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Old 06-23-2011, 09:56 AM   #1
Mar 2010
Posts: 144
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Hey guys,

I have a quick question...which I could probably answer myself given a few months of split batch experimentation etc, but I’m hopefully somebody here will know the answer straight off to save me the time!

Last year I made my own recipe for an IPA, which was roughly as follows:

Maris Otter 95%
Amber malt 5%

OG 62
IBUs 80
Yeast US-05

Challenger 67g 60min
First Gold 30g 30min
First Gold 20g 10min
First Gold 25g 0min
First Gold 25g 10 days dry
(I can't remember exactly how I distributed the first gold but it was probably roughly like that!)

The results were brilliant and I just rediscovered a few remaining bottles last night (which brought this question to mind!). It still has a really clean, fresh, spicy hop aroma even after the best part of a year. While I really like it as it is, the recipe is perhaps a little dry for some people. To sweeten it up a little, my first thought would be to add a few % crystal, but instead of doing that I guess I could raise the mash temperature by a few degrees. My question is, what do you think the difference in flavour would be of the two methods? Presumably they would both add a little sweetness. Would the crystal give more of a toffee flavour and the high mash temp give more of a neutral sweetness? Would the higher mash temp just give more ‘body’ with little perceived sweetness? Or vice versa? Any ideas on how each method would affect the flavour would be highly appreciated!

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Old 06-23-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
Oldsock's Avatar
Sep 2007
DC, Washington DC
Posts: 3,237
Liked 256 Times on 169 Posts

I get more percieved sweetness with crystal malt, high mash temps give a bit of sweetness but more body than anything. The other flavors you get from crsytal will depend on what color it is. I actually like dry IPAs, but ~3-5% medium crystal certainly can be a nice addition (especially with English hops).
Check out The Mad Fermentationist for my adventures in fermentation and my book: American Sour Beers!

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