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Old 04-26-2007, 01:53 AM   #1
landhoney
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Default All Specialty Grains?

Anybody know of, brewed, or know what would happen if you brewed/made a recipe with only specialty grains. Leaving aside the chocolate malt, black patent, etc. - super darks/roasty's
Say you made the recipe with just some of the Cara's, lighter crystal, honeymalt, Vienna, Munich, etc. I was thinking 10 grains - 1 pound each.
I'm sure this a dumb question/idea, but I was wondering -so I looked here and elsewhere online and found nada. So I posted.
I bet it would at least be better than what most americans are drinking - Busch, Bud, etc.

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Old 04-26-2007, 02:23 AM   #2
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You can use Vienna and Munich as base malts (for bocks and other particular styles). Other than those, it sounds like a REALLY bad idea.

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Old 04-26-2007, 02:25 AM   #3
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the_bird, too many flavors?

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Old 04-26-2007, 02:27 AM   #4
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Using too much of a lot of those malts will give you WAY too much sweetness. The crystal alone will likely make the beer very cloying, I suspect a lot of the other specilaty malts will do the same. Plus, I think you're just going to lose that "core" beer taste.

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Old 04-26-2007, 02:40 AM   #5
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Sounds like it's make a good chick's beer, lol.

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Old 04-26-2007, 02:49 AM   #6
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Default Maybe...

What if I threw in some darker grains for more bitterness, roasty, nutty characteristics and of course upped the hop profile. I realize though that it would be more malty sweet, but other than that I can't see what could be really bad. I of course don't really know though. Thanks for your input 'the_bird'.

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Old 04-26-2007, 02:50 AM   #7
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As bird said, it will never ferment out...it will be a gooey, sugary mess of a beer.

It won't even be a chick beer because it will be like drinking molasses.

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Old 04-26-2007, 03:01 AM   #8
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There's a (chemical) reason you need a base malt. But if you consider Munich or Vienna to be "specialty" grains you're okay because they are technically base grains although they are often used in a specialty grain fashion. But as everybody has said, other than that it would result in a big mess.

There's a reason almost every proven recipe you'll find has the specialty grains at 20% or less of the total grist (and usually 10% or less), and frequently recipes have 3-4 grains max.

I'd really recommend getting a hold of Ray Daniels book Designing Great Beers to get a feel for recipe composition and what specialty grains bring to the table. I'm always interested when I read that book at how many award winning recipes have 90% + 2-row or Pilsner malt and 1 or 2 specialty grains.

In terms of satisfying your "mad scientist" instinct (which most of have) think about looking into water treatment and mashing variables as ways to affect the flavor of your beer once you have a specific goal in mind for how you want it to taste.

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Old 04-26-2007, 03:41 PM   #9
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Default More books.....

I know I should probably pick that book up, I just bought another beer book two days ago and said, "Ok, this is the last one." But of course its an empty threat. Unfortunately the local library has no homebrew books because.......drum roll.....they were all stolen! Looks like all homebrews aren't as nice as us. Oh well, thanks for the input.
Ok, last question, supposing I did make it and it was way too syrupy whatever. Can you blend beers together once they are say in the secondary? I know the fear of contamination, but it would be like racking into the bottling bucket one more time. Maybe, if one of the beers needed more maltiness, or put some into a big beer like a barleywine, etc. Or I could can/jar it, and add small amounts during a big beer fermentation. What do you think?

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Old 04-26-2007, 03:49 PM   #10
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Beer blending is indeed done, and can be a way to salvage a batch and perhaps create something unique. I really steer towards simplicity in my recipes, allowing the ingredients to speak for themselves to the degree it is possible in a given style of beer. However, even many of the really complex grain bills you will see that the total percentage of those specialty malts is very low as has been pointed out.

I am still amazed at how much color and flavor you can get out of a seemingly insignificant portion of specialty malts. It may be helpful to view them as 'seasonings' rather than the 'meat' of the dish as it were. Part of this whole thing is that you can get to a place where competing flavors nullify each other, so adding more won't necessarily give you what you expect..and in some cases can lead to a batch that just doesn't taste good.

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