Understanding Dextrin, Lactose, crystal malt and mash temp - Home Brew Forums
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
nilo
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I'm trying to make sense of different information I found about the end result of using these ingredients on a recipe.
Most confusing part to me is to separate the idea of a high FG and sweetness.
It seems that points that come from dextrin malt or powder or by mashing at higher temp do not make the beer sweeter, but add "body" and improve head retention.
Anyway, I though we could discuss this and come up with a better understanding of what to use for the intended results.
That been said, please comment on what you think each ingredient below adds on a recipe, regarding body, sweetness, head improvement.
1) dextrin malt or powder/ carapils
2) crystal malt
3) mash at higher temperature
4) lactose

This is my humble opinion:
1) mouth feel and head improvement. Some people may experience increase of sweetness. Most people would not notice that.
2) mouth feel and sweetness
3) mouth feel and head retention
4) mouth feel and sweetness. Make a creamier finish.

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Old 11-10-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
Edcculus
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1 - dextrin malt - helps add...wait for it...dextrins to the beer. Dextrins are long chained sugars. The longer chained the sugar is, the less sweet it is. That is why lactose is much less sweet than fructose. We don't pick dextrins up as sweet. They do add body in the sense that they make the solution "thicker". Think of the body of heavy cream vs skim milk. Although we are talking about fat in this case, heavy cream has more "stuff" in solution, therefore it is fuller bodied. Same thing with dextrins.

2 - crystal malt - adds caramel flavors (depending on how dark). C60 will be more caramel while C120 will add darker raisin, and plum flavors. Crystal malts also add a degree of dextrins and a little sweetness.

3 - Mash at higher temp - Temperatures above 155F favor alpha-amalayse. Alpha-amalayse or the "debranching" enzyme breaks down starches into smaller chunks from the middle. These chunks tend to be larger dextrins instead of a small sweet sugars. Therefore, mashing at a higher temp will give a more dextrinous wort.

4 - Lactose is not an extremely sweet sugar, therefore will give the beer more body and make it "creamier" as you say.

 
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:47 PM   #3
JonK331
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1) Unfermentable sugars, head retention, sweetness, higher FG
2) Sweetness, caramel/toffee flavors, higher FG
3) I'm not sure this would help with head retention but will make a less fermentable wort (higher FG), mashing lower and adding more crystal malt or other unfermentables gives similar results to mashing higher. A protein rest at 125-130F will increase head retention.
4) Unfermenatable, adds sweetness and creamy finish, higher FG

The sweetness thing is very subjective. I'm really sensitive to sweetness and don't really like it in my beers, anything above 1.015 or so, depending on the style, is too sweet for me, no matter where the sweetness comes from. This might, however, be very different for others.

 
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
wildwest450
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Don't forget that crystal malt add body and head retention.




.

 
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Old 11-10-2010, 06:03 PM   #5
WildGingerBrewing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilo View Post
1) dextrin malt or powder/ carapils
2) crystal malt
3) mash at higher temperature
4) lactose
1) adds body and head retention
2) caramel flavors
3) adds body
4) creaminess
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
craigevo
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So did anyone conclude if mashing at higher temps gives a sweeter beer or not ?

Seems to me that if alpha amylase produce more dextrins and less fermentable sugar - and, as others have stated, dextrins are not really sweet - then you should actually have a less sweet beer if you mash at a higher temp since the sweetness comes from residual FERMENTABLE (ie NOT dextrins) sugars

 
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Old 01-13-2012, 02:33 PM   #7
ArcaneXor
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Mashing higher primarily affects mouthfeel. Whether or not it translates into a sweeter beer depends on the ingredients, but it's generally the case. Those long-chain sugars may be less sweet than monosaccharides and disaccharides, but they are also less fermentable or unfermentable by saccharomyces cerevisiae. In other words, eventhough you start out with a less-sweet wort, you end up with a sweeter beer.

Reason: typo

 
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:13 PM   #8
res291que
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor
Mashing higher primarily affects mouthfeel. Whether or not it translated into a sweeter beer depends on the ingredients, but it's generally the case. Those long-chain sugars may be less sweet and monosaccharides and disaccharides, but they are also less fermentable or unfermentable by saccharomyces cerevisiae. In other words, eventhough you start out with a less-sweet wort, you end up with a sweeter beer.
Is this for all the above, including mashing at a higher temp or just if adding dextrin or lactose?

 
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:25 PM   #9
ArcaneXor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by res291que View Post
Is this for all the above, including mashing at a higher temp or just if adding dextrin or lactose?
I was referring to mashing.

 
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Old 01-13-2012, 03:30 PM   #10
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Just to clarify then mashing higher and/or the addition of other sugars will make for sweeter beers? Thanks

 
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