Author Topic: Malt Knowledge  (Read 867 times)

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Malt Knowledge
« on: November 23, 2011, 01:35:54 PM »
Allrighty then, time for some soul sudsing........

After 50 or so batches I am very happy with my beers, and judging from the speed at which they consume it, so are my friends. The equipment, grinding, the brew process, fermentation control, conditioning, kegging and serving are all pretty much down to a science.....relatively speaking.

My weak spot IMHO is recipe formulation. I have developed some good recipes, but it's more luck than anything else I feel. I understand basics, have figured out the base malts, and got the hop formulation figured out too. It's the specialty malts that I haven't gotten my head around. I know how to control color, I know what wheat does but everything in between I'm still some in the dark as to what grain has what effect.....I've done the reading, but it's still not clicking.

Does anyone know of a GOOD explanation of what the various specialty grains do?

Thanks,
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline dannyjed

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 711
  • Toledo, OH
    • View Profile
Re: Malt Knowledge
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2011, 08:06:19 PM »
I would say that after another 50 batches you should have a better idea (that's about how long it took me to somewhat understand specialty grains).   Seriously, I experimented a lot by using a standard base malt recipe for a certain recipe like APA, IPA, etc. and interchanged specialty grains.  This is basically trial and error, but after awhile I've come up with some good recipes.  Some I am still experimenting with and trying to make better and some I now leave alone.  Getting there, for me, is half the fun.
Dan Chisholm

Online tonyp

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 637
  • If it ain't broke you aren't trying hard enough...
    • View Profile
Re: Malt Knowledge
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2011, 11:52:30 PM »
Oscar,

Not sure if this will help you or not but check out this reference guide from BYO:

Grain Reference Chart

There's also hops and yeast charts in the menu on the left.

Tony
Live from the Jersey Shore!

Bottled:
Grandpa Louie's Cream Ale
Eagle Point Pale Ale


Phrases for Creatives, #22:
"I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter."

Offline b-hoppy

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
    • View Profile
Re: Malt Knowledge
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2011, 09:55:24 AM »
I'm with dannyjed.  About the only information around back in the mid 80's was Papazian's book.  I just read about the styles and looked at what malts were used in those particular examples and extrapolated beyond that, once I thought I knew what I was doing.  At this point I feel I'm 'almost there' but these maltsters keep on coming up with different malts all the time. 

Just try some different things and remember what the results tasted like and build on that knowledge.  First hand experience isn't something you can buy at the local homebrew shop - so brew, brew and brew some more.  Hoppy Thanksgiving!

Offline tubercle

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1639
  • Sweet Caroline
    • View Profile
Re: Malt Knowledge
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2011, 01:56:31 PM »
If you want a real learning experience then make your own speciality grains. You can't replicate them all but can come close to most.
Sweet Caroline where the Sun rises over the deep blue sea and sets somewhere beyond Tennessee