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Mimicking specific base malts

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Nugent

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I have begun to brew a lot of British real ale-style brews and cannot get base malts, like Maris Otter or Golden Promise at my LHBS. Most people tend to be very specific/loyal to these malts for their beers, so I am thinking about what to do.

I was wondering whether anyone has ideas on how (or whether) to try and "mimick" the subtle charateristics of these specific malts. One idea, for example, was to add a few ounces of biscuit malt to two-row in order to add the apparently crackery/biscuity element of Maris Otter. As for the Golden Promise, I'm not sure.

Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated and valued.

One thing, though - since I have never knowingly tried either of these malts, I couldn't tell you what I think is missing to be perfectly honest. My palate of malt characteristics isn't all that well developed yet.

Thanks in advance.
 

irunxcjm

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One idea is to perhaps buy some MO or GP online for a batch or two and then use what you can get locally after you know more what you you are looking for.
 

BigEd

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What kind of malts are available to you? Any UK pale malt will be an acceptable substitute for those specific cultivars.
 

mmb

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Maris Otter and Golden Promise are cultivars of barley. If you can't get those, you can always take regular 2row like Harrington or Klages and find that malted to British Pale.

The way the barley is malted makes as big if not a bigger difference as the cultivar.
 
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Nugent

Nugent

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See . . . this is why I ask you guys. I get responses far and above my knowledge! Thank you.

I can get Prairie Malt, Gambrinus 2-row (organic and non), Gambrinus ESB and Gambrinus pilsner. My LHBS is excellent (Dan's Homebrewing) and have total faith in what he is selling. Just wanting to know whether I'm missing something significant in not getting the brand name stuff.

By your responses, it seems that its the malting is more important than the varietal of barley. The ESB malt sounds like the one to use for UK brews.

Any other thoughts would be welcomed.

Cheers.
 

brown_dog_us

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From the Gambrinus website:

Gambrinus ESB Pale
"Extra Special British" pale malt has been produced for brewers seeking a domestic malt with the unique flavor imparted by British pale malt.
That sounds like your best bet.
 

mmb

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By your responses, it seems that its the malting is more important than the varietal of barley. The ESB malt sounds like the one to use for UK brews.
Sounds about right.

We toss out Maris Otter and Crisp Optic because those are pretty much guaranteed to be malted to British Pale standards, just because it would be a waste of money to malt them any other way.

The ESB malt would be a good alternative. There might still be some difference between that and Maris Otter malted to British Pale standards but I doubt many would be able to tell the difference. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to. D
 
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