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Old 11-29-2009, 10:13 PM   #1
Sep 2009
Golden State
Posts: 13

The guy at the local snooty organic brew store didn't have enough crystal 40 for the recipe I was brewing and told me to pick up some of the crystal 20 and 60, which they had plenty of and use half and half for the weight that I needed of crystal 40. this seems like it could be true, but I truly don't know.
is this a big load of ****?

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Old 11-29-2009, 10:27 PM   #2
PT Ray
Aug 2005
Posts: 1,373
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Ha! Then why even carry anything between 10 and 120, it can just all be blended on site to the desired lovibond.

Honestly though, it's the next best thing. If I had a recipe that just called for crystal 40, I'd do something like split it with 20 and 60.

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Old 11-29-2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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Sea's Avatar
May 2007
Southern Oregon
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That's a good question, I don't really know. What are we talking here, like 1/2 lb of each? In small quantities i'm sure it'd be pretty close in a pinch.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:34 PM   #4
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Jan 2009
Ames, Iowa
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i'm sure it'll work fine, but whenever possible, get the specified crystal (that's what jamil always says on his style podcasts).
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:28 AM   #5
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Jul 2009
Central Iowa
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This is a great question-

I pulled up the Beer Recipator and did a quick and dirty check. I wasn't sure that the 60L + 20L would average out. I thought the addition of 60L would darken the beer considerably, but here's what the Recipator said:

8 lbs 2-row + 2 lbs of 40L = 10 SRM

8 lbs 2-row + 1 lb of 20L and 1 lb of 60L = 10 SRM

It sounds like your guy might be right. I'm guessing the flavor of the crystal malts would "average" out, too?

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Old 11-30-2009, 02:38 AM   #6
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Jan 2008
Hiram, GA
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For color, yeah, 20 + 60 (in equal amounts) works fine.... but, the flavors imparted are different. In small equal amounts it would probably be hard to tell a difference though... at least IMO.

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Old 11-30-2009, 02:42 AM   #7
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Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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That's my feeling- in small amounts, it won't be all that noticeable. The color would be about the same, but the flavors are different. The lighter crystal malts are sweeter and the darker crystal malts get raisiny as they get darker.

Crystal 60L isn't too much different than the 40L, though. It's not as sweet, and it's "richer" tasting, but I don't think you'll notice the difference in that small of an amount.

It's not equal, though. I mean, really if it WAS the same, why would they make so many different ones? They could just make crystal 10L and crystal 120L, and you could "average" them out. The color would be right, but the flavor would most certainly be very different!
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:42 AM   #8
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Jul 2009
Marengo, IL
Posts: 479

While a combination might be able to even out to the same color the flavors of each crystal malt are different. Thus 2 pounds of C40 in the recipe will taste different that 1 pound of C20 and 1 pound of C60 in the recipe. Now how much different? I really don't know. I would guess that with the lower Lovibond crystal malts that the different would be less pronounced that if you used the stronger, darker crystal malts.

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Old 11-30-2009, 02:44 AM   #9
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Nov 2008
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There's more to beer than color.

There are definite flavor differences between C-20, C-40, C-60.

Depending on the % of the grist, it may alter the flavor of the beer considerably.

Read about the characteristics here

Think of it like making a sandwich. Combining lightly toasted bread and dark toasted bread do not yield the same flavor as a sandwich with medium toasted bread.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:47 AM   #10
Sep 2009
Golden State
Posts: 13

situation is that I did a brew that called for a half pound of C40 and I already had 180g out of 225 needed for a half lb. So i used that plus 20g each of 20 and 60 and am hoping to recreate the recipe soon, but have all this c20 and c60 left over
its a pain to get c40 where I am, no lhbs has it

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