Author Topic: What defines a base malt compared to others?  (Read 984 times)

Offline syncopadence

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What defines a base malt compared to others?
« on: March 03, 2016, 02:23:53 PM »
Just curious about how to tell whether something can be used as a base or not.  Is there a dividing line? I'm guessing it's basically whatever provides the main amount of fermentable sugars, but how do you know which malts do that? I can generally tell which are base malts and which are not, but for some I don't know.
Thanks for any help!

Offline stpug

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 02:30:57 PM »
Basically if it can self-convert (because it has sufficient diastatic power) then it is a base malt. There may be a few exceptions to this though (victory I believe can self-convert but would not make a great base malt).

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 03:29:37 PM »
Whether it has the diastatic power to self-convert or self-convert plus convert other starches. Diastatic power refers to the volume of starch converting enzymes in the malt. Generally lighter, non-crystalized grains have sufficient diastatic power to at least self-convert while the lightest grains usually have enough enzyme to convert itself plus a considerable portion of other grains whether malted or unmalted. Unmalted grains are never base grains because they lack diastatic power or have so little that it is a meaningless contribution.
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Offline denny

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 03:48:14 PM »
Agreed with both of those.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2016, 04:26:51 PM »
Approximately what would be the level of diastatic power needed for self conversion?
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Offline denny

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2016, 04:58:12 PM »
Approximately what would be the level of diastatic power needed for self conversion?

IIRC, >25L.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
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Offline stpug

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2016, 06:08:08 PM »
Approximately what would be the level of diastatic power needed for self conversion?

IIRC, >25L.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

You're probably correct for the actual bare minimum. The number I always use is 35 as my personal bare minimum - it's a little more forgiving.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2016, 02:30:19 AM »
Approximately what would be the level of diastatic power needed for self conversion?

IIRC, >25L.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
That is pretty low, might require decoctions to help it along.  8)
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Offline denny

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2016, 04:38:14 PM »
Approximately what would be the level of diastatic power needed for self conversion?

IIRC, >25L.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
That is pretty low, might require decoctions to help it along.  8)

Devil!  ;)  So, what would you consider the lowest?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2016, 05:00:48 PM »
Just curious about how to tell whether something can be used as a base or not.  Is there a dividing line? I'm guessing it's basically whatever provides the main amount of fermentable sugars, but how do you know which malts do that? I can generally tell which are base malts and which are not, but for some I don't know.
Thanks for any help!

People love to talk about enzymes and diastatic power and all that jazz, but in layman's terms, what you really want to look for is:

1) It's malted.

2) It's light in color.

3) It's not caramel or crystal or biscuit or honey malt -- these are exceptions to the rules.

That's about it.  Keep those things in mind and you're golden (no puns intended).
Dave

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2016, 06:27:23 PM »
Approximately what would be the level of diastatic power needed for self conversion?

IIRC, >25L.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
That is pretty low, might require decoctions to help it along.  8)

Devil!  ;)  So, what would you consider the lowest?
35 is often stated to be as low as you want to self convert.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2016, 08:42:14 PM »
Approximately what would be the level of diastatic power needed for self conversion?

IIRC, >25L.  Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.
That is pretty low, might require decoctions to help it along.  8)

Devil!  ;)  So, what would you consider the lowest?
35 is often stated to be as low as you want to self convert.
Thats what I heard. And at that a lot of people toss in pils or 6 row to boost

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: What defines a base malt compared to others?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2016, 10:01:45 PM »
Thats what I heard. And at that a lot of people toss in pils or 6 row to boost

That's so 20th century... loooooong time ago.  ;)
Dave

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