Author Topic: Ratcheting up malt flavor  (Read 2496 times)

Offline blatz

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2017, 07:01:27 PM »
Interesting how perceptions vary.  I find a neutral yeast like 1056 lets the other flavors shine through, not mask them.

I always find that 1272 or 1968 gives a fuller (NPI) mouthfeel and softer finish, similar to 1450 which complements a maltier beer, along with the higher ester levels.  but if you just want to straight taste the nuances of a particular malt, 1056 is your huckleberry.
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Offline HenryL65

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2017, 07:03:49 PM »
It is possible that you are using a yeast strain that is hampering your efforts, and that simply switching to a different strain that's more showcasing of malt qualities is enough to solve the problem.  What yeast are you using?  Some like 1056/us05/001/nottingham/etc can mask the malt qualities of the beer, whereas others like esb/1968/1272/1318 tend to help emphasize (or not mask) those characters.

I used Wyeast 1968 ESB yeast. It is certainly possible one taster might find the beer malty but I don't. But my concern with that conclusion, at least in my experience, is that your average taster (note, NOT homebrewer) would say any beer without hop aroma tastes malty, whereas I, subjectively, disagree. Perhaps my expectations are unrealistic...

Offline HenryL65

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2017, 07:16:43 PM »
In any case, thanks for all of the info and comments. Next year before brewing I'll post the adjusted recipe with my preferred "taste/aroma objective" and solicit feedback.

Offline stpug

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2017, 07:49:56 PM »
Some folks equate maltiness with sweetness.  You aren't trying to increase the perceived sweetness of your beer are you?

Offline HenryL65

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2017, 08:01:24 PM »
Some folks equate maltiness with sweetness.  You aren't trying to increase the perceived sweetness of your beer are you?

No, not really. If I were, I could probably add some lactose to the recipe to increase perceived sweetness. The flavor I am/was shooting for is somewhere between caramel and toasted pecans (since I live in Ga!). I thought this would work well for a pumpkin ale. I did include spice additions, but there is only a slight hint of them so I don't think they are masking the malt flavor.

Offline HenryL65

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2017, 08:10:34 PM »
So I'd like to follow up with a philosophical brewing question: if a brewer is aiming to achieve a malty beer (granted, as has already been mentioned...there are many flavors of malt), is there any advantage to using one or a combo of vienna, munich, special b, as opposed to various caramel malts? Would love to everyone's thoughts!

Offline denny

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #21 on: November 01, 2017, 08:51:42 PM »
Interesting how perceptions vary.  I find a neutral yeast like 1056 lets the other flavors shine through, not mask them.

I always find that 1272 or 1968 gives a fuller (NPI) mouthfeel and softer finish, similar to 1450 which complements a maltier beer, along with the higher ester levels.  but if you just want to straight taste the nuances of a particular malt, 1056 is your huckleberry.

Yeah, that's what I was getting at.  Difference in mouthfeel but not flavor. Like you, I find that the yeast with the least character of it's own let's the other flavors come through better.
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Offline Nathan

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2017, 12:02:41 AM »
Caramunich is a good on but is easy to over do


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Offline scrap iron

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #23 on: November 02, 2017, 01:28:58 PM »
The caramel/crystal malts add body and mouthfeel along with a little caramel sweetness and color.The darker the more pronounced caramel into raisin, plum favors and lighter candy sweetness. They also help to lower mash ph. Special B is a dark Belgian caramel/crystal malt that adds a raisin aspect. Munich and Vienna are base malts that are kilned a little more and processed a little differently. I use the dark Munich in darker beers, Avangard 15* L up to 20%. I find Vienna to be a little milder and dryer than Munich, I use it in beers I want a little malt presence with some Munich, like APA or IPA or Vienna Lager. Lighter beers I go with a combo of Vienna and Munich. As stated before it depends on your definition of malty, to me it means Munich, Aromatic, Vienna ect. I don't think I would use 20% crystal  in a beer unless I wanted something dark with alot of caramel and sweetness. I usually go with 5% in APA and IPA and 10-15% in darker beers but that is a personal preference. Hope this helps. 
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2017, 01:45:11 PM »
What's your water look like? Try to get your sodium to at least 50 ppm and Cl to at least 100 ppm. While you don't want a heavy hand on your minerals, you need some to help your flavors pop. I'd also make sure your mash pH is in the 5.3ish range. Higher pH tends to muddy flavors a bit, while lower pH makes them pop a bit more. Just like any other form of cooking, you need your seasoning right and the right amount of acidity to bring out the flavors in your beer.
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Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #25 on: November 03, 2017, 12:43:56 PM »
Is the pumpkin the problem watering up your brew? How are you adding pumpkin?

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Offline HenryL65

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #26 on: November 03, 2017, 12:45:03 PM »
The caramel/crystal malts add body and mouthfeel along with a little caramel sweetness and color.The darker the more pronounced caramel into raisin, plum favors and lighter candy sweetness. They also help to lower mash ph. Special B is a dark Belgian caramel/crystal malt that adds a raisin aspect. Munich and Vienna are base malts that are kilned a little more and processed a little differently. I use the dark Munich in darker beers, Avangard 15* L up to 20%. I find Vienna to be a little milder and dryer than Munich, I use it in beers I want a little malt presence with some Munich, like APA or IPA or Vienna Lager. Lighter beers I go with a combo of Vienna and Munich. As stated before it depends on your definition of malty, to me it means Munich, Aromatic, Vienna ect. I don't think I would use 20% crystal  in a beer unless I wanted something dark with alot of caramel and sweetness. I usually go with 5% in APA and IPA and 10-15% in darker beers but that is a personal preference. Hope this helps.

Thanks, this was helpful.

Offline HenryL65

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #27 on: November 03, 2017, 12:49:44 PM »
What's your water look like? Try to get your sodium to at least 50 ppm and Cl to at least 100 ppm. While you don't want a heavy hand on your minerals, you need some to help your flavors pop. I'd also make sure your mash pH is in the 5.3ish range. Higher pH tends to muddy flavors a bit, while lower pH makes them pop a bit more. Just like any other form of cooking, you need your seasoning right and the right amount of acidity to bring out the flavors in your beer.

This is one area where I have very limited knowledge. Meaning I don't know what my water's chemical profile is. Also, I don't usually check my mash ph and most of my beers taste pretty good. From what I've read, water chemistry really comes into play when you're trying to achieve a specific flavor, so perhaps I better figure out what my water looks like. Your analogy to cooking is very apt...for me, that is one of the major appeals to brewing is that it is so much like cooking (I love to cook!).

Offline HenryL65

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2017, 12:54:15 PM »
Is the pumpkin the problem watering up your brew? How are you adding pumpkin?

I don't think pumpkin is the issue. I add about 5 lbs of "processed" (meaning I've roasted it until soft and then pureed it for easy integration) pumpkin to the mash, but I don't include this is my water to grist ratio. So the mash ends up a little thicker than normal, but I don't think that would water down the final result would it?

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Ratcheting up malt flavor
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2017, 12:57:42 PM »
Is the pumpkin the problem watering up your brew? How are you adding pumpkin?

I don't think pumpkin is the issue. I add about 5 lbs of "processed" (meaning I've roasted it until soft and then pureed it for easy integration) pumpkin to the mash, but I don't include this is my water to grist ratio. So the mash ends up a little thicker than normal, but I don't think that would water down the final result would it?
Pumpkins contain a lot of water... just thinking outside the box here.  Just like adding fruit it will no matter what drop the ABV and thin down the body.

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