Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway - Enter Now!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Learning Grain Flavors...

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-27-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
TapeDeck
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 67
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default Learning Grain Flavors...

Better to try SMaSH or to use a common base malt and then experiment with one additional grain?

I want to make my own recipes, but the problem is that I know what I like in the finished product, but I don't know what to tweak to get more of "what makes it better" because it's such a subjective thing.

For you cats who have been doing this forever, what did you do? Just make a leaping buttload of beer, or did you get systematic in trying things out?

__________________
TapeDeck is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2012, 09:02 PM   #2
duboman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,054
Liked 461 Times on 428 Posts
Likes Given: 207

Default

A smash is a great way to learn about grains and I would suggest smaller batches

If you have a friendly LHBS they may also let you chew on some grain, it's not the greatest taste but you'll be amazed at how different grains actually taste. Also, somewhere on this site is a grain chart, I've never seen it or referenced it but have seen people mention it, maybe someone knows or has the link. Also, a lot of the catalogs out there have grain charts with flavor profiles for grain and their typical uses.

I would also recommend "Designing Great Beer" by Ray Daniels
You can also peruse the Recipe WIKI here and read through different styles and recipes to see how people go about using different grains for different beers

__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010
duboman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2012, 09:08 PM   #3
TapeDeck
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 67
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts
Likes Given: 9

Default

I have an epic great LHBS (Chicago Brew Werks in Plainfield, IL) that has let me taste a whole bunch of different grains--he stocks everything. It has been informative, but I still think I have to make beer with them to connect the dots between the grain taste and the beer it produces.

This gives me a great idea, that is probably VERY VERY OLD HAT, but I guess that from now on, I will keep a small quantity of each grain before milling, to taste alongside my finished beers. That's probably the best way I'll be able to connect the dots between ingredients and finished beer.

The fear with SMaSH is ... a whole ton of boring beer in your keg, right? I don't know that I have the right gear on hand to do small batch stovetop all grain beers, so if I'm using the bigger gear, I'm gonna want to do 5 gal.
I probably HAVE to do it, but maybe I should wait until closer to the holidays and foist it off on unsuspecting family members who will simply be happy to have free beer.

__________________
TapeDeck is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2012, 09:20 PM   #4
duboman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,054
Liked 461 Times on 428 Posts
Likes Given: 207

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TapeDeck View Post
I have an epic great LHBS (Chicago Brew Werks in Plainfield, IL) that has let me taste a whole bunch of different grains--he stocks everything. It has been informative, but I still think I have to make beer with them to connect the dots between the grain taste and the beer it produces.

This gives me a great idea, that is probably VERY VERY OLD HAT, but I guess that from now on, I will keep a small quantity of each grain before milling, to taste alongside my finished beers. That's probably the best way I'll be able to connect the dots between ingredients and finished beer.

The fear with SMaSH is ... a whole ton of boring beer in your keg, right? I don't know that I have the right gear on hand to do small batch stovetop all grain beers, so if I'm using the bigger gear, I'm gonna want to do 5 gal.
I probably HAVE to do it, but maybe I should wait until closer to the holidays and foist it off on unsuspecting family members who will simply be happy to have free beer.
They don't have to be boring beers and you will still use predominatly a base malt but you can brew some great Pales and IPAs as a smash.

You can use 100% Pale ale malt with one type of hop or 100% Maris. Lots of good/great beers are actually very simple grain bills and it's not like you need to try every grain out there Once you start to get a feel for a grain you will begin to learn how the others will play into the recipe and the learning curve shortens.
__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010
duboman is offline
TapeDeck Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #5
billl
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,869
Liked 262 Times on 220 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

If you wanted to make yourself a crash course in grains, it would pretty easy and cheap. Buy 4oz of a bunch of different grains. Add them to 1 cup of 165 degree water, set all the cups on a tray, and stick them in warm oven for a half hour. Tada! grain tea. Taste test them side by side and compare your impressions to how they are described online.

Of course, grain tea kinda sucks, so it more fun to brew up a real beer instead. eg SMaSH or just tweak a recipe you like with a bit of something new.

__________________
billl is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Im still learning about all grain brewing AmusedBystander All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 07-12-2011 03:58 PM
All Grain - Off flavors songstre All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 02-06-2011 12:20 AM
2nd All Grain Batch - Still learning and got Questions! jakecpunut All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 15 09-13-2010 04:02 PM
First ever all grain batch 'learning experience' crypt0 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 07-12-2010 11:35 PM
First All-Grain... A learning experience I hope quickerNu All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 20 07-07-2008 03:29 AM