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General Category => Ingredients => Topic started by: Pawtucket Patriot on January 02, 2010, 11:09:51 AM

Title: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on January 02, 2010, 11:09:51 AM
Are they different enough to justify buying both in bulk?  I bought a 55 lb bag of each last year and need to make another bulk grain purchase because my supplies are running low.  Historically, I have brewed my American beers with the 2-row as a base malt and my British beers with the Pale.  I'm not sure if there is enough of an appreciable difference to justify buying 55 lb bags of both.  Your insights/suggestions are appreciated!
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bo_gator on January 02, 2010, 02:41:46 PM
I personally buy CMC 2 row pale and TF Maris Otter, and could not imagine life without them both,but then again I also keep German and Belgian Pilsner malts too  ::)
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: k4df4l on January 03, 2010, 05:23:02 AM
 I bought a 55 lb bag of each last year and need to make another bulk grain purchase because my supplies are running low.

Did you brew anything with close enough recipes between the two sacks that you could draw a conclusion? 
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: majorvices on January 03, 2010, 06:24:34 AM
I love Thomas Fawcett Maris Otter - wouldn't do without it. That said, if you are not making English style beers US pale 2-row is all you need.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: babalu87 on January 03, 2010, 06:37:04 AM
Definately worth getting at least both

Got a sack of Golden Promise the last group grain buy , they were out of Optic :(
I really liked the beers when Optic was the base malt.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on January 03, 2010, 10:25:28 AM
 I bought a 55 lb bag of each last year and need to make another bulk grain purchase because my supplies are running low.

Did you brew anything with close enough recipes between the two sacks that you could draw a conclusion? 


Not really (unfortunately).  My British beers are fairly, well, British (i.e., english yeast, lower attenuation, etc.) while my American beers tend to be very American (i.e., American yeast, higher attenuation, hoppier, etc.).  I could probably try brewing my next British beer with American 2-row as a base malt (since that is the less expensive of the two malts) and evaluate any differences.  But I do like the idea of having both types of malt around, if for no other reason than for authenticity's sake (and I'm probably answering my own question here).
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: k4df4l on January 04, 2010, 03:47:43 AM
 I bought a 55 lb bag of each last year and need to make another bulk grain purchase because my supplies are running low.

Did you brew anything with close enough recipes between the two sacks that you could draw a conclusion? 


Not really (unfortunately).  My British beers are fairly, well, British (i.e., english yeast, lower attenuation, etc.) while my American beers tend to be very American (i.e., American yeast, higher attenuation, hoppier, etc.).  I could probably try brewing my next British beer with American 2-row as a base malt (since that is the less expensive of the two malts) and evaluate any differences.  But I do like the idea of having both types of malt around, if for no other reason than for authenticity's sake (and I'm probably answering my own question here).

In that case, it sounds like you definitely want another sack of each!
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: a10t2 on January 04, 2010, 12:45:44 PM
Regular US pale malt vs UK pale malt, I don't think there's much difference. US 2-row vs Maris Otter though, definitely. I keep both on hand.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: blatz on January 04, 2010, 12:50:22 PM
For the past 3 years, I've made all my ales with TF Maris Otter, and I rarely, make a british style - only an occasional ESB. 

never saw any reason to have am 2-row on hand...
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: denny on January 04, 2010, 12:52:50 PM
Regular US pale malt vs UK pale malt, I don't think there's much difference. US 2-row vs Maris Otter though, definitely. I keep both on hand.

I'm confused.....isn't MO a 2 row malt?  Can't it be kilned any way the maltster wants?  Isn't "regular US pale malt" a 2 row malt, too?  Can't it be kilned any way the maltster wants?  So what is it that makes MO better than US 2 row malt, assuming they're kilned the same?  Is it the malt variety?  If so, is there any reason MO couldn't be grown in the US?
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: a10t2 on January 04, 2010, 01:50:38 PM
MO is a 2-row variety, but I don't think it's grown in the States, at least not in any significant quantity. IIRC domestic 2-row is all Harrington and Klages. Most (maybe even all?) commercial MO malts are also floor malted as opposed to using drums. I don't know if the majority of the flavor difference comes from the different raw product, or the different malting technique, though. It could be a "whole is greater than the sum of its parts" thing, for all I know.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: denny on January 04, 2010, 03:36:29 PM
I was under the impression that only 1 or 2 maltsters were still floor malting.  And why would that make a difference, and what would the difference be?  I swear I'm not being difficult, just trying to understand.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: a10t2 on January 04, 2010, 03:50:50 PM
I know Fawcett and Crisp are both floor malted, so even if some have switched over to drums at least a few of the heavyweights are still doing it. I don't know what the effect would be, but there must be *something* to it, or else everyone would have switched to the cheaper techniques.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: blatz on January 04, 2010, 05:26:06 PM
  And why would that make a difference, and what would the difference be? 

brew the same beer twice - once with american 2-row, once with MO - certainly not scientific due to all the other variables, but you'll get a good comparison.  ;)
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bluesman on January 04, 2010, 08:33:50 PM
  And why would that make a difference, and what would the difference be? 

brew the same beer twice - once with american 2-row, once with MO - certainly not scientific due to all the other variables, but you'll get a good comparison.  ;)

I need to do just that.

As I understand it, MO is a two row winter barley that's a cross between Proctor and Pioneer. It's claim to fame is it's ease of manufacturing and it's superior flavor. I've been using it and really like it, but I want to do a side by side comparison to American 2 row maybe a Breiss product.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: denny on January 05, 2010, 09:54:23 AM
  And why would that make a difference, and what would the difference be? 

brew the same beer twice - once with american 2-row, once with MO - certainly not scientific due to all the other variables, but you'll get a good comparison.  ;)

Oh, I'm well aware of the flavor differences.   What I'm trying to grok is _why_ there are flavor differences.  Is it simply the variety of barley?  If so, why isn't MO grown in the states?  And what does floor malting add to it that other types of malting don't?  There's so much that homebrewers accept just because "somebody said so"....I want to know why!
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on January 05, 2010, 11:13:46 AM
I think taste is developed in trip from continent to the states on high see. Rocking ship wips out any undesired flavor compounds from malts :)

By the way Weyermann just started floor malting "Hanka" bohemian barley. Different malting processes will give you different results. Can some say decoction vs non decoction?

Why some barley variety are grown in certain parts of world would depend on environmental conditions, soil, humidity...
Think about hops. German Hallertau vs US Hallertau?
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: blatz on January 05, 2010, 11:43:18 AM
Oh, I'm well aware of the flavor differences.   What I'm trying to grok is _why_ there are flavor differences.  Is it simply the variety of barley?  If so, why isn't MO grown in the states?  And what does floor malting add to it that other types of malting don't?  There's so much that homebrewers accept just because "somebody said so"....I want to know why!

was only having a little fun with you - I knew that's what you meant  ;D.

however, to me its analagous to rotisserie chicken (modern malting methods) vs. pan roasted chicken (floor malting) - both can start with the same raw materials, use the same temperature and cook time, but they end up tasting different - perhaps not drastically, but somewhat.  Certainly, this isn't the best analogy, but it sorta works in my noggin.

as was said, growing conditions cause a lot of difference, even with the same species of barley.  Similar to: I know people who swear they can taste the difference in steak from Nebraska vs. Texas (I can't, but you get the idea).

The  process the malt goes through doesn't concern me, only what tastes best.  In my IPA I've tried 6 different base malts over the years, but I found the MO based ones were the best end results, that's all I need to know -
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: hankus on January 06, 2010, 08:33:29 AM
after doing a batch with MO and with Am pale have a number of folks taste  or else have someone blindfold you to eliminate any subjectivity.My professional brewer friends here feel there is NO difference between UK and US pale;they have no experience with MO...which brings me to a tangent...one of the traditional "great" brewing books is by Wheeler and Protz and IMHO all they do is to use essentially the same recipes changing only the brand of pale malt which doesn't help me since I buy by the sack and usually have limited choices
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: alemental on January 09, 2010, 11:55:46 AM
The reason Marris Otter is not grown more commonly is for monetary reasons. It is a low yield cultivar. Growers can get lotsa more bushels per acre with other varieties.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bluesman on January 09, 2010, 12:41:28 PM
The reason Marris Otter is not grown more commonly is for monetary reasons.

Not a surprise there. It's a market and just like any other market, it has to be competitive. It comes down to margins and dollars and cents.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: karlh on January 09, 2010, 02:38:16 PM
Denny,  It may relate to "provenance".  England is famous for those chalk cliffs at Dover, as well as that hard, gypsum-rich water IPA's are famous for.  It just may be that the local environment, geology, hydrology and other factors in their malt growning regions have a (biochemical) effect on the malt grown there.  This could help explain why my english beers brewed with MO taste so darn "English" in terms of malt profile.  Its all two row malt, but English seems to make a difference.... Australian wines made of Rhone style grapes (shiraz, voigner, cabernet, merlot, etc.) taste Australian, not French.  Why don't grocers sell endive from the US... its always Belgian.  Some products with specific provenance have desirable characteristics over similar products with different provenance.  From my last couple years of experimentation, I have settled on using english malts for my bitters and english style pale ales... I am less convinced the difference is discernable with porters and stouts.  I tend to buy both american and english pale malt if my budget can afford both,  I have had good results duplicating some english styles by replacing a portion of american pale with victory malt to get some of the bready/biscuity flavors, but its not exactly the same.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: denny on January 10, 2010, 10:43:42 AM
I've had pretty good luck replicating the flavor of MO (and even Golden Promise) with Great Western pale malt.  I understand what you;re saying about the "provenance/terroir" thing, too.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bluesman on February 11, 2010, 12:52:11 PM
Does anyone find good results using MO in American APA/IPA's?

Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: blatz on February 11, 2010, 12:55:11 PM
Does anyone find good results using MO in American APA/IPA's?



that's what I use as my basemalt for everything, so yes, it produces great results.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bluesman on February 11, 2010, 12:57:41 PM
Does anyone find good results using MO in American APA/IPA's?



that's what I use as my basemalt for everything, so yes, it produces great results.

I knew you did. I definitely counted on your response, but are you the only one?
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: dontblake on February 11, 2010, 01:13:50 PM
Yes, MO in an american pale or IPA is fantastic!
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: dean on February 13, 2010, 12:12:32 PM
I've had pretty good luck replicating the flavor of MO (and even Golden Promise) with Great Western pale malt.  I understand what you;re saying about the "provenance/terroir" thing, too.

I was wondering if anybody would mention GP since its supposed to be even better than MO.  Personally, I think American 2 row is better in American beer but I can't be sure yet... still messing with MO, GP, 2 row and Pils.  They all work, just depends on what you want out of your beer I guess.  Honestly I think one of the best APA's or IPA's I've brewed was Great Western 2-row I bought from B3 but I wasn't impressed when I found a small stone in the grain while I was grinding, still I do think it made the best American brew yet.  Jmo...
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: blatz on February 13, 2010, 12:30:12 PM
I was wondering if anybody would mention GP since its supposed to be even better than MO. 

who says that?!!  MO is so good the Scots tried to emulate it. :D ;)
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: redbeerman on February 16, 2010, 11:03:47 AM
I use MO in American IPAs all the time, I like the way they come out. 
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: brewmasternpb on March 03, 2010, 10:04:46 PM
This has been a really helpful thread for me!  Can anyone comment on Rahr 2-row?  It seems to be the cheapest.  How does it compare to great Western?
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: The Professor on March 03, 2010, 10:36:43 PM
Does anyone find good results using MO in American APA/IPA's?
that's what I use as my basemalt for everything, so yes, it produces great results.
I knew you did. I definitely counted on your response, but are you the only one?



I don't use it exclusively, but I use it when ever I can (it's a price/availability thing)  as a base malt for any of the beers I make. 
It's a great malt, and there's just something about the rich character it contributes  that makes a positive plus for any ale, whether British or American in "style"    IMNSHO     ;D
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: a10t2 on March 03, 2010, 11:15:37 PM
This has been a really helpful thread for me!  Can anyone comment on Rahr 2-row?  It seems to be the cheapest.  How does it compare to great Western?

I can't comment on Great Western, but Rahr is great stuff. Much better than Briess IMHO; those are the only two I have experience with.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: gimmeales on March 04, 2010, 08:36:31 AM
I remember a Basic Brewing vodcast awhile back did a base malt experiment using American 2-Row, MO, and a Belgian Pale Ale malt.  They made a gallon of unhopped beer for each, same (or as close as possible) gravity, and yeast.  Tasted side-by-side, the differences in color and flavor were notable.  Could probably easily find it on the site:  http://www.basicbrewing.com

Been meaning to try something like this for awhile.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: denny on March 04, 2010, 10:02:48 AM
This has been a really helpful thread for me!  Can anyone comment on Rahr 2-row?  It seems to be the cheapest.  How does it compare to great Western?

Rahr and GW are my 2 top choices for domestic pale malt.  I have a slight preference for Rahr, but AFAIAC they're both great.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bluesman on March 04, 2010, 10:47:52 AM
This has been a really helpful thread for me!  Can anyone comment on Rahr 2-row?  It seems to be the cheapest.  How does it compare to great Western?

Rahr and GW are my 2 top choices for domestic pale malt.  I have a slight preference for Rahr, but AFAIAC they're both great.

Hey Denny...Where do you buy your grain?
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: denny on March 04, 2010, 10:52:21 AM
This has been a really helpful thread for me!  Can anyone comment on Rahr 2-row?  It seems to be the cheapest.  How does it compare to great Western?

Rahr and GW are my 2 top choices for domestic pale malt.  I have a slight preference for Rahr, but AFAIAC they're both great.

Hey Denny...Where do you buy your grain?

Either from the LHBS or as part of a bulk buy organized by my club.  That one uses a "secret source"!
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bluesman on March 04, 2010, 02:30:33 PM
That one uses a "secret source"!

"Secret source" huh.

Well I'll be.

Any chance of letting us in on that?

Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: brewmasternpb on March 04, 2010, 08:00:32 PM
That helps alot.  My friend and I are going to buy a bag of Rahr now.  Thanks team!
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: denny on March 05, 2010, 09:21:24 AM
That one uses a "secret source"!

"Secret source" huh.

Well I'll be.

Any chance of letting us in on that?



As the saying goes, "Sure, but then I'd have to kill you!"
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: bluesman on March 05, 2010, 10:30:29 AM
That one uses a "secret source"!

"Secret source" huh.

Well I'll be.

Any chance of letting us in on that?



As the saying goes, "Sure, but then I'd have to kill you!"

But that's not right.  ;)
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: roguejim on March 07, 2010, 08:11:00 PM
Do you think mixing 50% domestic 2-row with 50% marris otter would add any noticeable complexity to an APA or AIPA?  Or would I just be wasting the marris otter?

For some reason I'm remembering the SSOS recipe which insists on marris otter exclusively(as the base malt), i.e., that domestic 2-row simply doesn't have enough of a malty profile for the recipe.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: dbeechum on March 07, 2010, 11:14:06 PM
Do you think mixing 50% domestic 2-row with 50% marris otter would add any noticeable complexity to an APA or AIPA? 

My default grain bill for most of my IPAs/APAs, etc are exactly that 50/50 2-Row / M.O.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: roguejim on March 08, 2010, 12:04:36 AM
Pasadena, huh.  I'm originally from Sierra Madre.  Great town.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: dbeechum on March 08, 2010, 01:53:44 AM
Both very strange towns. Of course, I never realized Pasadena had a gang problem until I lived in a part of town that had a Taco Bell / KFC with a drive through airlock so robust, I'm sure you could fire a tank round at it and all would be well.
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: roguejim on March 09, 2010, 02:04:12 PM
What's happened to Sierra Madre since 1985 that's made it strange?
Title: Re: American 2-Row vs. British Pale
Post by: dbeechum on March 09, 2010, 04:39:35 PM
What's happened to Sierra Madre since 1985 that's made it strange?

Nothing much.. part of what's strange! Still feels like a mix of Norman Rockwell with rich hippies up in the canyons.