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Old 02-11-2013, 03:09 AM   #1
CurtHagenlocher
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Default Crystal vs Lactose for Sweetness

I'm interested in making a sweet stout. What would be the effect of using (say) 10-15% crystal malt for sweetness instead of lactose or oatmeal? I haven't seen any recipes which do that -- which tends to make me suspect it's not worth trying.

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Old 02-11-2013, 03:20 AM   #2
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Lactose isn't really sweet in the sense that sugar is sweet. It is more full bodied, and slightly milky.

Crystal will be sweeter than lactose, but if you want a milk stout I'd go with the lactose. Lactose gives that creamy feel you want in a milk stout.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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So a sweet stout make with (say) 15% crystal might be too sweet and too malty and not creamy enough compared to one made with lactose?

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Old 02-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CurtHagenlocher View Post
So a sweet stout make with (say) 15% crystal might be too sweet and too malty and not creamy enough compared to one made with lactose?
I find that they affect the end product very differently.

Lactose has a creamy sweetness to it, that isn't really quite "sweet". Think of the sweetness of milk or cream. It doesn't feel the same on the palate as a similar amount of maltose.

I find that you can have far more lactose remaining in the final product than unfermented maltose, before the beer starts to be too sweet. I haven't used lactose in years though, and I can't really comment upon exact percentages of it. But the mouthfeel of a beer with crystal in place of lactose will have a different mouthfeel.
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