Author Topic: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?  (Read 1403 times)

Offline prism21

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Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« on: June 04, 2010, 09:31:59 AM »
Does anyone has any any tips or tricks for preserving or enhancing the malt aroma of a beer other than adding some aromatic or melanoidin malt, or using good German malt?  There are a lot of techniques for enhancing hop aroma (dry hopping, hop tea infusion, flameout additions), but I haven’t found much discussion of malt aroma.  I really like a certain pleasantly grainy,“liquid bread” type of aroma that can be found in german dunkels, some Belgian dubbels, and even some helles. It seems like a lot of malt aroma gets purged during fermentation. 

Offline bo_gator

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 10:23:55 AM »
One "trick" is not to use estery yeast or late hop additions which can cover up the malt aromas. Another would be good portions of Munich malt since it is one of the dominate ingredients in most of the styles you mentioned.


Do NOT try to dry grain a beer like you would with hops or you will get a sour/infected brew going.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 10:46:05 AM »
aromatic or melanoidin malts are sometimes referred to as super Munich, so as suggested you could add Munich.

Other techniques include (arguably) decoctions, a long boil or reduction of a portion of the wort to be added back in.
Fred Bonjour
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Offline prism21

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 11:43:23 AM »
Thank you for the replies. one reason I ask is because an alt that i submitted for the nhc this year was commented on as lacking in malt aroma.  the beer still managed to advance, but i agree that its malt aroma is lacking compared to say uerige on draft.  i used 37% weyermann light munich and 4% melanoiden malt in the recipe. from the replies above i think i might try using more munich or doing a decocition.  one issue is that my local hbs does not carry german grain (only belgian and american).  since i do not mill my grain, i am forced to buy premilled grain through the mail.
i am wondering if a long (say 4 hour) mash might make a difference.

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 11:49:31 AM »
I can't think of any reason a 4 hour mash would enhance malt aroma.
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Offline prism21

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 12:00:38 PM »
my reason for wondering that had to do with possible effects of longer contact with the grain.  I guess maybe as i think this through, i'm not looking for just more aroma from the sugars, but also more aroma from the grain itself. a traditional decoction  results in a longer overall mash time in addition to the actual decoction.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 12:07:43 PM by prism21 »

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 12:14:29 PM »
I've done long mashes and haven't noticed any difference in malt character.  Frankly, the same with decoctions.  I think the biggest factor may be the malt brand and freshness.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 12:22:19 PM »
Agreed - try some melanoidin... especially in your German brews.

Agree also w/ Denny's freshness comment - sometimes I will make a trip to my LHBS before I make up a recipe to taste AND smell their malts. I'm not doubting the freshness, but it gives me a good perspective of how the final product might end up.

My advice - spend some time in your LHBS' grain room. Taste and smell EVERYTHING. Take notes. It really does help!
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 12:59:00 PM »
A long mash may actually decrease malt taste levels by continuing to break down long chain sugars into fermentable sugars.  Never looked at this factor and I've read of this occurring but I use a long mash to help maximize attenuation on my big beers.

Fred
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2010, 11:21:02 AM »
Good quality fresh malt is a start. Decoction can be debated.  A longer boil will also help. Munich malt is always a winner for enhancing malt flavor and aroma. Again...good quality fresh ingredients are best.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Techniques for Enhancing Malt aroma?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2010, 06:36:46 AM »
Many of these dark beer aromas that we tend to associate with malt are created during the aging of the beer. Most likely it is noneznymatic ester formation. My Dunkels do taste rather bland and uneventful when they are done with primary formation but the characteristics taste tends to develop within the next 2-3 months.

W/o having tasted the beer it is difficult to troubleshoot the problem. Decoction is unlikely to help in your case.

Kai