pale ale too malty

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walker111

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As title suggests, I find some of my pale ales good but not great and I find often they are too malty for my tastes. I do know there are many factors such as mash temp, profiles, yeast , etc but also wonder if there is too much crystal malt as per recipe? I recall reading that the crystal malt should not exceed 10% of total grain bill. If I reduced this amount and all other variables stay as put should this reduce some malty flavors? I realize the additions to my water play a big factor and I am working on this all the time..
thanks for input
 

friarsmith

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While there are a lot of factors involved and I am not sure of your starting point, it sounds like some combination of:

* Smaller %age crystal
* Lower Lovibond Crystal
* North American 2-Row instead of Maris Otter for your base malt
* Adding a teaspoon or so of gypsum to the boil
* Subbing some malted wheat for head retention and fermentables and/or light munich for color and non-cloying malt (5% or so) for all the crystal
*Mashing around 150-152

…might get you closer

Edit: Something like 90/5/5 2-Row, Munich, Wheat mashed at 150-152* will make a might fine pale ale. And if you like it, just keep the %’s the same and ramp up a little for an IPA, if that’s your thing
 
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hotbeer

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Too malty or too sweet and malty?

Sweet and malty might suggest you aren't converting your starch and sugars properly at mash time... I think. Someone else should feel free to chime in here.

What are you bittering with to offset the malty flavor? Maybe use more at boil start.
 
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walker111

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I typically mash these beers around 149-152 and add more gypsum than CC. The crystal # I don't know as my books and notes are at home. Base malts are pale 2 row. Thanks for replies.
 

Genuine

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SN's Resilience IPA recipe uses about 10% of C60 and that's a great recipe. I'd also suggest to look a your water chemistry and see if that may have anything to do with it.
 
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walker111

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Thanks all for input. Looking for a bit crisper without to much malt so will look at recipe again and additions to water. The hop flavor has been fine as I have been doing closed transfers the past 2 years . Of course by friends lap it up like black labs!!!!!
 

DBhomebrew

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With 10% crystal in your current recipe, I'd start there. Reduce to 5% or even better 0%. See how that works for you. You can always add it back.

Water mineral profile for flavor's sake is a fine tune dial. You need to get your recipe right first. Kind of like hanging drywall, the framing should be in good and straight first.

Change one thing at a time.
 
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... or start with a grain bill that's appropriate for the sub-style / time-frame that one is looking for:
  • Classic APA (aka SNPA): 90-95% base malt; 5-10% character malts
  • late 2000s/early 2010s: APA: 90-95% base malt; 5-10% munich / vienna / "pale ale" malt
  • late 2010s/2020s APA: maybe start here? Base Pale Ale Recipe for ...
 

Bobby_M

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As title suggests, I find some of my pale ales good but not great and I find often they are too malty for my tastes. I do know there are many factors such as mash temp, profiles, yeast , etc but also wonder if there is too much crystal malt as per recipe? I recall reading that the crystal malt should not exceed 10% of total grain bill. If I reduced this amount and all other variables stay as put should this reduce some malty flavors? I realize the additions to my water play a big factor and I am working on this all the time..
thanks for input

Without knowing how much crystal you're using, it's hard to say if that is a problem or not. Also, do you bag your hops?
 
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walker111

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Without knowing how much crystal you're using, it's hard to say if that is a problem or not. Also, do you bag your hops?
I do bag hops loose in a good sized perforated bag as I use a plate chiller and try to limit the hop debris in these. In general, 10 % is crystal in the recipes I have been using but I do double batches so this could be 2-3 pounds of crystal in total. Brewing again soon and will try reducing the total crystal or even going from a 40 to a 20 or so. Only want to change one variable at a time and note the changes .
thanks for reply Bobby.
 

jambop

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I think I have drank a fair bit of English/ Scottish pale ale... it is malty but it can also be sweet or dry that is down to the water profile. A dry pale ale is going to have a higher sulphate ion concentration so will have more gypsum added also the alkalinity will be low too at about 20-30ppm in the mash/sparge water.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I find some of my pale ales good but not great and I find often they are too malty for my tastes.

Oxidation can give a flavor that resembles "malty." I know when I took steps to avoid cold side oxidation, my IPAs and Pale Ales started to become more light and crisp and were a shade or two lighter in color.

I used to brew a SN Pale Ale inspired Pale Ale that was 10% Crystal 40 or 60. These days I find that I like my APAs with around 6% Crystal 40 (the rest just American 2-Row).
 
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walker111

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I do limit oxygen also with the closed transfers but it could have affected the earlier beers for sure . I will go with 5% crystal next brew and maybe a lighter crystal as noted. Will make up the difference with the 2 row.
Thanks all
 

Dland

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I generally skip the crystal and cara malts altogether these days. Most of my brews have at least 50% Pilsner malt. If I want to add maltyness to that, I use Golden Promise or Marris Otter at rate of 20-25% instead of standard two row or and additional 20% pils.

If I really want to maltify a particular brew, such as a Marzen, 2.5-5% Melodian goes as far in that direction I usually want to take it.
 

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