Recipe advice for specialty grains

Grains, malts, hops, yeast, water and other ingredients used to brew. Recipe reviews and suggestions.

Moderator: slothrob

Recipe advice for specialty grains

Postby HardcoreLegend » Fri Oct 25, 2002 7:01 am

I am working on some new recipes and would like some advice from other brewers regarding the use of specialty grains, specifically Chocolate malt and Roasted Barley. I am formulating an English Brown Ale and wish to use a 1/4 lb. of the Roasted Barley and 1/4 lb of Chocolate in an extract 5 gal. batch. Will this be too harsh? I think it will make a nice nutty flavor, but am afraid of getting too roasty.
Also, I brewed an Amber Ale a few months ago that was two cans of extract and a pound of Crystal malt for a five gallon batch. It turned out great. I am thinking of tweaking the recipe a little to give it a very slight toasted, nutty character. Which would be better, Chocolate malt or Roasted Barley? I tried a "Red Ale" at a brewery recently that had a hint of what I thought to be Chocolate malt in the aftertaste, which was very nice. What amount would be best for a five gallon extract batch? Thanks everyone!
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Roscoe, IL, US

You're right on track

Postby jayhawk » Fri Oct 25, 2002 10:11 am

Brown ale: Those proportions sound good. I have a great nutbrown extract recipe that calls for 1/2# chocolate and 1/8# roast barley. So your amounts are in proportion. You will probably get a nice roasted flavour with the 1/4# roast barley. My recipe is for 6 US gals, though, so your 5 gal may be a little on the small side for those quantities, but I wouldn't really worry. If it turns out a little too roasty, then you know the upper limits for those grains in that recipe.
Amber Ale: I also have a great amber ale recipe that uses roast barley and no chocolate. I don't think chocolate would be benefitial to an amber ale. It calls for 1 to 2 oz of roast barley. I love a good amber ale.
Red ale: Yes, you probably did taste chocolate notes in that red ale. Chocolate can add a nice red tone to the beer along with adding great flavour. I would think that 2 oz of chocolate would give a nice red colour. Watch out, because if you add too much, you will end up with more of a brown/amber colour instead of the red.
I hope this helps. Good to see that you are experimenting with recipes. Just dive right in man, it is the only way to go.
Good brewin
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
Posts: 472
Joined: Tue Dec 25, 2001 1:05 am
Location: Vancouver, BC, CA


Postby BillyBock » Fri Oct 25, 2002 2:39 pm

Personally, if you want to keep the flavor nutty, I'd stick w/ just the chocolate malt. So maybe use a 1/2# of chocolate malt and 1/4# of crystal 120L to give it some background caramel sweetness. But like Jayhawk said, the only way to find out is to try and just experiment.

As far as a Red Ale, it doesn't take much choco or roast to give it a red hue, a matter of 2-4 oz. should do the trick. I made a Scottish Ale that used 2 oz. of roast and 4 oz. of 120L to give it a red tint and caramel background.
Imperial Stout
Imperial Stout
Posts: 561
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2000 12:37 pm
Location: Ohio

no roasted barely

Postby Gravity Thrills » Mon Oct 28, 2002 5:37 am

Here's a really useful rough approximation table for common ale styles. It's from the online version of John Palmer's brewing text ( Obviously, you'll want to get more creative than this, but these are the starting points to springboard from:

Pale Ale - base malt plus a half pound of caramel malt,
Amber Ale - pale ale plus a half pound of dark caramel malt,
Brown Ale - pale ale plus a half pound of chocolate malt
Porter - amber ale plus a half pound of chocolate malt,
Stout - porter plus a half pound of roast barley.

I love soft, malty brown ales. I enjoy a hoppier American rendition as well, but I tend to keep my assertive american hops in my pale ales and go more traditional on the brown ales.

I'd personally steer clear of roasted barley in a brown ale, double your chocolate to 1/2-pound, and get some dark crystal or other specialty carmel malt in there. Emphasis here should be on malty and chocolate tones, not on the roasted to acrid/burnt tones of roasted barley. I reserve roasted barely just for dry stouts, and I'll use patent for robust porters. But chocolate and crystal malts is the main source of color and malty flavors in a brown. If you want to do a southern English brown (malt emphasis over hops, slightly less alcohol - O.G. 1040-1045 or so), you could get some English amber malt
Gravity Thrills
Strong Ale
Strong Ale
Posts: 285
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2001 10:12 pm

Return to Ingredients, Kits & Recipes

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest