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Crystal 20 vs. Crystal 30 that big a diff?

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  • Crystal 20 vs. Crystal 30 that big a diff?

    Hey all

    Hope I attract some color experts with this one. Recently had to switch specialty suppliers from Cargill to a craft Maltster. Cargill is no longer carrying specialtys in my area, Argentina. Our new Maltster only makes Crystal 30. Before our staple honey blonde ale used a mix of 2-row, C20, Munich, & Wheat. With the C20 being around 3.5-4% of the grain bill. I may have to change to C30 & Im wondering how much this will affect the color & flavor. Obviously the flavor will change from using the new maltster. But would adjusting the Crystal from 3.5-4% to say 2-3% keep the color at a more or less same level of color. As I say it is our staple "light" colored beer that the unrefined palates we teach appreciate the most . As such the color needs to be kept light, & Im just worried it would become too dark. There is more wheat than Munich so I was gonna drop slightly the crystal & add a little munich. As well the honey we add at the end of the boil (5kg per 8bbl batch) adds much to the character of the beer, so a small adjustment in malt might go unnoticed. Feel free to share opinions on how you think this will fair.

  • #2
    Boil the frog slowly

    if you still have the 20 in stock... What i would do is have both 20 & 30 on hand start blending in the 30. Maybe just start using the 30 for 10% of your Crystal Malt Bill, then 20%, 40%... That way you can get a feel for how it will change your color & flavor profile, and your customers won't notice a sudden change. Like they say, if you slowly boil a frog he won't even realize it but try to drop him into boiling water, well, yea morbid sceniro but you get it.

    Really i think once you get the color adjustment down you should be good, you may notice a tad bit of a different type of sweetness but at that small of a usage rate that is even doubtfull IMHO,
    Jeff Byrne


    • #3
      Well looks like Im stuck, no other suppliers who make 20 that Ive found. I don't really want to ease my customers into a color change as I just want to maintain the color itself. Its a dark straw color, & I think any darker would send it over the edge into a "roja" category as Argentine's only see in three colors rubia, roja, negra . I guess then Im wondering how to keep the the color without sacrificing flavor or drastically changing it......oh well I guess it will be different regardless.


      • #4
        Use 3/4 the poundage of it and give it a try. Perhaps you are able to blend away some experiments while you may still have both in stock. I would be more afraid of a difference from the different maltsters than the difference in color.


        • #5


          I would multiply the weight of the c20 I used by 20 and divide it by 30.
          2/3 of the c20 weight, will give you a good start for color, but the huge will change. If this was less than half of the total color of the beer then I would not worry. You will experience some flavor change, and weather its good or bad is subjective. Good Luck



          • #6
            I would just bump up your light Munich and add a touch of Carapils for the sweetness.
            David Wollner
            Willimantic Brewing Company
            967 Main St.
            Willimantic, CT.06226


            • #7
              Originally posted by dwollner
              I would just bump up your light Munich and add a touch of Carapils for the sweetness.
              CaraPils adds no flavor per the patent holder Briess Malting and my experience.
              David R. Pierce


              • #8
                a couple more ideas in case you're not confused enough...

                - increase mash temp a bit for additional sweetness
                - if on direct fire BK- a longer boil to caramelize and add sweetness/color

                With that low of a usage rate at 20°L, some extra boiling could, in the right kettle, do the job of the C-20

                On this 7bbl DF BK an extra 30-45 min on a lighter beer can add roughly 2-3 SRM and noticeably change the flavor. Other DF BK's i worked with have not had this much effect on color/flavor, and obviously virtually none on the Steam BK's.

                Maybe increase your Munich and your length of boil...

                anyway, just food for thought to help get the gears turning in your head.

                Happy Brewing
                Jeff Byrne


                • #9
                  thanks guys.

                  Just dropped the crystal & added some Munich. If Im off & it needs more color Ill boil longer. We'll see how it goes. I do 2 800L batches into our large fermentor, so Ill be able to adjust some on the second half if needed.