Author Topic: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed  (Read 7750 times)

Offline gimmeales

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All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« on: December 22, 2010, 08:24:04 AM »
I've been intrigued by SMaSH beers for awhile and was most recently inspired to brew one after the latest Zymurgy article on single-malt beers.  I'm next wanting to doing an IPA with American Hops (Columbus) with some of the Crisp's MO I have.  I guess my main question is:  are SMaSH beers mostly valuable as an exercise in flavor highlighting or do they make a great beer that can stand on its own?  Just wondering what to expect compared to my other IPAs which use various specialty grains at ~15-20% of the total grist.

Plan is single infusion mash @ 155F and fermenting with US-05 - should I mash higher to preserve more residual sweetness and body with how attenuative this yeast is?

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 08:28:16 AM »
I think you'll find the malt has too much flavor for an American IPA and will get in the way of the hops.  I liked my American pale ales much better when I stopped using all Maris Otter.

I wouldn't mash an IPA that high, either. They should have a dry finish.  I'm not sure why you'd want more residual sweetness and body in an IPA.

Crisp MO has a great flavor and will make a great beer.  I'm just saying that I don't think it will impress you very much as an IPA.
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Offline Rhoobarb

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 09:34:07 AM »
I think it would work much better as an English IPA.  Maybe use some EKG instead of Centennial? ;D
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Offline davidw

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 09:36:08 AM »
I have to respectfully disagree with Gordon. Particularly when you're approaching a 1:1 bittering to gravity ratio I think that a good base malt is exactly what you need when you are going to pound a beer with American variety hops. When Simcoe hops first became available to homebrewers, 2004 or 05 I believe, I brewed an IPA (OG 1.070 and 70 IBU's) that was 100% Fawcetts Optic malt and all Simcoe in order to get an idea of what the bittering, flavor, and aroma of Simcoe was like.  Since then, I have brewed the same recipe two or three times a year in order to always have it on tap. It's one of my favorite beers. The Optic malt creates a great base to balance the bitterness of the hops. I've brewed this recipe a couple times with Rahr pale malt and don't like it as well as the Optic batches. Not saying you can't brew a great IPA with American base malt or that the hops shouldn't be the focus in an IPA, because they obviously are, but for my tastes I prefer to have the malt also be an attribute in the flavor profile. I've entered this recipe in half a dozen competitions, it has always scored high and never failed to place, so apparently the judges like it as well!

Interesting, too, that in one description of historic IPA's, (can't remember the source, probably Daniels), it states that their color should "reflect the color of the malt", or something along those lines. The suggestion was that early IPA's were typically 100% base malt. Similarly, I've taken a German Pilsner recipe, bumped the OG up to 75 and IBU's 75, 100% Budvar malt, 100% Crystal hops. Heaven in a glass! The aroma that floats around in that giant, white head of foam is amazing and again, the malt plays a significant role supporting the hop bitterness and flavor. 


Offline EHall

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2010, 09:49:23 AM »
Go ahead and brew what you planned, everyone has a different palate... something that Gordon or others may not recommend could very well be something that turns out awsome for you. Gotta expirement in order to learn and figure out what YOU really like.
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Offline kerneldustjacket

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2010, 10:05:38 AM »
Gordon...suppose he did it as an APA?

I'm a dipstick...you already said you liked "American pales ales much better" when you stopped using all Maris Otter...I was still thinking "IPA" as a carry over from the first sentence.

Can you instead give your impression of SMaSH Pale Ales in general?
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Offline blatz

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2010, 10:07:35 AM »
I entirely agree with David Waite, though I use regular MO rather than Optic (which is also good, just a preference).  Similarly, my IPA has always placed when entered, and I have never gotten a comment that it was too malty or anything like that, rather that it has a nice malt complexity,etc.  If nothing more, the richness of the MO gives you a little more room to layer in some hops.

As Ehall said, you're going to get opinions for both sides - try it for yourself and see what you like - that's part of the fun of brewing.

Cheers.
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Offline gimmeales

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2010, 10:18:23 AM »
Go ahead and brew what you planned, everyone has a different palate

Haha, probably the best advise in the end, I guess.  It IS my first try at this, afterall.  I appreciate the input of all though!  Gordon, I think what I was hoping for in the MO and high mash was a similar body and sweetness (balance, I guess) to my typical IPA's ('residual sweetness' and 'balance' obviously being a relative to the style - I definitely prefer my IPA's crisp and drier.  Also concerned things might be too thinned by the aggressive yeast).



Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2010, 10:57:55 AM »
Use the MO with about a pound of EKG for bittering and flavor, a lot of gypsum, and ferment with WY-1028.  Age a year, then heavily dry hop, keg and serve.

I made one like that last year.  Will make that one again.  It was a good one, in a British kind of way.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2010, 11:29:03 AM »
I use 50/50 basmalt ration of MO and German pilsner malt for my IPA. I know it sounds crazy but it works beautifully together. For my tastes 100% MO doesn't work as well in an AIPA - but for British IPAs its essential.
Keith Y.
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Offline blatz

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2010, 11:43:11 AM »
I think the key word in this conversation is "American" So, I'm going to lean on Gordon's side on this one. He's a pretty objective observer and it his "job" to call it like he sees it being he is part of the "glue stick" that holds the BJCP together.

That's pretty bogus reasoning there  ::).  

American refers to the interpretation of the final product, not necessarily to the origin of the ingredients.  For the record, the guideline actually doesn't say anywhere in the guidelines that you can't use MO as your basemalt for American IPA, nor does it say you have to use American 2 row either.  The text says:

Quote from: http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style14.php
Ingredients: Pale ale malt (well-modified and suitable for single-temperature infusion mashing);

judges don't know what ingredients you used, so if the use of maris otter results in a finer end product that more closely matches the intended aroma and flavor of the style, why not?  

I've brewed my IPA recipe at least 4 dozen times and started off with american 2 row, ending up with MO because the resultant beer fit what my tastebuds say is the ideal american IPA, and given that it medals nearly every time I enter it, I'd say that blind judges see it that way too.

Does SNCA not qualify as an American IPA since it uses Med English Caramel Malt?

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Offline skyler

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2010, 01:32:02 PM »
I have been planning something nearly identical - possibly hopbursted and maybe Summit instead of Centennial. I think all-MO will be fine, but I never use MO in my standard non-SMaSH AIPA's, personally. The thing is, without any specialty malts to balance the hops, a beefier base malt would "get in the way" less than it does when you're also using 5-10% crystal malt - at least I think that'd the case. I would mash a bit higher than average, based on how dry my SMaSH bitter got when mashed at 154F. Presumably a mash temp in the 152-154F range would be fine, so long as a relatively attenuative yeast strain is used. I would want to get 78-82% attenuation. Seeing as that I typically get 80-82% attenuation with US-05/1056/1968 mashing at 150 with 10% crystal/carapils (in a 1.055 APA), my guess is that 154F wouldn't be a horrible mash temp for an all-MO AIPA.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 01:54:41 PM by skyler »

Offline blatz

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2010, 01:48:46 PM »
Conventional Wisdom would dictate when brewing a specific style from a specific country/region that it would be prudent to use ingredients from said area....go figure! When in Rome! >:(

Well, I guess Great Lakes must not know what they're doing, since their Dortmunder Gold and Elliot Ness Vienna use 2 Row as their base malts instead of pils malt and vienna malt respectively, yet these beers are hailed by critics and even the BJCP guidelines as world class examples of their styles, regardless of the origin of the ingredients.

Gee, they should remove Dogfish 60 min IPA from the commercial examples of AIPA, since it uses an English style yeast instead of an american style yeast.  

I could go on with many examples like this. ::)

Brew with whatever ingredients you think will taste right in the finished beer and keep experimenting until you find what you like.  Maris Otter is pale malt, it doesn't know where it came from.

« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 01:50:48 PM by blatz »
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Offline The Professor

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2010, 02:01:42 PM »
I use 50/50 basmalt ration of MO and German pilsner malt for my IPA. I know it sounds crazy but it works beautifully together. For my tastes 100% MO doesn't work as well in an AIPA - but for British IPAs its essential...

Brew with whatever ingredients you think will taste right in the finished beer and keep experimenting until you find what you like.  Maris Otter is pale malt, it doesn't know where it came from.


Similar to what I do...I use MO and usually even a percentage of Munich in my APA / IPA . 

I've made a fair amount of  IPA in the "American" style over the years with strictly MO.   
Keeping the mash temps on the lower side of things will allow some of the the nice, balancing flavors of the malts to come through while encouraging good attenuation and not letting the malt presence become too 'thick'.

As blatz, denny, and others have pointed out (and I agree),  going for any "style" is not at all about specific ingredients  ...but rather about what is finally poured into the glass.  To a very large degree, you can manipulate ingredients at hand to obtain a result that would fit the competition taste guidelines (if that's important to you in this brew).  Besides...outside of competition circles, the style guidelines hold little real meaning anyway.

I say use the Maris and see what you think (and do report back!) 
You may really like it in your APA.    And unless you're going strictly and specifically for a competition bound  brew,  it's your own tastebuds that  provide the  most important guideline of all.
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Offline jeffy

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Re: All Maris-Otter IPA input needed
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2010, 02:37:48 PM »
I use 50/50 basmalt ration of MO and German pilsner malt for my IPA. I know it sounds crazy but it works beautifully together. For my tastes 100% MO doesn't work as well in an AIPA - but for British IPAs its essential...

Brew with whatever ingredients you think will taste right in the finished beer and keep experimenting until you find what you like.  Maris Otter is pale malt, it doesn't know where it came from.


Similar to what I do...I use MO and usually even a percentage of Munich in my APA / IPA . 

I've made a fair amount of  IPA in the "American" style over the years with strictly MO.   
Keeping the mash temps on the lower side of things will allow some of the the nice, balancing flavors of the malts to come through while encouraging good attenuation and not letting the malt presence become too 'thick'.

As blatz, denny, and others have pointed out (and I agree),  going for any "style" is not at all about specific ingredients  ...but rather about what is finally poured into the glass.  To a very large degree, you can manipulate ingredients at hand to obtain a result that would fit the competition taste guidelines (if that's important to you in this brew).  Besides...outside of competition circles, the style guidelines hold little real meaning anyway.

I say use the Maris and see what you think (and do report back!) 
You may really like it in your APA.    And unless you're going strictly and specifically for a competition bound  brew,  it's your own tastebuds that  provide the  most important guideline of all.

This is good advice.  I've been using a mix of pilsner, light munich and medium crystal in my IPA's for years and they taste just like I want.  Sometimes they even win competitions, too.  The last IPA I made using MO, munich and crystal and it seems a bit maltier than I usually care for. Next time I'll either adjust the hop bitterness up or use less MO.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
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AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995