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About Specialty Malts

About Specialty Malts

These malts give character to your beer. They lend the unique flavors that define the various styles. Specialty malts are specifically used to enhance color and flavor while increasing body and head retention but should not be relied upon to increase alcohol. Their purpose is to add characteristics that define the style you are brewing. Cracking is highly recommended to maximize their effectiveness. There are 3 ways to use specialty grains:

Add the grains (in a nylon or muslin grain bag) to cold water in your brew-pot, after dissolving malt extract. Bring the wort to a boil slowly, over a 30 minute time frame. Remove the grain prior to achieving a boil, or immediately thereafter.

Potentially the best way to maximize use of adjunct grains, when extract brewing, is to steep them in 150-160 degree water, at the ratio of 1 quart per pound for 30-40 minutes. Strain the "tea" into your brew-pot and rinse with an equal amount of water at 170 degrees.

In ALL-GRAIN brewing, the specialty grains are used in the mashing process - the way breweries would use them.

Aromatic, DeWolf-Cosyns, 21.6 lovibond

Use to enhance the malty aroma and flavor of your beer. Use up to 10% of total grist.

Biscuit, DeWolf-Cosyns, 19.3 lovibond

Promotes a toasted biscuit-like flavor and aroma to your beer. Use at rates of 3-15% of total grist.

Black Patent Malt, 500 lovibond

A highly roasted malt, it is the predominant adjunct grain used in making Porters. It aids in achieving deep color and improves head retention. In small amounts, it adds a smoky/toasted character. When used in larger quantities it will impart a burnt, charcoal character.

Carapils Malt (also known as Dextrin malt), 1.5 lovibond

This grain is used to increase body, mouth feel, and malty sweetness while improving head retention. Kilning temperatures are lower than those of the crystal, minimizing color development.

Chocolate Malt, 350 lovibond

This roasted malt is used to impart a deep amber color to beer. It yields a distinct dark chocolate flavor. Suitable for adding malt complexity to many styles when used sparingly.

Scottish Peated Malt, Hugh Baird, 3 lovibond

Employed in Scotch Ales to add a smoky flavor. This malt is peat smoked, recommended for use up to 5-10% of the grist (1 to 2 cups per 5 gallons).

Rye Malt - Used specifically for German Roggen beer styles, as well as some American Pilseners. Lends a dry, spicy flavor, while adding little color. Use sparingly to add distinction to any style.

Special Roast, 50 lovibond

A highly malted barley that lends a biscuit character. Adds much desirable flavor to English ale styles. Will impart a reddish hue.

Victory Malt, 25 lovibond

A specialty grain used for its warm toasted character, mostly employed in English ales. Gives beer a slight red/amber tint when used in small amounts. It will improve body and head retention.

Crystal Malt (also known as Caramel Malt)

Crystal is used to improve body and aid head retention, while creating a malty sweet background. Used by all-grain and extract brewers alike because it does not require mashing. No enzyme activity is present. The remaining list of malts are crystal malts.

Crystal Malt, 10 lovibond

Will impart minimal color and a slight caramel flavor.

Crystal Malt, 20 lovibond

Slightly more color and caramel flavor than crystal 10.

Crystal Malt, 60 lovibond

Will add an amber color and increased caramel flavor.

Crystal Malt, 120 lovibond

Will add a deep reddish color and a rich, highly caramelized flavor.

CaraMunich, DeWolf-Cosyns, 67 lovibond

Belgian dark crystal malt. Enhances a rich malt aroma. Use at rates of 5-15% of total grist.

CaramelPils, DeWolf-Cosyns, 7.7 lovibond

A Belgian light crystal malt.

CaraVienne, DeWolf-Cosyns, 20.7 lovibond

Belgian medium colored crystal malt. Imparts a rich, caramel-sweet aroma. Use at rates of 5-20% of total grist.

Special-B, DeWolf-Cosyns, 100 lovibond

A very dark crystal malt, unique to Belgians. Imparts an intensely roasted caramel, nutty flavor. Use only 2-8% of total grist.

Flaked Barley - Used primarily in making stouts and porters. Improves body and creates a creamy, rocky head retention, while adding a grainy sweet flavor to your beer.

Roasted Barley, 500 lovibond - A specialty grain used almost exclusively in the making of stouts. Adds rich deep color and a dry, roasted, bitter flavor to your beer while improving body and head retention. 

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