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Old 12-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
Jayhem
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Default Belgian Biscuit vs. Special Roast Malts?

Ok, So my LHBS only has Special Roast and my recipe calls for Biscuit. They tell me Special Roast is the closest substitute.

Can someone who has brewed with both of these comment on differences? Should I use special roast 1:1 or cut back on it?

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Old 12-11-2013, 03:52 PM   #2
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If they have Victory malt that is a brand name Biscuit malt. Special Roast is going to be darker and stronger than Biscuit Malt.

I would probably half the amount if I was subbing Special Roast for Biscuit.

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Old 12-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
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If they have Victory malt that is a brand name Biscuit malt. Special Roast is going to be darker and stronger than Biscuit Malt.

I would probably half the amount if I was subbing Special Roast for Biscuit.
Thanks! I do have Victory already. It's description is "Nutty" though so I didn't think it could be the same as Biscuit Malt. That's good enough for me.
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jayhem View Post
Thanks! I do have Victory already. It's description is "Nutty" though so I didn't think it could be the same as Biscuit Malt. That's good enough for me.
Victory description: Toasted malt that adds a "Biscuit" or toasted flavor
In my experience victory is similar to biscuit, but not exactly the same, biscuit just seems more "biscuity"
Special roast is kind of similar to those malts, but, not really.
Made a pale ale with 6oz of SR and a little crystal 20. VERY pleasant toastyness to it, but not like victory or biscuit. So, it's hard to say. But i wouldn't go over 4% with SR in a pale beer
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Old 12-12-2013, 02:37 AM   #5
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Light base malt at 325F for 60-90 min gives me a very good approximation of victory or biscuit (use your nose, and go a little longer than you think you need to). I don't even buy it anymore, it's just low-heat toasted base malt.

I haven't brewed with "special roast" but it has always looked quite a bit darker to me in the store. I take "roast" to imply higher temps, higher lovibond, "toast" to mean lower temps, more nutty aroma, little color change.

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Old 12-12-2013, 02:51 PM   #6
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I've had some experience with Special Roast and can definitely tell you it's not a lot like biscuit malt except for the fact that it shares a few of biscuit's characteristics. SR compared to biscuit is much more bready and has what could be described as a "sourdough" kind of taste and a little bit of a "twang" to it. Try tasting some of the grains and you'll get a sense of what I mean. Also, if you're going to sub, use less SR than you would biscuit for sure. It's a stronger and different flavor IMO.

My friend is the head brewer at Chestnut Brew Works and he uses it in his imperial brown ale and has given me some in the past to experiment with. At this point I have to say it works better in darker, medium-full bodied beers.

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Old 12-12-2013, 04:38 PM   #7
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Does anyone taste the grains at their LHBS?

I've been doing this when trying to choose between, say, Victory or Biscuit. I don't know how different these two taste once brewed into beer, but you can easily tell them apart when chewing on their grains.

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Old 12-12-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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Does anyone taste the grains at their LHBS?

I've been doing this when trying to choose between, say, Victory or Biscuit. I don't know how different these two taste once brewed into beer, but you can easily tell them apart when chewing on their grains.
All the time! Whenever I'm using a new malt I always give a few grains a good sniff and a chew. It at least gives you somewhat of an idea of the character that will be imparted. However, at this point there aren't as many malts out there that I haven't tried yet so I don't do it very often anymore. However, Special Roast is actually a really good one to snack on if you like the taste. I just eat it straight out of the grain bag sometimes while brewing and after I'm done mashing most of the time I will let the grains cool down and go get some yogurt from the fridge inside with some fruit and have myself a little parfait.
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