What should I do with lots of Crystal Malt

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

markcurry

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
47
Reaction score
17
Location
San Jose
Ok, at the beginning of the pandemic, I purchased a grain mill, and a few 50# sacks of grains. Base grain in 50# sacks - great idea!. (I've used 2 during the last 18 months). 50# sacks of Crystal - well that wasn't such a good idea - especially with the styles I tend to brew. I've perhaps used 10-12lbs of that sack.
The sack in question:
Admiral Maltings Kilnsmith

It's about a Crystal 60-80.

Any suggestions on how to use these grains? (I'm not limiting my choices to just beer).

There's been various post here, and other places regarding using insane amounts of crystal malts in a mash. Funny, I don't see many reports on the end results. One must assume these experiments were mostly dumpers. I'm wondering if something with some amylase might help chew up those sugars and not result in a sweet mess.
 

madscientist451

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2014
Messages
5,346
Reaction score
3,066
Location
Bedford
Trade for some different malt with other brewers. I have a 5O lb sack of rye malt and another of Oat malt....
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
4,317
Reaction score
4,329
Location
Chicago
I'd reach out to the maltster and ask for some recipes.. Their description sounds like its an alternative to and distinct from typical crystal malts. I also don't see the diastatic power listed, which would be a good clue to how you might use it in a beer. Or just make a small batch with it and find out what it can do, your idea of adding enzymes is helpful, and also maybe look into super attenuative yeast strains like saison, etc.

Edit: wow, not much out there about it but it does sound interesting. If you're open to selling/shipping I'd take several pounds off your hands.
 
Last edited:

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
18,547
Reaction score
8,688
Location
Pasadena, MD
That "Crystal malt" looks more like a biscuit type malt with some crystal properties. I'd definitely do a test brew with it see what it does at using 8-12% content. Judging by the specs, it definitely needs to be mashed with a diastatic malt for conversion, not merely steeped, to get it to shine.

But, as @Jayjay1976 said, I would reach out to the maltster first for some recipes or guidelines. It may well be the bees knees in flavor/aroma/color contribution.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,160
Reaction score
2,096
Location
"North Coast" USA
Any suggestions on how to use these grains? (I'm not limiting my choices to just beer).
Nutty ("grape nuts") would suggest a nut brown ale. Toffee flavors can work with a malty amber ale.

There's been various post here, and other places regarding using insane amounts of crystal malts in a mash. Funny, I don't see many reports on the end results. One must assume these experiments were mostly dumpers.
I brewed Broken Leg Amber (here at HomebrewTalk) earlier this summer (it's around 20% crystal). I also have a brown ale recipe that I brew occasionally that uses around 20% crystal malt. Neither is (for me) a "sweet mess", but everyone tastes beer differently.
 

madscientist451

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2014
Messages
5,346
Reaction score
3,066
Location
Bedford
The sample analysis says that the extract is 79-83%, so I suppose you could use it 100% in a beer. I'd do a 1-2 gallon batch and see how it comes out.
 

CascadesBrewer

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 24, 2013
Messages
1,853
Reaction score
1,568
Location
VA, USA
Any suggestions on how to use these grains? (I'm not limiting my choices to just beer).
50# of a grain like that would be hard for me to work through...would have to make 1 batch every month that used 2 lbs just to use it up in 2 years. (I learned that purchasing Brown Malt and Special B in 5# bags was way more than I could use up in a 2 year window.)

Do you attend any homebrew clubs? I would be very interested in trying a grain like that, so I am sure you could offer it up "at cost or trade" and get some people interested. (just noticed that @hottpeper13 suggested something similar)
 

IslandLizard

Progressive Brewing
Staff member
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
18,547
Reaction score
8,688
Location
Pasadena, MD
But add 30% Pilsener to aid conversion!
At least!
I seriously doubt that KilnSmith converts anything by itself. It's some sort of specialty malt, a cross between Biscuit, Melanoidin and Crystal malt.
Interesting though! Would make a nice club brew project, seeing and tasting what brewers can make out of it.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,157
Reaction score
3,576
Location
Bremen
At least!
I seriously doubt that KilnSmith converts anything by itself. It's some sort of specialty malt, a cross between Biscuit, Melanoidin and Crystal malt.
Interesting though! Would make a nice club brew project, seeing and tasting what brewers can make out of it.
I thought the same!
 
OP
M

markcurry

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
47
Reaction score
17
Location
San Jose
Thanks for the ideas folks. I've reached out to Admiral Maltings for suggestions. I'll let folks know about any replies.
I am a member of a homebrew club. Bagging up 3# sacks and handing them off at a meeting is certainly a good idea.
 
OP
M

markcurry

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
47
Reaction score
17
Location
San Jose
I've reached out to Admiral Maltings for suggestions. I'll let folks know about any replies.
Dave McLean, Co-Founder of Admiral Maltings replied to my requests. In general, my read from his response is to treat the grain like a Crystal malt - their process isn't quite the same as a "true crystal": From Dave "The big difference is that Kilnsmith leans more toward caramel notes rather than the sweeter notes of true crystal malts."

He also suggested trading with local brewers for other grains - which I'll do.
 

odie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2016
Messages
1,764
Reaction score
880
Location
CC, TX
store it cool and dry. It will last for years. I got some sacks of crystal that will last me years. The price was too good not to buy. What you have sounds like a medium crystal so lots of use for that IMO.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,160
Reaction score
2,096
Location
"North Coast" USA
Another option would be to use the Hop Steep Method with a couple of similar crystal malts:

The Hot Steep Method is a standardized wort preparation method that [was] developed for malt sensory evaluation at [...] in late 2015. In early 2016, the method was validated by the American Society of Brewing Chemists Sensory Technical Subcommittee. By mid-2016, the written method [...] was approved for inclusion in the ASBC Methods of Analysis [...].
Many malts have flavor wheels or descriptions based on these (or similar process) results.
 
OP
M

markcurry

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2014
Messages
47
Reaction score
17
Location
San Jose
I like those step-by-step instructions from Briess. I might need to try those steps myself (without the flavor wheels) - starting with just base grains. Either I have a terrible palate, or I just don't understand some of the common terminology used to describe some grains. i.e. I just don't understand the descriptions like "biscuit" toward grains like Maris Otter. My mother-in-law (from the south) made outstanding biscuits. Buttery, flaky goodness with or without some homemade jam or sausage. The overlap in my head between the goodness of those biscuits and what I might describe as a "good" profile in a beer... Well there's just no overlap...I don't get it.

But just tasting those hot steeps next to each other - that's a nice idea that'll likely help me.
 

Miraculix

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2017
Messages
5,157
Reaction score
3,576
Location
Bremen
I like those step-by-step instructions from Briess. I might need to try those steps myself (without the flavor wheels) - starting with just base grains. Either I have a terrible palate, or I just don't understand some of the common terminology used to describe some grains. i.e. I just don't understand the descriptions like "biscuit" toward grains like Maris Otter. My mother-in-law (from the south) made outstanding biscuits. Buttery, flaky goodness with or without some homemade jam or sausage. The overlap in my head between the goodness of those biscuits and what I might describe as a "good" profile in a beer... Well there's just no overlap...I don't get it.

But just tasting those hot steeps next to each other - that's a nice idea that'll likely help me.
A big part of the world understands something different when you ask for a biscuit, basically a crunchy cookie. That is very confusing, because I have no idea what they are actually referring to.
 

bracconiere

Jolly Alcoholic
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2018
Messages
18,319
Reaction score
9,740
Location
S.AZ
i brewed a 100% caravienna beer? got pretty decent effec....it was really burnt toast tasting, but not like black burnt, just dark....?
 

PCABrewing

Recreational Brewer
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
326
Reaction score
337
A big part of the world understands something different when you ask for a biscuit, basically a crunchy cookie. That is very confusing, because I have no idea what they are actually referring to.
I was in UK for business years ago.
My colleague from the area said he had sent out for some "Biscuits" to have with our morning coffee.
I was fine with the idea of Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast.
But I wasn't disappointed when Cookies showed up in the meeting room ;).
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
4,317
Reaction score
4,329
Location
Chicago
A big part of the world understands something different when you ask for a biscuit, basically a crunchy cookie. That is very confusing, because I have no idea what they are actually referring to.
I always took it to mean shortbread. Pretty simple flavor of sweet, golden toasted flour and the richness of butter. I totally get that from Maris Otter.
 
Last edited:

Bramling Cross

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
492
Reaction score
1,269
Location
The 51st State
i brewed a 100% caravienna beer? got pretty decent effec....it was really burnt toast tasting, but not like black burnt, just dark....?
What sort of attenuation did you pull off of that?

I remember back in the early 90's there was some debate about whether C-malts were fermentable on HBD. A brief fad for all C-malt beers ensued. It was short lived and the topic failed to gather momentum. ;)
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,160
Reaction score
2,096
Location
"North Coast" USA
The sack in question:
Admiral Maltings Kilnsmith

It's about a Crystal 60-80.
Given this malt analysis ...
1635728297402.png

... I would be cautious with classifying it as a "crystal" malt.
Good grief!!! That's trash!

Where did you dig up that analysis? I was under the impression that Admiralty made an amazing product?
I took the to time to read OPs original post and followed the link(s) provided.

Here's the link: Admiral Maltings Kilnsmith (link).
 

Bramling Cross

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
492
Reaction score
1,269
Location
The 51st State
What's happening in here
BrewnWKopperKat laid the wood to me. He noted the very, very high quantity of mealy malt in an analysis of the Admiralty malt and I asked him where he found that damning analysis. He pointed out that he clicked the OP's link and I hung my head in shame.

Since then, he seems to have edited his epic annihilation of me in favor of a large GIF of some sort.

I'm starting to think that I might come out as the winner in this epic online cage match. ;)

Edit: Damnit! He's reverted back to the original post and I've been undone! Damn you, BrewnWKopperKat!!!!!!! We'll meet again!

/snark
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Messages
3,160
Reaction score
2,096
Location
"North Coast" USA
Since then, he seems to have edited his epic annihilation of me in favor of a large GIF of some sort.
Reply #31 (link) shows as unchanged. There appears to be a "window" after a reply is posted where edits can be made. During that window, I did add the full context for the sub-sub-topic.

Reply #30 (link) is a "screen shot" to a HomeBrewTalk topic on the fermentability of crystal malt. Pehaps an interesting read for those who both steep and mash crystal malts. Or for those who convert recipes from all-grain to extract.
 

Bramling Cross

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
492
Reaction score
1,269
Location
The 51st State
Reply #31 (link) shows as unchanged. There appears to be a "window" after a reply is posted where edits can be made. During that window, I did add the full context for the sub-sub-topic.

Reply #30 (link) is a "screen shot" to a HomeBrewTalk topic on the fermentability of crystal malt. Pehaps an interesting read for those who both steep and mash crystal malts. Or for those who convert recipes from all-grain to extract.
Sir, I appreciate the time you've spent documenting your good name. It is, however, not necessary. At no point was I ever calling your good name into question. Rather, I have been mocking my own stupidity and having a bit of fun with what looked like a gigantic, distorted GIF in one your posts. The focus of my mockery has consistently and exclusively been myself. At no point have you been the intended target of my jests.

I apologize if you think I've treated you poorly. That was never, ever my intention. I made a foolish mistake and decided to mock myself, never you.
 

duncan.brown

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
700
Reaction score
593
Location
Syracuse
A big part of the world understands something different when you ask for a biscuit, basically a crunchy cookie.
Yep! When describing malt flavors as "biscuit" this is what it is typically being referring to. For those that live in New York State, you can get McVitie's Digestive Biscuits in Wegmans!

1208-0001.jpg-1200Wx1200H.jpeg
 
Top