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Old 02-28-2008, 03:29 AM   #1
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Default Maris Otter vs Two Row

I'm looking at brewing Orfy's SMaSH brew with Maris Otter and Fuggles. I got to thinking that since I live in Canada's bread basket, it's a lot cheaper for me to buy Canadian two row rather than Maris Otter or US two row so I started searching and reading. I looked through the sticky link at the links provided, the Wiki, and Google, but I couldn't find much comparing the different types as to what it would add or take away from the beer.

If this discussion has been had before, please post the link and I'll wander over and have a look. If not, how about we talk about how different a beer would be with just Maris Otter or just Canadian two row as the only malt?

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:37 AM   #2
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Marris Otter is a variety of barley that is malted to a slightly darker color, which gives it a biscuity, toasty flavor. American 2-row, which I'm assuming is similar to Canadian, has a much cleaner, neutral flavor profile. I would say that MO is quite important to a SMaSH recipe because it creates the complex malty flavor. But there is no reason not to use Canadian 2-row, the beer will probably have a cleaner malt profile, allowing the flavor of the hop to really come through like a pale ale.

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:37 AM   #3
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I personally feel that if you can brew a great beer with what you have available locally then go for it. Honestly with the way things are these days (not sure how it is up there, but here things are shifty in the economy atm) I feel it is better to do the best you can with what you can get locally. Maris Otter is indeed a great malt, possibly one of the best available. However, my suggestion would be not to try to replicate something using a Maris Otter, but to find what best suits the malt you have there.

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Old 02-28-2008, 03:58 AM   #4
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correct me if I am wrong but isn't maris otter one of the only traditional floor malted barleys around?
-ander

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:14 AM   #5
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Warminster Maltings is the manufacturer of floor malted Marris Otter, there are a couple smaller English malters still doing floor malting I believe but I don't think their products are available to home brewers and they do not produce nearly as much.

http://www.warminster-malt.co.uk/marisotter.html

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:24 AM   #6
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Maris Otter is a cultivar of barley - a strain.
More important is the maltster - like Crisp or Warminster. They determine how the malted barley tastes.

If you want to make an English SMaSH brew then go with the MO as that will provide the expected maly backbone. If you want to make more of a NA Pale Ale then go with domestic 2 row. Even better do both and compare!

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anderj
correct me if I am wrong but isn't maris otter one of the only traditional floor malted barleys around?
-ander

Beware...floor malting=snail shells...maybe a big deal, maybe more protein...

You decide!

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Old 02-28-2008, 04:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iordz
Marris Otter is a variety of barley that is malted to a slightly darker color, which gives it a biscuity, toasty flavor. American 2-row, which I'm assuming is similar to Canadian, has a much cleaner, neutral flavor profile.
This is the kind of information I was looking for. A direct comparison of their properties.

I'm leaning doing the SMaSH brew just as Orfy posted because of the English Fuggles, but I may try one later with just a local variety. Apparently there is a strain of hops that is indigenous to an area about two hours away from me. I can't remember the variety but it might be cool to see if it's appropriate for a SMaSH brew with local malted barley. There is a malt factory about an hour away. With the hops shortage we may all find ourselves experiementing with hops we haven't used before.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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American 2-row barley (I believe Canadian malts are considered north American) malt is very lightly kilned and has a very neutral flavor. English 2-row is more darkly kilned and Maris Otter barley has more flavor than typical barleys. This results in a more malty and biscuity flavor from those malts.

I'm guessing if you do a SMaSH with American 2-row you will end up with a beer where the malt flavors just about disappear. This is an American lager or Blonde ale type beer.

You can approximate the flavor contribution of Maris Otter by adding some Victory, Biscuit, and/or Munich malt to the beer. You should be able to find at least one of these from you local maltster.

Craig

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Old 02-28-2008, 02:02 PM   #10
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Since I started about 14 months ago, I haven't touched 2-row. My house malt is exclusively MO. It's a little more expensive, but I really notice a difference in the malts---I like the maltiness of MO. I've also used Munich & Pilsner as base malts as required, but never 2-row.

I'd second what was said above: just using 2-row will give you a very different beer than just using MO. Either buy just enough MO for the recipe, or supplement with biscuit or victory like cbbaron says.

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