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Old 02-02-2012, 03:55 AM   #1
mccann51
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Default Different crystal/caramel malts?

Hi, I'm having some trouble teasing apart the differences between the many different types of caramel/crystal malts? Specifically, I'm interested in the organolectic differences between the #L caramels, the CaraMunich/CaraVienna/CaraOtherNameWeyermanGivesIt, and Special B. Any info would be appreciated, thanks!

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Old 02-02-2012, 04:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccann51 View Post
organolectic
Do you mean "organoleptic"? Have you looked at the wiki? That's a pretty vague question; is there something specific you want to know, that the wiki does not answer?
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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Yes, that was a typo, organoleptic.

No, at this point, I don't have much specific in mind, I'm just curious if there are overarching differences. According to the HBTalk Wiki malt chart, the regular crystal #Ls impart caramel, body, head, and sweetness, whereas the CaraNames impart caramel/aromatics, but not sweetness (or something like that), and then Special B (which I'm pretty familiar w and can pick out in commercial brews w pretty good confidence) offers something that the chart doesn't mention, ie dark fruit, but it's listed as offering aromatics and caramel as well. I know the chart is not perfect, but it's a starting place.

I realize the level of kilning (correct term?) obviously effects these attributes, but I'm wondering if there are some general themes in terms of what to expect from the different 'types' of caramel malts (EDIT: beyond what the chart is providing, stuff like, "CaraName doesn't offer raisiny-ness, but the crystals do", or something of that sort).

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:23 AM   #4
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It's tough, really, because different maltsters use different processes to make these various malts, and they all taste different, even when the Lov rating is the same. Sometimes it's a minor difference, sometimes it's very pronounced. In general, I find the lower the Lov rating, the more sweetness you get from it, and the higher the Lov rating, the more dark fruit and burnt tastes you may get. There's an inverse relation between the two tastes as you go up and down the Lov scale. That's all very general, but it's probably the best I can do.

A couple years ago, I bought a small amount of crystal malts from 4 (if memory serves) different maltsters, of various colors, to compare them. That is, I bought one of each color from each maltster. I didn't have time to brew with them all, but I did eat the grains plain, and make "malt tea" with them. The differences were significant, and it helped me to understand how each could differ as well as hone in on which maltster's products I prefer. It might be worth trying out, and for a small amount of money, would help you much more in answering this question than any verbal description can.

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:42 AM   #5
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Wiki: Organoleptic is an adjective used to refer to the aspects of food or other substances as experienced by the senses, including taste, sight, smell, and touch.

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Thank you, I do know that. I took the OP to be asking about the flavor and color differences, as the question either didn't make much sense, or simply seemed improbable, otherwise. That's why I asked for clarification in my first post.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuldTuborg View Post
A couple years ago, I bought a small amount of crystal malts from 4 (if memory serves) different maltsters, of various colors, to compare them. That is, I bought one of each color from each maltster. I didn't have time to brew with them all, but I did eat the grains plain, and make "malt tea" with them. The differences were significant, and it helped me to understand how each could differ as well as hone in on which maltster's products I prefer. It might be worth trying out, and for a small amount of money, would help you much more in answering this question than any verbal description can.
I'll give this a try, good advice, thanks.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:23 AM   #8
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That is good advice, I might do the same.

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