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Old 09-12-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
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Default Substitute for roasted barley

I'm putting together a stout this Friday (payday brew!), but my local HB store doesn't have roasted barley in stock. I was going to try chocolate malt as a substitute, but I still want a sweeter flavor profile and I don't know if the chocolate malt will do that for me.

I've never brewed with either of these grains, so I'll look forward to any suggestions you have!


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Old 09-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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It's surprising that they don't have roasted barley, it's a pretty common grain and is pretty much a requirement for brewing a stout.

Roasted barley (the higher-kilned version can be called black barley) is made from highly kilned unmalted barley and gives a deep, coffee-like roast flavor with a good amount of pleasantly astringent bitterness.

Chocolate malt is make from malted barley. It gives a much milder roast flavor, more of a nuttiness really. It doesn't have the astringent bitterness that the roasted barley does, since it's not kilned as highly.

You can also get black patent malt, which is similar to the roast barley but is a bit more "burnt" and ashy tasting.

Did the HBS have anything labelled black barley? Roasted barley is vital for stout, if it were me I'd hold off till I got the right stuff.


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Old 09-12-2013, 12:15 PM   #3
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If they have them, I think the Carafa malts would be better than using extra chocolate malt. Carafa is debittered, but you will still get more roastiness than Chocolate alone.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beernik View Post
If they have them, I think the Carafa malts would be better than using extra chocolate malt. Carafa is debittered, but you will still get more roastiness than Chocolate alone.
Only the Carafa "special" malts are dehusked/debittered I believe. The regular Carafa will be similar to black patent. I think. I could be wrong...
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:13 PM   #5
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Man, I don't think anything REALLY substitutes for Roast Barley.

I've brewed a Porter with Chocolate and a small amount of Roast. If the roast was missing I think I'd notice it easily. Hard to image a stout without it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
Only the Carafa "special" malts are dehusked/debittered I believe. The regular Carafa will be similar to black patent. I think. I could be wrong...
If you use enough Carafa II and Carafa III, you get roasty - espresso flavors. It's more mild than roasted barley, but its closer than Chocolate malt.

Maybe like 4 or 5oz each of Carafa II and Carafa III for a 5?gallon batch.

My Schwarzlager has 4oz each (1.4% of grain bill) and its just a tad too roasty.

If say if you upped it a little in a stout: the lesser of 4.5% or 10oz. for 5 gallons, it could work.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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Great advise. I plan on adding 6 cups of cold brewed coffee @ zero minutes, so I'm not worried about having a coffee flavor. I was more worried about it being TOO bitter. I want the roasty flavor, but with as little astringency as possible. I'm going for something mellow, creamy, and flavorful.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
Only the Carafa "special" malts are dehusked/debittered I believe. The regular Carafa will be similar to black patent. I think. I could be wrong...
You are wrong, the Carafa are far less bitter than roasted barley, and nowhere near as bitter as black patent. The Carafa I is the lighter, II darker and III the darkest. Then as you note, there are Carafa "special" dehusked versions that are even less bitter than the already low bitterness "regular" Carafa.

Carafa III is pretty smooth, and dark. I would sub it for a stout, if I really didn't want it to be bitter. Maybe add some chocolate and a little black patent to make up for the lack of roasted barley. But it's starting to sound more like a dark porter than a true stout...
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:06 PM   #9
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I was just thinking the same thing. Haha! I keep adding and tweaking my recipe, and I'm pretty sure that instead of a stout, I've created a porter recipe. I love the pre-brewing process.

I actually just found a 1/2 pound of Cara-pills in my brewroom 10 minutes ago, and I think I'll toss that in there, too. Why the hell not? Haha. Here's my current recipe...well...for the next 20 minutes anyway

MALTS

6 lbs. Pale Malt Extract (60%)
1 lbs. Flaked Oat (10%)
1 lbs. Roasted Barley (10%) *possible Carafa III substitution*
1 lb. Lactose (10%)
lb. Cara-pills (5%)
lbs. Crystal 80L (5%)


HOPS

oz. Northern Brewer (60 min.)
oz. Northern Brewer (30 min.)


YEAST

S-04


ADJUNCTS

6 Cups Cold-Brewed Coffee (0 min.)
1 oz. Vanilla Extract (0 min.)
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:18 PM   #10
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Now that I see your recipe, I say go for it. It's a sweet stout type beer anyway, and with the coffee adding some bitterness you should be just fine. When people talk about stout on here, they may mean a Russian Imperial which without at least some roasted barley would be a massive fail.


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