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Old 12-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
permo
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Default If you could only have one crystal malt?

Which would it be? I buy in bulk and like to have 10-20 pounds of xtal malt and 100-200 pounds of base malt around at all times. For base malts I always have one "standard" base around like pale or pils and one that is slightly kilned like munich or vienna.


Then I like to have a crystal malt around for color adjustment, flavor, body, head retention, etc..etc.......

So lately I have pretty much settled on C80 as my all around "workhorse" crystal malt. It give good color and I find the flavor to give normal caramel sweetness with a slight roasty edge that adds complexity to my paler ales.


What are you guys using as your "go to" crystal malt and why?

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:05 PM   #2
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C-60. Perfect Crystal malt for pale ale and works well in stouts, porters and IPA's. IMO C-80 is getting to "raisiny" for pale ale where the hops are supposed to be the dominant flavor.

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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Anything above C-45 is too dark, pruney, rich, roasty, nutty, and sweet for my personal tastes in hop-forward American APAs, IPAs, IIPAs. For the darker ales, I'll use C-60 and above.

But I'd say C-30 would be perfect. I could get some of those dark colors/flavors from a combo of other non-crystal dark malts if need be. I don't typically brew beers that require very dark crystal. But couldn't you just toast C-30 a bit more to have C-60? You certainly can't reverse the toast, so choosing to work exclusively with a darker crystal would be silly to me.

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:16 PM   #4
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Simpsons dark crystal. It comes in at about 75L. Tons of character here. It seems to be a blend of different crystal malts. Just looking at the malt you can see different color grains. This makes the malt more complex to me.

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:23 PM   #5
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I don't get any raisin/prune from c80. Just sweetness(caramel flavor), color and mild roasty/nuttiness. I keep it under %10 at all times and mostly 5 - 7 % . I have used C20-C40 in amount approaching %10 and I can't say that it lended a whole lot of complexity to the beer....it was filler IMO, not to far off from carapils. YMMV of course and everybody's pallete and brewing process is unique.

Thanks for the replies so far, very good information...very good!

Also, I would like to throw in there, that as long as I have base malt around I can make biscuit, victory, golden, amber, brown, pale chocolate and chocolate malts at will. It really opens things up for a homebrewer.

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by permo View Post
I don't get any raisin/prune from c80. Just sweetness(caramel flavor), color and mild roasty/nuttiness. I keep it under %10 at all times and mostly 5 - 7 % . I have used C20-C40 in amount approaching %10 and I can't say that it lended a whole lot of complexity to the beer....it was filler IMO, not to far off from carapils.
In lighter styles that's all Crystal malt is supposed to do; add a hint of color, add body and mouthfeel and add head retention.
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Old 12-20-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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I just used 5% Franco Belges Caramel Pilsen 10L in an A-IIPA with a very basic, clean grist. Finished at 1.011 FG and was laden with IBUs. And yet I could still taste that caramel sweetness and aroma offered by the Cara 10L. It wouldn't have been bad to bump that % up to 7 or 8, or if I used C-40 in place of it... but I would have hated this beer if I used C-60 or C-80. To each their own I guess. But I find Crystal 10 to be very different from Carapils as far as sweetness and character. Despite being simliar in color, you don't really use Carapils for flavor; it's not a Caramel/Crystal malt. It's basically offers head retention, mouthfeel, and body.

http://www.onebeer.net/grainchart.html

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:07 PM   #8
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Simpsons medium which is 55 to 60L

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:11 PM   #9
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I'm really loving C120 these days. A little goes a long way...maybe 4oz max gives you body, color and awesome yet not overpowering flavor.

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Old 12-20-2012, 02:16 PM   #10
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I like C-60. Maybe just because it fits so nicely right there in the middle or maybe because I do like a little bit of sweetness to some of my beers but I almost always end up defaulting to this. 5% for me adds a nice flavor without being overpowering even in a simple grist with nothing else but basemalt.

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