It's getting close to the time of year that I brew two beers that use a good bit of munich (7lbs in each batch). I'd like to order a sack from North Country for the money savings, but figure it will take me way more than a year to use a whole sack of munich. Vienna, on the other hand, I could see finishing a sack in a reasonable amount of time if I had it laying around. I'd be making vienna SMaSH pale ales with every hop in the freezer. But is the difference between Munich and Vienna quantitative or qualitative?
I think the decision breaks down three ways, and I'd like some advice on what people would choose:
1) Buy the sack of munich. I break down my sacks into 5lb ziplock bags and I've never had any base malt get stale, but I've never had any last longer than about 4 months. The munich would probably be around for over a year.
2) Keep buying munich by the pound at much higher price; consider that I'm broke enough to be asking this question in the first place.
3) Buy a sack of vienna and come up with a best guess at subbing for the munich, e.g. the thread title. I'd definitely like some advice on the numbers if anyone thinks this will work.
Of course there's always a sort of option 2.5, keeping a pound or two of munich and replacing the rest with a vienna/pils combo, I guess. . .
Here are the recipes, for those interested:
#1: Oxtoberfest (the O.G. justifies the "x")
7 lb Munich
5.25 lb Pilsner
.25 lb Aromatic
.25 lb biscuit
.25 lb Caravienne
.25 lb Carapils
[so, with my Vienna subbing theory, this would become something like 10.5 lb Vienna, 1.75 Munich, and then the specialty malts]
About 7 HBUs for 90 minutes, pitched onto a big S-23 yeast cake. My gravity readings are approximate, but I got OG 1.068, FG 1.018. I know many here are not fans of S-23, but I love it in this beer. It's really a kolsch, I guess, since I do all the fermentation at 55-60 degrees, but it sure seems lager-smooth to me. This is my favorite beer that I've made, and a recipe I can actually recommend to the advanced brewers here, as well as the people like me who simply don't have the stuff to lager properly.
#2: doublebock (currently BeerToBeNamedLator)
8.5 lb Pilsner
7 lb Munich
.25 lb Aromatic
.25 lb Caravienna
.25 lb Melanoidan
1 oz chocolate
2 oz crystal 75
8 HBUs (1/2 oz Warrior) boiled 90 minutes, pitched onto the S-23 of the previous recipe (reduce, reuse, recycle!). OG 1.075, FG 1.022. I was going for a Salvator clone here; I tried them side by side and think mine is similar but not quite as good. Considering I didn't lager it (55-60 degrees), didn't do a decoction, and made something that tasted 90% like Salvator, I was pretty happy.