Maris Otter malt

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McCall St. Brewer

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Randy Mosher raves about Maris Otter malt in his book Radical Brewing. As I understand it, it's hard to grow, so it's more expensive, therefore commerical breweries tend not to use it much any more.

For homebrewers, though, I suppose a couple of dollars more for a 5 gallon batch isn't such a big deal.

Does it really make a difference in the final product, though?
 

Sir Humpsalot

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I have an ESB with 92% Maris Otter going to secondary tomorrow. I've sampled it.

I also brewed an "ESB" with regular 2-row extract, but now I see the light.

If it hasn't got a good dose of Maris Otter, it's simply not an ESB. I wouldn't brew an ESB without it. It is a quintessentially british ale taste and there's nothing else like it! If you try to brew an ESB without it, you're really just making a pale ale...
 

magno

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I second what Toot said, but substitute IPA for ESB.

- magno
 
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McCall St. Brewer

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Hmmm. Actually, I feel pretty smug now. I was curious and checked the grain bill for the ESB I just brewed Saturday and what do you know? It has about 90% Maris Otter in it. Apparently I knew what I was doing when I bought my ingredients (not!)

Hopefully I can look forward to a good batch.
 

Willsellout

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I'm going to be making an Amber with about 90% maris otter. I'll let you know how it turns out.


Dan
 

Sir Humpsalot

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mmditter said:
Hmmm. Actually, I feel pretty smug now. I was curious and checked the grain bill for the ESB I just brewed Saturday and what do you know? It has about 90% Maris Otter in it. Apparently I knew what I was doing when I bought my ingredients (not!)

Hopefully I can look forward to a good batch.

And soon you will be saying, "So THAT'S what all the fuss is about!!!" There's not even a question in my mind as to whether you will notice the difference. The only question in my mind is whether you will be able to apply descriptors to the taste that is imparted by the Maris Otter.

Despite my best efforts, words escape me. Except maybe to say that it tastes a little bit "musky", sort of dank and dense and damp. It's pretty filling.
 

Yooper

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I was at a brewpub (Michigan House, in Calumet, MI) a couple of months ago, and Tim, the brewer, said the ONLY base malt he uses any more is Marris Otter. And it was really, really good beer. So, I decided to give it a try. It's my base malt in my "itty bitty bastard" that I just put in primary, and I'll be interested in trying it.
 
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McCall St. Brewer

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Yooper Chick said:
I was at a brewpub (Michigan House, in Calumet, MI) a couple of months ago, and Tim, the brewer, said the ONLY base malt he uses any more is Marris Otter. And it was really, really good beer. So, I decided to give it a try. It's my base malt in my "itty bitty bastard" that I just put in primary, and I'll be interested in trying it.
They have a brewpub in Calumet? Wow. Last time I was there they didn't really have anything there. Actually, though, back in 1964 brewpubs didn't really even exist in the U.S. did they. Even if they had, I don't think I would have hung out there while I was in first grade.

Seriously, you're from near Calumet? My grandfather grew up there. I went there for someone's wedding back then. I also remember that before colored margarine was legal in Wisconsin my relatives from there used to smuggle Parkay to us from Michigan. That stuff kind of ages me, doesn't it?
 

Yooper

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mmditter said:
They have a brewpub in Calumet? Wow. Last time I was there they didn't really have anything there. Actually, though, back in 1964 brewpubs didn't really even exist in the U.S. did they. Even if they had, I don't think I would have hung out there while I was in first grade.

Seriously, you're from near Calumet? My grandfather grew up there. I went there for someone's wedding back then. I also remember that before colored margarine was legal in Wisconsin my relatives from there used to smuggle Parkay to us from Michigan. That stuff kind of ages me, doesn't it?

Haha. I'm about 1 1/2 hours from Calumet- but my kids play hockey so we go up there a couple of times a winter and occasionally in the summer. The brewpub is in the old Michigan Hotel, built in the 1880's I think.

I don't remember colored margarine being illegal- that's funny. If you were in first grade in 1964, you're only about 5 years older than me!

Anyway, Tim (the brewer) has invited me up anytime he's brewing to see his equipment and process. So, one of my friends and I are talking a day off this spring to go up and see what he's doing. But he said that marris otter is the ONLY base malt he uses. I used marris otter two days ago and when I tasted the grains, I was really impressed with the taste. I don't know why- I'll have to actually sample some 2-row side by side with it to see what the differences are.
 

Glibbidy

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mmditter said:
Randy Mosher raves about Maris Otter malt in his book Radical Brewing. As I understand it, it's hard to grow, so it's more expensive, therefore commerical breweries tend not to use it much any more.

For homebrewers, though, I suppose a couple of dollars more for a 5 gallon batch isn't such a big deal.

Does it really make a difference in the final product, though?
In short, yes. You pay for what you get. I had been using a canadian malt that seemed to have a phenol in it that tasted grainy.
I have since cut back on my use of this particular malt as a result. I'm willing to shell out the extra 10 cents per pound for a premium malt that is going to produce superior results.:rockin:
 

Desert_Sky

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personally I love MO. Its a great all around base malt. Its a english malt that produces a nice malt tasting and good looking beer
 

zoebisch01

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Our local brewpub head brewer told me he felt it was probably the best malt in the world. He does brew a lot more than I do hehe.
 
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McCall St. Brewer

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Yooper Chick said:
I don't remember colored margarine being illegal- that's funny. If you were in first grade in 1964, you're only about 5 years older than me!
That was a weird law that Wisconsin used to have to protect the dairy farmers here. The only margarine you could buy was white like Crisco. Yech. So, every time my relatives came to Green Bay to visit they would bring a case of colored margarine for my parents and grandparents to split up.

Regarding Maris Otter, my LHBS guy suggested that the next time I brew I should use the same recipe but substitute cheaper domestic grain so that I can see the difference.
 

Brewpastor

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I too love this grain in my ales. I believe it makes a huge difference. It is rich and full. I love it and don't like using the old stand-bys anymore.
 

Buford

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I hadn't used Maris Otter before, but my last batch has 60% in it. We'll see how it turns out.
 

Rhoobarb

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Okay, I'm going to be the contrarian here.

Last year I had a lot of IPAs, ESBs and English-based beers I wanted to brew. So, I got a 55 lb. bag of MO for ~$55.00. For domestic 2-row I only use Rahr or Schreier (Cargill) and get it for ~$32 for a 50 lb. bag.

In the end, I just couldn't tell enough of a difference to justify paying the extra money. Not that I'm cheap or mind paying the extra bucks. I don't. But only if it will make my beer markedly better or different. IMHO, the MO just didn't do that for me.

To be fair, maybe I should make the same, exact beer, except do one with MO and the other, domestic 2-row. Then compare the two side by side and make my determination.
 

perry

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Roobarb says:

To be fair, maybe I should make the same, exact beer, except do one with MO and the other, domestic 2-row. Then compare the two side by side and make my determination.[/QUOTE]


I'd be into the results of that experiment! I'm using more MO myself, but have yet to go 100%...
-p
 

Orfy

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Yooper Chick said:
I was at a brewpub (Michigan House, in Calumet, MI) a couple of months ago, and Tim, the brewer, said the ONLY base malt he uses any more is Marris Otter. And it was really, really good beer. So, I decided to give it a try. It's my base malt in my "itty bitty bastard" that I just put in primary, and I'll be interested in trying it.
I guess I'm lucky living in the UK.
It's one of the easiest and cheapest malts to get old of and I buy it by the 50# and it is my base malt.
 

dcarter

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I was able to pick up 55# of MO from Lazy Magnolia and have made 4 batches so far and have loved every one. I will probably be using MO as my base malt. It helps that I can get it for $32/55#. I made two batches of brown ale an amber and a pale.
 

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I've got my first almost all MO batch in the fermenter. So far, it tastes like grapefruit.
 

delboy

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david_42 said:
I've got my first almost all MO batch in the fermenter. So far, it tastes like grapefruit.
It does have a flavour all of its own .

you could try making carolines ale which is just MO and goldings, nothing else!!
 

dcarter

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The last batch that I put in the primary was 100%MO. 8lbs to be exact with kent goldings hops. It looks fantastic, color of honey and clear as a summer day. Cant wait to try it in a few weeks.
 

Don

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I used Maris Otter in my last several batches and I like the results.
I am planning on using this as my base malt in the furture.
 

Steve973

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My favorite pale malt, lately, is definitely Maris Otter. I use it in everything, now, since it has such a nice, prominent rounded malt flavor that really shines when you use a good english yeast (such as White Labs 007 Dry English Ale), but it seems to do quite well even with Nottingham. Take a look at Maris Otter side-by-side with some American 2-row, and you'll see how much more plump the Maris Otter kernels are. Unless you're going for a super-economical ale, the slightly higher price is worth it, in my opinion.
 

Spyk'd

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dcarter said:
I was able to pick up 55# of MO from Lazy Magnolia...
You in Mississippi?
:drunk:


I was under the impression that they did not sell to the public, but I may be thinking of Abita...



Anyway, who'd you contact?

:cross:
 

Grimsawyer

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david_42 said:
I've got my first almost all MO batch in the fermenter. So far, it tastes like grapefruit.
Grapefruit eh? I am betting that that is because of the hops in this case and not the malt? *chuckles*

:off: What hops you use for a nice grapefruity taste anyhow?:off:
 

boo boo

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I have used English Pale Ale malt ( didn't say who the malter was) in a few recipies and it definatly has a taste all to its own. It outshines any 2 row I have ever had.
 

Buford

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At the LHBS Maris Otter is $1.10 / lb is you buy by the pound and not a full bag. US 2-row is $1.00. It's not much of an extra expense to go Maris Otter.
 

Orfy

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boo boo said:
I have used English Pale Ale malt ( didn't say who the malter was) in a few recipies and it definatly has a taste all to its own. It outshines any 2 row I have ever had.
Maris Otter is a type of malt rather than the maltster. It's grown under licence by several growers and I belive it is available from more than one maltster.
 

D*Bo

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I'm trying to get some for my scottish ale recipe so I don't have to add any black or chocolate malt to get the right color.
Can't wait, this will be my first all grain.
 

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D*Bo said:
I'm trying to get some for my scottish ale recipe so I don't have to add any black or chocolate malt to get the right color.
Can't wait, this will be my first all grain.
Golden promise might be the more authentic malt it being scottish. Saying that though i love MO and it'll make a great ale for you.
 

Dr Malt

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Maris Otter is a variety of barley that can, and is malted by various British maltsters. It is a barley that when malted gives a distinctive flavor some brewers refer to as "slightly grape like". I use it in all my British style ales and it gives the beer a more authentic British character. I use it as 100% of my base malt, but I am sure it can be used at about the 60% level as base malt and still get the desired flavor.

I have not had the opportunity to use Golden Promise, but I have heard good things about it as well.

Dr Malt:mug:
 
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