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Old 10-13-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
Sep 2009
N. Illinois
Posts: 28

Hello again everyone!

So, I only have my first batch primary in for a few days and I am already thinking of next batches!

After I get my brewing technique routine down and can brew a consistant quality beer, I'd like to experiment with different specialty grains and hops, to detect flavor and aroma differences when I change the variables slightly.

As I am right now brewing with malt extract (I used Northwestern Extract for my first batch), can anyone recommend a beer style / malt extract type that I can use that will allow these taste differences to be truly noticible?

Or should I get small quantities of different speciaity grains and hops and make a 'tea liquor' out of them to see differences? (I'd hate to let those ingrediants go to waste on something non-beer though?)

Or does anyone else have any ideas so that I can experience these flavor differences myself?

Thanks in advance!
6.5 gal Glass Primary: Air, waiting to be thoroughly cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 1: Air, waiting to be thoroughly cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 2: Air, cleaned
5.0 gal Glass Secondary 3: Air, cleaned
On Deck: Fat Tire Clone

Bottled, waiting: Nada
Bottled, ready: Black Forest Stout, Vanilla Porter

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Old 10-13-2009, 05:25 PM   #2
Mar 2008
Attleboro, MA
Posts: 171
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

This sounds like a great idea! I think a light bodied beer would give you the best chance to detect the differences in the specialty grains. Personally I would go with a basic Pale Ale, keep the hops the same and try using different specialty grains in addition to the pale malt extract. Or maybe you could do the base malt plus a light crystal as the constants and substitute in a 3rd malt type for each batch. You could look at a bunch of different pale ale recipes and see what malts they use for ideas.
Primary: In Planning!
Secondary: None

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:10 PM   #3
DRoyLenz's Avatar
Jun 2009
Posts: 702
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts

If you're not familiar with the concept, there is a brew term (coined by the posters on this forum) called SMaSH brews. It means Single Malt and Single Hops. This is generally in reference to AG brewing, but there is no reason you couldn't do it with an extract. The idea is to understand how the different malts and hops contribute to the beers differently. You could use this same concept with specialty grains.

If you have the means to ferment multiple small batches at once (perhaps with gallon jugs or something) you could make multiple 1 gallon batches or so using Pale Malt Extract, a consistent, flexible hop (maybe Cascade), and each batch use different specialty grains.

This sounds like a really fun project, and I'd be really interested to find out how it turns out. Keep us posted.

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Old 10-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #4
"I just got a new pet toaster!"
mmb's Avatar
Feb 2008
Posts: 31,353
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Unless you use extra light extract, you'll find that the other extracts already have specialty grains in them. Kinda defeat the purpose of the experiment...

I'd go with XLDME and a variation on the steeping grains. One batch with 4oz of chocolate and another with 4 oz of roasted and see what the difference is. Maybe 4oz of the different crystal/caramel Lovibond levels in 1 gallon batches to see what the difference is.
Black Phantom Brewing Company

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