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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Maris Otter malt
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:48 AM   #1
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Default Maris Otter malt

Randy Mosher raves about Maris Otter malt in his book Radical Brewing. As I understand it, it's hard to grow, so it's more expensive, therefore commerical breweries tend not to use it much any more.

For homebrewers, though, I suppose a couple of dollars more for a 5 gallon batch isn't such a big deal.

Does it really make a difference in the final product, though?

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Old 03-22-2007, 02:50 AM   #2
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I have an ESB with 92% Maris Otter going to secondary tomorrow. I've sampled it.

I also brewed an "ESB" with regular 2-row extract, but now I see the light.

If it hasn't got a good dose of Maris Otter, it's simply not an ESB. I wouldn't brew an ESB without it. It is a quintessentially british ale taste and there's nothing else like it! If you try to brew an ESB without it, you're really just making a pale ale...

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Old 03-22-2007, 02:53 AM   #3
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I second what Toot said, but substitute IPA for ESB.

- magno

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Old 03-22-2007, 02:58 AM   #4
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Hmmm. Actually, I feel pretty smug now. I was curious and checked the grain bill for the ESB I just brewed Saturday and what do you know? It has about 90% Maris Otter in it. Apparently I knew what I was doing when I bought my ingredients (not!)

Hopefully I can look forward to a good batch.

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Old 03-22-2007, 03:02 AM   #5
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I'm going to be making an Amber with about 90% maris otter. I'll let you know how it turns out.


Dan

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Old 03-22-2007, 03:02 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
Hmmm. Actually, I feel pretty smug now. I was curious and checked the grain bill for the ESB I just brewed Saturday and what do you know? It has about 90% Maris Otter in it. Apparently I knew what I was doing when I bought my ingredients (not!)

Hopefully I can look forward to a good batch.

And soon you will be saying, "So THAT'S what all the fuss is about!!!" There's not even a question in my mind as to whether you will notice the difference. The only question in my mind is whether you will be able to apply descriptors to the taste that is imparted by the Maris Otter.

Despite my best efforts, words escape me. Except maybe to say that it tastes a little bit "musky", sort of dank and dense and damp. It's pretty filling.
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:11 AM   #7
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I was at a brewpub (Michigan House, in Calumet, MI) a couple of months ago, and Tim, the brewer, said the ONLY base malt he uses any more is Marris Otter. And it was really, really good beer. So, I decided to give it a try. It's my base malt in my "itty bitty bastard" that I just put in primary, and I'll be interested in trying it.

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Old 03-22-2007, 03:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper Chick
I was at a brewpub (Michigan House, in Calumet, MI) a couple of months ago, and Tim, the brewer, said the ONLY base malt he uses any more is Marris Otter. And it was really, really good beer. So, I decided to give it a try. It's my base malt in my "itty bitty bastard" that I just put in primary, and I'll be interested in trying it.
They have a brewpub in Calumet? Wow. Last time I was there they didn't really have anything there. Actually, though, back in 1964 brewpubs didn't really even exist in the U.S. did they. Even if they had, I don't think I would have hung out there while I was in first grade.

Seriously, you're from near Calumet? My grandfather grew up there. I went there for someone's wedding back then. I also remember that before colored margarine was legal in Wisconsin my relatives from there used to smuggle Parkay to us from Michigan. That stuff kind of ages me, doesn't it?
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
They have a brewpub in Calumet? Wow. Last time I was there they didn't really have anything there. Actually, though, back in 1964 brewpubs didn't really even exist in the U.S. did they. Even if they had, I don't think I would have hung out there while I was in first grade.

Seriously, you're from near Calumet? My grandfather grew up there. I went there for someone's wedding back then. I also remember that before colored margarine was legal in Wisconsin my relatives from there used to smuggle Parkay to us from Michigan. That stuff kind of ages me, doesn't it?

Haha. I'm about 1 1/2 hours from Calumet- but my kids play hockey so we go up there a couple of times a winter and occasionally in the summer. The brewpub is in the old Michigan Hotel, built in the 1880's I think.

I don't remember colored margarine being illegal- that's funny. If you were in first grade in 1964, you're only about 5 years older than me!

Anyway, Tim (the brewer) has invited me up anytime he's brewing to see his equipment and process. So, one of my friends and I are talking a day off this spring to go up and see what he's doing. But he said that marris otter is the ONLY base malt he uses. I used marris otter two days ago and when I tasted the grains, I was really impressed with the taste. I don't know why- I'll have to actually sample some 2-row side by side with it to see what the differences are.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmditter
Randy Mosher raves about Maris Otter malt in his book Radical Brewing. As I understand it, it's hard to grow, so it's more expensive, therefore commerical breweries tend not to use it much any more.

For homebrewers, though, I suppose a couple of dollars more for a 5 gallon batch isn't such a big deal.

Does it really make a difference in the final product, though?
In short, yes. You pay for what you get. I had been using a canadian malt that seemed to have a phenol in it that tasted grainy.
I have since cut back on my use of this particular malt as a result. I'm willing to shell out the extra 10 cents per pound for a premium malt that is going to produce superior results.
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