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Thread: Brewing stouts without Black patent

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14

    Brewing stouts without Black patent

    Hi
    Little backstory to my Brewery. We started off with a 1 barrel system and we Brew mostly Stouts on that system. I never needed black patent malt. Fast forward two years later we are on a 5 Barrel Brewing system and I started using black patent malt because my first couple of Brew days on the new system produced very light to almost brown Stouts. I started using the black patent malt to deepen the colors. Now I'm thinking about pulling them back out what are your recommendations? I would like to just get a feel for what other people do and if you use black patent malt in all of your Stouts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    Posts
    50
    I stopped using black malt entirely. I didn't like the astringent note it lent to my beers. I switched to a combination of roasted barley, chocolate malts, and Carafa malts (depending on style) to get black beers that were roasty without being astringent. I even cold-steeped the dark malts in some beers to minimize astringency. Now, I don't know if my beers are particularly to style, but they look like black beers, they're smooth, and they taste like stouts and porters to me. YMMV, of course. For instance, I'm not sure exactly why going to the larger system with the same grist would cause the beer to get lighter, unless whatever software you're using didn't do the scaling correctly. I don't remember ever having that drastic a color change going from our pilot system to our production system. The main change in that regard was hop utilization. Which I suppose, if you don't account for that, could leave you with extra hop bitterness that would increase the impression of astringency from dark malts. Or whatever sparge routine you use is extracting more tannins than in your 1 bbl system. Hope that helps.
    Last edited by spetrovits; 02-01-2019 at 09:02 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    14
    I used to use that instead of black patent malt but I can't find it locally and BSG doesn't seem to carry it. I was thinking of just dropping all the black malt completely out and seeing what I get using just roasted barley and chocolate malts

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    419
    A couple of tips to help prevent astringency with dark roasted malts....

    1 - Use a de-husked (de-bitttered) malt. Carafa Special vs Carafa regular.

    2 - Add the dark roast malt at the end of mashing, before sparge.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    7
    Could try midnight wheat. We use it for dark stouts and it doesn't add bitterness.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Boise, ID
    Posts
    1
    I've also had pretty good luck with using the Carafa debittered malts. They cut down the astringency a ton while giving you a nice dark color especially when used with some chocolate and a touch of roasted barley.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Carmel, IN
    Posts
    40
    I find that the flavor contributed by Roast Barley is far superior to Black Patent. In addition, if your mashing water has insufficient alkalinity, the presence of those roast grains can drive pH down too far and that can produce astringent and harsh roast flavor. Keeping mashing pH in the 5.4 to 5.6 (room temp measurement) range does produce better roast flavor.

    As already mentioned, substituting roast such as midnight wheat or chocolate wheat can be helpful in contributing color while reducing astringency and harshness. De-husked carafa malts are also useful in that respect.

    But do pay more attention to mashing pH. The other effect of targeting that slightly higher mashing pH is that it will draw out more of the color that your roast additions are intended to provide.
    WaterEng
    Engineering Consultant

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    824
    10% roasted barley
    10% flaked (oats, wheat, barley)
    80% pale

    The most basic, simple, reliable, dry irish Stout recipe. I typically add a little carastan to the mix.

    I don't really like roasted malts in my stouts. Too cloying, I find. Probably my years living in Ireland. YMMV.

    Pax.

    Liam
    Liam McKenna
    www.yellowbellybrewery.com

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