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cara vs. crystal malts

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  • cara vs. crystal malts

    What is the difference in flavors between Caramunich II, Carastan, and crystal 40L, assuming all are roughly 40L?

  • #2
    To me, the caramunich II will be a little more malt intensity due to the Munich malt. Carastan is an English malt. Some claim that English malt is more flavorful and distinguishable from C40.
    Attached a experiment discussing English vs American crystal malts.
    Author: Marshall Schott According to some accounts, English maltsters developed the process for making Crystal malt sometime around the turn of the 19th century. Unlike standard base malts, Crystal…


    • #3
      Best way to tell is to taste some of each and also make a little tea out of some of each that's been crushed. But I pretty much agree with Loopie's assessment.

      There was an article in BYO (could have been Zymergy) a few years back where someone did tastings and reported the results. I have it somewhere but I'd have to really dig


      • #4
        Loopie, that's a good experiment you linked. Conclusion: "I didn’t find it terribly surprising participants and I were unable to reliably distinguish the beers".
        I think I'll try the Caramunich II in my Irish Red Ale.

        Of note, he links another experiment with Maris Otter vs. American 2-row malts. Conclusion: "I perceived the beer made with domestic 2-row as having a lighter malty bread character that allowed the hop flavor and the esters typical of UK ales to come forward. For that reason, it tasted very English to me. I experienced the Maris Otter beer as being more nutty and slightly sweeter with a generally maltier profile. It also tasted very English, albeit for a different reason, the malt character as opposed to the hops and esters."


        • #5
          Caramunich is not made from Munich AFAIK

          Keep in mind that ANY experiment done by Experimental Brewing or Brulosophy is simply a data point, not a conclusion. Try it yourself and see what you think.


          • #6
            Tex. I read the article Loopie linked. A valiant attempt! If you read the comments afterwards, however you will find many salient ones, that challenge the validity of the experiment design. Particularly relevant IMHO was the very small proportion of the grain bill in which these grains were used, and the very dominant hop flavour (citra) that may have masked any differences had they arrived. I personally have a difficult time identifying flavours that are covered in very "grapefruit" like hop flavours, which is why I avoid them. Some people seem to love them! Others, like me, find that they hide a lot of the characteristics that I want to taste.

            I dunno. It might be genetic, or it may be simply a degree of accommodation that I have never acquired. Sort of like chillies? I can eat quite a large dose and find them as a compliment to the other flavours.... folks who aren't used to them only taste the "heat". I generally avoid things labeled IPA, as I not only don't enjoy those "cascade" related flavours, but I find that taste tends to linger and interfere with further tasting (sort of like the numb tongue of the person who isn't used to a good jalapeño). I'm aware that heavy late hopping with those types of hops are "all the rage" now, and the newer hop varieties tend to cluster around those flavours... but that's the joy of home brewing! You get to make what you like!

            I would suggest trying them yourself with a higher proportion of the grain bill (about 15%, which is about twice what he used) and a gentler hopping regime with a less dominant hop (lager style? like Saaz/Hallerauer Tradition?; Ale? maybe Bramblings Cross/Fuggles?) Once you are familiar with a particular grain flavour, it really helps you "fantasise" recipes.

            I personally enjoy repeating recipes and changing just "one" thing. Sometimes changes make little or no discernible difference, sometimes surprisingly strong influences on final product. Sometimes initial differences that "merge" with time. It's all really quite fascinating!


            • #7
              I am brewing an AIPA on Friday and looked for some Crystal 40 from Breiss. None found. I do have some CaraMunich I so I will use it. I may not taste a difference with lots of Columbus and Cascade hops.


              • #8
                Stuts, I'm expecting you'll be pretty safe on that one.