hist-brewing: Brown malt equivalent?

Christopher Swingley cswingle at iarc.uaf.edu
Thu Feb 5 20:31:08 PST 2004


* PBLoomis at aol.com <PBLoomis at aol.com> [2004-Feb-05 18:47 AKST]:
> cswingle at iarc.uaf.edu writes:
> > Has anyone found reference, or done experiments to determine what an 
> > appropriate, mashable replacement might be for brown (or amber) 
> > malt?   Do you suppose this can be a simple as reducing the 
> > home-roasted malts  to the requisite 20% of the grist, and then 
> > adding enough crystal to get  the color (and presumably some of the 
> > roasted flavor too) up to the  level you expect from the original 
> > recipe?
> I have been told that pale malt contains enough amylase to convert 
> itself and half its weight in non-diastatic grains, which should be 
> enough for any brew I can think of.

I think North American pale can, but I haven't heard this for English 
pale malt.  Noonan's _Brewing Techniques_ article on malt analysis[1] 
lists the diastatic potential of North American pale malt (2 row) as 110 
- 160 deg L while English pale malt is 40 - 65 deg L.  I don't really 
know how to interpret these numbers in real terms except that Noonan 
says "the British malts have enough [enzymes] only to convert their own 
weight under normal infusion mash conditions".

I've had successful mashes with less than 15% by weight of non-diastatic 
malts (8:1:1 pale:roast barley:barley flakes, 9:1 pale:amber malt), but 
I don't know how much farther I can push it.  Ten percent wouldn't even 
allow for the typical post-patent-malt-era 7:2:1 pale:brown:black patent 
porter ratio.  Can I really do a 2:1 mash with Maris Otter?

> BTW, crystal malt is a 19th-century development, and requires 
> technology (a sealed kiln) which was not available before that.

Yes.  I hadn't realized it was the sealed kiln that was the 
technological advancement, nor that it was developed in the 19th 
century.  When did crystal start making it into the beer of the day?

In any case, I look at it as a reasonably compromise since one can't get 
brown or amber malts that will mash on their own.  The Durden Park Beer 
Circle appears to have made this compromise as well, although it's not 
obvious to me that they've come up with a universal replacement based on 
crystal, pale, amber and brown malts.



[1] http://brewingtechniques.com/bmg/noonan.html
Christopher S. Swingley          email: cswingle at iarc.uaf.edu
IARC -- Frontier Program         Please use encryption.  GPG key at:
University of Alaska Fairbanks   www.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~cswingle/

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