Quantcast

Which Base Malt...

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Pelikan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
901
Reaction score
13
Location
Q Continuum
Hmmm. I'm moving to partial mash/all-grain, and am trying to choose a base malt. I'd really prefer to order just one type in a bulk sack, but I'm not opposed to getting multiples. Maris Otter sounds appealing, but then 2-row seems to be the better all-around malt.

Any suggestions?
 

mmb

"I just got a new pet toaster!"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
40,700
Reaction score
9,903
Location
Mid Mittigan
If you brew English styles, the MO is the way to go.

American Styles... 2-row.

Although, MO can make a very good sub for some American Styles as well. Just remember it is going to be a bit maltier. Same could be said of 2-row. Just add some victory or biscuit to give it a little more toasty bready note.
 

TimothyTaylorslLandlady

Active Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
31
Reaction score
1
Location
Glasgow, Scotland and Hampshire, England
Maris Otter is the one that most UK micro brewerys desire, its winter sown and has the right nitrogen and protein levels (or somethign like that). I think its a reliable germinator and the maltsters like that. There are tonnes of others grown (Tipple, Cellar, Publican..etc) but the real ale brewers chase the MO.
 

flyangler18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
43
Location
Hanover, PA
Maris Otter is the mutt's nuts. :rockin:

I make English styles 5:1 over American, so I always have a couple sacks of MO vs. a single sack of 2-row.

2-row is very neutral in flavor, so it's pretty much a blank canvas allowing you to construct the flavor profile with other malts, speciality grain, adjuncts, sugars, etc.
 

martymoat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
66
Reaction score
1
Location
Folcroft, PA
I use Marris otter as a base malt for just about everything. except for pilsners or anything else really light, then i use pils malt.
 
OP
Pelikan

Pelikan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
901
Reaction score
13
Location
Q Continuum
Hmmmm...decisions, decisions. Pretty much everything I brew is English or Irish. The American brews I do are generally American interpretations of an English/Irish style (ie: American Brown, American Stout, etc).

How assertive is the MO in relation to the other components of the brew? I don't do anything under 12 SRM...about the lightest you'd find in my primary would be an IPA...
 

Shonuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2008
Messages
736
Reaction score
3
Location
Seattle
MO costs more than 2-row if that makes a difference for you.
 

slimer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2007
Messages
688
Reaction score
3
Location
Westmont, IL
Maris Otter or Golden Promise.

I've been using Pale 2-Row lately and haven't been getting the same "depth" in my brews.

Just something about those two malts that just adds the right amount of flavor.
 
OP
Pelikan

Pelikan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
901
Reaction score
13
Location
Q Continuum
Okay, so here's the $60,000 question: My el cheapo software does not have a direct plug-in for MO. It does have "English Pale." For the purpose of making software recipes, are the two interchangeable?
 

mmb

"I just got a new pet toaster!"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
40,700
Reaction score
9,903
Location
Mid Mittigan
Okay, so here's the $60,000 question: My el cheapo software does not have a direct plug-in for MO. It does have "English Pale." For the purpose of making software recipes, are the two interchangeable?
yes, MO is an English 2-row.
Maris Otter is malted differently from American 2-row and has some different properties.

You can add Maris Otter to your software with the following stats (from BeerSmith)

Maris Otter
Color 3 SRM
Potential 1.038 SG
Dry Yield 82.5%
Diastatic Power 120 Lintner
 

TimothyTaylorslLandlady

Active Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2008
Messages
31
Reaction score
1
Location
Glasgow, Scotland and Hampshire, England
2-row would give you more options. If you predominantly make English style beers I'd go with the Maris Otter for sure.
You guys have a different language to me! That pond!

Maris Otter IS a 2 row variety.

Mainland Europe traditionally grew 6 row barley, England grows 2 row barley. The variety difference and the temp differences account for the fundamentally differing styles (generalising). My husband grows Maris Otter in Hampshire England, (enough for 2 million pints of beer he is my hero!)
When you look from the top of the barley there are 2 rows hence the name.

You say gallon and I say gallon and we mean differing amounts! Fun huh?
 

mmb

"I just got a new pet toaster!"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
40,700
Reaction score
9,903
Location
Mid Mittigan
We use Maris Otter instead of saying English Pale Malted Maris Otter just to make it easier, I suppose. If someone has gone to the trouble of sourcing Maris Otter it is usually going to be malted as English Pale.

One could malt American 2-Row to English Pale standards. I wonder what that would be like.
 

flyangler18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
43
Location
Hanover, PA
In these circles, I think it's safe to assume that when we speak of 2-row, we are speaking of flavor neutral US 2-row vs. English pale malt which offers more biscuity, crackery flavors.

Always good to clarify such matters, of course. :mug:
 

ifishsum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
1,447
Reaction score
10
Location
Portland OR
I use MO as the base malt in nearly everything I brew because I like the fuller flavor it lends to the brew. US 2-row is just too neutral for my tastes and the few beers I've made with it were disappointing flavor wise. MO is more expensive, but the taste is worth it to me. I've used Golden Promise a few times with good results as well.

In the end, it really depends on your own flavor preference. If you haven't used much MO, make a batch or two with it and see what you think before committing to a large order.
 

bradsul

Flyfisherman/brewer
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Sep 12, 2006
Messages
4,889
Reaction score
42
Location
Ontario, Canada
You say gallon and I say gallon and we mean differing amounts! Fun huh?
I think you're all nuts using gallons, I'm a metric boy. ;):D

And yes I was using the common practice here of using '2-row' to refer to standard, neutral North American 2-row. I use only Maris Otter as my English Pale Malt so I just call it that, I imagine that's what most others here do as well.
 

WBC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2007
Messages
2,164
Reaction score
10
Location
La Puente, CA
I have 5 base malts I buy in full bags and I am always repeating my favorite styles of ales and lagers.

  • American 2 Row
  • Maris Otter
  • German Pilsner
  • Munich Light
  • Vienna

All the other grains I buy in small orders online.
 
OP
Pelikan

Pelikan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
901
Reaction score
13
Location
Q Continuum
I went with two 40lb bags of Maris Otter, for those interested. Hope I like it...otherwise, look for some seriously discounted grain in the for sale section.
 

ChemE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
596
Reaction score
20
Location
Columbia, SC
80# of deeply discounted MO could come and live in my house. I love English beers!
 

flyangler18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
43
Location
Hanover, PA
When you get your MO, taste a few grains. Seriously. It's wonderful.

In fact, tasting various examples of malted barley is a great way to understand their individual characteristics.
 

Ridemywideglide

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
289
Reaction score
4
Location
Montrose, CO
I went with two 40lb bags of Maris Otter, for those interested. Hope I like it...otherwise, look for some seriously discounted grain in the for sale section.
Where did you order from? Every place I've looked at for bulk, the shipping made it unfavorable...
 

mmb

"I just got a new pet toaster!"
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 20, 2008
Messages
40,700
Reaction score
9,903
Location
Mid Mittigan
40lb bags sounds like an order from Austin Homebrew Shop. I think those are within their 6.99$ flat rate shipping.
 

Sixbillionethans

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2006
Messages
159
Reaction score
10
Location
Wauwatosa, WI
I'm surprised no one said either Belgian Pils or Pale malts. Although I've used all of the malts that have been listed, I can't help but mention the higher diastatic power of Belgian pale compared with MO. Plus, it's well-modified so converts easily in a single infusion mash. Very flexible base malt that works well in a wide range of styles.
 

ChemE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2008
Messages
596
Reaction score
20
Location
Columbia, SC
I'm surprised no one said either Belgian Pils or Pale malts. Although I've used all of the malts that have been listed, I can't help but mention the higher diastatic power of Belgian pale compared with MO. Plus, it's well-modified so converts easily in a single infusion mash. Very flexible base malt that works well in a wide range of styles.
BeerSmith thinks MO kills Belgian pale in diastatic power; 120 vs 60 Lintner. Nothing is hotter than American 6-row though which clocks in a 150 Lintner. Very useful for converting big portions of specialty grist.
 

goodbyebluesky82

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2008
Messages
236
Reaction score
0
Location
Charlotte, NC
I'm curious.... is MO what gives an english ale like Fuller's ESB that toasty grainy flavor? Oh god that is beautiful flavor I've never found in any american beer.

I love american micros for their hoppy flavors, but dang I love english ales (what little I've sampled) for more complex malt flavors. Does MO, or Golden Promise have something to do with that?
 

Reverend JC

2500 gallons year to date
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
1,878
Reaction score
3
Location
Your Mom's
Maris Otter is malted differently from American 2-row and has some different properties.
It is floor malted as opposed to in a kiln. it is still 2-row. This different malting process is what gives it a more complex flavor profile as opposed to american 2-row.
 

Whisler85

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2008
Messages
191
Reaction score
1
Location
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Maris Otter does provide a toasty graininess to english styles

I think that MO can be always used instead of american two row- unless you are not into malt flavors and would rather make a hoppy beer against a clean background- not my thing, i prefer balance

Oh, and goodbyebluesky- try Shipyard Export or Ringwood Old Thumper- they are made in Maine and will definitely satisfy your craving for a good, malty American beer (they are british-style, though)
 

flyangler18

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2008
Messages
5,557
Reaction score
43
Location
Hanover, PA
I sure hope not. The Fuller's ESB I had on tap at my local lounge tasted like absolute funk.
I'd blame the lines. Fuller's ESB is pure liquid gold. :drunk:

If you enjoy English styles as you've alluded to in the past, you are already well accustomed to English pale malts.

Have you taken my advice about tasting the malted grain that you current have in your inventory?
 
OP
Pelikan

Pelikan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
901
Reaction score
13
Location
Q Continuum
I'd blame the lines. Fuller's ESB is pure liquid gold. :drunk:

If you enjoy English styles as you've alluded to in the past, you are already well accustomed to English pale malts.

Have you taken my advice about tasting the malted grain that you current have in your inventory?
I'm waiting for my order to come in. The stuff I have now is vac-bagged.
 

Denny

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2005
Messages
5,544
Reaction score
1,067
Location
Eugene
Hmmm. I'm moving to partial mash/all-grain, and am trying to choose a base malt. I'd really prefer to order just one type in a bulk sack, but I'm not opposed to getting multiples. Maris Otter sounds appealing, but then 2-row seems to be the better all-around malt.

Any suggestions?
Just to put on my pedantic hat for a minute, MO IS 2 row. Almost all barley we use for brewing is 2 row. MO is a variety of 2 row. Beyond variety, malt is also referred to by how much it's kilned. Most domestic base malt is 2 row pale malt. Pils malt is a bit lighter than pale, and pale ale malt is a bit darker.
 
OP
Pelikan

Pelikan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
901
Reaction score
13
Location
Q Continuum
Just to put on my pedantic hat for a minute, MO IS 2 row. Almost all barley we use for brewing is 2 row. MO is a variety of 2 row. Beyond variety, malt is also referred to by how much it's kilned. Most domestic base malt is 2 row pale malt. Pils malt is a bit lighter than pale, and pale ale malt is a bit darker.
Thanks for stating the [fairly] obvious. ;)

...in brewing parlance, or at least HBT parlance, 2-row refers to the American 2-row pale malt (and the techniques and cultivars used therein), while Maris Otter refers to the English 2-row pale malt (and the techniques and cultivars used therein). Highlighting the fact that they're both 2-row -- or indeed, reducing brewing malts down to a basic, physiological trait of the plant they came from -- is akin to saying "Young's Double Chocolate and Guiness are both stouts, end of story."

(Donning my own pedantic hat...) Maris Otter is such a unique strain that the malt carries its name. In other words, "Maris Otter" is not the name of a town or company, but the specific variety of barley used in its production. It's also floor malted, as opposed to kilned. These characteristics amount to a product that is notably different when compared to other 2-rows, or malts in general -- which is why I asked the original question.
 
Top