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Old 10-18-2009, 11:51 PM   #1
ghpeel
 
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So I want to make a Mild English Ale that focuses more on 'toffee' and 'fruity' flavors and less on 'roasty' ones (never got a taste for real roasty beers).

What kinds of techniques do you use to get caramel and toffee tones in a beer? I've heard that Crystal 120 can give a bit of that, so I whipped up this recipe as a starter:

% LB OZ NAME
61% 4 4 Golden Promise
14% 1 0 Munich Malt
07% 0 8 Dextrin (CaraPils) Malt
07% 0 8 Crystal 60L
04% 0 4 Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L
04% 0 4 Crystal 80L
04% 0 4 Special B Malt

1oz Brambling Cross pellet (6aa) @ 60

1.037 OG <-- 80% Efficiency
1.010 FG <-- as predicted by Hopville's Beer Calculus app
S-04 dry yeast (for English flavour)
19 IBU

Is this using too much crystal malt? Not sure if I even want the beer to finish as low as Hopville is saying it will. I'd be fine if it finished closer to 1.015.

Will I get the toffee-sweet flavor I'm looking for with this grain bill, or will it be cloyingly sweet from all the crystal?
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:01 AM   #2
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There is too much crystal in your recipe. Cut the Carapils completely. Use either Special B or C 120, but not both.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:01 AM   #3
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At less that 20% of the grain bill, I don't think you have "too much" crystal, though it is a lot. If you want the toffee flavor, you'd be better off going with british crystal malts. I find the american crystals are more of a simple caramel flavor while the british crystals are more of a complex toffee flavor.

Edit: Whoops, didn't see the carapils. You have 26% crystal malts. I agree with Yuri, drop the carapils.
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Old 10-19-2009, 12:01 AM   #4
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I would say the 120 gives more roast or rasin, less caramel/toffee. I'd use more of a lower Lovibond crystal - 60 or lower even.

ALso, you can try running a gallon or so off the mash and boil it down before adding the rest. This will caramelize some of the sugars (which won't really happen in a full boil) which will lend a nice toffee note.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:23 AM   #5
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OK thanks for the excellent suggestions. Here's the new recipe:
% LB OZ Name
61% 4 6 Golden Promise
21% 1 8 Munich Malt
7% 0 8 British Crystal 65L
5% 0 6 British Crystal 95-115L
5% 0 6 British Crystal 70-80L

And I think I will take off the first gal or so of my 1st runnings and boil them down as suggested by JLem.

I won't do this now, but has anyone actually used real toffee as a sugar adjunct in a beer? I've used belgian candi sugar, table sugar, panella and other sugars with good effect before.
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Old 10-19-2009, 01:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
I won't do this now, but has anyone actually used real toffee as a sugar adjunct in a beer? I've used belgian candi sugar, table sugar, panella and other sugars with good effect before.
I used the method noted in Randy Mosher's Radical Brewing book. It does lend a nice toffee flavor. His books says equal parts table sugar and XLDME. Put them in a large skillet, and heat until they began to carmelize together. Let it darken to preference, and add within the last 20 minutes of boil. I'll warn you it is very difficult since the sugars tend to clump together making it hard to get an even carmelization. BUT, it does add a noticeable toffee note in the Quad I brewed, which had no caramel malts.

 
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Old 10-19-2009, 02:16 AM   #7
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The medium British crystal (55L) is pretty good for getting caramel and mild nutty character in your beer. I really don't think you want the dark crystal for toffee or caramel flavor, but you may very well like it. It will be more nutty or raisiny, though.

Also, look for a yeast that keeps a little diacetyl in the beer. A mild, buttery diacetyl note blends well with caramel to give you toffee flavors.


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Old 10-19-2009, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexLaw View Post
Also, look for a yeast that keeps a little diacetyl in the beer.
Do you have a recommendation? I usually stick to dry yeast (was planning on S-04 for this beer), but I've got no problem using a liquid strain.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:52 PM   #9
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Wow thats great.Thanks for sharing it with me .It will be a great help for me.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:05 PM   #10
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Low lovibond crystal has more toffee IMO. I added tubinado sugar to the boil once and got huge toffee flavor and aroma. Turninado is the same as "sugar in the raw"
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