Author Topic: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?  (Read 22541 times)

Offline richardt

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Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« on: April 28, 2011, 05:52:09 AM »
What is the difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts? 
They all seem to say that they lend a warm bread, biscuity malt flavor and aroma.
Are they the same thing or are they distinctly different?

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2011, 08:23:54 AM »
Biscuit and Victory are similar to me; Amber is darker and more intense.  Sort of like Dark Munich vs. Light Munich.  They are all used for similar reasons.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2011, 09:07:53 AM »
Are Biscuit and Victory malts more crystal (stewed and kilned) types of malt and the Amber malt more of a base malt (just kilned)?

The color ranges reported in ProMash show that Amber and Victory are more similar in color and Biscuit is lighter than either.  If the information above is correct (crystal vs base), then maybe that's the reason Gordon's observations are correct.
 
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Offline richardt

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2011, 09:58:05 AM »
This is what I find on the internet:

Biscuit (Belgian, Dingemans) seems to be "fully toasted, lightly roasted" around 350F, resulting in 18-27 degrees Lovibond, and containing no enzymes (must be mashed).  It does not appear to be stewed, i.e., a crystal/caramel malt.  Some say "Saltine Crackers" character and adds amber color to the beer.

Victory (USA, Briess) seems to be lightly roasted, resulting in 25-28 degrees Lovibond, and contains no enzymes (must be mashed).  Some say similar to Biscuit but "nuttier in character" and capable of adding orange highlights to the beer.
http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2010/07/ingredient-showcase-biscuit-malt.html

Amber malt (UK, Fawcett) is a more "strongly toasted, slightly roasted" form of pale malt, kilned at temperatures of 150-160 °C, resulting in 30-42 degrees Lovibond (22 SRM). and containing no (or very low) enzymes (must be mashed). Amber malt has an intense, bitter "roasty" or "dry toffee" flavor which mellows on aging. Helps to balance with crystal and caramel malts.  Low grain bill percentages (2-5% max) recommended due to intensity and color contributions.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2011, 11:09:18 AM »
That makes sense based on what I see.  Amber malt just looks darker.  It has a reddish color.  The others are more dark tan.

I sub biscuit and victory like I sub aromatic and melanoidin.  I'll go with the right maltster for the country of origin for the beer by choice, otherwise pick what's available.

I mash all of them, but I think you can steep them all in lower quantities if you just want the flavor contribution and not the gravity.  Seems a bit dodgy to me, but then again I mash everything that isn't a crystal or roasted malt.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline bluedog

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2011, 11:19:05 AM »
So do you include crystal and roasted malts in your main mash or do you steep them separately?

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2011, 11:29:19 AM »
Depends on the style.  I've done both.  I've also cold-steeped the dark grains and added them later in/after the boil.  I've also added them at vorlauf.  Crystal and roast don't need to be mashed, so only do it if you want to save time/effort and/or like all the flavors (good and bad) they may give, as well as what they may do to your mash pH.

Think about it.  When you make extract beer, which grains do you steep?  If you (or someone else) aren't mashing them when you make extract beer, there's no need to do it in all-grain.  You're doing it by choice.  As long as you understand what you gain and lose with that choice, then you can decide how to use them.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline nateo

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 11:33:38 AM »
What does cold-steeping do for you that mashing doesn't? Or what flavor does cold-steeping leave out that mashing includes?
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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 11:40:26 AM »
What does cold-steeping do for you that mashing doesn't? Or what flavor does cold-steeping leave out that mashing includes?

You need to buy this book called "Brewing Better Beer"....   ;D
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 12:10:32 PM »
The short answer is flavor without harshness.

Ever work some place where the coffee sits on a hot plate?  Ever taste it when it's fresh, and then when it's been sitting there for an hour?  Notice a difference?
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 12:31:53 PM »
The short answer is flavor without harshness.

Ever work some place where the coffee sits on a hot plate?  Ever taste it when it's fresh, and then when it's been sitting there for an hour?  Notice a difference?

take it one step further.... do a cold extraction on the coffee, heat it up and compare that flavor even to the fresh brewed coffee
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2011, 02:36:06 PM »
Crystal and roast don't need to be mashed, so only do it if you want to save time/effort and/or like all the flavors (good and bad) they may give, as well as what they may do to your mash pH.

As Gordon points out, crystal and roast affect mash pH strongly through their elevated acidity.  I want to point out that this steeping approach is a good way to go with these grains when you have low alkalinity water and the mash pH would drop too low if you included those grains in with the rest of the mash. 

So RO and distilled water brewers, consider this approach to brewing beers with large percentages of these steepable grains and you probably won't have to resort to adding alkalinity to your mashing water.  Bru'n Water gives you the tools needed to figure out if deleting those grains will keep your mash pH in the right range when brewing with RO or distilled water.
Martin B
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Offline timberati

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Re: Difference between Biscuit, Victory, and Amber Malts?
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2011, 03:10:14 PM »
When you make extract beer, which grains do you steep?  If you (or someone else) aren't mashing them when you make extract beer, there's no need to do it in all-grain.  You're doing it by choice.  As long as you understand what you gain and lose with that choice, then you can decide how to use them.
Darn. I've been merrily mashing everything, because I could, and using the Brew-Taste the results-Rinse-Repeat Method. I guess I'll have to read Brewing Better Beer further. Nevertheless, so far the results have been very drinkable.

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