Author Topic: Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?  (Read 896 times)

Offline Phil_M

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Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?
« on: February 19, 2015, 12:31:30 AM »
First, some background, as I'm still new on here. Started home brewing in January 2014, and have brewed 20 5-gallon batches to date. I've brewed all grain BIAB since March of last year.

While last year I pretty much tried to churn out as much beer as I could, mostly brewing AG kits from various sources. I'm now slowing down a bit to focus on quality, and this effort has made a noticeable difference. Now that I feel I've developed a good process, I've started to experiment with my own recipes.

The first of which I'm sipping on right now, just pulled a fresh sample from secondary. I fermented with Wyeast 1968, a noted diacetyl producer. The beer ended up with a very prominent caramel/butterscotch/toffee taste, and of course I figured it was diacetyl. It's very prominent, stronger than Samual Smith's brown ale, which is my only noted exposure to diacetyl.

I've had the beer sitting at 72 degrees for almost a week now, and though the questionable flavor is now far less than it was, it's still there.

My concern is I'm mistaking the extra dark crystal malt for diacetyl, and I've attached my grain bill.

7 lbs                 Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.3 SRM)
2 lbs                 Amber Malt (33.0 SRM)
8.0 oz                Crystal, Extra Dark (Muntons) (202.0 SRM)

As there's only 8 ounces of the extra dark crystal malt, I'm thinking it's diacetyl; but I've never used this malt before. Can anyone relate their experiences with this malt?
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 12:38:04 AM by Phil_M »
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 01:36:53 AM »
I use Simpson's Extra Dark pretty often in my ESB (I use 1968 in it as well), although I've never tried the Muntons. I get dark caramel, toffee and figs from it mainly. I could see toffee maybe, but not butterscotch. The flavors are sweet, but tend to be "dark".

How is the mouthfeel? Do you get any sort of slickness to it? That would be a dead giveaway of diacetyl.

I'm leaning towards diacetyl as opposed to the Crystal. The thing with 1968 is that it is super flocculant. Raising the temp will only help so much if the bulk of the yeast has already dropped out. Starting at about day 3 with 1968, I like to swirl my fermenter once or twice a day to help rouse the yeast a bit.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 01:40:34 AM »
I roused the yeast twice during the 72* rest. My concern is that since I was already in secondary there weren't enough yeast left to absorb the diacetyl.

Sample is gone, so I can't report on the slickness. I remember if being VERY slick when I first tasted it, back before the 72 degree rest.

It's perfectly drinkable. Not the bitter I was aiming for, all that amber made it more of a brown ale. Even with the diacetyl it's not a terrible beer.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 03:32:47 AM »
You could always krausen it in secondary with a small, active starter to introduce some active yeast to help clean up the diacetyl.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 12:58:57 PM »
I may try that, especially since I plan on brewing this weekend and will soon be making a starter.

However, since I've only got one temperature controller I may just drink it as is, and perform a diacetyl rest in primary next time around.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 02:06:28 PM »
I may try that, especially since I plan on brewing this weekend and will soon be making a starter.

However, since I've only got one temperature controller I may just drink it as is, and perform a diacetyl rest in primary next time around.
Temp control isn't so critical this late in fermentation, so it should be fine without a temp controller. But if the beer tastes good enough to you now, then that's your call.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Extra Dark Crystal Malt or Diacetyl?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 06:14:36 PM »
Tasted the beer again, no slickness in the mouthfeel. Even bought some Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale to compare it with, pretty confident it's just toffee flavors from the malt.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.