Author Topic: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?  (Read 4928 times)

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2014, 12:25:45 AM »
I am sorry to disappoint you, but it's a personal preference.  Crystal malt screams "artificially flavored" to my taste buds.  It's the craft beer equivalent of using caramel coloring in American Dark Lager.
What about using it in English Ales? I know it's used in Old Peculier, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's fairly common practice across the pond.
One just needs to read Ron Pattinson's blog. How much the caramel is used today? But it was a standard ingredient in many of the historic reipes.
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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2014, 12:30:11 AM »
I just learned an interesting fact at Hop&Brew School...onion/garlic character can often be attributed to harvesting the hops too late.  That could explain why some people see it with summit and some don't.

That's a good thing to know.  It looks like attending the Hop and Brew School may be a good investment.

Offline anthony

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2014, 01:05:43 AM »
Much like others, I look at this as an art and it seems silly to completely prevent myself from leveraging a specific tool in the arsenal to achieve whatever end result I am looking for. But I am also very cognizant of the fact that my works of art follow my own aesthetic, so if I don't particularly care for the end result that a specific tool contributes to the process, it is pretty likely that I won't use it… that brings its own risks too though. If I decide that I hate the color purple and my task is to paint a sunset, I will have to work pretty hard to do what everyone else is just going to use purple for… Ansel Adams (black and white photographer) took some pretty dramatic sunset pictures with some very limited tools but he was a master with the tools he chose to use and that is what I strive for in my own art.

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2014, 01:41:08 AM »
What about using it in English Ales? I know it's used in Old Peculier, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's fairly common practice across the pond.

I mostly brew English-style bitters when I brew ale.   I stopped using crystal malt in my British-style bitters after reading Graham Wheeler's book.  Landlord is my favorite real British bitter, and it contains no crystal malt.  The base malts that I use are Pearl, Halcyon, and Pipkin.  In addition to base malt, I use torrified wheat, flaked maize, dextrin malt (occasionally), and a tiny amount of pale chocolate malt for color and complexity.  I also underpitch on purpose.  A beer as small as ordinary bitter needs a healthy dose of yeast strain-derived flavors.  Young's strain (Wyeast 1768) is a great strain to underpitch.  When underpitched, the Young's strain produces a lollipop-like ester profile that greatly enhances a clean-tasting malt backbone.  You would be surprise at how complex a SMaSH ordinary bitter made with Pearl malt and EKG can taste when fermented with underpitched 1768.


Offline erockrph

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2014, 02:05:55 AM »
What about using it in English Ales? I know it's used in Old Peculier, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's fairly common practice across the pond.

I mostly brew English-style bitters when I brew ale.   I stopped using crystal malt in my British-style bitters after reading Graham Wheeler's book.  Landlord is my favorite real British bitter, and it contains no crystal malt.  The base malts that I use are Pearl, Halcyon, and Pipkin.  In addition to base malt, I use torrified wheat, flaked maize, dextrin malt (occasionally), and a tiny amount of pale chocolate malt for color and complexity.  I also underpitch on purpose.  A beer as small as ordinary bitter needs a healthy dose of yeast strain-derived flavors.  Young's strain (Wyeast 1768) is a great strain to underpitch.  When underpitched, the Young's strain produces a lollipop-like ester profile that greatly enhances a clean-tasting malt backbone.  You would be surprise at how complex a SMaSH ordinary bitter made with Pearl malt and EKG can taste when fermented with underpitched 1768.
Now that sounds like a tasty beer. What's your pitch rate?
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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2014, 03:32:15 PM »
What about using it in English Ales? I know it's used in Old Peculier, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear that it's fairly common practice across the pond.

I mostly brew English-style bitters when I brew ale.   I stopped using crystal malt in my British-style bitters after reading Graham Wheeler's book.  Landlord is my favorite real British bitter, and it contains no crystal malt.  The base malts that I use are Pearl, Halcyon, and Pipkin.  In addition to base malt, I use torrified wheat, flaked maize, dextrin malt (occasionally), and a tiny amount of pale chocolate malt for color and complexity.  I also underpitch on purpose.  A beer as small as ordinary bitter needs a healthy dose of yeast strain-derived flavors.  Young's strain (Wyeast 1768) is a great strain to underpitch.  When underpitched, the Young's strain produces a lollipop-like ester profile that greatly enhances a clean-tasting malt backbone.  You would be surprise at how complex a SMaSH ordinary bitter made with Pearl malt and EKG can taste when fermented with underpitched 1768.



Well, what did Graham Wheeler's book say?  Don't keep us in suspense.
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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2014, 03:33:38 PM »
I just learned an interesting fact at Hop&Brew School...onion/garlic character can often be attributed to harvesting the hops too late.  That could explain why some people see it with summit and some don't.

That's a good thing to know.  It looks like attending the Hop and Brew School may be a good investment.

It's only $150 and it's money well spent.
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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2014, 04:57:24 PM »
Now that sounds like a tasty beer. What's your pitch rate?

To be completely honest, I do not use yeast calculators.  In my humble opinion, yeast calculators are one step above useless.  The only real way to know one's pitch rate is to count, and I am usually too busy to bother with counting.  I pitch mostly based on experience with a strain, as no two strains perform exactly the same when pitched into the same wort. 

With that said, I usually pitch the equivalent amount of yeast cells that can be grown in a one liter 7.5% w/v (roughly 1.030 S.G.) starter into five gallons of wort (at most 200 billion cells).  However, when I underpitch, I cut that volume by two thirds.  My standard starter volume when pitching Young's strain into five U.S. gallons of ordinary bitter wort is 300ml grown from slant.  If the maximum cell density for a yeast culture is 200 million cells per milliliter, then a 300ml culture has at most 300 x 200,000,000 =  60 billion viable yeast cells, which is less than 1/3rd the normal suggested pitch rate for a 1.040 beer.  According to theory, one should pitch 1,000,000 cells per milliliter per degree Plato; hence, I should be pitching at least 1,000,000 x 19,000 (five gallons in milliliters) x 10 = 190 billion cells.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 04:15:29 AM by S. cerevisiae »

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2014, 05:04:44 PM »
Well, what did Graham Wheeler's book say?  Don't keep us in suspense.

If you read his book, you will see that most of the recipes do not contain sizable amounts of crystal malt.  In fact, a large number of the recipes contain no crystal malt.  The darker colors that we associate with British bitter are often the result of the addition of a small amount of black or chocolate malt. 


Offline chumley

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #39 on: September 15, 2014, 07:55:47 PM »
Chalk me up as another whose quality of brews went way up when I dialed back on the crystal malt.

For reasons others have already discussed in this thread, I use a little in APA/IPAs brewed with North American two-row. And I do really like Caravienne.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2014, 12:44:16 AM »
I just learned an interesting fact at Hop&Brew School...onion/garlic character can often be attributed to harvesting the hops too late.  That could explain why some people see it with summit and some don't.

That's a good thing to know.  It looks like attending the Hop and Brew School may be a good investment.

It's only $150 and it's money well spent.
I looked that up yesterday and told Mrs. R we are going.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2014, 11:33:15 AM »
Well, what did Graham Wheeler's book say?  Don't keep us in suspense.

If you read his book, you will see that most of the recipes do not contain sizable amounts of crystal malt.  In fact, a large number of the recipes contain no crystal malt.  The darker colors that we associate with British bitter are often the result of the addition of a small amount of black or chocolate malt.

Is it the CAMRA publication for homebrewers or another book?

http://www.amazon.com/Brew-Your-Own-British-Real/dp/1852492589

I was remarking the other day to a friend who travels frequently to Europe - I have never had a fresh example of many of the beers I brew and I wonder how well the recipes I brew stack up to the real thing.  For example I recently brewed a Mild from the Craft beers for the Homebrewer from Cigar City Brewing - it is fantastic, but I wish I had access to a British version to see how well it compares...I don't even have access to the Cigar City version!

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2014, 12:55:17 PM »
Well, what did Graham Wheeler's book say?  Don't keep us in suspense.

If you read his book, you will see that most of the recipes do not contain sizable amounts of crystal malt.  In fact, a large number of the recipes contain no crystal malt.  The darker colors that we associate with British bitter are often the result of the addition of a small amount of black or chocolate malt.

Is it the CAMRA publication for homebrewers or another book?

http://www.amazon.com/Brew-Your-Own-British-Real/dp/1852492589

I was remarking the other day to a friend who travels frequently to Europe - I have never had a fresh example of many of the beers I brew and I wonder how well the recipes I brew stack up to the real thing.  For example I recently brewed a Mild from the Craft beers for the Homebrewer from Cigar City Brewing - it is fantastic, but I wish I had access to a British version to see how well it compares...I don't even have access to the Cigar City version!

Real Ales like Fullers are much better at the source.

S. cerevvisiae has it right, there is not large amounts of crystal in most of the recipes in Wheeler's books or in the Real Ale Almanac by Protz. Many are just Pale Ale malt in the grain bill. Some will have a little crystal and brewer's invert sugar, maybe some torrified wheat.

I have been reducing my pitch rate on the Bitters I brew, as they were too clean of esters. Reducing aeration also helped. One local brewpub that makes some fairly fruity English style beers will double the pitch rate to make a fairly clean American style ale.

Chris White was at the LHBS Big Brew last year. I asked about pitch rates for British style beers and he said the British brewers underpitch and get more esters. The last few Bitters I brewed have had the pitch rate reduced to around a half, next time I will try the 1/3 that S. c. recommends.

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #43 on: September 16, 2014, 03:23:33 PM »
I am a fan of Caravienne 20L in certain styles. I like to use it in low gravity, light colored beers, but I have been wondering about getting an even lighter kilned cara malt like something in the 10L range. I haven't had a chance to experiment with this style of malt, and I was wondering what people's experience is with it.

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Re: S. cerevisiae, why do you hate Crystal malts?
« Reply #44 on: September 16, 2014, 03:38:24 PM »
I looked that up yesterday and told Mrs. R we are going.

With all your experience, I think you'd get a lot out of it.  They run sessions for commercial brewers, wholesalers and retailers and one for homebrewers.  I went to the commercial session and found it really interesting.  They've asked me to be a speaker at next year's homebrewer session. 
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