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Old 06-27-2008, 03:49 PM   #1
Shawn Hargreaves
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Default How much aromatic malt is too much?

So, I brewed my first partial mash last weekend (a wit). I now find myself hankering to experiment with all the other wonderful malts that have become available to me now I'm no longer limited to what is available in extract form.

In particular, I'm fascinated by the idea and smell of the Belgian Aromatic malt I tasted in my supply store. I'm planning to brew a very malty brown ale, with a fairly high hop rate to balance the amount of malt.

I've been looking at recipes which use aromatic malt, and they typically call for small amounts, usually less than 1/2 a pound. What would happen if I used more? Anyone ever used a lb or more of this, or got any idea what the result would taste like?

I figure if a small amount of something is a good idea, a larger amount must be an even better idea, right? :-) That logic works with hops, anyway, so why not malt? And it strikes me that pushing the limits on a single ingredient would be a good way to properly understand that ingredient and what flavors it can contribute...

Any suggestions for recipes, or advice from anyone who's previously tried something like this, would be much appreciated!

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Old 06-27-2008, 04:23 PM   #2
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It is pretty powerful stuff, but I also think it is yummy. Really "too much" is an objective thing and you will just have to find out for yourself. If you have made a beer with 1/2 pound and you think it could use more, go with 3/4 lb...still more good with a full lb. Honestly I think once you reach the lb threshold you are probably teetering into "too much" territory, but like I said, it is objective and brew it however you like it.

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Old 06-27-2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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Too much really does exist. A large part of brewing is balancing a beer. Just because we need salt in our diet, doesn't mean we have lick blocks on the table.

If you look at recipes that use aromatic and none of them use more than 8 ounces, it's probably because using more makes for bad beer, not because no one has ever tried it.

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Old 06-27-2008, 04:39 PM   #4
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i personally wouldn't add more than ¼ pound of aromatic. i added a half-pound to a recipe once and it was quite overpowering.

now, i LOVE malty beers. it's the flavor of the aromatic that gets out of control. if you want a really malty beer, use a few pounds of munich in addition to your aromatic.

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Old 06-27-2008, 04:51 PM   #5
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I'm thinking something along these lines: what do you reckon?

3 lbs. Munich Malt
0.25 lbs. Belgian Aromatic
0.25 lbs. Belgian Special B
0.25 lbs. Belgian Biscuit
5 lbs. Liquid Light Extract
1 oz. Northern Brewer (Whole, 8.00 %AA) boiled 60 min.
1 oz. Northern Brewer (Whole, 8.00 %AA) boiled 15 min.
1 oz. Willamette (Pellets, 5.00 %AA) boiled 2 min.
Yeast : White Labs WLP028 Edinburgh Ale
Dry hop with 1oz Willamette Pellets

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:17 PM   #6
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that looks great.

you may wish to throw a pound of 2-row in there as well. the munich doesn't have enough diastatic power to convert much more than itself.

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:36 PM   #7
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Aromatic malt has enough diastatic power to convert itself, so you could make a beer entirely of it.

I always hear people threatening to try this, but I don't think I've met anyone who actually has.

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:40 PM   #8
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Looks tasty, I'd sure drink it!

There's only .75lbs of extra grains, I think 3lbs of munich will be plenty to convert it, but replacing a bit more extract with 2-row will do nothing but improve the beer so I second that.

I'd maybe skip the dry hop though so you get all that amazing malt aroma coming through loud and clear.

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Old 06-27-2008, 06:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Blow Leprechaun View Post
Aromatic malt has enough diastatic power to convert itself, so you could make a beer entirely of it.

I always hear people threatening to try this, but I don't think I've met anyone who actually has.
i've heard this come up a few times around here. i think it would be AWFUL. maybe i'll try it with a small batch and just hop the hell out of it
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Old 06-27-2008, 07:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
Too much really does exist.
I wasn't saying it didn't exist, I was saying it was objective. Meaning that one person would say 1/4 lb is too much and another person would say 1/2 lb is too much whereas the OP may enjoy it up to 3/4 lb.
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