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Old 10-09-2005, 10:35 PM   #1
captaineriv
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Default Extract and Color

I looked around on the web and could not find a definite answer to what may be pretty obvious, so I thought I'd seek the help of this forum in its infinite wisdom. With various forms of extract (extra light, light, amber, and dark), are these extracts made from single, specific varieties of barley that naturally give them their distinct colors, or are the extracts of several different varieties of grains blended together to make these colors (especially the amber and dark forms)? Also, is "extra light" or "light" pretty much synonymous with "pale" and "base malt"?

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Old 10-10-2005, 06:54 AM   #2
Shambolic
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All the same type of barley; the darker the malt is, the longer it has been kilned/cooked/roasted for.

"Base malt" refers to light malted barley, which is necessary for mashing (all-grain brewing), as it still contains all the enzymes for converting starch to sugar, which are mostly destroyed by the extra kilning of darker malts.

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Old 10-10-2005, 07:18 PM   #3
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Thanks Shambolic. Good to know. Especially in a couple of months when I hope to start experimenting with AG.

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Old 10-10-2005, 07:24 PM   #4
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As mentioned, just about everything starts with 2-row pale. Specialty grains are the result of different roasting methods (wet/dry, high-temp/low-temp, timing). Extracts are concentrated forms of wort. Each type of extract starts with the same blend of pale and specialty roasts that you would use for an all grain batch.

So stealing from Mr. Palmer's "How To Brew":

Extra pale - base pale malt
Pale - base plus caramel malt
Amber - Pale plus dark caramel malt
Brown - Pale plus chocolate malt
Porter - Amber plus chocolate malt
Stout - Porter plus roast barley (all malts are roasted, but this is almost charred)

Obviuosly there are thousands of variations, but the basics are really this simple.

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