Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Techniques for learning malt profiles
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
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Evenin'. I've been wanting to get a better understanding of malt profiles and the flavor they give, so I can pick up a given brew and be able to discern the different flavor profiles it contains. As well as have a solid foundation of recipe fundamentals when I switch to all grain eventually. Would steeping some grains like a tea bag at about 160 give the right flavor or would it need to be boiled? Are there any other techniques I could try? I can read all day about a malt giving so-and-so taste but I'd like some firsthand knowledge.


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Old 09-25-2013, 10:22 AM   #2
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That might work...I did it the hard way. I'd say my first 30 brews were Smash brews and I just went through the main base grains to get a handle on them. Not necessarily the fastest way but I really got to learn what I liked and did the same with some basic hops.


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Old 09-25-2013, 10:49 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, I don't think that approach will work. Really, the only way to really drill sensory evaluation into your, er, senses is what Cali just suggested.

The good news is it'll make you a much better brewer than flitting from recipe to recipe like a butterfly. Brewing the same sort of recipe over and over again drills technique and process into you. It sounds like a drag, but it will actually FREE you. Think of it like practicing a musical instrument. You can't go riffing like Clapton until you actually can play the guitar. Homebrewers are funny - we try to start shredding like Kirk Hammett before we've even learned three chords.

So go forth, conquer the basics, and learn!

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Old 09-25-2013, 11:03 AM   #4
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Here's what I did - make the same recipe over and over again keeping everything but the grain the same. Use Maris Otter one time, Golden Promise the next, American 2-Row, Pilsner, Munich, etc.)

In my case, I made a lawnmower beer - mash at 149 and add enough Centennial at 60 to get 25 or so IBU. You don't want so much hops that it overwhelms the grain flavor. The final beers are really tasty, by the way.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM
Here's what I did - make the same recipe over and over again keeping everything but the grain the same. Use Maris Otter one time, Golden Promise the next, American 2-Row, Pilsner, Munich, etc.)

In my case, I made a lawnmower beer - mash at 149 and add enough Centennial at 60 to get 25 or so IBU. You don't want so much hops that it overwhelms the grain flavor. The final beers are really tasty, by the way.
So you did one grain at a time per brew, or you changed one grain at a time and used the rest of the recipe as your controlled variables?
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:57 AM   #6
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The latter. If you keep the rest of the recipe consistent, and keep your procedure consistent, the only variable is the base malt. That lets you experience the differences.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #7
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Roger thanks for the advice. Ill have to do some one gallon batches since I've been doing extract with specialty grains and only have a 5 gal kettle. Ill have to research some simple recipes now!
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:10 PM   #8
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You can easily do 3 gallon batches with a 5-gal kettle. It's perfect for BIAB (search on that here on HBT). 1-gallon batches, I don't recommend. They're too big a PITA for what you get out of them. 3 gallons is more rewarding. Plus, 3 gallons is easier to pitch properly than 1.

I have a bunch of 3-gallon simple recipes if you want them. Happy to share.

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Old 09-25-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob
You can easily do 3 gallon batches with a 5-gal kettle. It's perfect for BIAB (search on that here on HBT). 1-gallon batches, I don't recommend. They're too big a PITA for what you get out of them. 3 gallons is more rewarding. Plus, 3 gallons is easier to pitch properly than 1.

I have a bunch of 3-gallon simple recipes if you want them. Happy to share.

Bob
Please! I've been wanting to try BiAB for awhile, never considered doing a smaller batch for some reason.
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:00 PM   #10
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Short of time just now, but if I don't get back to this by tomorrow, ping me.


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