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Briess synergy select "maltgems"Pilsner malt

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Brooothru

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A BIAB bag in a three vessel mash tun is a real game changer.
I was thinking exactly the same thing. I still have several of the BIAB bags that my wife sewed for me using Swiss voile. It's the same material used for curtain sheers like what you'd have in a formal living room. She got it at JoAnn's Fabric, but it's a bit pricey at $20-something per yard. With some 'McGuyvering' I could probably rig a bag that would fit inside my kettle. The main hangup would be the non-removable center post rod, but I could set a grommet that would allow the bag to slide up for removal after the mash is complete.

The Swiss voile is amazing stuff, very thin and feather-light, great tensile strength, non-toxic (naturally) and temperature stable past 400F. I would limit myself to 16# mashes, only because my pot was just 10 gallons and the hoist I used to pull the bag was pretty shaky. I'm still hoping to find a solution to the grist issue with MaltGems, but given my setup I'm afraid I'll be limited to some percentage less than what I'd like in the malt bill. I was simply stunned to see how clear the wort was, with no sparge, no vorlauf, and the disaster I had with dumping the grain bed mid-mash.

How was your efficiency used the MaltGems? Anecdotally I know I got at least 20% more extract but there's no way to determine that number precisely with all the unplanned issues I had with this batch. I've still got 10# to play with, so I'll probably go with 50%/50% MaltGems with some Barke Pilsener in a Helles. With PLENTY of rice hulls.
 

Brooothru

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Sorry to hear you had so much trouble.

I had clear wort too. I found percolation good during fly sparge and vorlauf, though I would have had pump clogging problems if I had tried to use my normal false bottom.

No mash cap or hot side Lodo here, just old fashion 3 vessel fly sparge, though I do underlet the strike water, because it is easier. During sparge I keep at least a gallon on top of grist until the the end, this might help grain bed stay loose.

Your rig sounds complicated to me, but sounds like you have it dialed in, the fine crush just not a good fit.

Anyway, I ordered another 50#, since it is so inexpensive and I was impressed with flavor, and I already broke the handle off the kitchen strainer.

My other options for false bottom were a big china cap I have w some old resturaunt gear, or window screen wired on the false bottom. Glad I spotted the strainer before I went with one of those, though they may have worked OK too.
The unit does sound complicated, but it's much easier to use than to describe. The hardest thing about it is the cleanup because of all the various moving parts. That said, the unit is very sturdy and robust, an is quite accurate in temperature control. I've had this one for over six years and wouldn't want to brew without it. Just gotta' find a way to make this MaltGems work with my setup.
 

Carolina_Matt

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Looks like no more free shipping. I assume it was either an intro price to get people to try it, or they made a mistake when adding it to the website.
 

eric19312

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Got four sacks before the free shipping went away. First brew yesterday and so far I'm very pleased with the product.

First the package. I'd say excellent--as good as any I've seen. Three layers of craft paper with a plastic liner sandwiched in between two of the layers. Bag is sealed/glued not sewn. I'm leaving it in the sacks until opened I don't see shelf life being improved with a transfer to gamma sealed buckets.

Second I did figure out an estimate for Beersmith potential from data provided by Briess. 1.038. And used that in recipe calculation. That bumped my recipe target OG from 1.050 to 1.052 so I stuck with same quantity. But wow my mash tun looked super empty. 30 pounds of malt gems takes a lot less volume than 30 pounds of regular pilsner or two row.

Nailed my mash pH using the updated beersmith formula. Targeted 5.40 came in at 5.39.

I cut back on my sparge water volume by 10%. Could of cut it further.

And my efficiency went way up. Just one batch but I saw 10 point increase over typical for efficiency on my system and ended up overshooting OG by seven points.
 

yeastseeker

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Im a single vessel BIAB no sparge brewer and see this product being advantageous for when I max out my systems capacity for very high gravity beers
 

eric19312

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I think maximizing tun volume is pretty much the point of this product...

Cheers!
Agreed

The removing the husks to provide a clean flavor makes me wonder if they are spinning a problem as a feature. I'm thinking very traditional malt forward styles might seem to be lacking if husks were important contributor of the traditional flavor.

But wow I'm thinking I could do 17 gallons of 1.080 with this stuff in my 15 gallon mash tun easily. And a very clean bright simple malt character might be just the ticket for hoppy styles.
 
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Dland

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The flavor seems good to me, but have yet to crash and condition. It is a fairly clean open taste, the 100% brew I made last week. The yield is good, I would not be surprised if this lightly hopped test batch lets a little alcohol flavor though, which is fine with me with a cold, tasty, straw colored summer ale.

Will use as 50-75% base malt until I use up. I did just get another 50#, so have 80, will be using for next 6-7 batches. Will have a more informed opinion then.
 

day_trippr

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I would take the less husk -> better flavor claim with oodles of skepticism ;)
Husk tannins are a water issue. Treat the brew day liquor properly and tannins are a non-issue, imo...

Cheers!
 
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Dland

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No problems w husk tannins here. I said the flavor was good, do not yet know if it is better. Have done a 100% pils test mash w regular Briess, GW, Viking and Weyerman also. They all made good drinkable basic beers, I suspect the latter being the best tatsting (also most expensive). From what I can tell so far, this product will compare favorably.

Perhaps you should try some and inform your opinion.

This pre milled grain is not likely to be my "go to", but have no regrets buying, and would buy again if the price was right. I think it would be a benifit to some BIAB brewers, depending on their rigs, and others w mash tun volume constraints.
 
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Dland

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I tapped into the beer from the 100% test batch of this malt on 8/9. Made with my standard mash, which is 20# grist with a 6.5 gallon strike and 9.5 gallon fly sparge for 10+ gallons finished beer. Fermented with US-05 at 65F, hopped to around 28 IBUs plus a hop step with leaf cascade at around 160F, came out around 6.5% ABV.

Visually, it has not cleared as much as I would have expected after being crashed for over 2 weeks at 30F, despite addition of whirlflock in same procedure I always use that usually results in clear beer. I have my suspicion that this malt is resonsible for the haze, at least in its interaction with my rig & process. If this is the case, this might be an good base malt for making hazy styles of beer, but not so good for crisp, clear ones.

The flavor is good, moderately malty with a fresh flavor, was expecting to be able to taste the alcohol more, but there is enough flavor that it is not forward. There is a lack of "bite" in finish which I'm guessing is the result of the relative absence of hulls. While this is touted as a good thing in malt description, it almost tastes like something is missing to me, but I have to think about it to notice.

A batch of rye "cream ale" I made with 50% of this malt has been crashed for 5 days. I'll be looking to see if the haziness is repeated. I'll compare to the batch I made just before the 100% test batch with the same recipe, but with fresh milled Viking pils, which is crystal clear.
 

Brooothru

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I tapped into the beer from the 100% test batch of this malt on 8/9. Made with my standard mash, which is 20# grist with a 6.5 gallon strike and 9.5 gallon fly sparge for 10+ gallons finished beer. Fermented with US-05 at 65F, hopped to around 28 IBUs plus a hop step with leaf cascade at around 160F, came out around 6.5% ABV.

Visually, it has not cleared as much as I would have expected after being crashed for over 2 weeks at 30F, despite addition of whirlflock in same procedure I always use that usually results in clear beer. I have my suspicion that this malt is resonsible for the haze, at least in its interaction with my rig & process. If this is the case, this might be an good base malt for making hazy styles of beer, but not so good for crisp, clear ones.

The flavor is good, moderately malty with a fresh flavor, was expecting to be able to taste the alcohol more, but there is enough flavor that it is not forward. There is a lack of "bite" in finish which I'm guessing is the result of the relative absence of hulls. While this is touted as a good thing in malt description, it almost tastes like something is missing to me, but I have to think about it to notice.

A batch of rye "cream ale" I made with 50% of this malt has been crashed for 5 days. I'll be looking to see if the haziness is repeated. I'll compare to the batch I made just before the 100% test batch with the same recipe, but with fresh milled Viking pils, which is crystal clear.
Interesting. My Blond Ale (which ended up being closer to an APA) has been conditioning at 38F for two weeks now. My kegerator has been 'down' awaiting parts for the faucets. UPS is promising delivery today, so hopefully I'll get to tap it in the next day or so.

My brew was ~90% MaltGems with the remainder 20L Crystal and Carafoam. It was remarkably clear going into the keg, seemed sweeter than anticipated, and had a higher than planned ABV. It also yielded 5+ gallons when I usually get ~4.5 gallons into the keg. Didn't calculate overall efficiency, but clearly it was higher than normal for my setup.

Anxious to see how it comes out.

Brooo Brother
 
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Dland

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The wort in the test batch was quite clear also, which is why I'm a little surprised the beer did not clear up more by now. I checked the written log I keep during brew days, and I did add the wirlflock.
 

Brooothru

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The wort in the test batch was quite clear also, which is why I'm a little surprised the beer did not clear up more by now. I checked the written log I keep during brew days, and I did add the wirlflock.
The FC repair kit for the Perlick came today along with a Nukatap I'd ordered from MoreBeer last week. The rebuild went smoothly and I installed the Intertap faucet on the other shank after cleaning and sanitizing. Here's the first pour from the MaltGems Blonde Ale, exactly 18 days grain to glass.
20200905_133621.jpg


Darker than I'd expected, sweeter and slightly higher ABV than a true Blonde. Delicate lace that persists on the glass. Clear-ish, but not near the 'brilliant' clarity I was after. Hops (citra, mosaic, galaxy) are very prominent. A09 "Pub" yeast was fermented cool at 63F, and presented a few esters but nothing over-powering.

Very quaffable beer. Enjoying one right now.

20200905_173211.jpg
 
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Dland

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That is about the same clarity as mine. Usually my brews come out clearer. Had some of the 50% batch this evening, brewed two weeks ago, crashed 5 days, is good, but also not clear.

If anyone knows what property in this pre milled, sifted and hull removed malt would make it more cloudy, I'd like to know. I'm guessing something about protein, or changed pH due to lack of hulls, or maybe a little bit of hull tannen helps with clarity.
 

Brooothru

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That is about the same clarity as mine. Usually my brews come out clearer. Had some of the 50% batch this evening, brewed two weeks ago, crashed 5 days, is good, but also not clear.

If anyone knows what property in this pre milled, sifted and hull removed malt would make it more cloudy, I'd like to know. I'm guessing something about protein, or changed pH due to lack of hulls, or maybe a little bit of hull tannen helps with clarity.
I'm curious as well. I prefer a clear beer (when appropriate for style) and was hoping for greater clarity and lighter color. There's obviously a learning curve for this malt.

One thing I noticed while holding my near-empty glass up to the fading sunlight was the visible presence of tiny particles in the glass. This was an early pour (2 weeks since kegging and refrigerating). If individual particle specks can be seen today, hopefully time and gravity will settle them out. I generally don't like to dose my beers with finings, but I suspect if I hit this one with gelatin or keiselsol/chitosan that it would sparkle by tomorrow.

Like SWMBO'd keeps telling me, "Patience, Grasshopper."

Brooo Brother
 

eric19312

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Have you guys noticed the data sheet for the malt gems and plain versions of Briess Synergy Select Pilsen Malt include identical statistics. Don't understand how this can be true.

TYPICAL ANALYSIS*
Mealy / Half / Glassy ................................................... 100% / 0% / 0%
Plump ........................................................................................................... 98%
Thru ................................................................................................................. 0%
Moisture .................................................................................................... 4.4%
Extract FG, Dry Basis ........................................................................ 83.3%
Extract CG, Dry Basis ....................................................................... 82.4%
Extract FG/CG Difference ................................................................ 0.9%
Protein ......................................................................................................... 10.9
S/T .................................................................................................................... 42
Alpha Amylase............................................................................................. 58
Diastatic Power (Lintner) ..................................................................... 100
Color ........................................................................................ 1.8º Lovibond

1599407856228.png
 

Brooothru

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Have you guys noticed the data sheet for the malt gems and plain versions of Briess Synergy Select Pilsen Malt include identical statistics. Don't understand how this can be true.

TYPICAL ANALYSIS*
Mealy / Half / Glassy ................................................... 100% / 0% / 0%
Plump ........................................................................................................... 98%
Thru ................................................................................................................. 0%
Moisture .................................................................................................... 4.4%
Extract FG, Dry Basis ........................................................................ 83.3%
Extract CG, Dry Basis ....................................................................... 82.4%
Extract FG/CG Difference ................................................................ 0.9%
Protein ......................................................................................................... 10.9
S/T .................................................................................................................... 42
Alpha Amylase............................................................................................. 58
Diastatic Power (Lintner) ..................................................................... 100
Color ........................................................................................ 1.8º Lovibond

View attachment 697066
Interesting. Hadn't examined the Spec Sheet for Synergy to compare with MaltGems (also Synergy). Agree there should be a difference. Looks like somebody at Briess simply did a cut & paste of the Synergy Select data.

Brooo Brother
 
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Dland

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I'm at boil right now with 3rd batch using this malt, this time again at 50%. Going for a longer, harder boil this time to see if that helps. But as noted, wort was clear going into fermentor, so a good hot break was achieved before with normal 60 min boil.

I'm hoping one of the "brew chemists" can chime in and suggest a reason for post fermentation cloudiness, and hopefully a process solution, other than more finings. Two whirlflock for 10 gallons usually clears my brews, along with sufficient crashed time..

40#s down, 60 more to go...
 
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Dland

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Apologies for keeping adding things; Today I did small trub dump on today's brew for cold break after conical was down to 65F. I don't always bother with this, but thought I'd check due to the clarity issues. ..Anyway, the cold break dump yielded significantly more trub than usual, might be a clue.
 

Brooothru

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Apologies for keeping adding things; Today I did small trub dump on today's brew for cold break after conical was down to 65F. I don't always bother with this, but thought I'd check due to the clarity issues. ..Anyway, the cold break dump yielded significantly more trub than usual, might be a clue.
Cold break can also provide nucleation sites for yeast, so it could cut both ways. I will say that tonight's Happy Hour beer looked a little clearer. Or maybe just wishful thinking.

Brooo Brother
 
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Dland

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Probably my last note on this topic; The first batch w 100% is still a bit cloudy, not bad, but not clear. My process is pretty consistant, perhaps the differencre is this malt's pH or protien content, or something like that, that keeps it from clearing up at 100%.

The next two subsequent batches w 50% and 65% of this malt have cleared up like I would expect, crashed and conditioned.

This is pretty good malt, it seems like a quality pilsner malt with that acts like it is a little more concentrated than a normal pilsner, volume wise. There is noticeable malt character, with good grain flavor, but perhaps not as much flavor as a high end pils like weyerman floor malted, or even regular weyerman.

Would buy again, but only w free shipping, rather have a fresh, coarser crush.
 

Brooothru

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Six weeks after brewing 100% MaltGems blonde ale, it has cleared 'well' but not the Brilliant or Near Brilliant I'd hoped for. The beer is clean but not significantly more so than other premium malts using highly floculant and attenuative yeasts (i.e., Nottingham). It made a very drinkable beer. In fact, I'm heading out to the patio to enjoy one right now.

Brooo Brother
 
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