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Old 01-16-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
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Default 20L....40L....160L....What's the difference?

What does the "L" mean? I have some 20L I just picked up for a recipie, but wanna mix it up, can I use the 20L in a recipe that call for 40L or even 60L? Just not sure what the value is. Thanks in advance!


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Old 01-16-2011, 05:15 PM   #2
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Stands for Lovibond... its the scale used to evaluate malt, wort and beer color


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Old 01-16-2011, 05:16 PM   #3
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L stand for lovibond, it's a scale that measures how dark the malt is. The higher the lovibond, the darker the malt. Darker crystal malts will ad more color and "darker" type caramel/toffee flavors. You can play around with using different types of crystal malts in recipes, but the change will affect how the beer tastes. If you're trying to follow a recipe you should probably stick to the type of crystal the recipe calls for, but you can mix it up a bit if you want, especially if you're talking about small amounts (like 1/2 a pound or less in a 5 gal. batch). Just know that using, say, 60L instead of 20L will make a noticeable difference.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:24 PM   #4
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Sure you can, that's the beauty of this hobby. You can do what ever your little hear desires.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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Here you go...

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Old 01-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #6
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For crystal malts, beyond color, there's also a flavor difference. In general, the lighter the color, the lighter, sweeter the flavor. Darker crystals have more burnt caramel, dried fruit flavor.

I guess the flavor difference applies to non-crystal malts too. The darker the color the more toasty/roasty/burnt the flavor
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:43 PM   #7
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I woulnt sub out a pound of 20L with a pound of 160L. But thats me.
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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Here's some info on the different crystal malts in terms of flavor: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Crystal_malt
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:22 PM   #9
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just last week i had this same type of question. went to my LHBS and asked the dude. he took me in grain room and looked at all of the diffrences. it really taught me alot. i would sugest you do the same. crack them open look at them and smell them. its kind of cool.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #10
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Well what happens when you mix grains? Say I mixed 20L with 60L? Or add them at separate times?


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