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Old 02-23-2011, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default is more always better with specialty grains?

I was reading an article on byo from the brewmaster of Rogue, and he said that basically the more specialty malts the better. is that true?

I always bump up the specialty malts to about 4 pounds, keeping the correct ratios though for the recipe. I hate seeing recipes with only a pound of specialty malt. I want flavorful beers. What are your thoughts on this?

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Old 02-23-2011, 02:30 AM   #2
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specialty malts all depend on the brewers taste. take a pilsner, many brewers will say only put 2 row german pils malt in, yet there are many recipes with one or two specialty malts in it. i say brew it how you like it.

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Old 02-23-2011, 02:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgrabstein View Post
I was reading an article on byo from the brewmaster of Rogue, and he said that basically the more specialty malts the better. is that true?
John Maier said that? I didn't see that article.

No, generally that's not true. Some of the best recipes have a solid malt base with very little in the way of specialty grains. I think it depends on the recipe, though.

In an IPA, I think one specialty grain is enough often. But in an oatmeal stout, I like crystal, chocolate malt, oatmeal, roasted barley and/or pale chocolate malt. That's 4-5 specialty malts.

"More" is not always better, though. It's a balance- you want complexity but not muddiness in the malt bill.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:36 AM   #4
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I also agree that that as a basic rule is patently false. I recently brewed a stout with 3 lbs of specialty malt, and it was way too much for the recipe. I haven't been able to get through that batch yet because I have since produced much better and more well balanced beers, and that was about 4 months ago

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Old 02-23-2011, 03:17 AM   #5
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If you like 4 pounds of specialty malts, then more power to you. I guess Rogue probably uses plenty of specialty malts, but if you take this sentiment to the extreme, you'd use no base malts and make a beer with nothing but crystal malts. Not that people don't do that, but it's an exception rather than the rule. Even your 4# is really "only" like 1/3 of your grain bill.

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Old 02-23-2011, 04:17 AM   #6
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I'm squarely behind Yooper on this one. A great base malt starts a great beer. I look at specialty malts like spicing and seasoning food - different recipes/dishes use different amounts, but each thing that you add should add something to a dish that is discernable to some degree rather than completely dominating it. Too much of anything makes 'brown', IMO.

I've slowly moved into the less is more camp. I'm drinking a half pint of Deathbrewer's Vienna/NB SMaSH as I type. It's really simple and really tasty.

All of this being said, like jebsterr said, brew it how you like it.

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Old 02-23-2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Do no EVER use 4 lbs of peat malt in a beer. EVER.

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