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Old 05-25-2013, 02:22 AM   #1
CryoEng
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Default Crystal 40 vs Carastan

Is there any real difference in Carastan and the average crystal 40?

In general, do the "Cara...." malts have something that the general similar crystals don't?

They always cost just a bit more....

Thanks

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Old 05-25-2013, 06:17 AM   #2
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The only difference is what company makes them, and what they choose to call the malt. Each maltster is different, so a 40L crystal from each will be different. Sometimes it's a subtle difference, sometimes it can be quite pronounced.

Try some of each from various maltsters and see what you like. I did this a few years back (got 3 different crystal malts from 5 different maltsters, so 15 malts), and did a taste test. One stood out to me, so I've stuck with the brand ever since. You might similarly find one you like.

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Old 05-25-2013, 02:04 PM   #3
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Carastan is a Simpson's product I believe. And I assume the C40 you are talking about is either Breiss or Great Western. In that case they are completely different. I don't know what is done differently in the UK but their crystals have a very unique flavor. If you are looking for that "English" character you should her the Carastan.

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Old 05-25-2013, 04:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannypo View Post
Carastan is a Simpson's product I believe.
Close! It's a Hugh Baird malt.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by GuldTuborg View Post
The only difference is what company makes them, and what they choose to call the malt. Each maltster is different, so a 40L crystal from each will be different. Sometimes it's a subtle difference, sometimes it can be quite pronounced.

Try some of each from various maltsters and see what you like. I did this a few years back (got 3 different crystal malts from 5 different maltsters, so 15 malts), and did a taste test. One stood out to me, so I've stuck with the brand ever since. You might similarly find one you like.
Wow. That's a great parametric study!

I'll likely never be able to brew enough, with enough control, to detect the differences.

Would you recommend going with the "cara" malts as a default?

Cheers!
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dannypo View Post
Carastan is a Simpson's product I believe. And I assume the C40 you are talking about is either Breiss or Great Western. In that case they are completely different. I don't know what is done differently in the UK but their crystals have a very unique flavor. If you are looking for that "English" character you should her the Carastan.
I honestly don't know who malts most of the grains I buy. I buy from Austins mostly, because of their shipping rates. They list a standard set of crystals and the "cara" malts in the specialty group.

Is the English character due to the grains or the technique? Maybe a bit of both?

I'm happy to settle on the "cara" malts as a standard, if they provide a better overall quality. I have found myself with a bunch of crystals and nearly the same "cara" malts and figure I can simplify the inventory.

Thanks much!

Cheers!
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CryoEng View Post

I honestly don't know who malts most of the grains I buy. I buy from Austins mostly, because of their shipping rates. They list a standard set of crystals and the "cara" malts in the specialty group.

Is the English character due to the grains or the technique? Maybe a bit of both?

I'm happy to settle on the "cara" malts as a standard, if they provide a better overall quality. I have found myself with a bunch of crystals and nearly the same "cara" malts and figure I can simplify the inventory.

Thanks much!

Cheers!
Not necessarily better, just different. The english cara malts have a very english character. I know that doesn't help much but I'm not sure I can describe it better than that. I would say that English malts work in American styles but American malts don't work as well in English styles.
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Old 05-26-2013, 04:32 PM   #8
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Honestly, when I did my little "experiment," I found just as much variance among the English maltsters as I did between the English and non-English. I'm going from memory here, but I think I got Baird, Crisp, Fawcett, Briess, and Franco Belges. All were quite different in taste.

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Old 05-26-2013, 05:46 PM   #9
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Honestly, when I did my little "experiment," I found just as much variance among the English maltsters as I did between the English and non-English. I'm going from memory here, but I think I got Baird, Crisp, Fawcett, Briess, and Franco Belges. All were quite different in taste.
I agree. They are all different. But IMO the English malts are more similar to each other than they are to the American malts. Now I haven't used them all but among Simpsons, Crisp and the couple Hugh Baird malts I've used I seem to prefer Simpsons most of the time.
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