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Old 03-25-2010, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default 'Branded' grains/extracts

I see a lot of recipes calling for specific branded extracts: Muntons Light LME or Briess Amber DME or Blackrock Dark LME. Does the branding really matter, or is LME LME as long as the color is the same?

Also, does branding matter for grains? Is Briess Crystal 40L the same as 'generic' Crystal 40L?

Just trying to understand stuff....


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Old 03-25-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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i'd say for all intents and purposes, yes on both accounts. some will claim that certain 'brands' of extract are better, but they're all giving you basically the same thing. grains are a slightly different story with people having loyalty to certain maltsters, but whatever your LHBS sells should be just fine IMHO.

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Old 03-25-2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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I would offer that Branding per se does not have as much impact as regionality with respect to grain. A large majority of these grains we covet are all similar varieties of 2 row barley however the landscape they are grown from does have a HUGE impact on the particular grains character. Branding is as easy a way to discriminate this as any other method. However, in the occasion that you have two brands from the same, relatively, small region I think there is little if any difference but, it is possible.

Soil composition here in OKC is VASTLY different than the soils available as close as Tulsa. Just a small example that can have a HUGE impact.

As to DME/LME there is potential there too given processing, base grain used. So no, 2 row is not just 2 row, LME is not just LME, and Crystal is not just Crystal.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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Will two maltsters have different character for the same grain?
Most certainly.
Will it matter in the recipe?
It depends on the recipe creator's intent.
A substituted grain of a different brand may produce a superior beer. Or not.

If you want to most closely approximate what the recipe creator did, then it is best to source the same grains.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:56 PM   #5
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I wouldn't be too concerned about the branding.

Remember that recipes are only notes telling the next person what ingredients they used.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:10 PM   #6
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For extract, different brands absolutely have different characteristics. Munton's tends to have in the realm of 75% apparent attenuation, for instance, while Laaglander is around 55%. If you make a pale ale using the latter, it's going to be much lower in alcohol content and much thicker in body and dextrinous in taste than if you use Munton's.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:12 PM   #7
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In my experience a Pound of light Munton & Fison DME ferments to a lower Final gravity than a Pound of Light Laaglander dry malt extract.

Laaglander - Malts from Holland

Briess- US malts

LD Carlson- US malts

Munton & Fison - English malt- I brew a lot of traditional english styles so usually my first choice.

I will use the Briess Or LD Carlson to boost my Partial Mash Gravity if i have used an american 2 row pale malt (like in my American Cream Ale).

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