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Old 07-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default We did a blind tasting of roasted/dark malts--here are the results

We took a quarter of a pound of 7 kinds of dark grains (listen below) and steeped them overnight at room temperature in half a quart of water. We then took turns tasting all 7 grains, writing down our impressions as we went. We tasted them blind, however we did not taste them double blind--way too much work for this experiment! We also tasted them in different orders.

The results were fascinating, with some clear winners and losers. My tasting partner and I were also surprisingly aligned on many of them, although we were both wrong more often than not when trying to guess them after.

The clear winners: black patent, roasted barley
The clear losers: Carafa III dehusked, FrancoBelges Kiln Coffee

The real loser though was the Carafa III--we both thought it was absolutely terrible.

Roasted Barley
Taster 1: Bitter, thick, chocolate and coffee
Taster 2: Hard to describe, kind of flat flavor but great aroma

Chocolate Rye
1: Thin, some caramel
2: Nutty, some marshmallow sweetness?

FrancoBelges Kiln Coffee
1: Vinegar
2: A little fruity, acrid, thin

Chocolate Wheat:
1: Bittersweet, slight roast
2: Very malty, acrid

Pale Chocolate
1: Candy sweet, alcohol
2: Strong aroma, very tangy

Black patent:
1: Sweet and roasty
2: Sweet and acrid/roast

Dehusked Carafa III
1: Tasteless and watery
2: Sour, earthy, thin

For my part I saw a lot more similarity than difference in flavor but my tasting partner was very struck by the differences. As I said, there were a couple big winners and two neither of us particularly liked.

Obviously the big flaw is this doesn't tell us anything about context--these were tasted on their own. I supposed the next logical thing to do some time is brew up 7 1.060 batches and make 'em into beer!

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Old 07-22-2014, 10:40 PM   #2
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There is chocolate rye malt? Hot damn, that's going in the rye CDA once I can get my hands on some. Beyond that, I've never liked Carafa in my beers at all so I can't say I'm surprised by that. Black patent is tasty in small doses as is roasted barley.

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