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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Special B malt
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:06 AM   #1
Craig5_12
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Default Special B malt

Per Northern Brewer... "Special B (147° L) is an extremely dark caramel malt, which combines characteristics of dark caramel and light roasted malt. It has a sharp, almost toffee like flavor. In small proportions, it can contribute a ruby red color. Don't exceed 1/4 pound per five-gallon batch."

Everything sounds great except for the the "don't exceed 1/4 lbs..." part. I've never used this before and wanted everyones take on it. This will be going in an amber ale I'm brewing on Saturday.

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Old 02-23-2007, 01:25 PM   #2
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My advise in this case would be, uh, "Don't exceed 1/4 pound per five-gallon batch."

The normal use for Special B is in Begian dubbels and strong dark ales. But I've used in in APAs and amber type ales before--just 1-3 ounces. I like the complexity it adds to those beers. I think their description is pretty accurate.

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Old 02-23-2007, 03:03 PM   #3
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I've been using it in my pale ale at 1/8 lb and it makes a noticable difference.

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Old 02-23-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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Used it in a Brown Ale, and it made a difference for sure. I also eceeded more then 1/4lb and used half, and the flavor of this brown is awesome. I like the grain and would definatley use it again.

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Old 02-23-2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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I consider it along the lines of Chocolate malt and roasted barley, not as in the flavor but the amount generally used in 5 gal. It brings alot in a little bit. Amber will be a great home for Special B.

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Old 02-23-2007, 04:10 PM   #6
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Yeah that stuff is great imo! Like suggested though, use sparingly. If used more than 5% and it is going to really give you dominant caramel. If the rest of the grain bill has intense flavors though, it would be ok. From the horse's mouth:

"Special B (140° - 155° L)
The darkest of the Belgian crystal malts, Dingemans Special B will impart a heavy caramel taste and is often credited with the raisin-like flavors of some Belgian Abbey ales. Larger percentages (greater than 5%) will contribute a dark brown-black color and fuller body."

I think this is the prettiest malt I have seen. It is big and fat, with the husk being kind of orangish with the kernel being really dark. I really dig this malt.

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Old 02-23-2007, 04:15 PM   #7
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I also like special B quite a bit. I've used it in my Belgian dark ale, my porter both times, my christmas ale, and my brown ale. I used a 1/2lb of it the second time made my porter and I think it came out great.

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Old 02-24-2007, 06:54 AM   #8
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Excellent replies guys, thanks for all the info. I'm definitely looking forward to using it in this 1st time amber recipe. We'll see how it turns out tomorrow in my newly redesigned brewery!

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Old 02-25-2007, 08:15 PM   #9
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Well the brew day went very well with only a few minor things I needed to correct in the process. The color of this batch is awesome and the Special B should go very nicely with the vienna malt that I used. I'm conducting a little experiment as well so that I can get to the bottom of a slight off flavor in my last two batches. So, I've eliminated the plastic fermenter and I'm using carboys instead. I'm amazed that there is such a color difference in each carboy. The first runnings out of the WC are way clear, but the last runnings in the 2nd carboy are super cloudy. It looks like I brewed two different batches.

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