Author Topic: How to tell if a malt is under modified?  (Read 725 times)

Offline musseldoc

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How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« on: April 04, 2014, 04:10:31 AM »
Can you use the diastatic power of two similar malts to determine if the maltster has under or over modified the malts? 

For example, Briess lists one Vienna malt at 130 lintner and their Gold Vienna at 80 lintner. I believe Weyermann has a similar series (Barke line) of malts.  Does the lower DP mean that the Gold Vienna is likely under modified and better suited for decoction mashing?  Or, is the DP only a product of the strain and type of barley used by the maltster?
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 04:56:24 AM »
I don't have the answer to your question, but I'm curious of the answer as well.  What I do know is that 3 or 4 years ago when I purposely sought out with intent of purchasing a malt that was marketed as "undermodified", I couldn't find any, so I ended up decocting a highly modified malt instead.... and the results were excellent.  I like doing things authentically, for the fun of it, but of course in the end it is the taste that really matters.  If we find an undermodified malt, though, I'll want to run some more experiments.
Dave

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 05:01:46 AM »
DP depends on the malt variety, and what temperature profile it was subjected to in kilning. I'm sure the modification is in there somewhere, but don't know how it relates to DP.

The Kohlbach index, or soluble to total nitrogen ratio is a good indication if you have a spec sheet. A higher S/T means more modification.

There are some ways you can estimate the modification in a sidebar titled visual/sensory evaluation in this article, which is a good introduction to malt spec sheets.
http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/bmg/noonan.html
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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 05:23:33 AM »
DP depends on the malt variety, and what temperature profile it was subjected to in kilning. I'm sure the modification is in there somewhere, but don't know how it relates to DP.

The Kohlbach index, or soluble to total nitrogen ratio is a good indication if you have a spec sheet. A higher S/T means more modification.

There are some ways you can estimate the modification in a sidebar titled visual/sensory evaluation in this article, which is a good introduction to malt spec sheets.
http://morebeer.com/brewingtechniques/bmg/noonan.html


That's great info. Never seen that before. Thanks for posting.
Jon H.

Offline kramerog

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 09:46:47 AM »
There are some less modified malts apparently, but none that are apparently undermodified.  Check out the following message. https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=11699.msg146283#msg146283

I wonder if a combination of flaked barley and an overmodified malt would be similar to undermodified malt.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2014, 10:27:35 AM »
I wonder if a combination of flaked barley and an overmodified malt would be similar to undermodified malt.

That is an excellent point and I bet it would work as an approximation.
Dave

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2014, 10:42:31 AM »
If you could find some chit malt, that would be undermodified.
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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2014, 09:02:50 AM »
Lower lintner doesn't mean necessarily undermodified it just means less diastatic power. As grains are kilned to a higher temperature there is less diastatic power so that will be a reason why some grains have some diastatic power but not as much as lighter-colored base malts.

The undermodification relates to the malting process before the grain hits the kiln. Usually floor malted grain is less modified than typical base grain. I know Weyermann makes a floor malted pilsner malt. Other central European maltsters may also sell floor malted grains but I'm not sure how easy they are to find.
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Offline denny

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2014, 09:20:31 AM »
The S/T protein ratio is a good indicator of modification.  It should be well under 40, more like 36, for an undermodified malt.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2014, 02:03:02 PM »
If you do done searches, the Weyermann Floor Zmalted Pils is listed at 38-44=S/T.
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Offline denny

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Re: How to tell if a malt is under modified?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2014, 02:10:21 PM »
If you do done searches, the Weyermann Floor Zmalted Pils is listed at 38-44=S/T.

From Palmer's "What to Expect When You're Extracting" article in Zymurgy...

The most common indicator of malt modification is the Soluble to Total Protein Ratio (S/T ratio), also known as the Kolbach Index. To
generalize, a ratio of 36 to 40 percent is a less-modified malt, 40 to 44 percent is a well-modified malt and 44 to 48 percent is a highly modified malt.

So, it sounds like the Weyermann Floor Malted is well into the well modified range.
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