Author Topic: Crystal vs. Caramunich  (Read 8716 times)

Offline JKL

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Crystal vs. Caramunich
« on: May 04, 2011, 08:32:21 AM »
I called my LHBS yesterday to place an order for the O'fest i'm doing this weekend.  Of course the owner is busy and I have to talk to his "Style Nazi" employee.  I tell him "7.5lbs Vienna, 9lbs Pils (I toast 2lb), 5.5 Munich, .5lb C-60"  He says, "Wouldn't you rather have Caramunich" "Thats what "they" usually put in those beers"  "Do you know why you're using Crystal" I was a little offput so I just said"NO Thanks"  This is why I always ask for the owner now.  The sad thing is I really don't know why I use C-60?  That's just the way I wrote the recipe years ago.  So rather than giving that guy the satisfaction of being "right"  I went with that.  Long story short.  Is there a big difference between the two?
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Offline denny

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 08:35:05 AM »
IMO, yes, there is a big difference.  In addition, also IMO, crystal malt is completely out of place in an Ofest.  That's not to say CaraMuncih is the right thing to put in it, necessarily, but IMO it would be better than crystal.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 08:44:29 AM »
The Cara- prefix is used to designate crystal malts. They're both crystal malts, but not all crystal malts taste the same. I have subbed them interchangeably, and gotten good, but maybe slightly different beer, but I don't really care a whole lot for "style."

IIRC the caramunichs are a bit more biscuity, but it's been a while since I've had them side-by-side.
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Offline blatz

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 08:50:04 AM »
Crystal 60 to me is more of a sweet caramel taste whereas Caramunich seems more 'rich malty' if that makes any sense.

I go back and forth as to whether to include caramunich in VMOs, I just can't decide!
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2011, 09:49:04 AM »
This came up on the Oktoberfest 2011 thread.  I made the same suggestion, swap out C-60 for CaraMunich.  Seig heil!

I agree with Denny, it's totally optional.  But if you like the taste of some sweetness to go with the malty profile, then the flavors of CaraMunich will fit better.  FWIW, I use some CaraMunich typically.  You definitely don't want a distinct caramel flavor; that's why you should avoid the crystal-type malts labelled 'crystal'.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2011, 10:01:05 AM »
I also think that Caramunich is preferred over crystal malt in an Ofest. Afterall Cara malts are typically from Germany. I've tried a Boston Lager clone using crystal malt and an Ofest using caramunich both recipes had the same base malt and yeast. I found that the Boston Lager clone had more of a sweet malty profile whereas the Ofest had a "bread crust" and slightly toasted malt profile. There was a distinct difference in flavor.
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Offline JKL

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2011, 10:36:51 AM »
This came up on the Oktoberfest 2011 thread.  I made the same suggestion, swap out C-60 for CaraMunich.  Seig heil!

I agree with Denny, it's totally optional.  But if you like the taste of some sweetness to go with the malty profile, then the flavors of CaraMunich will fit better.  FWIW, I use some CaraMunich typically.  You definitely don't want a distinct caramel flavor; that's why you should avoid the crystal-type malts labelled 'crystal'.

Thanks for the clarification, fellas.  FWIW, I'm not much of a "style" guy .  I'd like to think I know what tastes good and this recipe tastes pretty good.  Sure I'm biased, but the last time I brewed it I did a blind tasting with a few friends between Paulaner and Sam Adams and mine beat out SA.  I'm not sure if that's saying much, though?  This is the 1st time I'll be doing more than a 5 gal batch which only gets .25oz C-60.  My efficiency has gone up so I'm only using .5oz in 11gals. Maybe I'll save a bottle and use the Caramunich next time? Thanks for the input!!
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Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2011, 10:49:17 AM »
I also get a different flavor from UK crystal vs. domestic crystal.  For lack of better words, I get a drier toasty/roasty (depending on how dark it is) flavor from the UK crystals I've used.

But when I make a continental lager I try to use continental malts.  Like blatz, I go back and forth on Caramunich in an O'fest and I'm still undecided.  The Maerzen I have conditioning now was just Munich Type I/Dark Munich/Carafoam.

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Crystal vs. Caramunich
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2011, 11:29:03 AM »
Mmm, dark munich...
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