What would happen if I made a beer entirely from Crystsal 10L?

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ericd

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Just a random idea I had, what would I end up with if I did this?
 

Sea

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"Because their other options are limited, new brewers brewing extract batches often depend on crystal malts, sometimes to excess. While crystal malts in small amounts will give a sweet malt character to the finished beer, in excess it can create a cloying or artificial character. Crystal malts also add to a beer's body and increase head retention"

From THe Wiki.
 
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It wouldn't ferment very well, if at all. Crystal grain has no diastatic power and is used to increase non-fermentable content. You'll need a base malt like 2-row or pilsner.
 

Professor Frink

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Like Yuri said, you can steep Crystal 10, but if you want to convert any starches, you need a base malt. That being said, there's very little fermentables in the crystal malts due to how their modified, which is why they're used in small amounts.
 

TheJadedDog

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Do you mean if crystal was your only source of fermentables? or your only specialty grain? Do you mean using 10lbs of it? or a .50lb steep?

While the answers provided are correct, the true answer to your question really depends on what you mean by all Crystal 10L.
 

Professor Frink

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If you are talking about 10L as your only specialty grain, well then you can make a nice pale ale that way.
 

david_42

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All C10L would give you a wort consisting of mostly starch & unfermentable caramels.
 

ChrisKennedy

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From what I understand, the lower crystal malts are up to 60-65% fermentable, and pretty much all of the starch in it is converted.
 

DUCCCC

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I've got an "expirement" that I made with 6lbs DME and 2lbs steeped 10l. It's weak. I used 2 oz Hallertau Hersbuckers. 1.5oz 45 min. and .5oz @ 15. The hops are lagging. The basics can be found here...

I am not happy with the outcome and would defintely like a more flavourful brew. It's bland. Did I say it's a boring beer. It lax flavor. It's not even BMC. Add variety if you do this!!!


I hope I wasn't too indirect there, too obsfusctory, too well...
 
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ChrisKennedy said:
From what I understand, the lower crystal malts are up to 60-65% fermentable, and pretty much all of the starch in it is converted.
Converted by what? Magic? You need a base grain to provide enzymes in the mash...
 

ChrisKennedy

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No you don't, you need a malted grain. The crystal is malted, just like any "base grain", and then it is basically stewed, converting the starches in the grain to sugar in the husk.
 
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ChrisKennedy said:
No you don't, you need a malted grain. The crystal is malted, just like any "base grain", and then it is basically stewed, converting the starches in the grain to sugar in the husk.
You may want to check your sources. Crystal grains are indeed malted, but they are treated specially. Some of the sugars are converted inside the husks, but most of the sugars that remain are complex - i.e., not fermentable. In order to make a fermentable product, you'll need the bulk of the grist to be a base grain with diastatic power. Also, because of the way they are modified, crystal grains will provide no enzymatic activity to a mash.
 

ChrisKennedy

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I got my info from John Palmer via Bob Hansen of Briess Malting.

http://www.brewboard.com/index.php?showtopic=59844

Though my 60% was apparently off. John Palmer says that according to Bob Hansen, 60L Crystal is 70% fermentable when steeped, so no enzymes are involved.


Edit: I will admit that this sounds rather like hearsay, but with it coming from John Palmer, I feel that it gives the information a bit more credence.
 
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The key to your source is this:

Crystal malt is totally converted but does not provide fermentable sugars to the wort.
The thread goes on to conclude that some, if not the majority, of the sugars in crystal grains are fermentable. However, even if the highest percentage of sugars mentioned are indeed fermentable, 30% of them remain. That will result in an extremely sweet beer that probably isn't palatable.

THE BOTTOM LINE:
DON'T EXPECT A DRINKABLE PRODUCT FROM A GRIST OF 100% CRYSTAL GRAIN!!!
 

ChrisKennedy

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What you quoted was contradicted by John Palmer and Bob Hansen, and by yourself evidently, so I am not sure what you are getting at by saying that that is the key to my source.

You may be very correct (and probably are correct) that a 100% crystal malt beer would be terrible. I never said it would be palatable. I said that it was 60-65% fermentable (when it seems to really be 70-77% fermentable) and that pretty much all of the starch in the grains have been converted to sugar. So I am not sure what you are disagreeing with.
 
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Alright, so my argument isn't exactly flawless. You got me. Congratulations. Here's my intent:

The PURPOSE of crystal grain is to provide non-fermentable sugars, so as to add sweetness to the end product.

The FACTS are that crystal grain contains converted sugars, some of which are fermentable, and some of which are not, and that crystal grain provides NO diastatic power to the mash.

The end result is this: crystal grain is a SPECIALTY GRAIN, to be used as advertised: to provide residual sweetness and head retention.

A beer made from 100% crystal grain is likely to be a dismal failure and waste of time and money.

Are we clear now?
 

ChrisKennedy

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Crystal (pun not intended) clear, though I am not sure why you are getting all uppity. You are the one who got snippy with what I posted. I agree with everything you said.

Sometimes on these boards things get lost in type, and we can be arguing completely different things for pages and pages and pages. I am at least pleased that it only took a few posts for us to get onto the same page.
 
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ChrisKennedy said:
I am at least pleased that it only took a few posts for us to get onto the same page.
Fair enough. It just seemed as though you were trying to defend the (poor) idea in the first place. I learned something through this thread (the fact that crystal is entirely converted before it hits the shelf), however it won't impact my brewing practices one bit.
 

ChrisKennedy

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That is indeed one of those things that doesn't really affect your brewing process (similar to the fact that lager yeast ferments raffinose, while ale yeast doesn't, seeing as how raffinose is not a sugar that occurs in a typical wort). And I can see why you might think I was supporting the idea that a 100% crystal malt beer might be good, and I do think it sounds like it would be way too cloying to be drinkable, but to be fair to the idea, neither of us have tried it, so all we are doing is speculating in the first place.

But, seeing as how I have used too much crystal malt in a beer (too much being in the 25% range) I think our speculations have pretty solid grounds.
 
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