Author Topic: Munich as substitute for caramel malt  (Read 1137 times)

Offline tommymorris

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Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« on: August 11, 2020, 02:10:43 PM »
Recently someone, I forget who, mentioned they were not a fan of caramel malts and preferred to substitute Munich and Vienna to achieve a similar flavor profile without the sweetness of caramel. I can understand this person’s point but am curious about the ratio of Munich to Caramel when substituting.

If I normally use Caramel 60 at 8% in an American Pale Ale. What amount of light Munich would I replace the C-60 with? 8% (1:1 ratio), 12% (1.5:1 ratio), 16% (2:1 ratio) or something different? I am planning an APA and want to leave out the C-60 entirely.

Obviously there are lots of combinations possible; ie. different caramel, Munich, and Vienna varieties and colors.

Thanks,

Offline denny

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 02:26:44 PM »
It's totally subjective and dependent on your tastes.  Personally, I don't find it an appropriate sub.  If you're getting too much sweetness from caramel malt, I'd say yiur recipe isn't properly designed.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2020, 02:45:41 PM »
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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Offline denny

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2020, 02:51:30 PM »
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.
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Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2020, 02:53:31 PM »
I've been playing with Munich semi-frequently in my recipes (including pale ales / IPAs), and find it takes a deft touch...to echo what Denny said, I wouldn't consider it a complete substitute for crystal malts. If you use too much, the heavy bready/malty notes can clash pretty harshly with some hops on my palate, especially the tropical varieties. I keep Munich <10% in the IPAs I've brewed...as an example recipe that used Munich and turned out well, here's my Wildfire IPA recipe that I brewed earlier this year, based on a recipe by Chris Colby: https://andybrews.com/2020/03/28/wildfire-ipa/ -- this recipe relied heavily on the "old-school" classic American-type hops, and used dark Munich (11 SRM). Note it alsol used a bit of crystal 30.

All that said, I really like Vienna as a base for IPAs, and often just use that at 100% (especially in session beers). I'll often use a combo of crystal 40+crystal 60 to round out the malt profile, but always keep that well south of 10% total malt bill.

So I suppose to fully answer your question, and patterning it after the Wildfire IPA recipe, I might start with Munich I at ~8% of the malt bill, a bit of lighter crystal malt, and possibly fill it out with Vienna as the rest of the base malt, and mash a bit higher than you normally would to fill out the body. It won't be the same beer as you normally make, but I would bet it would be tasty.
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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2020, 03:03:31 PM »
I've been playing with Munich semi-frequently in my recipes (including pale ales / IPAs), and find it takes a deft touch...to echo what Denny said, I wouldn't consider it a complete substitute for crystal malts. If you use too much, the heavy bready/malty notes can clash pretty harshly with some hops on my palate, especially the tropical varieties. I keep Munich <10% in the IPAs I've brewed...as an example recipe that used Munich and turned out well, here's my Wildfire IPA recipe that I brewed earlier this year, based on a recipe by Chris Colby: https://andybrews.com/2020/03/28/wildfire-ipa/ -- this recipe relied heavily on the "old-school" classic American-type hops, and used dark Munich (11 SRM). Note it alsol used a bit of crystal 30.

All that said, I really like Vienna as a base for IPAs, and often just use that at 100% (especially in session beers). I'll often use a combo of crystal 40+crystal 60 to round out the malt profile, but always keep that well south of 10% total malt bill.

So I suppose to fully answer your question, and patterning it after the Wildfire IPA recipe, I might start with Munich I at ~8% of the malt bill, a bit of lighter crystal malt, and possibly fill it out with Vienna as the rest of the base malt, and mash a bit higher than you normally would to fill out the body. It won't be the same beer as you normally make, but I would bet it would be tasty.

We have similar views. I mash on the high end also, since my ABV and grain bill is low.
I've discovered Vienna is not Vienna, depends who makes it.
After 3 more batches going to try 94% Vienna, 3% Munich, 3% White Wheat.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 03:09:30 PM by Fire Rooster »

Offline Andy Farke

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2020, 03:16:17 PM »
I've discovered Vienna is not Vienna, depends who makes it.

Same here! My preference is Weyermann, and Great Western's version is a reasonably close second (for my tastes). How about for you?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2020, 03:41:55 PM »
Which Crystal? There are Big differences C-10 to C-120. I find CaraMunich to have its own 'German' character.

Which Munich malt? Weyermann Type 1 at 6L, or Avangaud Dark at 40 EBC (14.7 L).
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2020, 03:45:06 PM »
I went away from Crystal malts for a while on several beer styles, but I have returned to them in some styles, including British Bitter, but I use a fairly light touch whenever I add them to a recipe.  I don't make many IPA's, but I appreciate the West Coast IPA style needing to balance the Crystal with appropriate bittering to get an authentic and drinkable result. 

I love a good Vienna addition and will also use Light Munich in many styles for some breadiness when appropriate.  I prefer Vienna Lager style (with Vienna as the base malt in a high percentage) to a Marzen/Oktoberfest beer, but I will make both styles in the fall for those who want it either way.

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Offline denny

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2020, 03:48:58 PM »
Which Crystal? There are Big differences C-10 to C-120. I find CaraMunich to have its own 'German' character.

Which Munich malt? Weyermann Type 1 at 6L, or Avangaud Dark at 40 EBC (14.7 L).

Or Mecca Grade Metolius, which tastes completely different.
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Offline goose

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2020, 04:23:54 PM »
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.

Agree with both of you.  I don't find that caramel/crystal malts add any sweetness to an APA/AIPA.  If it did, I would have been told by my wife who does not like sweetness in a beer and can detect it instantly  I get more raisin and plum flavors from the darker crystal malts which are way more subdued with the lighter ones.  And I agree that caramel/crystal malts are the hallmark for the APA/AIPA styles.  I use around 5% or so 20L crystal in my Amarillo IPA.

As a side bar the Red's For What Ales You beer (Imperial Red IPA) that I posted a picture of yesterday has 60, 80, and 120 crystal malts in it.  The IBU's balance the crystal malt flavors in the beer.  It turned out great.
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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2020, 04:29:20 PM »
I've discovered Vienna is not Vienna, depends who makes it.

Same here! My preference is Weyermann, and Great Western's version is a reasonably close second (for my tastes). How about for you?

"Hands Down" I prefer Vienna Malt as the base. Currently trying low ratios/combos of Munich and White Wheat with it.
For a couple of batches Weyermann and Ephiphany was used, next up Best Malz for two batches.
Too early to pick my favorite, but they definitely have different characteristics.
If there's no clear winner, I will try two different Vienna's in the same batch.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 05:30:15 PM by Fire Rooster »

Offline Megary

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2020, 04:55:51 PM »
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


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What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.

Agree with both of you.  I don't find that caramel/crystal malts add any sweetness to an APA/AIPA.  If it did, I would have been told by my wife who does not like sweetness in a beer and can detect it instantly  I get more raisin and plum flavors from the darker crystal malts which are way more subdued with the lighter ones.  And I agree that caramel/crystal malts are the hallmark for the APA/AIPA styles. I use around 5% or so 20L crystal in my Amarillo IPA.

As a side bar the Red's For What Ales You beer (Imperial Red IPA) that I posted a picture of yesterday has 60, 80, and 120 crystal malts in it.  The IBU's balance the crystal malt flavors in the beer.  It turned out great.

But it's your even hand that makes the balance.  I'm sure if you added 15%, you would be told by your wife (in no uncertain terms) that the beer is too sweet.   :)

Without question I've had beers that were near undrinkable to me because of the copious amounts of Crystal.  Everyone has their own personal balance I suppose, but I rarely go above 5% C in any beer, save a Porter.

And I think you've nailed the description for the darker crystals, especially C120, which I like a lot.

Offline denny

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2020, 05:10:40 PM »
I normally use 86% Pale or Pale Ale, 9% Munich or Vienna, and 5% C malt.

I have seen folks say the C malt is too sweet. I don’t see it but that’s just me. I do have a Pale Ale in the docket with 91% Pale Ale and 9% Munich which comes in at 5.9 SRM which is plenty dark for a ‘to style’ Pale Ale but I’ve not brewed it yet. I look forward to seeing how it works out.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

What I've found is that for my personal tastes, and APA/AIPA with Munich but no caramel/crystal turns out too dry.  I feel like caramel/crystal is a hallmark of the style and needs to be in there.  It simply needs to be used properly.  This is all subjective.

Agree with both of you.  I don't find that caramel/crystal malts add any sweetness to an APA/AIPA.  If it did, I would have been told by my wife who does not like sweetness in a beer and can detect it instantly  I get more raisin and plum flavors from the darker crystal malts which are way more subdued with the lighter ones.  And I agree that caramel/crystal malts are the hallmark for the APA/AIPA styles. I use around 5% or so 20L crystal in my Amarillo IPA.

As a side bar the Red's For What Ales You beer (Imperial Red IPA) that I posted a picture of yesterday has 60, 80, and 120 crystal malts in it.  The IBU's balance the crystal malt flavors in the beer.  It turned out great.

But it's your even hand that makes the balance.  I'm sure if you added 15%, you would be told by your wife (in no uncertain terms) that the beer is too sweet.   :)

Without question I've had beers that were near undrinkable to me because of the copious amounts of Crystal.  Everyone has their own personal balance I suppose, but I rarely go above 5% C in any beer, save a Porter.

And I think you've nailed the description for the darker crystals, especially C120, which I like a lot.

It's all about how you balance the crystal malt.  I have a couple recipes that use 15-18% crystal, but hops, grist and water chemistry combine to balance the beer.
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Offline Fire Rooster

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Re: Munich as substitute for caramel malt
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2020, 05:15:11 PM »
When first beginning to brew, used high percentages of many malts, to taste them for what they are.
For my personal tastes/preferences crystal/caramel malts were omitted.
I was constantly lowering percentages of these malts, to hide behind something.
But that is only my taste buds. I believe different processes/procedures can
possibly give good results, for mine, no.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2020, 01:03:40 PM by Fire Rooster »