Author Topic: Wow, differences in base malt...  (Read 1476 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Wow, differences in base malt...
« on: October 24, 2015, 11:10:08 PM »
I got used to using Rahr Pale Ale malt for a lot of my American and even English styles.  It has a pretty deep & malty character which works well for many styles.  When I went to pick up a new sack of base malt, I decided to pick up something a little cleaner and bought MaltEurop (ironically produced in the US) 2-row base malt.  One of the first beers made with this malt came to the taps today (MLPA) and all that depth is gone.  This particular beer is really shallow and thin-tasting.  I've made this beer many, many times so I don't think it's anything I did... I think it's this malt.  I bought the MaltEurop base malt before and I thought it made some good beer but this one is a little wimpy. 

Offline brewday

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2015, 11:50:07 PM »
MaltEurop 2-row is the default American base at my LHBS and I've tried to like it over and over and over again.  I've found the same disappointment you describe, and was starting to think it was just me.  I have even tried blending it with Continental base malts, and it's OK but I think that kind of misses the point.  I'm done with it.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2015, 12:31:40 AM »
What's funny is that I used Rahr standard base malt, Canada Malting, Great Western, Briess, etc. and I was mashing a little higher to get the beer where I wanted it.  Then I switched to Rahr Pale Ale malt and was making the beers the same way but they were coming out maltier and slightly heavier and darker than usual so I backed off on the mash temp (like 152° to 150°) and everything was coming out pretty nicely.  I thought I had just found that my tastes were changing and that I liked things a little crisper and drier as opposed to maltier.  Well, I was adjusting for the depth of the Rahr Pale Ale malt and now that I'm using MaltEurop... I probably should be mashing a bit higher again.  It may just be a one-off thing but I have made a number of beers already with this malt so I we'll see.  I may just go back to the Rahr after this.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2015, 01:38:35 PM »
Pale Ale malt is kilned slightly darker than normal 2-row. That may be what you are noticing. Pale Ale 3-4° L, 2-row 1:5-2° L

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2015, 03:51:37 PM »
MaltEurop 2-row is the default American base at my LHBS and I've tried to like it over and over and over again.  I've found the same disappointment you describe, and was starting to think it was just me.  I have even tried blending it with Continental base malts, and it's OK but I think that kind of misses the point.  I'm done with it.

Any other LHBSs? Order online?
My LHBS has a real nice selection, but doesn't carry all the base malts available, so I will occasionally order some online, usually around Christmas when I have a bit of extra money.
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Offline brewday

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2015, 04:10:13 PM »
MaltEurop 2-row is the default American base at my LHBS and I've tried to like it over and over and over again.  I've found the same disappointment you describe, and was starting to think it was just me.  I have even tried blending it with Continental base malts, and it's OK but I think that kind of misses the point.  I'm done with it.

Any other LHBSs? Order online?
My LHBS has a real nice selection, but doesn't carry all the base malts available, so I will occasionally order some online, usually around Christmas when I have a bit of extra money.

Yes, many options around here.  I'm just saying that I've tried to like this particular malt, but it seems to fall short for me.  I've moved on to other 2-rows.
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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2015, 04:46:05 PM »
What's funny is that I used Rahr standard base malt, Canada Malting, Great Western, Briess, etc. and I was mashing a little higher to get the beer where I wanted it.  Then I switched to Rahr Pale Ale malt and was making the beers the same way but they were coming out maltier and slightly heavier and darker than usual so I backed off on the mash temp (like 152° to 150°) and everything was coming out pretty nicely.  I thought I had just found that my tastes were changing and that I liked things a little crisper and drier as opposed to maltier.  Well, I was adjusting for the depth of the Rahr Pale Ale malt and now that I'm using MaltEurop... I probably should be mashing a bit higher again.  It may just be a one-off thing but I have made a number of beers already with this malt so I we'll see.  I may just go back to the Rahr after this.

A 2F change in mash temp should make no detectable differece.
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Offline chumley

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2015, 05:01:22 PM »
I used to use Malteurop all the time, but when the local LHBS closed in 2012, that ended my supply. 

I thought it was quite excellent.  Very similar to Golden Promise.  I concur with their website description: "Craft Master Craft Blend is our flagship two-row base malt. It is produced using the finest North American two-row barley varieties, and is a wonderfully balanced base malt in any beer style. This malt provides sweet, malty aromas and very subtle nutty flavors while imparting a light gold hue."

They have a malting plant here in Montana using Montana barley grown on the Fairfield bench.  All the local craft brewers use it, and I can't say I have detected any change in the flavor of their beer.  Maybe you are getting malt from their Wisconsin or Minnesota malting plants?  Can't say I have any experience with them.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2015, 05:01:55 PM »
What's funny is that I used Rahr standard base malt, Canada Malting, Great Western, Briess, etc. and I was mashing a little higher to get the beer where I wanted it.  Then I switched to Rahr Pale Ale malt and was making the beers the same way but they were coming out maltier and slightly heavier and darker than usual so I backed off on the mash temp (like 152° to 150°) and everything was coming out pretty nicely.  I thought I had just found that my tastes were changing and that I liked things a little crisper and drier as opposed to maltier.  Well, I was adjusting for the depth of the Rahr Pale Ale malt and now that I'm using MaltEurop... I probably should be mashing a bit higher again.  It may just be a one-off thing but I have made a number of beers already with this malt so I we'll see.  I may just go back to the Rahr after this.

A 2F change in mash temp should make no detectable differece.
I've heard this before but here is my experience:  If I make a beer that I'm VERY familiar with and I mash at 152 and use Rahr Pale Ale Malt, the beer may end up a little maltier and deeper than I care for.  If I go and make that same beer again with the Rahr Pale Ale malt and I mash at 150, the resulting beer is a little crisper and drier.  Not dramatically so but noticeably so.  Denny, I have conversed with you long enough that I know your next comment will be "the difference was all in your head!" and that is very possible!  :D

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2015, 05:04:15 PM »
Ken, you got it!  Unless you did a blind triangle comparison (I have), then I have to suspect your conclusion.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2015, 06:56:37 PM »
Then I switched to Rahr Pale Ale malt and was making the beers the same way but they were coming out maltier and slightly heavier and darker than usual so I backed off on the mash temp (like 152° to 150°) and everything was coming out pretty nicely. 

Ken, I'm hoping that you were adjusting your mashing pH. I recall that you do. Rahr is peculiar in that it tends to produce a slightly lower mash pH than typical base malts. You may have been experiencing a lower mash and wort pH with the Rahr.

Mashing a a couple of tenths higher on your pH will produce a darker beer since color compounds are extracted better at higher pH. I also find that a lower pH tends to thin my beer body a teeny bit, but I'm not sure if a tenth or two is going to be enough to produce a notable differnce.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2015, 10:34:07 PM »
Then I switched to Rahr Pale Ale malt and was making the beers the same way but they were coming out maltier and slightly heavier and darker than usual so I backed off on the mash temp (like 152° to 150°) and everything was coming out pretty nicely. 

Ken, I'm hoping that you were adjusting your mashing pH. I recall that you do. Rahr is peculiar in that it tends to produce a slightly lower mash pH than typical base malts. You may have been experiencing a lower mash and wort pH with the Rahr.

Mashing a a couple of tenths higher on your pH will produce a darker beer since color compounds are extracted better at higher pH. I also find that a lower pH tends to thin my beer body a teeny bit, but I'm not sure if a tenth or two is going to be enough to produce a notable differnce.
Martin:  Thanks for adding that.  I do remember you mentioning this once before and it was on my mind when I was working with the Rahr and also with the other base malts.  I have to say that I really like the Rahr Pale Ale malt and it really works nicely for a lot of styles.  My only complaint was if I used it for something like a blonde ale I would have to cut it with something like pilsner, wheat or both so that the resulting beer wasn't too dark or deep-tasting.  The last blonde ale I made with it was 33% Rahr, 33% Avangard German Pils and 33% wheat and it was delicious and the color was light & bright too.  Thanks again... I have shared that tidbit with other brewers too regarding RPA malt and the lower pH it produces.  Cheers.

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2015, 11:39:51 PM »
My experience with Rahr malts is limited to my use of Rahr 2-row and another local brewer's use of Rahr Pale Ale malt.  Rahr 2-row is your basic tofu-like American malt that relies on specialty malts to add flavor. By itself, Rahr 2-row produces a fairly bland product.  It is not as Melba toast-like as Briess in that regard, but it is still fairly bland.   To my palate, Rahr Pale Ale Malt tastes like a 70-30 blend of Rahr 2-row and British Pale. 

Offline neddles

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2015, 02:38:08 PM »
Then I switched to Rahr Pale Ale malt and was making the beers the same way but they were coming out maltier and slightly heavier and darker than usual so I backed off on the mash temp (like 152° to 150°) and everything was coming out pretty nicely. 

Ken, I'm hoping that you were adjusting your mashing pH. I recall that you do. Rahr is peculiar in that it tends to produce a slightly lower mash pH than typical base malts. You may have been experiencing a lower mash and wort pH with the Rahr.

Mashing a a couple of tenths higher on your pH will produce a darker beer since color compounds are extracted better at higher pH. I also find that a lower pH tends to thin my beer body a teeny bit, but I'm not sure if a tenth or two is going to be enough to produce a notable differnce.
I have used Martin's suggested +3.0L correction for Rahr Pale Ale in Brunwater and it works well.

Do both Rahr 2-row and Rahr Pale Ale Malt have this acidifying effect or is it just the Pale Ale Malt?

Offline 69franx

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Re: Wow, differences in base malt...
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2015, 07:20:45 PM »
I have been adding that same bump for the standard 2row and have been nailing my pH
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