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Old 10-28-2013, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default 2-Row vs Maris Otter vs Golden Promise vs Halcyon vs Pearl vs Optic

So I have been really curious/excited about trying out different English base malts ever since I tried some fabulous English style beers that I found out were brewed with Optic as the base malt.

I very often will experiment with different grains, but I've always had a hard time not tweaking more than one variable so I can never quantify the exact differences I'm getting.

Recently I had some time on my hands so I ordered 6 different base malts, enough for a one gallon batch each of each of the different base malts, and decided to do a true single variable SMaSH beer side by side assessment.

I decided to compare American 2-Row, Maris Otter, Golden Promise, Halcyon, Optic, and Pearl malts. From what I understand, everything but the 2-Row is a single variety of winter barley.

The recipe specifics were: 2lbs of base malt, 4g of Fuggles at 60 minutes, 4g of Fuggles at 30 minutes.

All the grains were mashed for 1 hour at 150F. In almost all of the cases 1.75 gallons of wort was collected and boiled for 60 minutes to achieve a final wort volume of 1 gallon. Wort was cooled using my copper wort chiller, then transferred to a 2 gallon bucket and 2g of Safale-S04 was pitched.

I brewed, chilled and pitched all 6 one gallon batches on the same day, then I let them ferment for 7 days at 68F. I just bottled them a couple of days ago.



From left to right:
American 2-Row OG: 1.058 FG: 1.010
Maris Otter OG: 1.061 FG: 1.013
Golden Promise OG: 1.061 FG: 1.012
Pearl OG: 1.064 FG: 1.010
Optic OG: 1.061 FG: 1.010
Halcyon OG: 1.065 FG: 1.012

Once they've bottle conditioned for a few more days I'll crack them open and post my tasting notes.

I will say that they all had significantly different aromas in the mash and the hydrometer samples I took (the liquid in the glass) were all very different as well. I'm looking forward to trying the individual beers.

Photos of the brew day and process can be found here:
http://ndrice323.imgur.com/all/

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #2
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Love it, I'm gonna mark this here so I can see the results when you taste!

Very surprised at the color differences there since the degrees lovibond of all those grains should be fairly close.

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:12 PM   #3
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Bud Light in picture invalidates results of this thread?

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:15 PM   #4
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Have mercy! My neighbor gave me a boatload of his old heavy-glass Bud Light and Yuengling bottles. What goes in is much better than what came out.

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:15 PM   #5
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I'm quite surprised by the color difference between Am2row and MO - that's pretty drastic. I've brewed plenty with MO but never really thought the color difference would be so stark. I look forward to your tasting notes - I just wish I'd done this myself so I could experience it first hand

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:16 PM   #6
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Very nice experiment, please do let us know your results.

Cheers

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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Great work on this experiment. Looking forward to the results!

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #8
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I am thinking of using Golden Promise in my next beer instead of Maris Otter. I've never used it before. Looking forward to seeing how this comes out.

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpug View Post
I'm quite surprised by the color difference between Am2row and MO - that's pretty drastic. I've brewed plenty with MO but never really thought the color difference would be so stark. I look forward to your tasting notes - I just wish I'd done this myself so I could experience it first hand
I'm not surprised one bit. Maris Otter is very potent base malt. In fact, when I make an American IPA, I will use 50-50 US 2-row and MO, as not to be overwhelming when using just MO. In fact, I seldom ever brew over 5% with MO as the only base malt - too heavy to my tastes.

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Old 10-28-2013, 05:32 PM   #10
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Yea, I may get some flack for this but I dislike MO. Tastes like I added way too much victory or biscuit malt to a brew. I've never used those other malts though

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