Author Topic: Maris Otter  (Read 2367 times)

Offline yso191

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Maris Otter
« on: February 25, 2013, 09:23:08 AM »
One of the things I need to get a better grasp of is brewing grains.  Right now I just start with a recipe that is well reviewed or from a trusted source, tweak it a bit and go.

Anyway, I've been noticing lately that several good homebrewers automatically substitute Maris Otter when the recipe calls for 2-row.  I assume this is because they percieve Maris Otter as better.

What are the specific differences between Maris Otter and regular 2-row base malt?  What is gained by using it?   Is anything lost by subbing it?  And finally Maris Otter seems a weird name to me.  Does anyone know what it means or know the origin?

Thanks!
Steve
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 09:29:32 AM »
If I'm remembering correctly...  It's an English grain, commonly used in cask ales. 

I like it in many of my beers because it adds a bit of bready, malty flavor without having to add Biscuit or Victory.  Overall it is just a bit more flavorful with more body than 2-row.  It doesn't work in every beer but it is very nice in English Ales.

YMMV

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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2013, 09:32:42 AM »
Marris Otter is a specific cultivar of two row malting barley owned by... I want to say Warminster Maltings in the UK. it's grown by a bunch of farmers. While standard '2 row' is any of several cultivars of 2 row barley grown all over the world. Marris Otter, Optic, Golden Promise. These are other 'named' varieties from the UK.

Some MO is floor malted which means that instead of being malted in a big temp/humidity controlled drum that constantly turns it and keeps the moisture and temp exactly right, it is malted the 'old fashioned' way, spread out on a floor and moved by hand (or mechanized rake) as it moved through the malting process.

It is also often kilned to a slightly higher color than 'normal 2-row' and is reputed to have a fuller maltier flavour.

The name I can't speak to. I imagine the breeder that came up with the cultivar had a reason for it.
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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2013, 09:35:02 AM »
One of the 'grandparents" of Maris Otter was named Plumage Archer. How is that for another weird name?

It is good if you want a malty+toasty flavor. Some put it in almost everything, but there are those that think you want something else in an ale like an hop forward IPA. Many of the well known CA brewers use a NA 2-row as the base malt so as not to interfere with the hops.

Mort - there is also a low color MO that is used in the summer ales by some brewers. That one is not toasty, but you can taste a good malty flavor in the beers.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2013, 09:40:54 AM »
One of the 'grandparents" of Maris Otter was named Plumage Archer. How is that for another weird name?
[...]

Mort - there is also a low color MO that is used in the summer ales by some brewers. That one is not toasty, but you can taste a good malty flavor in the beers.

I love old cultivar names. Back when consumers knew the name of the fruit/veg/grain they were buying so it was good marketing to give your variety a catchy name!

Didn't know that about the low color MO. I don't generally use it because, being on the west coast it's just so energy inefficient to buy a product that travels 6000+ miles to my door when I can get something grown in the next county north (even if it is shipped to washington for malting and back). But the times I have I really liked the result. I used it 98% in a scottish 60/- and it was quite nice.
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Offline hubie

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2013, 11:48:03 AM »
If you're lucky to be near a homebrew shop, the next time you're in simply taste the malts.  I get more grainy out of regular 2-row.  I love the taste of Maris Otter (I could simply dump milk on it and enjoy it for breakfast!).  I really enjoy the side-by-side tasting of the grains when I go to the LHBS.

Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2013, 12:19:24 PM »
If you're lucky to be near a homebrew shop, the next time you're in simply taste the malts.  I get more grainy out of regular 2-row.  I love the taste of Maris Otter (I could simply dump milk on it and enjoy it for breakfast!).  I really enjoy the side-by-side tasting of the grains when I go to the LHBS.

I try to taste everything in the brewing process, from the grains at the LHBS to the specialty ingredients to the wort to the gravity samples, everything.   

Maris otter to me means more biscuit/bread flavor than regular 2-row.  I think that for me, maris otter generally isn't for IPAs or hoppy pale ales.  Maris otter is great for beers that you want more of the malt to shine through, English styles being a great example.  I made a maris otter/willamette smash beer and the maris otter totally overwhelmed the hops.  It was plenty drinkable but the mild willamette (in the quantities I used) didn't have enough gumption to overcome the malt flavors.  Note to self: use stronger/more hops in any future smash beers with maris otter.

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2013, 12:46:55 PM »
Low Colour Maris Otter is in the 1.6 to 2 L range, vs the 3 to 4.5 L most of us use.

This one was tasty - the American Pale Ale.
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 05:47:20 AM »
I use MO for all of my American and British style ales.  If you want it hoppier, use more hops.  Just sayin' ;)  I like the flavor better than NA 2 row.  Just my opinion.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Maris Otter
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 01:41:15 PM »
I use it in all my UK beers as the base. I really like the flavor although I think you get close enough (for many beers, at least) using 2 row and biscuit/victory malt together.
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