Originally Posted by DragonOrta
It might be for a bit of color?
Nope, a beer made with 100% Vienna (which I've done a couple of times and highly recommend), is just slightly
darker than one with 100% Pale Malt, if its any darker at all.
People use about 4oz of Chocolate malt in 5 gal batches (about the same % as the Vienna in gannawdm's recipe) in order to add some color, and Chocolate is literally 100 times the Lovibond rating for color as Vienna.
Chocolate = about 475 Lovibond.
Vienna = about 3-5 Lovibond.
Marris Otter = about 3-5 Lovibond
Munich = about 7-9 Lovibond
I ran the batch's ingredients (minus the Vienna) into Hopville.com and got a base color of 13 SRM. There's just no way a third of a point of a 3 Lovibond grain in a 7 gal batch of 13 srm beer is going to add any amount of color that the human eye can detect.
I stand by my assertion that tiny amounts of Vienna and Munich are errors that have been carried forward into beers. No doubt a lot of these beers are delicious (gannawdm's looks especially tasty), but the Vienna does absolutely nothing in this beer, and can be dropped to simplify the grain bill.