multiple lovibond levels in one brew

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Grizwold1

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I have seen recipes with crystal malts of different lovibond levels, like 8 oz. of 40 L and 8 oz. of 80L. What purpose/result? Is there a reason one would not just use 16 oz. of 60 L?
 

bracconiere

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i've always done it for the gradient? in otherwords like driving a clutch, and getting a smooth transition between gears?


on a similar note...why use 60L either when you can just use 20L munich as the base malt?
 

CascadesBrewer

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I have seen recipes with crystal malts of different lovibond levels, like 8 oz. of 40 L and 8 oz. of 80L. What purpose/result? Is there a reason one would not just use 16 oz. of 60 L?

If you are looking for color, that is probably fine. I would expect there to be some difference in flavors. Maybe not a massive difference between 40 to 60 to 80, but I would expect 40 to have more of a light sweetness where 80 starts to get into the dark fruit/raisin area.

I know that Jamil Z had a reputation for mixing a lot of Crystal malts, and some of the recipes in "Brewing Classic Styles" show this.
 

RM-MN

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I’d say the different flavors of the differently roasted malts. But I highly doubt you’d notice the difference with that little malt either way you wanted to work it.
How sure are you about the difference in flavors contributed by so little malt when the batch size has not been mentioned. That would be an appropriate amount for a 2 1/2 gallon batch, way too much for a 1 gallon batch, perhaps OK for 5 gallons and definitely too little to taste in a 20 gallon batch.
 

RM-MN

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I have seen recipes with crystal malts of different lovibond levels, like 8 oz. of 40 L and 8 oz. of 80L. What purpose/result? Is there a reason one would not just use 16 oz. of 60 L?
Read the descriptions of the various malts. They describe the flavors of each and they are quite different. 40L plus 80L divided by 2 does not equal the flavor of 60L.
 

dmtaylor

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Some (most?) advocate for simplicity. Others for complexity. I myself play both ways -- some recipes I only use 3 or 4 malts, others I use 10 to 12. Some of the best recipes I've ever tasted have had a dozen malts of varying colors and characteristics. The truth is that different color crystal malts taste different, so you can't just take the average and end up with the same beer. When brewed with different recipes, two (or more) beers should taste slightly different, although this does depend on how much of each malt was used, etc. Is one beer or one method "better" than another? You be the judge.
 
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"Hot Steep Method" (link) is one way to get an approximate taste for various crystal / caramel malts. If one has a local home brew store, consider combing hot steep with chewing a couple of kernels.

"Hot Steep Method" can be an interesting home brew club activity, especially if one wants to cover the range of colors (20, 40, 60, 80, 120) and maltsters ('American' vs 'British') in a single session.

As an individual, consider dividing the malts into a couple of sessions. Start with a session of 20 / 60 / 120 & perhaps a blend of 20/120. Later do a session with similar colors of 'American' and 'British'; ...
 

mashpaddled

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As others have said, the flavor is not the same even if the color would be similar. I find 60L pretty boring. I think it tastes like caramel candies and one note. Crystal 40 is more like a light caramel. Crystal 80 is more of a darker caramel flavor getting into some of the fruit flavors. The mix of the two might give roughly the same sweetness as a pound of crystal 60 but the flavor will be richer and more complex without the intensity (and color) of just using a pound of crystal 80.
 
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