Crystal malts are produced through a unique process; barley is steeped and germinated, then heated in a closed system that does not allow moisture to escape. The malt is held at temperatures where the amylase enzymes are activated, which converts the starches of the malt to simpler sugars - you may recognize this as the exact same reactions that take place during your mash. After this process, the grain is then kilned; the high heat caramelizes some of the sugars in the grain, which is why crystal malts are often referred to as "caramel" malts. The higher the kilning temperature, the darker the crystal malt; differences in kilning temperatures result in different flavor profiles from the caramelization that range from simple sweetness, to caramel, to toffee, to burnt sugar, to raisin and stone fruit. Crystal malts also contribute color - which is often varying in levels of red - to a beer.
While most homebrewing literature allows that crystal malts can be used at up to twenty percent of the grist, I have found that it is far more common for homebrewers to try to limit these malts to the five to ten percent range (or less). If I had a dollar for every time I've read testimonies of brewers who claim that even tiny amounts of the lowest lovibond rated crystal malts make beers just cloyingly sweet and undrinkble... well, I would have a little spending money, at any rate.
As it just so happens, caramel is perhaps my favorite flavor in the world. While the cool...
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nice article so educating Mp3 Only
posted by king on 3/20/2017 at 10:37:22 AM
Tags for this post: crystal, malt, 90 percent, pushing, limits, homebrew