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Old 04-25-2008, 11:56 PM   #1
Jul 2007
Posts: 29

I have a question about American 2-Row malt. So I have only done extract and partial mashes before; perhaps when I escape grad school I can get into all grain. Anyway, I made a brew a while back that required 2-row, and I still have a bunch of it sitting around. I thought for my next batch, I could try to use some of this stuff.

So my question is, well, what does this stuff do for the brew? Does it add any particular taste? Midwest supplies calls the stuff a 'base malt'. What exactly does that mean?

So, for example, I was thinking of throwing together a brown ale, as I have some brown malt hanging around too. Would it be appropriate to use brown malt and american 2-row, along with some extract?

Thanks for the help! I'm just trying to wrap my head around how grains work.

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Old 04-26-2008, 12:19 AM   #2
Ooompa Loompa
Dec 2007
Posts: 531
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A base malt is pretty much exactly that. It serves as the "base" of your beer. Right now you use malt extract as the base for your beer, with grains adding flavor and color. If you were all grain instead of using the extract you would use base grains like 2 row, 6 row, pilsner, ect as around 80 to 90% of your "base" and then use specialty grains to add the flavor and color.

Base grains are uncoverted (meaning you have to mash them to get the fermentable sugars out of them), where as specialty grains are already converted so you can get away with just steeping them. Bascially all that malt extract is is a base grain that has already been converted and then concentrated down for you.

I personally wouldn't reccomend using your 2-row unless you can mash it.
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:28 AM   #3
Maniacally Malty
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Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
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use the 2-row in a partial mash to help convert other grains. that way you can use rye, oats, flaked grains, whatever you'd like.

let me know if you want some recipes or want some advice on how to easily mash up to 6 lbs of grain. i could get you started. i would highly recommend my Cream Ale if you can maintain fermentation temps of 60-65F.
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Old 04-26-2008, 12:39 AM   #4
May 2007
Cary, NC
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Base grains, like 2-row or Maris Otter, do have a color and a flavor of their own, which is quite nice actually. Many grains do contribute more color to a beer than base grains, but in many beers most of the flavor comes from the base grains and some beers are made with only so-called base grains and nothing else.

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Old 04-26-2008, 03:31 AM   #5
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Jun 2007
La Puente, CA, California
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Realize that when using fresh grain you get the fresh flavors of grain when mashed. I suggest you try this and quite possibly it will be the best beer you ever made because you used fresh grain just like cooks do when preparing great dishes. Canned malt never tastes like fresh grains do. Go all grain if you want your beer to be the best.

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