Author Topic: Using Munich Malt  (Read 6487 times)

Offline gordonstrong

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Using Munich Malt
« on: December 10, 2010, 07:59:42 AM »
Personally, I think most people miss the point that it's *dark* Munich being used.  Big difference in flavor.  When I hear people who get their 100% light Munich malt bocks ripped for "needs more Munich malt", I always tell them to try some dark Munich in the mix.  Makes a big difference.  As does some CaraMunich, IMHO.
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Using Munich Malt
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 08:44:44 AM »
Gordon, what colors do you use to distinguish dark and light Munich?  I've always considered dark to be about 10L.  I tried some 20L Munich in a dunkel once, but it was just downright strange.
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Offline Kaiser

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Using Munich Malt
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 08:57:32 AM »
Gordon makes a good point about the Munich malt. The ones I use is the Munich II from Weyermann. It is listed with 20-25 EBC which is about 8 L. Many other  maltsters sell light Munich malt that has the same color. And their dark Munich is much darker than Weyermann’s Munich II.  Best Malz Dark Munich for example gave me rather poorly fermentable wort when I used it at a rate of close to 100%. This is because it has far fewer enzymes left than Weyermann Munich II.

I’ll be brewing this beer again and I’ll be buying a bag of Weyermann Munich II for this and a few Dunkels.

I don’t think that the aromas that you find in a good Doppelbock come from the malt. At least not directly. And I’m saying that b/c my Doppelbock smells and tastes rather bland when it is young.  It has a good malt backbone and I’m able to pick out the crystal. But there is none of the dark fruit character yet that we all appreciate so much in this beer. That doesn’t come until the beer has aged for 3-5 months. There was a reason why I told Blatz to move the bottle, I sent him, to the back of the fridge for a while.

I don’t know to what extent the aging is part of the production process for Doppelbocks in Germany. Most of the literature I have read focuses on brewing Plisner and other lighter colored beers which are best when they are fresh. Given the economics of storing beer for a long time I have a hard time believing that the beer is stored at the brewery for more than 3 months.

Ron,
If you don’t have the time to do a decoction I would not worry about this. How do you plan to package the beer? Do you bottle or keg?
I’d like you, and possibly others, to evaluate the effect of different packaging and aging temps on the flavor development. What that means is to bottle a few bottles, possibly with and w/o yeast, and store them at different temperatures. E.g:
- bottle(s) w/o yeast kept at lagering temps (28-34F)
- bottle(s) w/ yeast kept at lagering temps (28-34F)
- bottle(s) w/o yeast kept at cellar temps (~50 F)
- bottle(s) w/ yeast kept at cellar temps (~50 F)
- bottle(s) w/o yeast kept at room temps (~68F)
- bottle(s) w/ yeast kept at room temps (~68F)
My experience has been that the presence of yeast and/or lower temps slow the development of the Doppelbock flavor profile. I’ll be setting up such an experiment with the upcoming batch of DB. Maybe I feel adventurous and also try a decoction vs. single infusion experiment.

Kai

Offline Kaiser

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Using Munich Malt
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 08:58:26 AM »
Gordon, what colors do you use to distinguish dark and light Munich?  I've always considered dark to be about 10L.  I tried some 20L Munich in a dunkel once, but it was just downright strange.

Dito. I think I'm done using Best Malz Dark Munich for more than 50% in my grist.

Kai

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Using Munich Malt
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 09:07:26 AM »
Gordon, what colors do you use to distinguish dark and light Munich?  I've always considered dark to be about 10L.  I tried some 20L Munich in a dunkel once, but it was just downright strange.

Dito. I think I'm done using Best Malz Dark Munich for more than 50% in my grist.

Kai

Interesting to hear you say that.  It seems like it's always fermented well for me, IIRC.  we'll see, though.  I have an alt made with about 80% Best dark Munich going right now.  I'll be curious to see what kind if FG I get.
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Offline gordonstrong

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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 09:10:09 AM »
It varies by maltster.  Most that I've seen is 10L +/- 2.  Light Munich is around 6L +/- 1.  Sometimes the numbers seem larger if you look at the EBC numbers instead of Lovibond; those numbers are a bit more than 2x Lovibond.  But I'm not picking the malts for their color; I'm concerned about flavor.  I can easily change the color by adding some CaraMunich or by changing the length/intensity of the decoction.

It should go without saying that I'm talking about German maltsters for these products.  There's no way I'd use anything else in a German lager.  You can find non-German "Munich" malts that tend to be darker, but the flavor profile is often wrong.

They aren't always labeled dark Munich.  They might go by Munich II.  Look for Weyermann, Best, etc.  Get some from what's available and do test mashes and find a flavor you like.  I think it's hard to make an Oktoberfest or anything darker without including some.  You can make nice tasting beers, but they seem to lack the malt punch that many people expect.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2010, 09:11:46 AM »
Thanks, Gordon.  That confirms what I thought.
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Offline gordonstrong

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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2010, 09:19:58 AM »
Addition: I think the maltsters are telling you more info with how they structure their product lines than you realize.  When I say "light Munich", I mean the lightest color Munich malt that a German maltster sells.  When I say "dark Munich", I mean the darker color Munich that a maltster sells.  They aren't making products for their own benefit; they know brewers traditionally use these malts in different proportions in different beers.  So I trust a proper German maltster to develop a good, rich flavor in their dark Munich malt since that's what German brewers would demand.

Don't pick by color.  Pick German first, then select their darker Munich malt, then do some flavor tests to see which one you prefer.  Then stick with it.  You'll have to experiment in what proportions to use in different beers.  I only use a little bit in an Oktoberfest, but can use a lot more in a doppelbock, and even more in a dunkel.

Look at the diastatic power of the grain to tell if it can convert itself (it needs to be above around 40).  Decoction mashing can help with this conversion too, which is something people tend to forget.

If the flavor of a particular Dark Munich is too strong for you, try another maltster.  Or cut it with Pilsner malt. 

It takes a fair amount of trial and error to understand the flavor profile of the products you use, and then be able to visualize their contributions in different proportions in your finished beers.  That's why I advocate using a limited number of malts and knowing them well.  "Malts" means a specific malt from a specific maltster, not types of malt.  Even with a known product, you'll see batch-to-batch and year-to-year variability.  It's an agricultural product, so that's expected.  Hopefully, maltsters can adjust their processes to give you consistency, but you have to allow for some differences.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline gordonstrong

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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2010, 09:24:44 AM »
I'm keeping an open mind on some of the various malts out there because I haven't tried them all.

But I agree with Kai on Weyermann Munich II as being a solid product.  That's what I tend to use.

Try some in darker malty Belgian styles too, like a dubbel, a dark strong, or a brown biere de garde.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline Kaiser

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Using Munich Malt
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2010, 09:44:48 AM »
Interesting to hear you say that.  It seems like it's always fermented well for me, IIRC.  we'll see, though.  I have an alt made with about 80% Best dark Munich going right now.  I'll be curious to see what kind if FG I get.

What are the other 20%. If there is also quite a bit of Pilsner in the grist you may not see what I saw.

Here is a record of two of the beers: http://braukaiser.com/lifetype2/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=131&blogId=1

Both beers used 99% BM Dark Munich. The first one uses a standard mash that I had been using quite often before w/o prolems. The resulting attenuation limit was 71% which is far off the usual attenuation limit that I get for beers with a lot of Weyermman Munich II. For the second one I had to change the mash dramatically to get to an attenuation limit of 76%. With other malts this mash would have gotten me into the lower 80s at least.

I noticed the same on a bock that used 100% of this malt. It wasn’t until later that BM dark Munich is a bit darker than Weyermann Munich II. It also seems to have a more intense taste.

Kai



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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2010, 09:50:14 AM »
What are the other 20%. If there is also quite a bit of Pilsner in the grist you may not see what I saw.

The other 20% is Best pils.  I mashed at 148 for 90 min.

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Offline bluesman

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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2010, 10:20:50 AM »
Ron,
If you don’t have the time to do a decoction I would not worry about this. How do you plan to package the beer? Do you bottle or keg?
I’d like you, and possibly others, to evaluate the effect of different packaging and aging temps on the flavor development. What that means is to bottle a few bottles, possibly with and w/o yeast, and store them at different temperatures. E.g:
- bottle(s) w/o yeast kept at lagering temps (28-34F)
- bottle(s) w/ yeast kept at lagering temps (28-34F)
- bottle(s) w/o yeast kept at cellar temps (~50 F)
- bottle(s) w/ yeast kept at cellar temps (~50 F)
- bottle(s) w/o yeast kept at room temps (~68F)
- bottle(s) w/ yeast kept at room temps (~68F)
My experience has been that the presence of yeast and/or lower temps slow the development of the Doppelbock flavor profile. I’ll be setting up such an experiment with the upcoming batch of DB. Maybe I feel adventurous and also try a decoction vs. single infusion experiment.
Kai

Kai,

I am now concerned about the fermantability that you described in regards to the Best Malz DM as this is what I am using in my grain bill at a rate of 50% along with Vienna. I would be disappointed if the beer ends up on the sweet malty side of the spectrum. Unfortunately, I am brewing the beer tomorrow and my partner has the DMM in his possession.

I will try to bottle some with and without yeast if I can. I am certainly interested in the flavor development as well. At a minimum I could age some in the bottle at varying temps without yeast. We shall see.  ;)
Ron Price

Offline James Lorden

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Using Munich Malt
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2010, 10:35:54 AM »
Gordon, what colors do you use to distinguish dark and light Munich?  I've always considered dark to be about 10L.  I tried some 20L Munich in a dunkel once, but it was just downright strange.

Would 20L Munich be relatively the same thing as Aromatic Malt?
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2010, 10:52:00 AM »
This has turned into a Munich malt discussion, so I have a question.  What is the opinion on Dusrt Munich malt?  I have a bag ordered for pick up at the club meeting tonight.   The price is hard to beat, and no shipping.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Using Munich Malt
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2010, 11:27:34 AM »
I have used only the Durst Dark Munich and so far I rather brew with Weyermann Munich II.

I hear you regarding the price. Weyermann makes some really great malts. Even the appearance of the product in the bag is much better. There tends to be less Ausputz (small bits of husk and rootlets) and I have found quite a number of other grains (weed seeds and even corn kernels) in BM malt that I have not seen in Weyermann malt.

But paying $60 for a bag of Weyermann malt compared to the $30-40 that you pay for BM makes me use quite a bit of BM these days. Another factor is that you can’t buy Weyermann in bulk orders. There are only a few distributors in the US and the one accessible to me is Crosby&Baker which only supplies home brew stores and commercial breweries.

Kai