Can I use 100% Gambrinus Honey Malt as a base malt?

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Can I use 100% Gambrinus Honey Malt as a base malt?

Postby billvelek » Thu Sep 27, 2007 11:49 am

My LHBS is completely out of regular base malt -- no 2-row or 6-row. (In the future I'll call first to check, but who would have figured?) Anyway, since it is about 35 miles one-way and I was already there, and because I was real disappointed since I definitely want to brew this weekend, he suggested that I could use Gambrinus Honey Malt instead of the usual 2-row pale, and that this would still make a reasonable beer. I have never used honey malt before, but I went ahead and purchased 10 pounds to brew a 5-gallon batch; however, now that I've searched a bit on the Internet, I'm getting the distinct impression that this is NOT appropriate as a base malt -- that it has an intense malt sweetness and shouldn't comprise more than 20% of the grain bill. I've searched and can't find a website for the company, so I haven't been able to find out anything specific such as whether it has sufficient diastatic power to convert a pile of oatmeal or anything like that. As far as I can tell, it is something like a Munich malt -- which I have never used before either -- and I think it is also referred to as a German "bruhmalt", if that helps anyone here understand what it is. Even BTP is of no help in this. NOTE TO JEFF/LATHE: I think BTP just has a generic listing of 'honey malt' without the brand name of Gambrinus, but it doesn't say much.

I don't want to end up with a lousy brew, wasting a lot of my time and money. I'm afraid I probably ought to skip brewing until I can get a regular base malt and just save the Gambrinus to use more appropriately later. But any suggestions are very welcome. Thanks.

Bill Velek
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Postby slothrob » Fri Sep 28, 2007 5:33 pm

I wouldn't do it.

I'm not sure about the diastatic power of Honey Malt, but if it's somewhat like Munich Malt, it will self-convert.

From what I've read, though, you don't want more than 1/2 to 3/4# max in a 5 gallon batch.

You really should try Munich though. THAT you can use at 100%, though I mostly stick to a pound or 2 for Pale Ales and IPA's, Wheats or Yellow beers that I want to have more malt presence than I'd expecct from Pils alone. Alts are nice with more like 50% Munich.
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