Author Topic: Grain Comparison – Pt. 2: Maris Otter vs. Domestic (US) 2-Row | xBmt Results!  (Read 3056 times)

Offline brulosopher

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Lauded for its ability to impart toasty yet delicate biscuit-like character, Maris Otter is one of the most commonly used base malts by brewers of styles ranging from English Mild to American IPA. A bit less expensive, standard American 2-row malt is said to provide a simpler and cleaner malt component to beer. We wanted to see whether blind tasters would be able to tell a difference or not and put it to the test. Results are in!

http://brulosophy.com/2016/06/06/grain-comparison-pt-2-maris-otter-vs-domestic-us-2-row-exbeeriment-results/

Offline charles1968

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Interesting, I thought they'd be more similar.

In the UK Maris Otter is simply the standard base 2-row malt that homebrewers use. Although it's seen as a heritage variety, it's not that old - it's been in use only since the 60s. My claim to fame is that my father's uncle GD Bell was the scientist who bred it when he was at the plant breeding institute in Cambridge (now demolished). It was on Maris Lane and they used to name varieties after the address, e.g. Maris Piper potato. Not sure why he called it "otter" but he was definitely an animal lover.

Online mabrungard

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Interesting that MO offers little perceptible difference to beer. I had generally found the same, but good to hear another confirmation. 
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Offline brulosopher

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Interesting that MO offers little perceptible difference to beer. I had generally found the same, but good to hear another confirmation.

Same here (Malcolm did the xBmt). I did a similar comparison years ago, before the site, and couldn't tell a difference myself, so I've been sticking to mostly Dom 2-row and Pils malt for the most part.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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I am one to say use the right malt for the targeted beer. That said, some other thoughts.

There are differences in maltsters. The most flavorful MO I have used is Warminster. Others, not so much. Some are actually blends of malts, as the hotter Summer's cause haze. Munton's states their's is a blend.

A simple SMaSH bitter made with Warminster MO and EKG, compared to one made with NA 2 row, might give different results.

I am looking forward to meeting Malcom at NHC. HomebrewCon. Yes I just did the strike through.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2016, 01:39:19 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline ultravista

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Subscribing.

Offline HoosierBrew

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There are differences in maltsters. The most flavorful MO I have used is Warminster. Others, not so much.
A simple SMaSH bitter made with Warminster MO and EKG, compared to one made with NA 2 row, might give different results.


Totally agree. Not all MO are created equal. I see totally different results SMaSH style, especially with Warminster.
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Offline dmtaylor

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I once made a beer with MO that I had toasted for a few minutes in a 350 F oven...... and it tasted very much like peanut butter.  So, the results indicating the MO to give a more nutty flavor definitely make sense.  Even when not toasted you can definitely pick up this character.

Of late I've become more a fan of munching on the raw grains to see which ones I like the best for a particular recipe, rather than saying "MO is more biscuity, 2-row is more bland", as nothing could be closer to the real truth than just by munching on a couple kernels of each immediately prior to buying or brewing.

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Offline troybinso

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Interesting that MO offers little perceptible difference to beer. I had generally found the same, but good to hear another confirmation.

Based on how many of these experiments are surprisingly insignificant, I assume that MO offers a strong perceptible difference, otherwise the tasters wouldn't have been able to tell them apart.

Offline brulosopher

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I am looking forward to meeting Malcom at NHC. HomebrewCon. Yes I just did the strike through.

We've got all kinds of stuff planned including our talk, Modern Perspectives on Traditional Methods, Saturday at 10:15AM. We'll be collecting data on collaborative xBmt most of the time, our home base being The Brewing Network booth at the Expo, plus we'll be serving our latest Love2Brew collaboration kit called Collabrüation Rye IPA at their booth as well.

Offline stpug

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IMO, this is not a "plain jane US 2row" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  This is more of a "US 2row kilned to be like British pale ale malt" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  The differences between the two are significant, and the preference of one over the other was not.  I suspect the outcome would have be quite different had the US-kilned malt be a "plain jane" 2row instead of the US, British-like 2row.

Quote
Great Western - Northwest Pale Ale Malt

A slightly darker base malt than our Premium 2-Row, our Northwest Pale Ale Malt is produced with a kilning regimen based closely on traditional British Pale Ale malting practices. Emphasis on low protein barley to provide higher extract levels. Contributes a malty complexity to beer flavor and aroma. Excellent in American Pale Ales and American versions of British beer styles.

Offline charles1968

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There are differences in maltsters. The most flavorful MO I have used is Warminster. Others, not so much.

Yes, also climate. Any malt grown in the mild British climate has significantly lower protein than the same malt grown somewhere sunnier.

Offline HoosierBrew

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IMO, this is not a "plain jane US 2row" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  This is more of a "US 2row kilned to be like British pale ale malt" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  The differences between the two are significant, and the preference of one over the other was not.  I suspect the outcome would have be quite different had the US-kilned malt be a "plain jane" 2row instead of the US, British-like 2row.


Agreed.
Jon H.

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IMO, this is not a "plain jane US 2row" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  This is more of a "US 2row kilned to be like British pale ale malt" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  The differences between the two are significant, and the preference of one over the other was not.  I suspect the outcome would have be quite different had the US-kilned malt be a "plain jane" 2row instead of the US, British-like 2row.

Quote
Great Western - Northwest Pale Ale Malt

A slightly darker base malt than our Premium 2-Row, our Northwest Pale Ale Malt is produced with a kilning regimen based closely on traditional British Pale Ale malting practices. Emphasis on low protein barley to provide higher extract levels. Contributes a malty complexity to beer flavor and aroma. Excellent in American Pale Ales and American versions of British beer styles.

That is the GW Pale malt, not pale ale.  At least in the pic on MArshall's websitea
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Offline stpug

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IMO, this is not a "plain jane US 2row" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  This is more of a "US 2row kilned to be like British pale ale malt" vs "British Maris Otter" comparison.  The differences between the two are significant, and the preference of one over the other was not.  I suspect the outcome would have be quite different had the US-kilned malt be a "plain jane" 2row instead of the US, British-like 2row.

Quote
Great Western - Northwest Pale Ale Malt

A slightly darker base malt than our Premium 2-Row, our Northwest Pale Ale Malt is produced with a kilning regimen based closely on traditional British Pale Ale malting practices. Emphasis on low protein barley to provide higher extract levels. Contributes a malty complexity to beer flavor and aroma. Excellent in American Pale Ales and American versions of British beer styles.

That is the GW Pale malt, not pale ale.  At least in the pic on MArshall's websitea

I think you may be right there, Denny. I saw "Pacific Northwest" on the sack of grain and figured it was their Northwest malt offering (i.e. Northwest Pale Ale malt), but according to NorCal Brewing's website the printing on the front of xBmt's bag matches the plain jane US 2row.  I take back all of my hateful words :D