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Using rye malt as the base malt...?

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winnph

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Post Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:48 pm

Using rye malt as the base malt...?

While responding to someone's question about diastatic power of various malts in another thread, I stumbled upon the fact that rye malt (at least the rye malt made by Briess) has moderately high diastatic power. According to their specification sheet, it's right around 105 degrees Lintner, which puts it well above many British pale malts.

So this got me thinking... why not use rye as a base malt? Obviously it wouldn't be able to sustain large amounts of specialty grains, but it would at least be an interesting experiment. Perhaps a perfect experiment for my first small test batch (2-liter to 1 gal). Here's the recipe I'm thinking right now (numbers are for a 5-gal batch, though I'd scale down):


7.5lb Rye malt
2.0lb Dark wheat malt (German)
0.5lb Chocolate malt (Belgian)
Rice hulls (since both rye & wheat are known for stuck sparges)

Bittering hops to 20 IBU, no flavor/aroma hops



I also have Wyeast 3638 in stock... probably would use that as the yeast.

So what do people think of this idea?
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a10t2

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Post Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:21 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Isn't that more or less what a roggenbier is?

It seems like a solid recipe to me. Like you say, my only concern would be sparging. Might be a perfect time to try BIAB.
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winnph

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Post Sat Feb 06, 2010 8:06 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Ahh, I have never really looked into brewing a roggenbier, but I guess I assumed that it still had a significant portion of barley base malt.

Yeah, actually I often use a modified BIAB approach, where I line my bottling bucket with a large grain bag, close the valve, and pour the contents of the mashing kettle into that. Then, I drain off the wort, close the valve, add the sparge water, gently stir the grain, then drain again. Depending on my mood, I might give the bag a squeeze with a large pair of tongs, just to get every last drop out (also use the tongs to squeeze out hop socks after the boil).

Somewhere between BIAB and batch sparging, I guess. Downside is a lot of fine grain particles make it into the boil, since there's no recirculation or grain bed filtration to speak of. I have a cooler that I can use if I want to recirculate and do a real sparge, but I'm usually too lazy to deal with that. With my bag/batch technique, I tend to get over 80% efficiency, which is plenty high for me. Never noticed any tannins or anything from the grain particles in the boil, and I don't mind the extra inch or so of sludge in the bottom of the fermenter.
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Denny

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Post Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:46 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Personally, as much as I like rye, I've found using more than 50% to be nearly undrinkable. I prefer to keep it under about 35%. But in terms of diastatic power, you should be OK.

AFAIK, a roggenbier is about 50% rye, 50% wheat.
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winnph

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Post Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:47 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Just came across this while searching the internet for people's experiments with high-proportion rye malt beers:

The Making of a 100% Rye Beer

Many of you had an opportunity to sample this beer at several BURP meetings. It won 1st place in BURP's Weird Beer club competition in October 1997. Following are some observations of some fellow BURPers and myself.

  • After a year in a refrigerated keg, the beer was still slightly cloudy. No finings were used.
  • Pale wheat color, with a very slight copper tint. Even despite a triple decoction, the beer was in no way red, let alone deep red. Decoction seemed to have less effect on color than with barley and wheat mashes.
  • The beer was surprisingly like a regular (barley malt) pale ale but it possessed subtle qualities which seemed to confuse the unsuspecting.
  • Slightly sharp aroma.
  • A medium-light body was masked by a slight viscous quality.
  • The rye flavor was more subtle than expected.
  • Generally it was judged to be quite drinkable, even refreshing, with a dry, almost tannic, finish. Mouthfeel was sometimes judged to be a bit "numbing". One woman said it "kind of left my tongue furry".


Can't say I've ever had a beer where I'd describe the mouthfeel as "numbing."
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FatTony

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Post Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:55 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

I can attest to the odd viscous quality from large amounts of rye. It's different from the thickness of a high FG.
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babalu87

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Post Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:40 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

FatTony wrote:I can attest to the odd viscous quality from large amounts of rye. It's different from the thickness of a high FG.


Yes
I had to jack up the serving pressure, was like serving motor oil :mrgreen:

What Denny said as well, 50/50 is a Roggenbier
A 75/25 might make jello
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On draught:Hallertau Ale, IIPA, Bitter, Stout
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ryan6458

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Post Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:36 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Generally it was judged to be quite drinkable, even refreshing, with a dry, almost tannic, finish. Mouthfeel was sometimes judged to be a bit "numbing". One woman said it "kind of left my tongue furry".


Reading that makes me wonder if Rye is as effective at lowering mash ph as barley is....
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dmtaylo2

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Post Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:40 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Rye malt is a splendid brewing ingredient, and underused (except in Rye IPAs, where you probably can't even taste it anyway).

It provides a very mild bready flavor, even when used in amounts of 40-50% -- the breadiness is different from barley malt, and it also does not taste much like rye bread, either. And along with that, I'm sorry, but.... it does NOT taste spicy, NOT AT ALL. Taste some for yourself and you'll see what I mean. It just has this unique bready flavor.

It also provides a very very thick, chewy mouthfeel, and an ENORMOUS creamy head, bigger than anything you've ever seen before in your life, as big or bigger than a well-made hefeweizen.

You can use rye malt as a base malt... and I suggest you do try it. I find rye malt to be delicious in ANY beer, and an excellent ingredient (probably THE best) for adding body and head retention to any beer.

The big thing to be careful with is when using more than 15% or so of rye malt, you WILL get a stuck mash. It is very slimy, gummy, gooey stuff. So you will most certainly want to add at least a pound of rice hulls to your mash to get things moving -- for insurance, if nothing else. I know Denny always says, "Well I never have any problems with a stuck mash", but the fact is, most other people do! (Denny, what is it that we are doing wrong??)

:cheers:
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)
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Denny

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Post Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:00 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

dmtaylo2 wrote:(except in Rye IPAs, where you probably can't even taste it anyway).


HEY NOW!! :mrgreen:

dmtaylo2 wrote:I know Denny always says, "Well I never have any problems with a stuck mash", but the fact is, most other people do! (Denny, what is it that we are doing wrong??)


Not using my mill and cooler setup? ;) I wish I had an answer to this, Dave, just as I wish I knew why some people have trouble with other things I don't. OTOH, I can't whirlpool to save my life, so maybe it all evens out!
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dmtaylo2

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Post Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:45 pm

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Denny, sir, I hope you realize that I have great respect for you. I just think your Rye IPA is terrible.

... I'm just kidding! Love the Rye IPA. :D

Matter of fact, it was your dennybrew website that showed me just how cheap and easy it would be to get into all-grain brewing. Started all-grain around 5 years ago with the dennybrew batch sparge system, and haven't looked back since. Excellent way to go.

And if it makes you feel any better, my house efficiency is better than yours, at least ever since I got that BarleyCrusher malt mill with its premium aluminium body -- after 4 years, the blender really just wasn't cutting it anymore. But yes, I do get the occasional stuck mash. And I ain't afraid of it. So it takes a few extra minutes to runoff. No big whoop. Except when the wife is nagging me to hurry up and get done brewing already. But oh well, somehow I think she'll survive. She knows beer is more important. ;)
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)
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Denny

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Post Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:54 am

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

dmtaylo2 wrote:Denny, sir, I hope you realize that I have great respect for you. I just think your Rye IPA is terrible.

... I'm just kidding! Love the Rye IPA. :D

Matter of fact, it was your dennybrew website that showed me just how cheap and easy it would be to get into all-grain brewing. Started all-grain around 5 years ago with the dennybrew batch sparge system, and haven't looked back since. Excellent way to go.

And if it makes you feel any better, my house efficiency is better than yours, at least ever since I got that BarleyCrusher malt mill with its premium aluminium body -- after 4 years, the blender really just wasn't cutting it anymore. But yes, I do get the occasional stuck mash. And I ain't afraid of it. So it takes a few extra minutes to runoff. No big whoop. Except when the wife is nagging me to hurry up and get done brewing already. But oh well, somehow I think she'll survive. She knows beer is more important. ;)


:cheers:
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is.

www.dennybrew.com
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SienaBrewer

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Post Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:09 pm

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

dmtaylo2 wrote:It also provides a very very thick, chewy mouthfeel, and an ENORMOUS creamy head, bigger than anything you've ever seen before in your life, as big or bigger than a well-made hefeweizen.


This is the part that really intrigues me. Would you then advise to use about .5lb of rye malt to help with head retention issues. I imagine that amount would give some benefit to the head, while not really adding much in the way of flavor. Aside from someone jumping in and tell me head issues is all about proper fermenation and glassware not cleaned with dish soap, I'm looking for a way to get that "creamy" beer head your describing.
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Denny

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Post Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:12 pm

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

SienaBrewer wrote:This is the part that really intrigues me. Would you then advise to use about .5lb of rye malt to help with head retention issues. I imagine that amount would give some benefit to the head, while not really adding much in the way of flavor. Aside from someone jumping in and tell me head issues is all about proper fermenation and glassware not cleaned with dish soap, I'm looking for a way to get that "creamy" beer head your describing.


I just kegged a German pils made form nothing but pils malt...HUGE head. Duvel is another example. AFAIAC, it really is about fermentation and proper brewing procedures more than ingredients. Yeah, I know you didn't want to hear that, but if those 2 things aren't right, adding a bunch of high protein ingredients may not do much to help you.
Life begins at 60....1.060, that is.

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SienaBrewer

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Post Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:44 pm

Re: Using rye malt as the base malt...?

Denny wrote:
SienaBrewer wrote:This is the part that really intrigues me. Would you then advise to use about .5lb of rye malt to help with head retention issues. I imagine that amount would give some benefit to the head, while not really adding much in the way of flavor. Aside from someone jumping in and tell me head issues is all about proper fermenation and glassware not cleaned with dish soap, I'm looking for a way to get that "creamy" beer head your describing.


I just kegged a German pils made form nothing but pils malt...HUGE head. Duvel is another example. AFAIAC, it really is about fermentation and proper brewing procedures more than ingredients. Yeah, I know you didn't want to hear that, but if those 2 things aren't right, adding a bunch of high protein ingredients may not do much to help you.


Then it's got to be my glassware and the fact I am cleaning all my equipment with dish soap. I say that because my last 5 brews have all had very, very clean fermentations. They were the low to mid 60's and attenuated as they would be expected based on the yeasts used. My Griffin Spit IPA is the only one that holds a nice creamy head and I contribute that to the insane amount of hops used.

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