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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: tommymorris on August 11, 2020, 02:10:43 PM

Title: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: tommymorris on August 11, 2020, 02:10:43 PM
Recently someone, I forget who, mentioned they were not a fan of caramel malts and preferred to substitute Munich and Vienna to achieve a similar flavor profile without the sweetness of caramel. I can understand this person’s point but am curious about the ratio of Munich to Caramel when substituting.

If I normally use Caramel 60 at 8% in an American Pale Ale. What amount of light Munich would I replace the C-60 with? 8% (1:1 ratio), 12% (1.5:1 ratio), 16% (2:1 ratio) or something different? I am planning an APA and want to leave out the C-60 entirely.

Obviously there are lots of combinations possible; ie. different caramel, Munich, and Vienna varieties and colors.

Thanks,
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 11, 2020, 02:26:44 PM
It's totally subjective and dependent on your tastes.  Personally, I don't find it an appropriate sub.  If you're getting too much sweetness from caramel malt, I'd say yiur recipe isn't properly designed.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: BrewBama on August 11, 2020, 02:45:41 PM
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 11, 2020, 02:51:30 PM
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Andy Farke on August 11, 2020, 02:53:31 PM
I've been playing with Munich semi-frequently in my recipes (including pale ales / IPAs), and find it takes a deft touch...to echo what Denny said, I wouldn't consider it a complete substitute for crystal malts. If you use too much, the heavy bready/malty notes can clash pretty harshly with some hops on my palate, especially the tropical varieties. I keep Munich <10% in the IPAs I've brewed...as an example recipe that used Munich and turned out well, here's my Wildfire IPA recipe that I brewed earlier this year, based on a recipe by Chris Colby: https://andybrews.com/2020/03/28/wildfire-ipa/ (https://andybrews.com/2020/03/28/wildfire-ipa/) -- this recipe relied heavily on the "old-school" classic American-type hops, and used dark Munich (11 SRM). Note it alsol used a bit of crystal 30.

All that said, I really like Vienna as a base for IPAs, and often just use that at 100% (especially in session beers). I'll often use a combo of crystal 40+crystal 60 to round out the malt profile, but always keep that well south of 10% total malt bill.

So I suppose to fully answer your question, and patterning it after the Wildfire IPA recipe, I might start with Munich I at ~8% of the malt bill, a bit of lighter crystal malt, and possibly fill it out with Vienna as the rest of the base malt, and mash a bit higher than you normally would to fill out the body. It won't be the same beer as you normally make, but I would bet it would be tasty.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Fire Rooster on August 11, 2020, 03:03:31 PM
I've been playing with Munich semi-frequently in my recipes (including pale ales / IPAs), and find it takes a deft touch...to echo what Denny said, I wouldn't consider it a complete substitute for crystal malts. If you use too much, the heavy bready/malty notes can clash pretty harshly with some hops on my palate, especially the tropical varieties. I keep Munich <10% in the IPAs I've brewed...as an example recipe that used Munich and turned out well, here's my Wildfire IPA recipe that I brewed earlier this year, based on a recipe by Chris Colby: https://andybrews.com/2020/03/28/wildfire-ipa/ (https://andybrews.com/2020/03/28/wildfire-ipa/) -- this recipe relied heavily on the "old-school" classic American-type hops, and used dark Munich (11 SRM). Note it alsol used a bit of crystal 30.

All that said, I really like Vienna as a base for IPAs, and often just use that at 100% (especially in session beers). I'll often use a combo of crystal 40+crystal 60 to round out the malt profile, but always keep that well south of 10% total malt bill.

So I suppose to fully answer your question, and patterning it after the Wildfire IPA recipe, I might start with Munich I at ~8% of the malt bill, a bit of lighter crystal malt, and possibly fill it out with Vienna as the rest of the base malt, and mash a bit higher than you normally would to fill out the body. It won't be the same beer as you normally make, but I would bet it would be tasty.

We have similar views. I mash on the high end also, since my ABV and grain bill is low.
I've discovered Vienna is not Vienna, depends who makes it.
After 3 more batches going to try 94% Vienna, 3% Munich, 3% White Wheat.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Andy Farke on August 11, 2020, 03:16:17 PM
I've discovered Vienna is not Vienna, depends who makes it.

Same here! My preference is Weyermann, and Great Western's version is a reasonably close second (for my tastes). How about for you?
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 11, 2020, 03:41:55 PM
Which Crystal? There are Big differences C-10 to C-120. I find CaraMunich to have its own 'German' character.

Which Munich malt? Weyermann Type 1 at 6L, or Avangaud Dark at 40 EBC (14.7 L).
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: ynotbrusum on August 11, 2020, 03:45:06 PM
I went away from Crystal malts for a while on several beer styles, but I have returned to them in some styles, including British Bitter, but I use a fairly light touch whenever I add them to a recipe.  I don't make many IPA's, but I appreciate the West Coast IPA style needing to balance the Crystal with appropriate bittering to get an authentic and drinkable result. 

I love a good Vienna addition and will also use Light Munich in many styles for some breadiness when appropriate.  I prefer Vienna Lager style (with Vienna as the base malt in a high percentage) to a Marzen/Oktoberfest beer, but I will make both styles in the fall for those who want it either way.

Cheers to homebrewing and experimenting with several malts in various styles!
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 11, 2020, 03:48:58 PM
Which Crystal? There are Big differences C-10 to C-120. I find CaraMunich to have its own 'German' character.

Which Munich malt? Weyermann Type 1 at 6L, or Avangaud Dark at 40 EBC (14.7 L).

Or Mecca Grade Metolius, which tastes completely different.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: goose on August 11, 2020, 04:23:54 PM
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.

Agree with both of you.  I don't find that caramel/crystal malts add any sweetness to an APA/AIPA.  If it did, I would have been told by my wife who does not like sweetness in a beer and can detect it instantly  I get more raisin and plum flavors from the darker crystal malts which are way more subdued with the lighter ones.  And I agree that caramel/crystal malts are the hallmark for the APA/AIPA styles.  I use around 5% or so 20L crystal in my Amarillo IPA.

As a side bar the Red's For What Ales You beer (Imperial Red IPA) that I posted a picture of yesterday has 60, 80, and 120 crystal malts in it.  The IBU's balance the crystal malt flavors in the beer.  It turned out great.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Fire Rooster on August 11, 2020, 04:29:20 PM
I've discovered Vienna is not Vienna, depends who makes it.

Same here! My preference is Weyermann, and Great Western's version is a reasonably close second (for my tastes). How about for you?

"Hands Down" I prefer Vienna Malt as the base. Currently trying low ratios/combos of Munich and White Wheat with it.
For a couple of batches Weyermann and Ephiphany was used, next up Best Malz for two batches.
Too early to pick my favorite, but they definitely have different characteristics.
If there's no clear winner, I will try two different Vienna's in the same batch.

Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Megary on August 11, 2020, 04:55:51 PM
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.

Agree with both of you.  I don't find that caramel/crystal malts add any sweetness to an APA/AIPA.  If it did, I would have been told by my wife who does not like sweetness in a beer and can detect it instantly  I get more raisin and plum flavors from the darker crystal malts which are way more subdued with the lighter ones.  And I agree that caramel/crystal malts are the hallmark for the APA/AIPA styles. I use around 5% or so 20L crystal in my Amarillo IPA.

As a side bar the Red's For What Ales You beer (Imperial Red IPA) that I posted a picture of yesterday has 60, 80, and 120 crystal malts in it.  The IBU's balance the crystal malt flavors in the beer.  It turned out great.

But it's your even hand that makes the balance.  I'm sure if you added 15%, you would be told by your wife (in no uncertain terms) that the beer is too sweet.   :)

Without question I've had beers that were near undrinkable to me because of the copious amounts of Crystal.  Everyone has their own personal balance I suppose, but I rarely go above 5% C in any beer, save a Porter.

And I think you've nailed the description for the darker crystals, especially C120, which I like a lot.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 11, 2020, 05:10:40 PM
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.

Agree with both of you.  I don't find that caramel/crystal malts add any sweetness to an APA/AIPA.  If it did, I would have been told by my wife who does not like sweetness in a beer and can detect it instantly  I get more raisin and plum flavors from the darker crystal malts which are way more subdued with the lighter ones.  And I agree that caramel/crystal malts are the hallmark for the APA/AIPA styles. I use around 5% or so 20L crystal in my Amarillo IPA.

As a side bar the Red's For What Ales You beer (Imperial Red IPA) that I posted a picture of yesterday has 60, 80, and 120 crystal malts in it.  The IBU's balance the crystal malt flavors in the beer.  It turned out great.

But it's your even hand that makes the balance.  I'm sure if you added 15%, you would be told by your wife (in no uncertain terms) that the beer is too sweet.   :)

Without question I've had beers that were near undrinkable to me because of the copious amounts of Crystal.  Everyone has their own personal balance I suppose, but I rarely go above 5% C in any beer, save a Porter.

And I think you've nailed the description for the darker crystals, especially C120, which I like a lot.

It's all about how you balance the crystal malt.  I have a couple recipes that use 15-18% crystal, but hops, grist and water chemistry combine to balance the beer.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Fire Rooster on August 11, 2020, 05:15:11 PM
When first beginning to brew, used high percentages of many malts, to taste them for what they are.
For my personal tastes/preferences crystal/caramel malts were omitted.
I was constantly lowering percentages of these malts, to hide behind something.
But that is only my taste buds. I believe different processes/procedures can
possibly give good results, for mine, no.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: goose on August 11, 2020, 05:20:44 PM
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.

Agree with both of you.  I don't find that caramel/crystal malts add any sweetness to an APA/AIPA.  If it did, I would have been told by my wife who does not like sweetness in a beer and can detect it instantly  I get more raisin and plum flavors from the darker crystal malts which are way more subdued with the lighter ones.  And I agree that caramel/crystal malts are the hallmark for the APA/AIPA styles. I use around 5% or so 20L crystal in my Amarillo IPA.

As a side bar the Red's For What Ales You beer (Imperial Red IPA) that I posted a picture of yesterday has 60, 80, and 120 crystal malts in it.  The IBU's balance the crystal malt flavors in the beer.  It turned out great.

But it's your even hand that makes the balance.  I'm sure if you added 15%, you would be told by your wife (in no uncertain terms) that the beer is too sweet.   :)

Without question I've had beers that were near undrinkable to me because of the copious amounts of Crystal.  Everyone has their own personal balance I suppose, but I rarely go above 5% C in any beer, save a Porter.

And I think you've nailed the description for the darker crystals, especially C120, which I like a lot.

It's all about how you balance the crystal malt.  I have a couple recipes that use 15-18% crystal, but hops, grist and water chemistry combine to balance the beer.
Red's For What Ales you has 5% each of 60, 80, and 120L  crystal malts.  But I agree that water chemistry, other malts and the hops in the beer, and as Megary said "an even hand" will balance it all out.

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Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: tommymorris on August 11, 2020, 05:55:31 PM
It's totally subjective and dependent on your tastes.  Personally, I don't find it an appropriate sub.  If you're getting too much sweetness from caramel malt, I'd say yiur recipe isn't properly designed.
I actually don’t find my pale ales with caramel to be too sweet. I just wanted to try out the substitute, since I saw it suggested and was intrigued. I am just looking for some guidance.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: tommymorris on August 11, 2020, 06:04:06 PM
Which Crystal? There are Big differences C-10 to C-120. I find CaraMunich to have its own 'German' character.

Which Munich malt? Weyermann Type 1 at 6L, or Avangaud Dark at 40 EBC (14.7 L).
If your asking in regards to the original post the question was light Munich (like your type 1) for C-60 where the C-60 was at 8% in the original recipe.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 11, 2020, 06:36:35 PM
Which Crystal? There are Big differences C-10 to C-120. I find CaraMunich to have its own 'German' character.

Which Munich malt? Weyermann Type 1 at 6L, or Avangaud Dark at 40 EBC (14.7 L).
If your asking in regards to the original post the question was light Munich (like your type 1) for C-60 where the C-60 was at 8% in the original recipe.

I lost the plot, eh?

Well, there are some German beers I brew using 30% Munich 1. It gives it a malty flavor, not sweet to me.

I've been playing with Rauchbier, smoking my own Pils and Munich 1. 50/50 with 6 oz. CaraMunich 2, 5 oz Midnight wheat was too rich for a 5 gallon batch, not quite as quafable as Schlenkerla.

10 gallon batch 60/40 Pils/Munich, 6 oz CaraMunich, 5 oz Midnight Wheat (fogged off that it should have been 10) was a little too far the other way. This second one reminds me of Spezial.

I need to dial in my smoking technique also, to get intensity repeatable.

Hope this is more helpful.

Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: erockrph on August 12, 2020, 01:44:47 AM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Silver_Is_Money on August 12, 2020, 10:40:43 AM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.

I believe this to be the best assessment of the two malt styles I've ever seen.  Thanks for posting it!
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: dannyjed on August 12, 2020, 04:36:57 PM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.
Very well stated! I completely agree.


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Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Megary on August 12, 2020, 05:05:16 PM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.

I don't necessarily disagree, but to the beer drinker, is there really a difference?

I honestly don't know whether it's just a perception of sweetness from the derived C-Malt flavors or actual sweetness from the crystallized sugars, but I think it is pretty easy to overuse (misuse) Crystal Malts.  My theory is that it gets used too much as a color aid as opposed to using it for flavor/body purposes.  Gotta get that SRM to 12, hmm, I think a pound of C60 oughta do it...

Anyway, to the OP, I think Munich is a great way to add drinkability and a bit of bready, soft pretzel maltiness to balance/replace the lip-sticking sweetness of crystal.  How much is all relative.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: erockrph on August 12, 2020, 09:37:09 PM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.

I don't necessarily disagree, but to the beer drinker, is there really a difference?

I honestly don't know whether it's just a perception of sweetness from the derived C-Malt flavors or actual sweetness from the crystallized sugars, but I think it is pretty easy to overuse (misuse) Crystal Malts.  My theory is that it gets used too much as a color aid as opposed to using it for flavor/body purposes.  Gotta get that SRM to 12, hmm, I think a pound of C60 oughta do it...
To me, there is a difference. It may be a bit subtle for some, but I certainly notice it. It's like the ester/phenol profile that you get from hefe and Belgian strains. Banana, cloves, vanilla, etc. are all "sweet" flavors, but the beers themselves (done properly) are crisp, dry, and invite the drinker to take another sip. To me, a cloying sweetness is an attenuation problem. A well-attenuated beer with a fair amount of crystal malt doesn't taste any sweeter to me than a well-attenuated hefeweizen/dubbel/etc.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: pete b on August 13, 2020, 12:05:58 AM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.

I don't necessarily disagree, but to the beer drinker, is there really a difference?

I honestly don't know whether it's just a perception of sweetness from the derived C-Malt flavors or actual sweetness from the crystallized sugars, but I think it is pretty easy to overuse (misuse) Crystal Malts.  My theory is that it gets used too much as a color aid as opposed to using it for flavor/body purposes.  Gotta get that SRM to 12, hmm, I think a pound of C60 oughta do it...
To me, there is a difference. It may be a bit subtle for some, but I certainly notice it. It's like the ester/phenol profile that you get from hefe and Belgian strains. Banana, cloves, vanilla, etc. are all "sweet" flavors, but the beers themselves (done properly) are crisp, dry, and invite the drinker to take another sip. To me, a cloying sweetness is an attenuation problem. A well-attenuated beer with a fair amount of crystal malt doesn't taste any sweeter to me than a well-attenuated hefeweizen/dubbel/etc.
But isn’t there a correlation between crystal malt and attenuation? I thought that the killing process and I presume maillaird reactions result in crystal malt producing more unfermentable sugars and therefore higher final gravity/ lower attenuation than base malts. I detect sweetness from crystal malt at times, sometimes welcome, sometimes not.
Title: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: tommymorris on August 13, 2020, 12:14:42 AM
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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I am going to try your ratios for an upcoming APA.

I made a Vienna lager recently that was 95% and 5% Caramunich I. Kind of a crazy recipe. It was quite malty. Part of this idea of replacing caramel malt with Munich or Vienna comes from that beer. To me there was some overlap in that beer and beers with 5-10% caramel (C60) malt (of course the Vienna Lager had 5% Caramunich so there’s that). But it was more dry. I don’t want a pale ale with 95% Vienna but I am intrigued by say a 25% Vienna pale ale or maybe a 25% Munich I pale ale. I am not sure what I would get but I am curious.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: erockrph on August 13, 2020, 03:59:00 AM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.

I don't necessarily disagree, but to the beer drinker, is there really a difference?

I honestly don't know whether it's just a perception of sweetness from the derived C-Malt flavors or actual sweetness from the crystallized sugars, but I think it is pretty easy to overuse (misuse) Crystal Malts.  My theory is that it gets used too much as a color aid as opposed to using it for flavor/body purposes.  Gotta get that SRM to 12, hmm, I think a pound of C60 oughta do it...
To me, there is a difference. It may be a bit subtle for some, but I certainly notice it. It's like the ester/phenol profile that you get from hefe and Belgian strains. Banana, cloves, vanilla, etc. are all "sweet" flavors, but the beers themselves (done properly) are crisp, dry, and invite the drinker to take another sip. To me, a cloying sweetness is an attenuation problem. A well-attenuated beer with a fair amount of crystal malt doesn't taste any sweeter to me than a well-attenuated hefeweizen/dubbel/etc.
But isn’t there a correlation between crystal malt and attenuation? I thought that the killing process and I presume maillaird reactions result in crystal malt producing more unfermentable sugars and therefore higher final gravity/ lower attenuation than base malts. I detect sweetness from crystal malt at times, sometimes welcome, sometimes not.
I don't have the source in front of me, but I've seen some tests showing that Crystal malts were nearly as fermentable as base malts when mashed, but when steeped without base malt they actually left unconverted starches behind. This would explain the apparent underattenuation when used as a steeping grain in extract brews.

Also, even if Crystal malt was only half as fermentable as base malt, at a usage rate of 10% or so that would only lead to maybe 2 or 3 extra points of FG in a typical brew. I don't know if most beer drinkers would be able to detect that.

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Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: pete b on August 13, 2020, 11:10:28 AM
To me, the spectrum of Crystal malts (very generally) goes from honey to toffee to caramel to raisin/fig, while Munich malts have a spectrum that is more like progressively darker bread crusts, with Aromatic malt being the darkest end on that spectrum. You can certainly try substituting some Munich for Cara-malts in a recipe, but the result will likely be much different.

Also, add me to the camp that doesn't find that Caramel malts make sweet beer. I have a funny feeling that this is an old brewing myth that dates back to when a lot more brewers were using extract, and possibly poorer quality yeast. Yes, C-malts have flavors that are reminiscent of sweet things, and that would be accentuated in an underattenuated beer, but they themselves don't add much sweetness directly.

I don't necessarily disagree, but to the beer drinker, is there really a difference?

I honestly don't know whether it's just a perception of sweetness from the derived C-Malt flavors or actual sweetness from the crystallized sugars, but I think it is pretty easy to overuse (misuse) Crystal Malts.  My theory is that it gets used too much as a color aid as opposed to using it for flavor/body purposes.  Gotta get that SRM to 12, hmm, I think a pound of C60 oughta do it...
To me, there is a difference. It may be a bit subtle for some, but I certainly notice it. It's like the ester/phenol profile that you get from hefe and Belgian strains. Banana, cloves, vanilla, etc. are all "sweet" flavors, but the beers themselves (done properly) are crisp, dry, and invite the drinker to take another sip. To me, a cloying sweetness is an attenuation problem. A well-attenuated beer with a fair amount of crystal malt doesn't taste any sweeter to me than a well-attenuated hefeweizen/dubbel/etc.
But isn’t there a correlation between crystal malt and attenuation? I thought that the killing process and I presume maillaird reactions result in crystal malt producing more unfermentable sugars and therefore higher final gravity/ lower attenuation than base malts. I detect sweetness from crystal malt at times, sometimes welcome, sometimes not.
I don't have the source in front of me, but I've seen some tests showing that Crystal malts were nearly as fermentable as base malts when mashed, but when steeped without base malt they actually left unconverted starches behind. This would explain the apparent underattenuation when used as a steeping grain in extract brews.

Also, even if Crystal malt was only half as fermentable as base malt, at a usage rate of 10% or so that would only lead to maybe 2 or 3 extra points of FG in a typical brew. I don't know if most beer drinkers would be able to detect that.

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Like so many things with taste it’s probably a variety of factors that cause me to perceive sweetness in crystal malt, perhaps including an association of the flavors and aromas produced in the killing process being associated with sweetness, whether it be carmel/toffee or dried fruit. It’s not a bad thing, another tool in the toolbox.
That being said my go to grist for an apa or ipa is 80% pale malt and 20% Munich.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Megary on August 13, 2020, 03:28:47 PM
There's a great article from the May/June 2013 Zymurgy by Agatha Feltus called Nanomashing: Investigating Specialty Grains on a Small Scale.
It seems so obvious, but before I read it, it had never occurred to me to make mini-steeps of grains and compare them both side by side and in combinations. I've since done it with my dark/roasty grains and some of my base malts.  Amazing what you can learn from doing this.  Very interesting read if anyone gets the time. 

Anyway, she compared the run of crystal malts from light to dark and used the tasting notes to formulate a recipe for a dark mild. 
Her notes on the C-malts ran from Sweet ---> slight caramel --> intense caramel --> toffee --> prune/toffee --> raisiny.  The sweetness decreased as the malt got darker at which point she noted no sweetness at all from Simpsons Extra Dark Crystal (150)

So to the OP, a little experiment like this might be a great way to take the guesswork out of the whole thing.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 13, 2020, 03:37:01 PM
There's a great article from the May/June 2013 Zymurgy by Agatha Feltus called Nanomashing: Investigating Specialty Grains on a Small Scale.
It seems so obvious, but before I read it, it had never occurred to me to make mini-steeps of grains and compare them both side by side and in combinations. I've since done it with my dark/roasty grains and some of my base malts.  Amazing what you can learn from doing this.  Very interesting read if anyone gets the time. 

Anyway, she compared the run of crystal malts from light to dark and used the tasting notes to formulate a recipe for a dark mild. 
Her notes on the C-malts ran from Sweet ---> slight caramel --> intense caramel --> toffee --> prune/toffee --> raisiny.  The sweetness decreased as the malt got darker at which point she noted no sweetness at all from Simpsons Extra Dark Crystal (150)

So to the OP, a little experiment like this might be a great way to take the guesswork out of the whole thing.

I've been advocating and talking about that for 15 years.  Wrote about it in our first book.  The thing to keep in mind is that fermentation changes those flavors.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: allenhuerta on August 15, 2020, 06:58:33 PM
I've been wondering, since I was out of the loop not living in the area for a few years, what happened and why do we hate crystal malts? I still use them but man, I don't know happened between when I left and got back.

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Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 15, 2020, 07:16:43 PM
I've been wondering, since I was out of the loop not living in the area for a few years, what happened and why do we hate crystal malts? I still use them but man, I don't know happened between when I left and got back.

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Seems like it just became trendy,  like hazy IPA and sour beers.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 15, 2020, 08:29:22 PM
I've been wondering, since I was out of the loop not living in the area for a few years, what happened and why do we hate crystal malts? I still use them but man, I don't know happened between when I left and got back.

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IPAs happened.

The thinking is that the darker C malts have flavors that clash with the citrus, fruity, piney hop flavors.

Citrus and raisin flavors, not do much.

Pine and plum and dark sugar, no.

The light Crystal malts like C10 to C20 are more sweet, so that goes with citrus and fruit.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: allenhuerta on August 15, 2020, 08:33:07 PM

IPAs happened.



I hear what you're saying but they were fine in IPA's like 5+ years ago. I left the states right after Heady came out/got big and then when I came back I didn't understand anything anymore lol

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Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: erockrph on August 15, 2020, 11:06:17 PM
I've been wondering, since I was out of the loop not living in the area for a few years, what happened and why do we hate crystal malts? I still use them but man, I don't know happened between when I left and got back.

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IPAs happened.

The thinking is that the darker C malts have flavors that clash with the citrus, fruity, piney hop flavors.

Citrus and raisin flavors, not do much.

Pine and plum and dark sugar, no.

The light Crystal malts like C10 to C20 are more sweet, so that goes with citrus and fruit.
That's an interesting take, but I bet some of these new fruity hops would pair quite well with darker crystal flavors, especially ones with a lot of stone fruit character.

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Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: hopfenundmalz on August 16, 2020, 01:34:46 AM
I've been wondering, since I was out of the loop not living in the area for a few years, what happened and why do we hate crystal malts? I still use them but man, I don't know happened between when I left and got back.

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IPAs happened.

The thinking is that the darker C malts have flavors that clash with the citrus, fruity, piney hop flavors.

Citrus and raisin flavors, not do much.

Pine and plum and dark sugar, no.

The light Crystal malts like C10 to C20 are more sweet, so that goes with citrus and fruit.
That's an interesting take, but I bet some of these new fruity hops would pair quite well with darker crystal flavors, especially ones with a lot of stone fruit character.

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I agree with your comment. Strata might be the one to try with darker crystal malt. There are a couple of others.

The general notion was first talked about by Vinnie Cilurzu about 10 years ago. It worked with the hops he was using. He was correct.

I was looking at some historic Barley Perkins recipes this evening. The amount of dark Crystal malts and Invert Sugars was something that bucks the current trends. The hops were Fuggles and EKG so it would work.

 

Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 16, 2020, 03:48:11 PM
What I have noticed with the IPA surge is that beer is losing its malt backbone.  Most American IPAs are way out of balance.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 16, 2020, 06:07:59 PM
What I have noticed with the IPA surge is that beer is losing its malt backbone.  Most American IPAs are way out of balance.

Balance is a personal preference.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 16, 2020, 06:20:05 PM
Balance is a personal preference.

I guess that there is some truth in that statement, but what I am tasting today leaves a lot to the imagination with respect to it being a malt-based beverage.  Pretty much all I taste and smell is hops.  It is not even bitterness per so.  The flavor is almost all late hop additions.  If one cannot taste the malt in beer, than it is a stunt, not beer.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: denny on August 16, 2020, 06:28:07 PM
Balance is a personal preference.

I guess that there is some truth in that statement, but what I am tasting today leaves a lot to the imagination with respect to it being a malt-based beverage.  Pretty much all I taste and smell is hops.  It is not even bitterness per so.  The flavor is almost all late hop additions.  If one cannot taste the malt in beer, than it is a stunt, not beer.

I agree, but I don't see it as a universal issue.  In just had several IPAs from Long Beach brewing in LA that were masterpieces of balance.  Lots of malt flavor, including honey malt, but wonderful forward hop flavor and aroma with a bracing bitterness. I've said it before, but you can't judge all beer just by what you find locallly.
Title: Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
Post by: skyler on August 20, 2020, 06:17:02 PM
Once something in a hobby looks like, "the modern/new/science-based method," tons of newcomers latch on without first learning "the old ways." With craft beer, the interesting thing is that a lot of pro brewers (or brewery owners) have only just opened up or started brewing in the post-IPA world. Everyone has their own personal taste, but plenty of people don't actually know their personal preference because they haven't tried it a different way.

When you are a newbie brewing extract beer or a newbie all-grain brewer brewing with top shelf ingredients purchased at your LHBS with $4 per ounce hops and $2 per lb base malt, you are less likely to want to try anything "old-fashioned" because you're dropping $70 into this batch of beer and really need it to be great to justify the expense/mess/sunk cost of the $150 starter kit. At least that's how I felt as a new brewer. Then the "newest" information was on the Northern Brewer forums and coming from people like Kai and Denny. IPA was an emerging style and brewers were only just starting to challenge the "malt backbone" premise in a minor way by adding sugar to their double IPA to make it more drinkable (Vinnie's Pliny recipe appeared groundbreaking for adding a lot of sugar). Prior to releasing the Pliny recipe, I thought that a DIPA needed more specialty malts to balance the high IBUs.

There are always people who want to drink clear yellow beer, too. It's refreshing, having a beer that is as close to feeling like sparkling water as possible, while having great hop flavor. I think the lack of great pale lager (there used to be a lot more bar/shelf space dedicated to premium import lagers that filled that niche) is also part of the top-selling craft style adopting more pilsner or blond ale-like qualities. The first time I had Pfriem's Blonde IPA, it was pretty revelatory. I felt the same way about a beer called Four Squared that I had in Texas (I believe it was billed as a dry-hopped double blond ale). So it's not like hoppy beers without crystal are bad, it's just that, IMO, the avoidance of crystal malt comes more from familiarity with its exclusion than from distaste with its inclusion among brewers of a certain generation. And the only reason it's problematic is that crystal malt is a worthy ingredient that deserves some consideration in more than porters and brown ales. For one thing, I am curious about the purported benefits in flavor stability that come from additions of crystal malts and carapils. The benefits in mouthfeel and head are pretty clear, too.

I know many of the IPAs that have the best malt flavor to me tend to have CaraHell in them and that many of the hoppy red ales I have enjoyed over the years have had some sort of crystal in the 70-140L range, so I tend to include light crystal malts in my IPAs and darker crystal malts in hoppy red ales that I brew. Could I achieve approximately the same color with Munich malt and Carafa/Blackprinz? Sure. Would it taste the same/similar? No.