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Old 12-13-2011, 10:10 PM   #1
redbeard1414
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Default flavor profiles for base malts

hi everyone! long time reader first time poster and just wanted to ask a simple question. what is the best way to acquire a flavor profile for base malts? i just started getting into partial mash recipes (love extract but need more/want to create more unique recipes) and just wanted some tips and tricks. my key goal is to get a crap load (technical term) of different base malts so i can start formulating my own set of beers. your wisdom is appreciated. thanks a keg load!

redbeard.

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Old 12-13-2011, 10:33 PM   #2
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I'd say you'd probably want to do small all grain batches, with a single, identical, hop for each batch. I also wouldn't use any specialty malts. If you do use malt extract in addition to the grains, I'd use the same malt extract for each batch. The single hop, single malt all-grain would give you the best idea of the grain flavor profile though (no other flavors from the extract to muddy the flavors).

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Old 12-13-2011, 10:34 PM   #3
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Try some SMaSH brews. Single Malt and Single Hop.
Use a mild, clean hop and keep the IBUs and yeasts mild as to give the Malts a chance to make it's flavor point.

You'll find that some SMaSHs you make may be amazing session brews.

:Edit: looks like someone beat me to it.

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Old 12-13-2011, 11:29 PM   #4
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Yep, they explained SMaSH without the term. still effective tho

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Old 12-13-2011, 11:55 PM   #5
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+1 to SMaSH. It's a great way to get to know different malts and different hops

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:16 AM   #6
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I myself was wondering if there is some kind of online reference describing some flavor profiles of the different malts. Some online shops like Northern have some basic descriptions on some malts, like for example Maris Otter being rich and slightly nutty or Vienna malt being slightly toasty, etc. While tastes are certainly subjective a more thorough written reference would be a nice starting point.


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Old 12-14-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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The first thing I would do is take a trip to my local home brew shop and eat some of each of the base malts. Then pick one and SMaSH with a noble hop that you have used or at least know the flavor of to some degree. Then SMaSH with the same hop and a different base. It will take some time to get through all the base malts but in the long run you will learn a lot and have a lot better understanding of how to controal the use of them in the future.

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Old 12-14-2011, 03:25 PM   #8
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Get a french press coffee pot, and brew up a bunch of grain teas.



The Basic Brewing guys also did a series of interesting videos on the topic.

Quote:
January 28, 2008 - Specialty Grains
James and Steve steep up some specialty grains to compare how they look and taste.

click to view Mp-4 or Flash
Quote:
May 15, 2008 - Base Malt Experiment
We get unexpected results when we compare unhopped beers made with three different base malts.

click to view Mp-4 or Flash
Quote:
May 28, 2008 - Base Malt Experiment II
Our Base Malt Experiment continues as we compare beer with and wtihout hops.

click to view Mp-4 or Flash
Quote:
August 8, 2008 - Base Malt Experiment III
It's the final installment of the Base Malt Experiment as we use liquid yeast to ferment beers made with and without hops.

click to view Mp-4 or Flash
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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Briess has some very helpful descriptions of their base malts:
Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.: Base Malts

Also, many homebrew shops have all their grain in large bins. Many will let you sample (i.e., put in your mouth & chew) their grains. This is particularly useful for getting to know your specialty malts (i.e., crystal vs biscuit vs roasted, etc), but you can pick up some subtle differences in base malts too.

+1 for SMaSH - brew a few small ones, then compare. No substitute for side by side for learning the differences.

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Old 12-14-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev2010 View Post
I myself was wondering if there is some kind of online reference describing some flavor profiles of the different malts. Some online shops like Northern have some basic descriptions on some malts, like for example Maris Otter being rich and slightly nutty or Vienna malt being slightly toasty, etc. While tastes are certainly subjective a more thorough written reference would be a nice starting point.
Malts Chart - Home Brewing Wiki

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/ingr...-redux-107308/
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