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Old 10-14-2012, 01:36 AM   #1
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Default What is the most versatile base malt?

Ok, If you could only use one base malt for all of your beers, what would it be and why?

Let's say you like to brew English styles as well as American. An occasional German lager is also on the to do list.

I have been using Rahr pale malt for most everything and recently picked up their premium pilsner. So far, I'd rather have the pale.

I would like to note though, I've noticed a much greater head retention on the beers brewed with pils malt. Is this to be expected?

Maybe I'm missing something?

So the question is, would you buy pale malt in bulk, or pils? Possibly something else altogether?

I'll sit back and listen.

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Old 10-14-2012, 02:25 AM   #2
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I'd buy Maris Otter in bulk. I think it works for most everything I do, as I don't do lagers at this point.

It's a great tasting, forgiving base malt that works for everything from being perfect in stouts, to being awesome in hoppy imperial IPA's.

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Old 10-14-2012, 04:01 AM   #3
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What would it be? Weyerman Pilsner Malt. Why? I lived in the Bavarian region of Germany for a total of 7 years (two different tours with the military) and loved the beer from that region. Sounds like you prefer the Pilsner style and are considering lagering. Try lagering, German style... you will truly love it!

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Old 10-14-2012, 04:15 AM   #4
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American 2-row or Maris Otter if you want to brew with adjuncts. Nothing else really has enough enzymes to do much more than self-convert. Therefore those two options are the most flexible.

I picked up some Pale Malt recently and I enjoy the taste, but darnit, if I want to make anything with a crazy grain bill, I've got to add some 6-row. I honestly wasn't thinking about that when I ordered, and now I'm kinda kicking myself.

Oh well, I'll work through this sack within a couple of months and chalk it up as a lesson learned.

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Old 10-14-2012, 05:00 AM   #5
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Pilsner Malt for German and most Belgians (pick the origin country's).
American 2-row for American Pale Ales, IPA's, IIPA's, and lagers
English 2-row for milds, specials, and extra specials
6-row if you need a lot help converting adjuncts

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Old 10-14-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Humpsalot View Post
American 2-row or Maris Otter if you want to brew with adjuncts. Nothing else really has enough enzymes to do much more than self-convert. Therefore those two options are the most flexible.

I picked up some Pale Malt recently and I enjoy the taste, but darnit, if I want to make anything with a crazy grain bill, I've got to add some 6-row. I honestly wasn't thinking about that when I ordered, and now I'm kinda kicking myself.

Oh well, I'll work through this sack within a couple of months and chalk it up as a lesson learned.
If you have a link or other info on your point about Pale Malt, I'd be interested. One of the standard base malts I use is Gambrinus Pale Ale Malt, which is made from two-row barley. I've not encountered conversion issues.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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Sure... Here is an article.

http://beersmith.com/blog/2010/01/04...ing-your-beer/

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Old 10-14-2012, 07:41 PM   #8
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I've got Maris Otter and Vienna. With a bit of roasted barley, black malt, or 60L I can do most of the brews I want to. If I need anything else I'll pick it up per-batch.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #9
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If you read that Beersmith article, you'll notice a few things. First, the difference in diastatic power between MO, pilsner, 2-row and 6-row is small. Second, you want the total mash to be over 35 degrees Lintner, meaning that for every lb of those malts, you could use 2-3 lbs of enzyme-free adjuncts. Even with Vienna, you could go 1:1. Any base malt will have enough enzymes to convert any reasonably constructed recipe. They're not mentioned on the chart, but US/Canadian wheat malts have higher diastatic power than just about anything else, and US/Canadian rye is around 100.

For pure versatility, it's probably 2-row with enough specialty grains to get the desired flavor for each individual recipe. But a lot of American brewers use MO, Vienna or American Pale Ale (roughly 3-4L) malts for some or all their beers.

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Old 10-17-2012, 05:51 PM   #10
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I personally buy Best Malz Pilsner malt in bulk and use it for my base malt in all recipes (unless it's something like munich, but I don't use pale malt at all anymore). I personally prefer a lot of German styles to begin with, so it was an easy decision to go to, but also my favorite brewery (Troegs) uses pilsner for all of their base malt, so it made it even easier to go that route. I like the twist it can throw on some otherwise "bland" recipes, and overall it hasn't really impacted any of my old recipes that used pale malt in any negative way.

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