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scrap iron

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I was reviewing a recipe in the Historical section by Revvy I believe. Kentucy Common was the style and looks interesting. With only 1# of rye malt and with over 2# of corn how much would rye be noticed? I've never used it in a recipe and would like an opinion on how much to get an idea of what it contributes. I was thinking of upping to 2# in a little bigger gravity beer. The 2# would be about 18% of the grainbill. Thoughts?
(1) Historical Beer: Kentucky Common - "Kiss Yer Cousin" Rye Kentucky Common Ale | Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum
 

MaxStout

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If you like rye flavor you could bump it. But even 1 lb. will give a noticeable rye "edge" to the beer.

If you go with 2 lbs., you might want to add 1/2 lb of rice hulls to the grist to make lautering easier.
 
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scrap iron

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Thanks MaxStout, good advise. I might try 1.5# to begin with, that would be about a little over 13%. I do like rye. What does it do as far as making beer hazy or cloudy? I'm not fond of Cloudy beer.
 

AlexKay

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I’ve definitely had clarity problems when using flaked wheat, oats, and rye. Maybe try rye malt instead of flaked rye? Whatever proteins/glucans/pentosans there are will be broken down a bit (maybe a lot) in malting. You’ll still get that rye bite, and a little bit of extra diastatic power thrown in as a bonus.
 
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scrap iron

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I’ve definitely had clarity problems when using flaked wheat, oats, and rye. Maybe try rye malt instead of flaked rye? Whatever proteins/glucans/pentosans there are will be broken down a bit (maybe a lot) in malting. You’ll still get that rye bite, and a little bit of extra diastatic power thrown in as a bonus.
I bought 2# of rye malt and am trying to determine what to use it in and how much. I thought it might work in an Irish Red style too. Good point on the malt might be less problematic. Thanks AlexKay.
 

SouthForkBrew

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Being from where I'm from, I'm a little partial to KY Common beers! One of the interesting things about the style is that it is not well defined from a recipe standpoint. What we know about the style is that it was a rather small-ish beer, amber in color, and meant to be a kind of "working man's beverage." The allure of the KY Common was that it required no refrigeration (which was a luxury at the time), and could be turned out in a week or so under the right conditions. One thing that is for certain is the presence of corn. Corn was definitely used in the mash, although not at a rate of 51%+. That myth came from the association with KY and bourbon, as did the myth that the KY Common utilized a sour mash, which is also not supported by historical record.

The use of rye appears in some recipes for sure. I would assume, if you are going for historical accuracy, that you'd want to use malted rye. If this is the case I can make one huge recommendation, do a beta-glucan rest. Multi-step mashing has largely fallen out of favor, but in the case of rye it can help a LOT! It will break down the beta-glucans which are higher in rye that in barley and make your sparge a lot more pleasant. Plus it will help with clarity in the finished product. A quick 20-30 minute rest at 104F should break down some of that beta-glucan and make the process a lot easier. That is if you plan to use it in amounts larger than say 10% of the grist.
 

AlexKay

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Rye is actually lower in beta-glucans than barley. It’s pentosans in rye that contribute to viscosity, and a rest won’t help those. (Debatable whether a beta-glucan rest even helps with beta glucans, since their solubilization temperature is higher than the enzyme’s denaturation temp.)
 

dmtaylor

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I've brewed a lot with rye, and with a lot of rye, up to 40-50% of the grist on several occasions. My experiences with rye might seem different from others. Here's what rye adds to any beer, in my experience:

1) Noticeably very full viscous body and creamy head, unlike anything else. Much more pronounced than wheat or oats. If desired, you might be able to combat excessive body and head via a beta-glucan rest and/or protein rest in the 104-122 F range.

2) Bready flavor that is different from other grains but not super remarkable or unusual.

3) Blue-gray color or "sheen", perhaps a slight haze, but not murky like a NEIPA.

and

4) It's NOT spicy. If a rye beer is spicy, it's from the hops, not from the rye.

Take the advice of others to use a very heavy hand of rice hulls. A pound per 5-gallon batch is about right. Without rice hulls, expect a very stuck mash. Even with BIAB you need hulls, otherwise your bag will turn into a sticky slimy brick. Use the hulls.

You won't be able to taste rye below about 15-20% of the grist. If you want to experience the flavors, you need to use much more. I use rye malt as it's well modified and able to self convert without any issues. Just.... use some hulls!
 

SanPancho

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4) It's NOT spicy. If a rye beer is spicy, it's from the hops, not from the rye.
+1 to everything EXCEPT this. Rye does indeed have a distinctive flavor that resembles “peppery” which is commonly mislabeled as spicy. There is a trick to drawing it out. Takes a bit of something sweet. But as noted above you gotta have a good/large amount in there. Even 20% ain’t enough…
 

AlexKay

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I do think rye has a bite to it. I snuck some crystal rye into a dubbel (replaced the Special B) and competition judges dinged it for excess phenols … I’m reasonably certain they were actually picking up on the rye. (My bad, though.)
 

hottpeper13

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I have a recipe that uses (6 gal batch) 2.5 lbs of organic yellow corn meal and 1 lb of rye malt. This time( waiting on yeast ) I'm going to incorporate the rye into the cereal mash to see if that will make it less gummy.
The corn meal gives it just a hint of sweet corn flavor and thins the beer out a bit. The rye makes it silky smooth like a 1.16 finish but mine are around 1.008. I think more rye would detract from the corn.
 
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scrap iron

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Thanks to all for your suggestions. I think I will stick to the original recipe I posted about and use just 1# rye malt. Maybe this will get me an idea about what rye does. I plan on bumping up the Base malt a little to my normal 1.050-52 OG and sub the black malt with midnight wheat. That with 2# of flaked corn should add the sweetness and I will use some citrus type American hops.
And thanks Southfork, my Father's family is all from the South, Arkansas, Tennessee and further back from Virginia. cheers to all.
 

VirginiaHops1

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I've tinkered with rye a little. 1 lb(11% of grist) in a pale ale got me some rye flavor, but not super overpowering. There was also some carahell in that batch. Going higher into the 20% of grist range definitely starts to get heavier on the flavor. It also depends on what other grains are there to compete or drown out the rye.
 

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