So, after recently seeing an episode of Alton Brown's Good Eats, I thought maybe a discussion could occur on grain substitutions (AB did an entire show on ingredient substitutions).
For example, my buddies and I decided to brew this:
but we can't seem to find the Belgian Munich Malt. We chose to use a Light Munich Malt as that's what the LBS had in stock.
I'm looking to see if anyone has ideas on a more systematic method for grain substitution, I've seen charts (http://www.brewstock.com/brewstockbrewing.html), but nothing on how to methodically choose replacements.
If you really want to be methodical about it, you'd want to scrutinize the analysis profiles for each malt for things like protein content and extract potential. But that still wouldn't tell you what kind of flavors and aromas you'd get from it.
More practically, with experience you just get a feel for it. In your example, I would want to substitute a German Munich malt for the Belgian Munich malt, because I know the two start with similar base malts and undergo similar processing. Generic "Munich Malt" from the LHBS could be an American malt, which may be a strong converter but made from a lower quality malt which would lack the flavor/aroma character I'd want.
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