Author Topic: continental vs domestic malt flavors  (Read 1223 times)

Offline goschman

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continental vs domestic malt flavors
« on: March 26, 2015, 02:56:36 PM »
I have switched to using continental malts for my last few batches. My APA which is finishing up in the fermenter (US05) has a distinct malt character that I cannot put my finger on. It tastes to me like there is a specialty malt like victory providing a very unique 'nuttiness'. At this point it reminds me of an APA that has been around a while that I can't put my finger on. I feel like it is Dale's Pale Ale, Odell 5 Barrel, or something else that has been around for years. I wouldn't describe those beers as necessarily nutty but they have a unique character to me...

I can't imagine its the hops or the yeast. Is this likely just a unique flavor combination of ingredients?

72% schill pilsner
20% schill munich light
8% weyermann caramunich I

magnum 60 min
simcoe FWH
jarrylo/zythos 30 min hopstand
jarrylo/zythos dry hop (not added yet)

US05
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2015, 03:07:59 PM »
Changing from domestic to continental malts can certainly have a major impact.  Changing from Weyermann to Dingeman to Best to Schill, or from Briess to Rahr, or whatever for the same style base malt can also have a big impact.  Even just minor changes from month to month, season to season, by the same maltster, can make a big difference.  Grains are grown, not manufactured.  Malting those grains is an art as well as a science, so there can absolutely be inconsistencies there also.  It's not going to taste exactly the same every time, every season, every place that it's grown, every place and time that it's malted.  This is all part of the fun of brewing.  Every once in a while, you get lucky and all the stars align, and you can make really fantastic beer, and with enough practice, even better than your favorite brewery.  Conversely, every once in a while, the stars don't align, and even with all the right ingredients with the best possible recipe, it can turn out a dud.  It's all part of the game.

I get nuttiness from English malts.  It probably has to do with their malting process more than anything else, but could also be due to where the grain is grown, varietal of the grain, etc.  Can you get nuttiness from American malts?  German malts?  Yes, you certainly can!!  There is a spectrum, where basically any malt from anywhere has a certain amount of nuttiness.  It's just that in some sources, some of the time, the nuttiness becomes more pronounced.  And this same sort of spectrum stuff also applies to grassy, hay-like character, biscuit, honey-like notes, coffee, caramel, toffee... you name it, there's a spectrum for it.

Variety... the spice of life.  Enjoy.
Dave

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2015, 03:08:38 PM »
Some pils malts have a crackery character, some a sweet almost grape character.  And Munich is often toasty/bready sweet. Sounds like the interplay between those and the caramunich.  In other words, sounds good !
Jon H.

Offline goschman

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2015, 03:22:34 PM »
Thanks guys. Also, I tend to take too much away from beers that are not finished. There was a lot of yeast in the sample as well which could likely have an effect. It was just a very unique flavor that I have never noticed in any of my beers. I thought it was good, it just was not what I was expecting.

Also, at my LHBS they are pretty adamant about weighing the grains themselves. I gave the dude my recipe but didn't hover over him. Maybe he made a mistake and grabbed an incorrect malt type...just another possibility.
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2015, 03:46:56 PM »
Thanks guys. Also, I tend to take too much away from beers that are not finished. There was a lot of yeast in the sample as well which could likely have an effect. It was just a very unique flavor that I have never noticed in any of my beers. I thought it was good, it just was not what I was expecting.

Also, at my LHBS they are pretty adamant about weighing the grains themselves. I gave the dude my recipe but didn't hover over him. Maybe he made a mistake and grabbed an incorrect malt type...just another possibility.

When the yeast drops out completely you'll get a real picture. Yeasty beer can definitely have an off flavor (sometimes even bitter) that won't be there when it clears.
Jon H.

Offline goschman

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2015, 03:52:59 PM »
As a side note, I don't think I will ever do another hop addition during the boil for APA/IPA except for bittering...
On Tap/Bottled: Kurbis Marzen, Red Rye, Vienna Lager, Dry Hopped Peach Cider       

Fermenting: Imperial Porter, Hopfenbier
Up Next: Maibock, Braunbier

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2015, 03:56:13 PM »
As a side note, I don't think I will ever do another hop addition during the boil for APA/IPA except for bittering...

That's kind of how I'm feeling at this point. The steep rocks.
Jon H.

Offline beersk

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 06:34:18 PM »
Some pils malts have a crackery character, some a sweet almost grape character.  And Munich is often toasty/bready sweet. Sounds like the interplay between those and the caramunich.  In other words, sounds good !
Sometimes, I get a honey grahams character from Best Pils malt. It's interesting, unlike many lagers I've ever tasted, but good. My most recent Helles though isn't like that and it's definitely got more of that authentic German lager flavor I've been searching for.  I that it may be the hops coming through more on this batch in conjunction with the malt. It's freaking killer though...I wish I had 100 gallons of it.
die Schönheit der bier...

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2015, 06:48:50 PM »
Beersk - glad you nailed that sought after flavor.  I found it this past fall with Weyermann and Avengard both, so I attribute it to the yeast hitting its stride (3-4 generations and beyond).  I will be ramping up 2 10 gallon BoPils batches brewed last weekend (using the Brulosopher technique) starting tonight.  Used Czech 802 on this and hoping for something toward PU.

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2015, 06:57:28 PM »
Some pils malts have a crackery character, some a sweet almost grape character.  And Munich is often toasty/bready sweet. Sounds like the interplay between those and the caramunich.  In other words, sounds good !
Sometimes, I get a honey grahams character from Best Pils malt. It's interesting, unlike many lagers I've ever tasted, but good. My most recent Helles though isn't like that and it's definitely got more of that authentic German lager flavor I've been searching for.  I that it may be the hops coming through more on this batch in conjunction with the malt. It's freaking killer though...I wish I had 100 gallons of it.

Love Best !
Jon H.

Offline beersk

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2015, 10:51:40 PM »
Beersk - glad you nailed that sought after flavor.  I found it this past fall with Weyermann and Avengard both, so I attribute it to the yeast hitting its stride (3-4 generations and beyond).  I will be ramping up 2 10 gallon BoPils batches brewed last weekend (using the Brulosopher technique) starting tonight.  Used Czech 802 on this and hoping for something toward PU.


Funny you mentioned post 1st generation yeast making a difference for you. This was either 2nd or 3rd generation on 34/70. It's a fantastic beer. Maybe not the best Helles it could be, but pretty darned close. I think authentic ingredients is definitely key. I'm brewing another helles this weeked with Wy2206 Bavarian lager. A friend is brewing a helles with Wlp838.  I think we're planning to give each other a jar of harvested slurry and brew even more helles! We like our light German lagers around here.
die Schönheit der bier...

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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2015, 02:26:01 AM »
Around here, too!
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Offline theoman

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2015, 10:54:13 AM »
Since you bring it up, I've been wondering about the difference in modification between continental and "domestic" (I'm on the continent, so technically, they're domestic to me) malts. The article below makes the claim that continental malts are less modified. It seems like a pretty general statement to me. Anybody have any idea if there is any merit to the claim?
http://beerandbrewing.com/VMvilisAAKGj51nr/article/belgian-beer-youre-probably-doing-it-wrong

(Besides that, I thought it was a great article)

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2015, 11:22:16 AM »
Even if true, it's irrelevant.  Every malt out there is well modified these days.  A few years ago when I purposely tried to source an undermodified malt for a traditional decoction mash, I came up empty handed -- it didn't exist.
Dave

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: continental vs domestic malt flavors
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2015, 11:51:27 AM »
Since you bring it up, I've been wondering about the difference in modification between continental and "domestic" (I'm on the continent, so technically, they're domestic to me) malts. The article below makes the claim that continental malts are less modified. It seems like a pretty general statement to me. Anybody have any idea if there is any merit to the claim?
http://beerandbrewing.com/VMvilisAAKGj51nr/article/belgian-beer-youre-probably-doing-it-wrong

(Besides that, I thought it was a great article)

Less modified when compared to American malts, but still fully modified. If you look at the Kohlbach index (S/T ratio), even the floor malted Moravian Malt that Weyermann has is 38.4, while anything at or over 38 is fully modified. American malts can be close to 50.

Barley variety and the climate have big influences on the final product.
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