt is fresh. His statement.

You might like reading this.
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=28914.0


Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: GS on March 14, 2017, 11:39:32 PM
I'm thinking the only way you could tell if craft malt is better than commercial malt is double-blind study. Otherwise, you might think craft is better simply because of the word "craft."

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Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: reverseapachemaster on March 15, 2017, 03:54:09 PM
Definitely not a subscriber to the idea that something is necessarily superior because it is local, craft, or any other buzz word applies.

There are good reasons why smaller maltsters could produce a more desirable product, such as targeting malts to particular style (e.g. floor malting) or malting heirloom varieties that are more flavorful but tougher to grow on a large scale. I've had some beers made with smaller maltsters' products to varying results. A lot of it seems to be pretty standard barley with pretty standard malting technique that produces malted barley largely indistinguishable from the large maltsters.

Does it make sense to pay a premium for a local product purely because it is local? More of a question of economics than product quality.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: Steve Ruch on March 15, 2017, 05:45:54 PM
I'm thinking the only way you could tell if craft malt is better than commercial malt is double-blind study. Otherwise, you might think craft is better simply because of the word "craft."

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Surely no one would fall for that.  ;)
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: MaltMaker on March 16, 2017, 12:02:02 AM
Malting my own barley at home is very enjoyable and satisfying plus it makes great beer!  Is it superior to any other malt?  I don't know but I do make some pretty darn good malt! ;)
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: jjpeanasky on March 29, 2017, 11:30:36 AM
Well, decided to put my money where my mouth is, and ordered 10lbs of small maltster (Two Track) malt, split between their pilsner and pale malt. Nothing special, but it'll be interesting to see how it works out.

-Josh Peanasky

Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: jeffy on April 08, 2017, 09:56:55 PM
Consistency is an issue, of course.  Small malt houses cannot compete with the equipment and testing of the big guys. 
I think the main attraction of the local maltsters is just that - it's locally grown and malted, making the end product a farm to table or grain to glass product.  In other words, it is marketing.  But it is also small business focused and independent and I am all for small, independent businesses.
(My big brother is doing well with his Double Eagle Malt business in Philly)
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: morticaixavier on April 13, 2017, 05:19:10 PM
I've used local malt a few times. When the local guy first started up he had some QC issues and I felt like the malt had a lot of draff still in it. Lately it's been better. There is a distinctive character to the beer. I wouldn't use it to brew an authentic german lager because it's not authentic german malt, but for a Vermont beer it's great.

I think it's worth remembering that there are times when consistency comes at a cost. If you can't always ensure tip top perfection, you may be better off, if you are working on a large scale, aiming for consistently 95% perfection.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: denny on April 13, 2017, 05:38:24 PM
Just kegged my first beer using Mecca Grade Lamonta malt...holy crap!
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: morticaixavier on April 13, 2017, 06:20:50 PM
I just tasted an Altish ale I brewed with local Peterson's Quality Malt (Combined with some Best munich because the LHBS ran out of the PQM 'Munich' part way through my order) and it's tasty. The yeast really seemed to like it as well. WLP029 ripped through 1.060 to 1.008 in 7 days.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: denny on April 13, 2017, 06:36:03 PM
I just tasted an Altish ale I brewed with local Peterson's Quality Malt (Combined with some Best munich because the LHBS ran out of the PQM 'Munich' part way through my order) and it's tasty. The yeast really seemed to like it as well. WLP029 ripped through 1.060 to 1.008 in 7 days.

Yeah, I got great fermentability with the Mecca Grade.  I also have their equivalents of pils, light and dark Munich and C40 to get to.  Waiting on their rye and red wheat malts.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: PharmBrewer on April 18, 2017, 03:42:23 PM
Just kegged my first beer using Mecca Grade Lamonta malt...holy crap!
Is that good or bad crap?

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Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: PharmBrewer on April 18, 2017, 03:45:49 PM
I am really thinking of planting a small patch of heirloom barley and mesh around with malting.  I am planting my own hops.  Would be super fun with wild yeast to say everything is from my backyard, literally hand crafted.  Maybe not as good as the big boys.  Who cares as I am home brewing and having fun...

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Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: PharmBrewer on April 18, 2017, 03:56:04 PM
I am really thinking of planting a small patch of heirloom barley and mesh around with malting.  I am planting my own hops.  Would be super fun with wild yeast to say everything is from my backyard, literally hand crafted.  Maybe not as good as the big boys.  Who cares as I am home brewing and having fun...

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
I settled on purple barley and Viking Bere barley.  I will report back in the fall on how it works out.

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Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: denny on April 18, 2017, 03:57:47 PM
Just kegged my first beer using Mecca Grade Lamonta malt...holy crap!
Is that good or bad crap?

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

GOOD GOOD GOOD!  Best tasting malt I've ever used.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: bayareabrewer on April 18, 2017, 04:04:07 PM
Just kegged my first beer using Mecca Grade Lamonta malt...holy crap!
Is that good or bad crap?

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

GOOD GOOD GOOD!  Best tasting malt I've ever used.

Any possibility of it becoming available outside of Oregon to homebrewers?
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: denny on April 18, 2017, 04:26:50 PM
Just kegged my first beer using Mecca Grade Lamonta malt...holy crap!
Is that good or bad crap?

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

GOOD GOOD GOOD!  Best tasting malt I've ever used.

Any possibility of it becoming available outside of Oregon to homebrewers?

I'm sure they'd like it to be, but I have no idea if or when that might become a reality.
Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: PharmBrewer on April 18, 2017, 04:35:07 PM
Excellent, glad to hear it 😋

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Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: jjpeanasky on April 19, 2017, 02:13:26 AM
Well, decided to put my money where my mouth is, and ordered 10lbs of small maltster (Two Track) malt, split between their pilsner and pale malt. Nothing special, but it'll be interesting to see how it works out.

-Josh Peanasky
Quick update: used the pale malt in a SMaSH pale ale and the pilsner in a saison. Both hit OG just fine, taste is right where I expected. The pilsner has a bit more "umpf" to it, has that tasty grainy flavor, like how fresh cereal smells.

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Title: Re: Craft vs. Commercial Malts
Post by: skyler on April 20, 2017, 04:54:35 AM
Just kegged my first beer using Mecca Grade Lamonta malt...holy crap!
...
GOOD GOOD GOOD!  Best tasting malt I've ever used.

This is great news. I have seen the stuff at Steinbart and have assumed it wouldn't be worth the premium $$$ because of how much I disliked the Great Western "Full Pint" malt (and Mecca malts "full pint"). But I have been looking for a nice, rich malt to brew great, balanced session beers with and TF Optic (my favorite) is difficult to find locally.