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Old 02-05-2013, 03:06 AM   #1
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Default caramel flavor comes from?

Greetings fellow anti-teetotalers,

I recently very much enjoyed an IIPA that had a really nice, and pronounced, caramel finish to offset the hops and I am curious as to where this flavor comes from...is it a grain? The yeasties? Caramel syrup addition? I suppose I could threaten the brewmaster at the pub that either he tells me or else....


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Old 02-05-2013, 03:09 AM   #2
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caramel malt (also known as crystal malt) is generally where you get the sweet caramel flavors from.


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Old 02-05-2013, 03:20 AM   #3
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Thanks Yooper! I was also curious that if you tasted your brew prior to bottling and decided you wanted a little caramel taste, is it possible to condition with caramel syrup instead of sugar? I am guessing just like you might with maple syrup?
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:24 AM   #4
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Thanks Yooper! I was also curious that if you tasted your brew prior to bottling and decided you wanted a little caramel taste, is it possible to condition with caramel syrup instead of sugar? I am guessing just like you might with maple syrup?
I don't know. I would think some of those syrup flavors have preservatives that might interfere with the yeast and bottle carbonation. Or they might have sugar in them, and cause bottle bombs.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:28 AM   #5
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Ooooh...hadn't thought of that...the preservatives thing....good point.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:28 AM   #6
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In addition to caramel malts, you get some caramel flavor from the boil, particularly a long one, although that's more melanoidin/maillard reactions than actual caramelization. Although if you boil under the right conditions you can get some caramelization.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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Ok, so as an extract brewer, can I, or do I get a large amount of caramel flavor from these grains during the steeping process? Or is the flavor more heavily imparted from the all-grain brewing process?
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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Ok, so as an extract brewer, can I, or do I get a large amount of caramel flavor from these grains during the steeping process? Or is the flavor more heavily imparted from the all-grain brewing process?
You can use crystal/caramel malts in the steep, and some beers (like American amber) will use up to 15% of those types of malts.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:52 PM   #9
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Say if I altered an extract kit by steeping more grains than what it calls for, like doubling the crystal malt, would I then need to alter the hop amounts to account for this addition?
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:40 AM   #10
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Say if I altered an extract kit by steeping more grains than what it calls for, like doubling the crystal malt, would I then need to alter the hop amounts to account for this addition?
It would depend on your goals for the beer. If you wanted a sweeter beer and not offset it with bitterness, then more crystal would work nicely. But it really depends on the recipe as a whole.


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