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What is the deal with all of the specialty grains lately?

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Dude

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I am noticing a disturbing (maybe only to me) trend lately of recipes containing WAY too much adjunct malts. This includes, caramel malts, honey malt, etc.

I don't mind seeing people experimenting with the malts and putting them in recipes. It is the fact that they are using WAY too much of them.

People, a 5 gallon, 1.040-1.060ish recipe with 2 lbs. of crystal malt is ridiculous. No, it is BEYOND ridiculous.

FWIW, I don't notice it so much (in the ridiculous sense, anyway) on this forum, but I saw a recipe in another forum the other day that blew me away. Coincidentally, it is someone we are all very familiar with.

Anyway, when you are contemplating a recipe, stop and take a look at it, ask for help, whatever. ;)
 

Soulive

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I agree. Lately I'm trying to keep my recipes as simple as I can without losing anything. I'm finding less is more when it comes to ingredients...
 

c.n.budz

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I've noticed this as well. I frequent a bunch of recipe databases for ideas and I always notice a bunch of recipes calling for way too many different types of specialty malts. Some of the recipes are to the point where they have so many different types of malts in inappropriate amounts that you'd never be able to pick out any particular flavor, they're just too muddy. I just chalk it up to people posting untested recipes just so they can post a recipe.
 

the_bird

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It's hard, you almost have to FORCE yourself to keep it simple. My last couple batches have deliberately been simple both with grains and hops, and the EuroPils will be the same.

I almost think it's like a fruit beer though - you've got to make something with a couple pounds of crystal in it before you really know why it's such a bad idea...

(any chance you could share a link to the non-HBT recipe in question?... ;))
 

Evan!

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I'm usually in the KISS mentality, though i do stray sometimes when necessary, especially on darker beers where I want a little lighter crystal for caramel flavors and darker crystal (special B even) for plummy notes.

And as if to put an exclamation point on what you said, Dude, my SMaSH ale is one of my best beers to date. So...yeah.

But to each his own. If someone wants to eff up a batch with 2 pounds of crystal, then be my guest. Not MY beer!

BTW, as an aside, you consider Victory to be an adjunct? Because my house pale ale has 2.5 lbs of victory in it, and it's f*cking awesome. :D
 

Soulive

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Evan! said:
BTW, as an aside, you consider Victory to be an adjunct? Because my house pale ale has 2.5 lbs of victory in it, and it's f*cking awesome. :D
I'm intrigued. How would it turn out with Crisp Pale 2-row IYO? Would I be missing too much maltiness?
 

Evan!

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Soulive said:
I'm intrigued. How would it turn out with Crisp Pale 2-row IYO? Would I be missing too much maltiness?
Nah...while I like MO, I don't think that switching it to 2-row would really make a huge difference considering all the victory in there. You want maltiness? Get this: the SBJPA finishes at 1.019 because of all that victory. :D
 

Soulive

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Evan! said:
Nah...while I like MO, I don't think that switching it to 2-row would really make a huge difference considering all the victory in there. You want maltiness? Get this: the SBJPA finishes at 1.019 because of all that victory. :D
Sounds good, but your recipe says FG is 1.014. What should I shoot for?
 

Evan!

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Hm, maybe it was my last version that was @ 14. Anyway, I would shoot for mid to upper teens, but if it goes lower, it's no big deal. You can always just mash @ 153 or 154, too...
 

Soulive

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Evan! said:
Hm, maybe it was my last version that was @ 14. Anyway, I would shoot for mid to upper teens, but if it goes lower, it's no big deal. You can always just mash @ 153 or 154, too...
Sounds like a plan! Giggity :mug:
 
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Dude

Dude

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the_bird said:
(any chance you could share a link to the non-HBT recipe in question?... ;))
The recipe is HERE. Technically, it isn't an APA, due to the higher OG. I'm assuming he wants an APA though, so I'm also assuming that to fix that, he'll drop a few pounds of base malt, not the crystal. We all know he has a penchant for sweet beers. Anyway, the bottom line is 3 lbs. of adjuncts in that recipe is too damn much, IMHO. Do you agree, or am I being unfair?

That particular recipe wasn't why I posted this thread. I've noticed it in a lot of recipes lately. Too much honey malt, too much crystal malt, too much biscuit malt, too much etc.
 

Evan!

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Not to mention a whole pound of carapils, which is simply amazing, especially with all that crystal.
 

the_bird

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niquejim said:
I guess it's because that what seems to be winning contests.
A great Scottish Ale can be made with 99% pale and 1% roasted barley and boil it down, But look at Jamil's version
http://beerdujour.com/Recipes/Jamil/JamilsScottishExport80.htm

But he wins, so who am I to criticize.
In his book, though, JZ gives the recipe two ways - one, with a lot of caramel malts (looks the same as in your link), and also a version where it's 97% pale malt, 3% roasted barley, and the caramelization comes from the kettle (boiling one gallon of wort down until it begins to caramalize, adding that back to the main wort).
 

the_bird

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Oh, him? He has such a sweet tooth, it's not even funny. He sent me a few beers for something, I ended up dumping the first one because it was undrinkably cloying, sickly, disgusting. I haven't dared open the others, especially after hearing all the desciptions of his most famous batch. Ugh. Give me a dry beer any day (except for a nice German lager).
 

bigben

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My last beer was 9Lbs of 2Row, 1Lb ocf Crystal 60, and 1lb of Biscuit...it's the best beer I ever made.

:eek: :( :confused: :)
 

the_bird

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Carapils in general, not even in this specific case...

It seems like people add carapils by default, regardless of style. It doesn't belong (IMO) in an IPA, for example, where the beer wants to finish pretty dry. This becomes even more of an issue when there's a lot of crystal malts in there, as well. It just seems like when people start designing recipes, they just start throwing stuff together without really understanding what the individual pieces will contribute to the whole, and how they'll all interact (I know that's how it was for me when I started). That's why I'm always pimpin' Ray Daniels' (and now JZ's) books, to provide some good background and context.
 

z987k

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There was 2lbs of honey malt in my honey wheat, and that's one thing I definitely wouldn't change. Maybe we're looking for something different out of a beer. My thought on that one was, when you drink it you think damn! that's honey. And since honey itself ferments out so much and really doesn't add much flavor, i went with the malt. In the end it didn't turn out like I wanted because of the yeast and temperature, but I have yet to taste any beer with honey in it in which I could actually taste the honey.
 

adx

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I think JZ even says that on most of his recipes, especially those that win, he has pushed the envelope. The problem is that when there are 50 APAs to judge it's the 1 that has that different zing to it that usually wins. It's almost as if brewing to style doesn't matter.
 

zoebisch01

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Well I think it depends on what you do in the mash and with the hops. Personally, most of my recipes are extremely simple. I mean 1, 2 or 3 malts usually. It is rare that I go beyond that, but it all depends.
 

Buford

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I think the most crystal malt I tend to ever put in a batch is 12 oz. My next to last brew had no adjuncts at all - 100% Optic.
 

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