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General Category => Extract/Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: davejg on May 14, 2011, 01:34:32 AM

Title: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: davejg on May 14, 2011, 01:34:32 AM
So, I just got the judges sheets back from my first entry into a BJCP sanctioned competition and for two beers I scored a 29.5 and a 32.5.  Overall I am very happy with the results as I only had two main complaints, same on each beer. 

One of which was the thin mouthfeel and lacking on the malt flavoring.  How, as an extract brewer, without going all grain (time/space issues) can I improve on this?  Would it be wise to add extra specialty grains in the steep or maltodextrin on finish?

Advice on this is greatly appreciated, thanks guys!




Cheers,
Dave
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: gordonstrong on May 14, 2011, 01:40:19 AM
Yes, try steeping grains. You can add body with crystal malts. Much better than maltodextrin.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: thomasbarnes on May 14, 2011, 11:41:24 AM
So, I just got the judges sheets back from my first entry into a BJCP sanctioned competition and for two beers I scored a 29.5 and a 32.5.

Good job for your first competition!

One of which was the thin mouthfeel and lacking on the malt flavoring.  How, as an extract brewer, without going all grain (time/space issues) can I improve on this?  Would it be wise to add extra specialty grains in the steep or maltodextrin on finish?

Like Gordon said, although dextrin sugar is easier to work with than steeping. When I did steeping/mini-mashing I found that a Crock-Pot worked nicely to keep my grains at a steady temperature. You just need to fiddle with the settings to get the temperature level right. 15-30 minutes at no more than 168 F is all you need for steeping. For mini-mash, you need to go a bit longer (30-90 minutes) at a lower temperature (140-156 F). For dark grains, you can cold steep to minimize tannin extraction/grain harshness.

There are also some extracts which give a maltier, fuller body. Laaglander DME is one. You'll need to play around with ingredients to find what works for you.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: dmtaylor on May 14, 2011, 03:37:08 PM
I agree with the other guys -- crystal malts will take you a long way towards more grainy flavor and mouthfeel.  And since crystal malts range in color from nothing up to the hundreds of Lovibond, you can use whatever color you need to be appropriate to style.

For amber to dark beers, you can also use more chocolate malt, roasted barley, and darker roasted malts, to give you more malt character.

It is also a good idea to always use extra light malt extracts, never the amber or dark versions.  If you want a dark beer, it is important that you get all your color from steeping dark malts, not from darker extracts.

And whenever you are ready to take the plunge into mini-mashing or full mashing, then the options become limitless.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: astrivian on May 21, 2011, 06:08:56 PM

It is also a good idea to always use extra light malt extracts, never the amber or dark versions.  If you want a dark beer, it is important that you get all your color from steeping dark malts, not from darker extracts.

Why is this? I might have to change some of my recipes.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: Hokerer on May 21, 2011, 06:42:31 PM

It is also a good idea to always use extra light malt extracts, never the amber or dark versions.  If you want a dark beer, it is important that you get all your color from steeping dark malts, not from darker extracts.

Why is this? I might have to change some of my recipes.

It's largely a matter of control.  You have no way of knowing what sort of grains or whatever the extract maker might have used to reach the dark color.  It can also affect fermentability - seems that the darker the extract, the less fermentable.  And extract has enough unfermentability already.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: richardt on May 22, 2011, 01:54:34 AM
You may also want to make sure you're not oversparging the partial grains or diluting the wort too much (low OG).
It depends on what is important to you--more bottles of watered-down beer, or fewer bottles of rich, malty, great mouthfeel beers.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: dmtaylor on May 23, 2011, 03:32:42 AM
It's largely a matter of control.  You have no way of knowing what sort of grains or whatever the extract maker might have used to reach the dark color.  It can also affect fermentability - seems that the darker the extract, the less fermentable.  And extract has enough unfermentability already.

+1000.  Hokerer hit this right on the nose.  And bottom line is taste.  If you like your extract beers made with the dark extract, then by all means, continue on with it.  But if your stouts end up tasting like caramel and molasses instead of coffee, etc., then you might want to switch over to light extract plus a lot of roasted grains.  In other words, get you color and flavor from your own grain, not just whatever some extract manufacturer has thrown in there.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: denny on May 23, 2011, 04:16:01 PM
+1000.  Hokerer hit this right on the nose.  And bottom line is taste.  If you like your extract beers made with the dark extract, then by all means, continue on with it.  But if your stouts end up tasting like caramel and molasses instead of coffee, etc., then you might want to switch over to light extract plus a lot of roasted grains.  In other words, get you color and flavor from your own grain, not just whatever some extract manufacturer has thrown in there.

In addition, it gives you an advantage if/when you switch to AG since that's how AG recipes are constructed.
Title: Re: More malt flavor/mouth feel
Post by: bluesman on May 23, 2011, 04:54:49 PM
Just want to resonate the control factor. One of the keys to mastering the craft is process control. Knowing what and how much of any element (water, temp, time, grain, hops or yeast) is ultimately going to establish reproducability in a beer.

I wouldn't be able to guess the breakdown of the malts in a dark extract but the one thing you do know by steeping grain is precisely what kind and how much was added. From that you have a baseline which can be manipulated to achieve a desired result.