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Author Replies
Matt MacLeod
03/05/09 08:50 AM  
Base Malt
What do you guys use as your standard base malt for Belgian styles (straight or funky)? I'm looking at buying a couple of 25kg sacks and the cheapest malt I can get is floor malted Maris Otter!!!

I know it wouldn't be "to style" but how do you think this would go in things like saison, biere de garde and triple?

Mike T
03/05/09 09:15 AM  
Re: Base Malt
I'm working through a sack of Best Pils at this point. Seems to work well in both German and Belgian beers. Before that I had a Franco Belge Pils that I liked as well (a bit grainier than the Best).

I can see some MO blending in fine on a Belgian beer, but I think it would just be too bready/malty if used as close to 100% of the grist of something like a saison. Biere de gardes are pretty malty, so you might be able to get away with it there, but I haven't tried.

03/05/09 09:53 AM  
Re: Base Malt
I use Durst or Weyermann Pils because that's what the local brewery uses!

I think it's worth the money (what, $10 per sack?) to buy a sack or 2 of something lighter.

03/05/09 11:25 AM  
Re: Base Malt
Castle pils, Weyermann pils, or Great Western 2row (if I'm feeling cheap and it won't make a difference in the final product)
03/05/09 11:25 AM  
Re: Base Malt
I meant, worth the EXTRA money!
03/05/09 12:17 PM  
Re: Base Malt
I used Maris Otter in a strong dark recently that is turning out fan-flippin-tastic. So, for the larger, maltier styles, go for it, but I'd take the other's advice on use in lighter styles like saisons, tripels, and such.
Matt MacLeod
03/05/09 01:28 PM  
Re: Base Malt
Thanks for the advice - I have some "pocket money" coming so I think I'll go for a sack each of pilsner, MO and wheat malt (I want to make some weizens over the Summer).
03/05/09 02:33 PM  
Re: Base Malt
I am not a fan of the Franco pils and have had no problem using pale malt is lighter Belgian styles, never tried Maris Otter with those but if that is the cheapest stuff you can get then might as well try it. Worst case you can make some barley wines and stouts for next winter... :-)

Not sure where you are located but I typically find most base malts to only be about $5 difference.

03/05/09 03:50 PM  
Re: Base Malt
Hey Matt, as your in the UK the Marris Otter floor malt is going to be much darker then what most people are thinking. It is kilned higher then any other pale malt and gets a descent flavour to it. The UK pale ale malt is quite different to the North American 2 row. If you can get the pils go for it. The Marris otter is really bisquity and adds a large amount of colour to. I use it in all my ales and even for my IPA's I almost find it to be too malty. Really you can get buy using the Pils for all the beers Stouts to Saison. Most malt flavour and aroma in the beer is going to come from your specialty malts if that is the desired effect. This is my experience with the UK malts, mostly from Crisp maltings...
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