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Specialty malts for whisky

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  • Alex Castillo
    Hi and Merry Xmas to everyone! I know that usually 2-row malt is the base malt for most non-grain whiskies since it gives more malty flavor than 6-row, which
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 29, 2011
      Hi and Merry Xmas to everyone!

      I know that usually 2-row malt is the base malt for most non-grain whiskies since it gives more malty flavor than 6-row, which due to its more diastatic power is prefered for grain whiskies. In the other hand there are many different kinds of malts used in beer-making: caramel malts, chocolate malts, honey malts, etc. Does any one have experience using those? do they worth? My next experiments go in that direction.

      Thanks in advance for your answers...and happy new year!

      Alex
    • Fredrick Lee
      I ve been an all-grain beer brewer (15 years) for longer than I ve been distilling (only about six). Most of my runs consist of all grain and I will say that
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 29, 2011
        I've been an all-grain beer brewer (15 years) for longer than I've been distilling (only about six).   Most of my runs consist of all grain and I will say that the grain recipe is just as important as fermentation temps and yeast selection.   I consider those three factors to make up roughly 60% of the flavor profile, and still operation make up the rest.  That said, specialty grains will provide quite a lot of unique flavors that can be very strong or nonexistent in the mash.    



        On Dec 29, 2011, at 16:48, "Alex Castillo" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:

         


        Hi and Merry Xmas to everyone!

        I know that usually 2-row malt is the base malt for most non-grain whiskies since it gives more malty flavor than 6-row, which due to its more diastatic power is prefered for grain whiskies. In the other hand there are many different kinds of malts used in beer-making: caramel malts, chocolate malts, honey malts, etc. Does any one have experience using those? do they worth? My next experiments go in that direction.

        Thanks in advance for your answers...and happy new year!

        Alex

      • tgfoitwoods
        Hi Alex, and Merry Christmas to you, too. As an allgrain beer brewer, I ve used a lot of these specialty malts and have also read quite a bit about them. For
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 29, 2011
          Hi Alex, and Merry Christmas to you, too.

          As an allgrain beer brewer, I've used a lot of these "specialty malts" and have also read quite a bit about them. For the most part, they are specially kilned to get enhanced color and flavor, and they accomplish this very nicely. What might be a problem to you is that while the kilning makes them special, it usually kills (denatures, really) all or most of the starch-conversion enzymes.

          For the brewer, that means that he must use mostly a "base malt" with good diastatic power, to convert the starches, and some lesser amount of specialty grains for flavor and color. Of course, you could use all specialty malts and bottled enzymes for the conversion. In fact, I've planned for years to make a batch of barley whisky from a malt I use a lot, called "Canadian Honey Malt", that I think will give a whisky to emulate the best scotch I ever tasted. No, I don't know the distiller, because it was one of the "incognito labels" from the Single-Malt Society. That stuff was sex-in-a-glass...hooo...but I digress.

          Yup, I'd have to use bottled enzymes to make my Canadian Honey Malt whisky.

          Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

          --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Castillo" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Hi and Merry Xmas to everyone!
          >
          > I know that usually 2-row malt is the base malt for most non-grain whiskies since it gives more malty flavor than 6-row, which due to its more diastatic power is prefered for grain whiskies. In the other hand there are many different kinds of malts used in beer-making: caramel malts, chocolate malts, honey malts, etc. Does any one have experience using those? do they worth? My next experiments go in that direction.
          >
          > Thanks in advance for your answers...and happy new year!
          >
          > Alex
          >
        • Alex Castillo
          Hey Z.B. Sex in a glass...lol, I like it! I have now aging two distilled braggots (one with peated malt and the other with 6-row, how will I call them, honey
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 31, 2011
            Hey Z.B.

            Sex in a glass...lol, I like it! I have now aging two distilled braggots (one with peated malt and the other with 6-row, how will I call them, honey whiskies?) hope they become an aphrodisiac booze, lol.

            I think I found the malt your taking about,is by Grambrinus, I think, but even when the diastatic power is gone due to kilning, they keep some fermentable to be sugars right?

            Anyways, thinking in a single malt with up to 50-70% 2-row, but unsure about specialty malts quantities. In the beer world how much of those are used, up to 1 pound per 10 lbs mash? less than that? thinking that after distilling the flavors will be concentrate. Some pointer from you and the rest of the forum will be appreciated.

            Happy new year again.

            2012: Dominican whisky birth!

            Alex
          • geoff burrows
            Hi Everyone on New Distillers, I would like to take this opportunity (I wont be able to type or text later due the fact I ll be bulletproof in a Bowmore
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 31, 2011
              Hi Everyone on New Distillers,
              I would like to take this opportunity (I wont be able to type or text later due the fact I'll be bulletproof in a "Bowmore 12-Year-Old Islay Single Malt"  haze {a much appreciated Christmas present from Her Who Must Be Obeyed}  my good stuff is still oaking/aging can't touch that) to wish you all a very Happy New Year!
              Geoff
            • tgfoitwoods
              ... I do too...wow! I have now aging two distilled braggots (one with peated malt and the other with 6-row, how will I call them, honey whiskies?) hope they
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 31, 2011
                --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Castillo" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hey Z.B.
                >
                > Sex in a glass...lol, I like it!

                I do too...wow!

                I have now aging two distilled braggots (one with peated malt and the other with 6-row, how will I call them, honey whiskies?) hope they become an aphrodisiac booze, lol.
                >
                > I think I found the malt your taking about,is by Grambrinus, I think, but even when the diastatic power is gone due to kilning, they keep some fermentable to be sugars right?

                As far as I know, Canadian Honey Malt has all the convertible starches of a base malt. I looked it up at my favorite homebrew supply, to see who the maltster is, and they don't have it listed or in stock right now. I looked it up ay another LHBS I use, and they still have it, but no maltster listed.
                >
                > Anyways, thinking in a single malt with up to 50-70% 2-row, but unsure about specialty malts quantities. In the beer world how much of those are used, up to 1 pound per 10 lbs mash? less than that? thinking that after distilling the flavors will be concentrate. Some pointer from you and the rest of the forum will be appreciated.

                Every beer grain bill is different, but here are the grain bills from a couple (3, now) of my favorite of my favorite beer recipes. Understand that I'm kind of a malt freak, and like richly-flavored, complex beers, so my recipes are heavy on specialty malts.

                Strong Scotch Ale, 6-gallon recipe, OG=~1.084
                7 lbs British Pale Ale Malt
                7 lbs American 2-row
                1 lbs cara-pils
                1 lb Munich Malt (8-10 Lov)
                2 lb medium crystal malt 60
                4 oz chocolate malt
                4 oz roasted barley
                8 oz Canadian honey malt

                Guinness (clone) Foreign Extra Stout 5-gallon recipe
                12.5 Ib. (5.67 kg) British pale ale malt (3 OL)
                0.75 Ib. (340 g) black roasted barley (500 °L)
                10 oz. (284 g) crystal malt (4°L)
                10 oz. (284 g) crystal malt (80 °L)
                0.5 Ib. (227 g) chocolate malt (420 °L)

                A somewhat lighter Muenchner Maerzen (5-gallons)
                3.00 lb. HBH Munich
                6.00 lb. HBH Belgian Pilsner
                1.00 lb. HBH Light Crystal malt 40L
                1.00 lb. HBH Vienna

                >
                > Happy new year again.
                >
                > 2012: Dominican whisky birth!
                >
                > Alex
                >
                I hope this helps, but it's all just opinion, anyway.
                Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
              • waljaco
                I suspect the specialty malts would act in a similar way to the various raw sugars (rapadura etc) which have caramel characteristics. wal
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 31, 2011
                  I suspect the specialty malts would act in a similar way to the various raw sugars (rapadura etc) which have caramel characteristics.
                  wal

                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "tgfoitwoods" <zymurgybob@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hi Alex, and Merry Christmas to you, too.
                  >
                  > As an allgrain beer brewer, I've used a lot of these "specialty malts"
                  > and have also read quite a bit about them. For the most part, they are
                  > specially kilned to get enhanced color and flavor, and they accomplish
                  > this very nicely. What might be a problem to you is that while the
                  > kilning makes them special, it usually kills (denatures, really) all or
                  > most of the starch-conversion enzymes.
                  >
                  > For the brewer, that means that he must use mostly a "base malt" with
                  > good diastatic power, to convert the starches, and some lesser amount of
                  > specialty grains for flavor and color. Of course, you could use all
                  > specialty malts and bottled enzymes for the conversion. In fact, I've
                  > planned for years to make a batch of barley whisky from a malt I use a
                  > lot, called "Canadian Honey Malt", that I think will give a whisky to
                  > emulate the best scotch I ever tasted. No, I don't know the distiller,
                  > because it was one of the "incognito labels" from the Single-Malt
                  > Society. That stuff was sex-in-a-glass...hooo...but I digress.
                  >
                  > Yup, I'd have to use bottled enzymes to make my Canadian Honey Malt
                  > whisky.
                  >
                  > Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits
                  > <http://kelleybarts.com/MFS.html>
                  >
                  > --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Castillo"
                  > <castillo.alex2008@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > Hi and Merry Xmas to everyone!
                  > >
                  > > I know that usually 2-row malt is the base malt for most non-grain
                  > whiskies since it gives more malty flavor than 6-row, which due to its
                  > more diastatic power is prefered for grain whiskies. In the other hand
                  > there are many different kinds of malts used in beer-making: caramel
                  > malts, chocolate malts, honey malts, etc. Does any one have experience
                  > using those? do they worth? My next experiments go in that direction.
                  > >
                  > > Thanks in advance for your answers...and happy new year!
                  > >
                  > > Alex
                  > >
                  >
                • Fredrick Lee
                  You can use about 60%+ adjuncts with 6-row. Some adjuncts have their own DP so it s hard to give you a ratio directly. Specialty malts and adjuncts usually
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 31, 2011
                    You can use about 60%+ adjuncts with 6-row. Some adjuncts have their own DP so it's hard to give you a ratio directly. Specialty malts and adjuncts usually come with the malt sheet stapled to the bag, or at least a bag on the pallet. Ask your malt retailer for the analysis sheet, it blew my mind when I researched what all the numbers meant.  


                    On Dec 31, 2011, at 11:29, "Alex Castillo" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:

                     

                    Hey Z.B.

                    Sex in a glass...lol, I like it! I have now aging two distilled braggots (one with peated malt and the other with 6-row, how will I call them, honey whiskies?) hope they become an aphrodisiac booze, lol.

                    I think I found the malt your taking about,is by Grambrinus, I think, but even when the diastatic power is gone due to kilning, they keep some fermentable to be sugars right?

                    Anyways, thinking in a single malt with up to 50-70% 2-row, but unsure about specialty malts quantities. In the beer world how much of those are used, up to 1 pound per 10 lbs mash? less than that? thinking that after distilling the flavors will be concentrate. Some pointer from you and the rest of the forum will be appreciated.

                    Happy new year again.

                    2012: Dominican whisky birth!

                    Alex

                  • baddriver13
                    Hi Alex, Does this webpage help any? http://www.beersmith.com/grain-list/ The R/H column shows the recommended max amount of each specific
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 31, 2011
                      Hi Alex,
                      Does this webpage help any?

                      http://www.beersmith.com/grain-list/

                      The R/H column shows the 'recommended' max amount of each specific fermentable/adjunct that should be used in a recipe.

                      Also try this... http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-1.html

                      Apologies if I've misconstrued your question.

                      HNY!
                    • Alex Castillo
                      Thanks, Both are excellent links, now I know the approx. amounts of them to use. But also I´m confused. If they only provide unfermentable sugars, which
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jan 1, 2012
                        Thanks,

                        Both are excellent links, now I know the approx. amounts of them to use. But also I´m confused. If they only provide unfermentable sugars, which means only flavor, will those flavors carry during distillation? which also tells me that, on the contrary of scotch or irish systems of double and triple distillation respectively, I´d go for a simple (one round), pot still, distillation in order to try to capture those flavors.

                        Alex
                      • Fredrick Lee
                        Actually, specialty grains and adjuncts provide different amounts of fermentable sugars, depending on the type and mash temperature(s). It s not as simple as
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jan 1, 2012
                          Actually, specialty grains and adjuncts provide different amounts of fermentable sugars, depending on the type and mash temperature(s).   It's not as simple as saying "Crystal 60L" will add 1.042 points of fermentable. Not only does the amount of starch (and sugar) depend on the type of malt,  the amount of fermentable sugar depends highly on the mash temp and ph.  

                          Lower mashing temps (about 147-149°F) will result in more fermentables (immediately available). 

                          Either way, you can further treat the wort with enzymes or bacteria to get a full conversion, even when there's considerable amounts of non fermentable sugars.       

                          On Jan 1, 2012, at 18:43, "Alex Castillo" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Both are excellent links, now I know the approx. amounts of them to use. But also I´m confused. If they only provide unfermentable sugars, which means only flavor, will those flavors carry during distillation? which also tells me that, on the contrary of scotch or irish systems of double and triple distillation respectively, I´d go for a simple (one round), pot still, distillation in order to try to capture those flavors.

                          Alex

                        • tgfoitwoods
                          Alex, Fredrick is right on with what he says about how much of your starches will convert and ferment, In the case of the Strong Scotch Ale recipe I gave you,
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jan 2, 2012
                            Alex,

                            Fredrick is right on with what he says about how much of your starches will convert and ferment, In the case of the Strong Scotch Ale recipe I gave you, I mash at a higher temperature, because I want more starch left as malto-dextrins in the beer, for richness and mouthfeel. I'm not sure that there's much correlation between residual unfermentable sugars and flavor through the still, though. I do know that the specialty Munton's peated malt I have used in past scotch batches give the most pronounced flavor note in the distillate, that being the peat smoke note.

                            As for flavor, I may be the wrong person to ask, because my spirits are always lighter in flavor than I'd wish for. I have a new still under construction that may fix that, though.

                            Zymurgy Bob, a simple potstiller Making Fine Spirits

                            --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, Fredrick Lee <fredrick@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > Actually, specialty grains and adjuncts provide different amounts of fermentable sugars, depending on the type and mash temperature(s). It's not as simple as saying "Crystal 60L" will add 1.042 points of fermentable. Not only does the amount of starch (and sugar) depend on the type of malt, the amount of fermentable sugar depends highly on the mash temp and ph.
                            >
                            > Lower mashing temps (about 147-149°F) will result in more fermentables (immediately available).
                            >
                            > Either way, you can further treat the wort with enzymes or bacteria to get a full conversion, even when there's considerable amounts of non fermentable sugars.
                            >

                          • Alex Castillo
                            Thank you both Frederick and Z.B. for your info, as always, very important. Welp, I just ordered what will become my first grain bill for an Special irish
                            Message 13 of 16 , Jan 2, 2012
                              Thank you both Frederick and Z.B. for your info, as always, very important.

                              Welp, I just ordered what will become my first grain bill for an "Special irish single malt". The grain bill will go as follows for a 5 gallons mash:

                              2-row: 8 lbs.;
                              honey malt: 1 pound;
                              caramel 60L: 0.5 lb.
                              chocolate malt: 0.5 lb.

                              How does it look?

                              Also a (distilled to be) braggot with: honey: 1 gallon + DME 3 lbs.

                              tasty huh?

                              Finally I´m getting good results with rice and I´ll pull for a dominico-american version of that grain whisky with som rye for a change (and 6-row)

                              But I´m curious ZB, how did your sex-in-a-glass-canadian honey malt finally resulted? thinking in 7 pounds of it + 1 pound of 6-row (for conversion) + 1 lb. peated malt + caramel and chocolate (0.5 lb. of each) for a scotch change (don´t you just love it?)

                              What was your bill?

                              Finally about license for distilling in US (a topic I followed with interest, how much money will be the minimum needed to just start? in the article Wal sent the link, they say US$ 10,000, but I think they´re falling short).

                              Waiting for your answers, while sipping Talisker; oh Scotland, the things you make me do!

                              A!
                            • Fredrick Lee
                              Looks tasty. Probably make a wonderful ale. ... Looks tasty. Probably make a wonderful ale. On Jan 2, 2012, at 17:02, Alex Castillo
                              Message 14 of 16 , Jan 2, 2012
                                Looks tasty. Probably make a wonderful ale. 

                                On Jan 2, 2012, at 17:02, "Alex Castillo" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:

                                 



                                Thank you both Frederick and Z.B. for your info, as always, very important.

                                Welp, I just ordered what will become my first grain bill for an "Special irish single malt". The grain bill will go as follows for a 5 gallons mash:

                                2-row: 8 lbs.;
                                honey malt: 1 pound;
                                caramel 60L: 0.5 lb.
                                chocolate malt: 0.5 lb.

                                How does it look?

                                Also a (distilled to be) braggot with: honey: 1 gallon + DME 3 lbs.

                                tasty huh?

                                Finally I´m getting good results with rice and I´ll pull for a dominico-american version of that grain whisky with som rye for a change (and 6-row)

                                But I´m curious ZB, how did your sex-in-a-glass-canadian honey malt finally resulted? thinking in 7 pounds of it + 1 pound of 6-row (for conversion) + 1 lb. peated malt + caramel and chocolate (0.5 lb. of each) for a scotch change (don´t you just love it?)

                                What was your bill?

                                Finally about license for distilling in US (a topic I followed with interest, how much money will be the minimum needed to just start? in the article Wal sent the link, they say US$ 10,000, but I think they´re falling short).

                                Waiting for your answers, while sipping Talisker; oh Scotland, the things you make me do!

                                A!

                              • tgfoitwoods
                                ... important. ... Special irish single malt . The grain bill will go as follows for a 5 ... I m guessing you ll find it to be a very nice ale. ...
                                Message 15 of 16 , Jan 3, 2012
                                  --- In new_distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Alex Castillo" <castillo.alex2008@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Thank you both Frederick and Z.B. for your info, as always, very important.
                                  >
                                  > Welp, I just ordered what will become my first grain bill for an "Special irish single malt". The grain bill will go as follows for a 5 gallons mash:
                                  >
                                  > 2-row: 8 lbs.;
                                  > honey malt: 1 pound;
                                  > caramel 60L: 0.5 lb.
                                  > chocolate malt: 0.5 lb.
                                  >
                                  > How does it look?

                                  I'm guessing you'll find it to be a very nice ale.

                                  >
                                  > Also a (distilled to be) braggot with: honey: 1 gallon + DME 3 lbs.
                                  >
                                  > tasty huh?
                                  >
                                  > Finally I´m getting good results with rice and I´ll pull for a dominico-american version of that grain whisky with som rye for a change (and 6-row)
                                  >
                                  > But I´m curious ZB, how did your sex-in-a-glass-canadian honey malt finally resulted? thinking in 7 pounds of it + 1 pound of 6-row (for conversion) + 1 lb. peated malt + caramel and chocolate (0.5 lb. of each) for a scotch change (don´t you just love it?)
                                  >
                                  > What was your bill?

                                  Sorry, Alex, but I think I was confusing. I've actually tasted an un-named single malt that I think I can get close to with  Canadian Honey Malt, but I have yet to try to make it. It's all a pipe-dream for now.

                                  >
                                  > Finally about license for distilling in US (a topic I followed with interest, how much money will be the minimum needed to just start? in the article Wal sent the link, they say US$ 10,000, but I think they´re falling short).
                                  >
                                  > Waiting for your answers, while sipping Talisker; oh Scotland, the things you make me do!
                                  >
                                  > A!
                                  >
                                • Alex Castillo
                                  ... Got it! I think Aberfeldy has some honey notes, and when I´ve mixed chivas with orange juice I have discovered for my surprise a nice honey flavor, (but
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Jan 3, 2012
                                    >
                                    > Sorry, Alex, but I think I was confusing. I've actually tasted an
                                    > un-named single malt that I think I can get close to with Canadian
                                    > Honey Malt, but I have yet to try to make it. It's all a pipe-dream for
                                    > now.
                                    > >

                                    Got it! I think Aberfeldy has some honey notes, and when I´ve mixed chivas with orange juice I have discovered for my surprise a nice honey flavor, (but as we know chivas is not a single malt).

                                    Alex
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