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Old 12-28-2012, 01:26 AM   #1
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Default Best Way to Enhance the Caramel Flavor?

If I'm brewing a 5 gal stout extract kit, what's the best way to boost the caramel flavor? Add more crystal malt? If so, how much and when? Do I need to remove something to "make room" for the extra crystal malt? Or just add some caramel syrup or extract? Again, if so, how much and when?

Thanks!

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Old 12-28-2012, 01:33 AM   #2
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What kind of caramel are you talking about? Do you want some caramel candy flavor or some caramel malt flavor? the caramel malt flavor will depend on what the roast is but it is safe to steep all caramel malts as they do not convert in the mash anyway and are just for flavor.

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Old 12-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #3
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Add more crystal/caramel malt. Use more than one "L" rating. So for example use 1/4 lb of C40, 1/4 lb of C80 and 1/4 lb of Special B. You could add more, but by the time you get to a full pound of crystal malt, the beer gets a little too sweet, IMO, especially with extract based beers since the extract already has a good portion of crystal malt in it. If you really are looking for something sweeter, go ahead and add more, go up to a pound and a half - why not? I don't care! Also, instead of using specific "L" rated crystal malts, you can use the "light - medium - dark" crystal malts that the British maltsters make. So in that instance you might use 6 oz of each of those, or 1/2 lb each of the light and dark... experiment!

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Old 12-28-2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zamial
What kind of caramel are you talking about? Do you want some caramel candy flavor or some caramel malt flavor? the caramel malt flavor will depend on what the roast is but it is safe to steep all caramel malts as they do not convert in the mash anyway and are just for flavor.
Thanks. To answer your question, I guess I don't really know. I thought that using more crystal/caramel malt would provide a relatively similar caramel candy-like flavor but in a more subtle way. as opposed to dumping a candy bar, or syrup into the brew.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Damage
Add more crystal/caramel malt. Use more than one "L" rating. So for example use 1/4 lb of C40, 1/4 lb of C80 and 1/4 lb of Special B. You could add more, but by the time you get to a full pound of crystal malt, the beer gets a little too sweet, IMO, especially with extract based beers since the extract already has a good portion of crystal malt in it. If you really are looking for something sweeter, go ahead and add more, go up to a pound and a half - why not? I don't care! Also, instead of using specific "L" rated crystal malts, you can use the "light - medium - dark" crystal malts that the British maltsters make. So in that instance you might use 6 oz of each of those, or 1/2 lb each of the light and dark... experiment!
Thanks, that sounds like a good plan. I clearly need to learn more about the different malt varieties, "L" ratings, etc.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:55 PM   #6
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:57 PM   #7
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There's a marris otter extract LME available now. Some of that with maybe .5lb of crystal 20L should get some of that caramely,bready sweet kind of flavor.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
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60L and 80L are more caramel flavored crystal malts. Below that, it's less caramel flavor and above that you'll get more roasted flavors too. I use [9.5%] C65 and [3.2%] C85 (British crystal malts) along with [3.2%] honey malt in my caramel ale to give great caramel flavors. The rest of the recipe is good UK 2 row malt. I also hop on the lower end of the scale (<20 IBU) with either more later additions or the hop bursting method. Using a yeast that will leave a good amount of malt flavor/character in the brew is also a good idea. I use Wyeast 1335 there with great results. It's a brew that people keep begging me to let them buy.

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Old 12-28-2012, 04:58 PM   #9
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My latest pm ale is going on 3 weeks in primary tomorrow. When it was off gassing,I got wiffs of caramely,sweet bready aromas with a bit of toastiness. I used 2lbs of rahr 2-row,2lbs of marris otter,.5lb caramel 20L,& .5lb of carapils with 3lbs of Munton's plain light & extra light DME. The lhbs was out of the 3lb bags of light,so I had to use 1 light & 2 extra light to make it up. Still looks like it'll be a nice amber/copper color just the same. But the caramel/buiscotti toasty smell was nice.
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