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Old 05-07-2009, 03:45 AM   #1
Retroviridae
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Default what malt gives a toasted sesame flavor?

Hi all,

Long time lurker, brand new member, and first real post.

I recently switched to partial mash, and my head is spinning with all the variety of new (to me) ingredients I can now use! So, I'm practicing formulating my own recipes.

There is one particular flavor/aroma I am trying to create in an amber ale: toasted sesame.

My inspiration is the Red Snapper amber ale from Arbor Brewing Company, in Ann Arbor, MI. It's a fairly hoppy amber; American hop profile, I think. But the hops are well balanced by assertive malt flavors. Every time I drink it, one particular toasty/roasty malt note strikes me as distinctly like toasted sesame seeds (or toasted sesame oil used in stir fry). Very distinctly. It's so striking (and good) that I'm considering even adding some toasted sesame seeds to a small experimental batch.

In all my searches online, I've never seen any malts or specialty grains described this way. Anyone know what malt(s) would give me this flavor/aroma?

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Old 05-07-2009, 04:27 AM   #2
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I don't know that particular beer, but it might be munich. Munich reminds me of unsalted peanut shell scent/taste, and now that you mention it, I guess it could be similar to toasted sesame.

Note: It would probably take quite a bit of Munich, which suits an amber just fine IMO. I have a pale ale I used 4 lbs in and it is very good and noticeable, but not overpowering at all. Nice and peanut shellish

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Old 05-07-2009, 04:53 AM   #3
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the beer is described as an amber with IPA hops and an english brown nutty type flavor. If you're doing a partial mash i guess you can just do an amber base, get some toasted brown type malts, maybe a victory malt or special roast and then use plenty of cascade hops, that's what they describe as the hop used.

Hope that helps?

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Old 05-07-2009, 01:11 PM   #4
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Thanks for the suggestions.

99blackgt: yeah I figured it would be toasted sorts of malts. I'll have to buy a few of these and some small SMaSH-esque experimental batches (a neutral base malt, one toasted malt to test, and some Cascade).

BrewBrain: From Munich malt? Wow, I don't think I've read anything that describes Munich like that before.
Do you know what maltster you got your Munich from?
Think it could have been stale? (I only ask since I think of peanut shells being a flat, cardboard-y, stale flavor - but maybe I've just been eating stale peanuts!)
Do you do anything special with your sacch rest temps?
Do you think it could be a flavor component coming out of the husks during mashout/sparge? What were your temps?
I've experimented with Vienna, and assumed Munich would be similar. But now you have me intrigued. Maybe I'll do a Munich SMaSH-like experiment too.

I'll post updates when I get around to these experiments, in case there is anyone else out there looking to get toasted sesame or peanut shell flavors into their beer.

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Old 05-07-2009, 02:46 PM   #5
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If it's an English Brown nutty type flavor, it may have Munich in it, but the flavor you're looking for is more likely something like special roast or victory or something similar.

I've never heard Munich described the way it tastes to me either, but I am talking about a pretty large volume in my beer. Munich makes up 4 lbs of the 10 lbs of grain in the ale I'm drinking right now, and I get a warm, bready, peanut shell flavor and scent. In smaller amounts, it has never really come through that way for me.

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:02 PM   #6
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I've also seen someone post about custom roasting some MO to get a nutty flavor, but i think i'd do a really small smash with victory and special roast and see if you can find your flavor there. Over sparaging might give it a different taste as well, so maybe you could do a small batch, collect runnings as normal, split them, then over sparage and dump that into one of the halves and try that as a smash setup. If you do that for both malts you'll have 4 different batches to taste and it might give you a better idea of what to shoot for. Make them small and do them in a gallon jug or 2 liter bottle or something if you don't have small containers

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Old 05-07-2009, 07:36 PM   #7
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Retro-

I've got a few suggestions for you. I'm not sure of what type of malt will give you your flavor profile but...

A) Call or email the brewery. I'm originally from Detroit and I've had success calling a few local breweries (dragonmead, paint creek, bells), speaking with either the owner or the brewmaster, and getting some great direction and in one case the exact recipe I was asking about. Just explain exactly what you're trying to do and usually they'll give you all the help they can.

B) Go to Ashley's Pub on State St. right across from the M Den on campus. They've got the best beer selection in town and their bar staff are far and away the most knowledgable barkeeps I've ever come across. Go in the slow part of the afternoon and they usually will talk to you for hours. They may know in general which malts work. And even if they can't help you... Well, there's no place in the world I'd rather spend a few hours!

Hope that helps.

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Old 05-08-2009, 01:04 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the great suggestions!

cimirie: I may ask the brewery (Arbor Brewing Company) eventually - I hear they are very supportive of homebrewers. They even have a program where homebrewers can brew a 10 gallon batch on their equipment, and they'll serve it in their bar as a happy hour special. A friend of mine did that recently as his first all-grain batch. But for now, the question is an excuse for me to experiment!

I think I'll follow 99blackgt's suggestion of testing special roast and victory in small batches. Maybe I'll test a relatively large proportion of Munich too, since I'm now curious about BrewBrain's peanut shell flavor.

But I'm not sure how to over-sparge on my system: I use a stove-top grain bag method (recently publicized by DeathBrewer) to do partial mashes. It's hard to "teabag" sparge enough volume, much less over-sparge. Unless by "over-sparging" you mean sparging over-temperature to purposefully extract some husk flavors?

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Old 05-08-2009, 01:39 AM   #9
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Good idea to experiment. It's always fun to taste the results. Not to dissuade you from the Munich angle, but the last two brews I've done have had at least 60% Munich and no discernable peanut shell taste. Again, not saying don't do it, but if you're trying to nail things down, maybe try the Munich later in the experimentation process.

Good luck to you and keep us in the loop!

PS Thanks for the head's up about the AABC and brewing batches there. I've got a friend in Howell who might have to make the trip to A2 to brew there and get his beer in tap!

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Primary: Billy Corrigan Ale, malted cider experiment, Optimator clone
Secondary: Sorachi Ace IPA
Bottled: Dark Lord Clone Imperial Stout, Winter 2010 Spiced Ale Ambassador Brown Ale, Michigan Berry pLambic
Kegged: Old Woodward ESB, Strawberry Blonde
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:02 AM   #10
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sounds like a really cool brewing experience doing it at an actual brewery. I wish the guys at three floyds didn't completely suck. I've tried talking to them and they are IMPOSSIBLE to reach, pretty much stuck up if you asked me. I tried to do an interview with them for a college course i was taking. Asked the secritary for a 15 minuite interview at any time of their choosing any time within the next 5 weeks (very little time to take out of someones day, i was willing to go wherever they wanted, any of the owners (the two remaining floyds or any of the other brewers) They told me they'd get back to me and i called back in two weeks after no response. Same thing for the next few weeks, i'd call back, never get anyone. 5 days till my assignment was due and they said they might beable to do a phone interview in two weeks, but wouldn't be willing to meet me face to face. WTF? It was a fluff interview, just a "how do you like your job, what made you want to get into it" bla bla bla... anyways, i digress, sorry.....


I don't think munic usually will give you that kind of flavor, but there is never too much experimentation, so try it out if you'd like.. I forgot you were doing PM so i guess you can't over sparage. You could try to leave them in into the hot break but i'm not sure if that will give you a favorable effect or just some off flavors. Not that people don't boil grain EVER because some do it in decoction brewing, as i have done as well and never noticed anything overly nutty due to the process. Just try out those two grains in small batches and you'll know. I've never really done much with brown ales, as they just aren't really my style. But i was planning on workin on some over this summer to hone down a decent recipe.

Maybe if you get it to work out i'll try and convince you to trade me some brews over the mail sometime and see what you come out with. i'd like to try that snapper if i can find it but i doubt i'll see it around locally as i never have yet and i look around a lot. I'd like to try a brown ale with IPA hops, sounds interesting.

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