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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Why does North American malt taste like that?
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:28 AM   #1
Prionburger
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Default Why does North American malt taste like that?

So I've been thinking a lot about it. I like that American malts are so easy to use, and so inexpensive. Nice protein content too. Their flavor though... seems to be less than European malts. Why is it like that? Is it because the post-prohibition trend towards flavorless BMC flavor? Agricultural selection for less flavor?

North American malt does have a flavor of its own, and I like it, but it's way more subtle I think... Will we ever produce more flavorful malts? I think we should, given that the continent is such an agricultural powerhouse... There should be more varieties of brewing barley too...

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Old 07-14-2012, 12:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prionburger View Post
. Their flavor though... seems to be less than European malts. Why is it like that? Is it because the post-prohibition trend towards flavorless BMC flavor? Agricultural selection for less flavor?
Those are probably two of the reasons. The big customers are the big brewers and they make bland beer with high adjunct content. So it stands to reason that the type of base malt for this market needs to be inexpensive, have a high enzyme content and a bland don't-get-in-the-way flavor profile.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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In the US the best farmland is devoted to corn and soybeans while everything else is a relative afterthought (don't blame big agriculture for that, it's always been that way for corn going back to the beginning). Wheat and other mixed grains, which can grow in anything, pretty much get the worst land. Europe devotes much better land to wheat and cereal grains. EU wheat yields are double those in the US. EU barley yields are about 20% higher than US for the same reason. Better land and a more favorable climate (most barley in the US is grown in North Dakota and Montana, I believe) might lead to different flavor characteristics when malted.

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Old 07-14-2012, 01:55 PM   #4
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^ This
Soil (quality) makes all the difference.

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