Author Topic: malt substitute for molasses?  (Read 925 times)

Offline goschman

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malt substitute for molasses?
« on: May 24, 2016, 01:33:11 PM »
Which malt would you say imparts the most molasses like flavors? I have a recipe that calls for a very small amount of molasses however I don't feel it is necessary to buy a full bottle. I am considering just using a very dark crystal malt or something that may impart a similar character.
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Offline Todd H.

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 01:49:29 PM »
Which malt would you say imparts the most molasses like flavors? I have a recipe that calls for a very small amount of molasses however I don't feel it is necessary to buy a full bottle. I am considering just using a very dark crystal malt or something that may impart a similar character.

I don't think any of the crystal/caramel malts taste anything like molasses.  Maybe if the recipe calls for "fancy", but if it is blackstrap, definitely not.
If you bake, how about some muscovado sugar?

Offline stpug

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 01:51:04 PM »
I don't think, from everything I've tasted, there is a malt that is a sub for molasses.  There's an undeniable flavor to molasses that is not found in other sugars - or malts for that matter.  That said, I also think molasses is very easy to overdo in beer and can be polarizing, so perhaps a super dark crystal is a better solution anyway.  You could try Patagonia Crystal 190L but it'll bring some toasty notes along with the dark sugar notes.

Offline goschman

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 01:54:25 PM »
I don't think, from everything I've tasted, there is a malt that is a sub for molasses.  There's an undeniable flavor to molasses that is not found in other sugars - or malts for that matter.  That said, I also think molasses is very easy to overdo in beer and can be polarizing, so perhaps a super dark crystal is a better solution anyway.  You could try Patagonia Crystal 190L but it'll bring some toasty notes along with the dark sugar notes.

Thanks. I realize that there is no malt sub for molasses but thought there might be something that imparts molasses like flavors. The issue is even if there was something close, molasses is 80L while any malt I would use would likely be higher than that. This is for a ~5 SRM beer so I assume the molasses is just adding complexity more than anything. I think the amount is 2 oz at flameout. I suppose I should just find some molasses...
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 02:00:33 PM by goschman »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 03:40:04 PM »
I have used Granma's Origianal with success. It is first running of cane sugar, and is unsulfured.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 03:46:14 PM »
You could use dark brown sugar if you have that.  It won't get you all the way there, but maybe part way.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2016, 05:15:08 PM »
Special B malt will get you into the right neighborhood.  Also any deep crystal malt like Crystal 120, 140, or higher if you can find it.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2016, 05:22:07 PM »
Special B malt will get you into the right neighborhood.  Also any deep crystal malt like Crystal 120, 140, or higher if you can find it.


Yeah, I was thinking maybe a mix of Special B and C120. Might be in the ballpark.
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Offline denny

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2016, 05:34:44 PM »
Special B malt will get you into the right neighborhood.  Also any deep crystal malt like Crystal 120, 140, or higher if you can find it.


Yeah, I was thinking maybe a mix of Special B and C120. Might be in the ballpark.

But you won't get the tangy, bitter bite you get from molasses.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2016, 05:42:57 PM »
Special B malt will get you into the right neighborhood.  Also any deep crystal malt like Crystal 120, 140, or higher if you can find it.


Yeah, I was thinking maybe a mix of Special B and C120. Might be in the ballpark.

But you won't get the tangy, bitter bite you get from molasses.


True enough. Kind of hard to duplicate that part.
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Offline goschman

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 05:44:42 PM »
Keep in mind that we are only talking about 2 oz of molasses here which I thinks worked out to about 1.3%. It seems that if I used malt I should at least double that amount which starts to darken the color past the point that I want to go which leads me to my next question: will 2 oz of some of the dark crystal malts listed be perceptible in the in the finished product? For simplicity's sake let's just say this is a wheat type beer fermented with K97

I am starting to overthink this as usual.  >:(
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Offline goschman

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 05:45:51 PM »
I have used Granma's Origianal with success. It is first running of cane sugar, and is unsulfured.

This is the kind I have been seeing a lot of. The recipe recommends light molasses but I can't seem to find any designations other than 'molasses' or 'black strap molasses'
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 06:40:53 PM »
I have used Granma's Origianal with success. It is first running of cane sugar, and is unsulfured.

This is the kind I have been seeing a lot of. The recipe recommends light molasses but I can't seem to find any designations other than 'molasses' or 'black strap molasses'
Granny's makes a Robust Molasses, which is the second runnings. Blackstrap is the third runnings, and has the most flavor, too much according to some.
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Offline goschman

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2016, 07:34:55 PM »
I have used Granma's Origianal with success. It is first running of cane sugar, and is unsulfured.

This is the kind I have been seeing a lot of. The recipe recommends light molasses but I can't seem to find any designations other than 'molasses' or 'black strap molasses'
Granny's makes a Robust Molasses, which is the second runnings. Blackstrap is the third runnings, and has the most flavor, too much according to some.

Picked up some of the regular. So now about the amount. Will 2 oz be noticeable in a lighter beer? Obviously, I don't want to overdo it but it would nice to get just a slight touch to add complexity.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 07:42:55 PM by goschman »
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: malt substitute for molasses?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2016, 08:57:33 PM »
I have used Granma's Origianal with success. It is first running of cane sugar, and is unsulfured.

This is the kind I have been seeing a lot of. The recipe recommends light molasses but I can't seem to find any designations other than 'molasses' or 'black strap molasses'
Granny's makes a Robust Molasses, which is the second runnings. Blackstrap is the third runnings, and has the most flavor, too much according to some.

Picked up some of the regular. So now about the amount. Will 2 oz be noticeable in a lighter beer? Obviously, I don't want to overdo it but it would nice to get just a slight touch to add complexity.
Be pragmatic and taste it, then decide how much you want to use. It does have a nice flavor..
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