Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Crystal Malt and Recipe Question.
Thread Tools
Old 01-15-2009, 02:30 AM   #1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Madison, Wi
Posts: 25
Default Crystal Malt and Recipe Question.

I have a quick question about crystal malt and then would also like some comments on the recipe I made.
Is there any point in using two different kinds of crystal malts in a brew? And by different malts I mean like using 3/4 pound 40L Crystal malt and 1/4 pound20L or some other combo of differnt colored crystal malts. In the books I have read they say that each L has different flavors.
I am planning on making on American Pale Ale, Extract plus specialty grains tomorrow and here is the recipe I have made up so far.
Target gravity - 1.052
5.5 Pounds Muntons Plain DME
1 Pound specialty malt
1OZ Cascade Hops - Boil
1OZ Liberty - Flavor
1OZ Liberty - Aroma
I guess doing this I have one more question. What other specialty malts work well in a APA other then crystal. And also if you other comments please let me know as this is my first time with out using a kits.

Wild among the willows, like a wolf among the sheep.
Primary - APA
Secondary - Russian Imperial Stout
Bottled - Nothing
Kegged - Nothing
HalloweenGod is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 03:41 AM   #2
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: California
Posts: 309
Likes Given: 1


there is good reason for using different crystal malts. As you said, they impart different flavors to your beer. If you go to one of the maltster websites, they will give you definitions on the flavor profiles of the grains. Or you can look at the Beer Making and Home Brewing Supplies | MoreBeer website. I use crystal #60 in my pale ale but I also include some Aromatic because I find that it adds a maltiness that the crystal does not lend. The crystal #60 provides some nice dried fruit and caramel flavors. You should also consider the color impact of the malt that you use.
Beer Diary...

mbird is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 01:34 PM   #3
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Christiansted, St Croix, USVI, US Virgin Islands
Posts: 3,932
Liked 133 Times on 100 Posts
Likes Given: 36


There is definitely a point to using different Crystal/Caramel malts in a single grist.

Like most things having to do with sugar, with Crystal malts the darker the color, the more concentrated the flavors. It's like the difference between simple syrup and molasses.

The way I approach multiple Crystal malts is lightest=most, darkest=least. Thus, you could use 12 oz of 20L and 4 oz of 120L to make up your pound. This will give a different flavor profile than mbird's full pound of 60L.

As for other malts useful in APA, I agree Aromatic is a good choice. Also investigate Victory and Special Roast from Briess, and Belgian Biscuit. All of these specialty grains enhance the perception of maltiness, though each does so in a different way. Heck, you can also do a lot by toasting a half-pound of 2-row pale malt in your oven!

I recommend purchasing at least three different Crystal malts when you're at LHBS purchasing supplies, as well as some Victory, Aromatic and Special Roast. Yes, you'll be out more money. BUT - carefully stored away from air and moisture, they'll last at least a year. And the point of buying them is to taste them. Not in beer, but by sticking them in your gob and munching. Taste each individually, take notes. Then taste combinations. Continue to take notes. You may find a combination of 20L Crystal, 90L Crystal and Special Roast is Teh Awesum!


Fort Christian Brewpub
St Croix, US Virgin Islands
Bob is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
CBBaron's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 2,787
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts


Crystal malts have different flavor profiles so it does make sense to use 2 different varieties, however using 2 light crystals like c-20 and c-40 is not really going to add any complexities. These are too similar to notice much difference. Mixing a C-20 or C-40 with C-09 or C-120 can be beneficial.

Munich, Aromatic, Victory, Special Roast, Special B(another dark crystal) even wheat, all provide something a little different in an APA. However the malt profile for an APA should be fairly light and simple, so don't use more than 2 or 3 different malts.

CBBaron is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 05:24 PM   #5
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Beerthoven's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 2,181
Liked 22 Times on 21 Posts
Likes Given: 2


Mixing crystals can be nice, but so can going with a single variety. Its not very often that I use more than one crystal malt in a recipe, especially not an APA.

I agree with the others that if you do decide to use more than 1, pick some that are fairly far apart on the color spectrum, like 40 and 120, or 15 and 80.

My favorite APA grain bill (right now, anyway) is 84% pale malt, 8% Crystal 40, 8% Munich.

Primary/Secondary: #122 American Wheat
Kegged: #121 IPA
Planned: Smoked Cali Common
Beerthoven is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 06:31 PM   #6
Shawn Hargreaves
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 344
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts


Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
And the point of buying them is to taste them.
You can taste grains without buying, though, as long as your LHBS doesn't mind. Mine seems fine with it as long as I try just one or two grains of whatever I'm interested in. In fact I'd be suspicious of anywhere that doesn't let you taste the grains before buying!

Seconded on small amounts of something like Munich or Biscuit being nice in a pale ale, but with the caveat that you need a partial mash to make proper use of such grains. Unlike crystal, you won't be able to get much out of them just by steeping.
Shawn Hargreaves is offline
Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 02:57 PM   #7
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,599
Liked 356 Times on 228 Posts
Likes Given: 47


Go to your LHBS and ask. Mine has no problem with me tasting as much as I want. Of course, I don't overdo it and I buy lots of grain from them. I also, quite often, help other customers who are in the store and have even helped customers decide to make certain purchases. Often, when I am in there the salesperson knows they can take times to fill orders, while I will answer other customer questions, often keeping them in the store until the salesperson can get time to help them. If you are a good customer they will have no problem with you tasting a few grains.

"So you say you just brewed your first batch of beer. Welcome to the obsession." --me, to every first time brewer I ever meet.
cluckk is offline
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP! Too Much Crystal malt in a recipe thelorax121 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 06-21-2009 03:52 AM
Crystal malt question Nickhouse80 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 28 06-20-2009 04:10 PM
Question about crystal and vienna malt. bell0347 Recipes/Ingredients 8 04-02-2009 09:27 PM
A different Crystal Malt question (flavor) landis Recipes/Ingredients 7 09-24-2008 08:45 PM
Crystal Malt question. What lovibond is this? stever Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 03-15-2008 02:14 AM

Forum Jump

Newest Threads