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Old 10-24-2008, 03:13 PM   #1
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Default Carmel 120L

I have a lead on caramel/crystal 120L and want to know if I can substitute some of that for my Amber recipe. The amber calls for crystal 10, 20, and 40 but I should be able to just use less of the 120 for all, correct? If so should I just run it thru promash till it looks good?

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Old 10-24-2008, 03:17 PM   #2
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Well, no. 120L is not a sub for those other crystal malts. It's got a definite raisin taste to it- not the carmelly sweet of the lower lovibond malts. It's also much darker in color.

I only use 120L in a couple of recipes, but I use 40 L all the time in many recipes.

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Old 10-24-2008, 03:19 PM   #3
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Er.....no. If you substitute the same amount, you'll get the raisin flavor described above. If you substitute a lower amount by comparing with other crystal numbers (for example, using 1/3 the amount instead of crystal 40), you won't get the same residual flavor OR the body and head retention.

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Old 10-24-2008, 03:21 PM   #4
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For 10L, 20L, and 40L, you could get by just using 40L, or using some 10L and 40L, or 20L and 40L ... but 120L won't do at all. I think it tastes like dried dark fruit and raisins. Blech.

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Old 10-24-2008, 04:49 PM   #5
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120L is a totally different crystal with more of a burnt caramel note than the sweet caramel that the lower crystals provide.

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Old 10-24-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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I use Weyermanns Cararoma

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Old 10-24-2008, 06:37 PM   #7
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I use 120 in one of my stouts, a strong beer with LOTS of body and strong roastiness, not to mention more hops than a stout usually has. The 120 offsets these bitter notes. It's very complex and I like it a lot. However, I certainly can't see using it in an amber.

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Old 10-24-2008, 07:01 PM   #8
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Next time in your LHBS ask them for a handfull of Crystal 10, 20, 40, 80, and 120. Crunch them up and taste them. The sugars are already converted in crystal malts, so you will learn the flavor of each.

Much better/more useful exercise than just reading about them. 120L tastes strongly of raisins and has a burnt caramel background. It works well for a complex darker beer. A little bit (but not too much, 1/4# tops) is suitable for a red ale.

For an amber I would go with Crystal 40L and add a few ounces of chocolate malt to bring the SRM to where you want it. An all crystal amber is too sweet IMO.

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