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A grain %?

I do alot of reading on this forum and have learned a lot, thank you all. I have noticed that there are conversations about grain %. What does that mean and how does that work? This might help me fine tune mine brown ale recipe and help create an IPA.

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There are specialty grains that people give a range of because too much is disgusting and too little doesn’t do anything. But the main thing to know is that base malts can be used at 100% of your total recipe. Specialty malts are typically in the range of 0%-20% of the grain bill.

Each malt itself has percentages within it as well that effect how it tastes, mashes, ferments, hazes, foams, etc.

Many recipes are discussed in percentages so anyone can brew it on their system.

If I get 85% efficiency and your only getting 70% you would need to use more grain to reach the same OG.


That efficiency is totally dependent on volumes (water) and weights (grist)… Knowing that these two are as absolutely correct is the key to finding out these efficiencies, and it can be passed back and worth from brewer to brewer…
Now this doesnt mean you have to be so concerned, you go and get special equipment for checking… I found that comparing what I buy, albeit liquid or dry goods, I’ve checked against my equipment… just curious… I’m quite close on most stuff and other stuff, I say the supplier is off :sunglasses:.
And as percentages of the grist, When someone posts 2.338 lbs of specialty malt… I have no problem going either 2 or 2.5 lbs… I honestly don’t think you could tell the difference… Sneezles61

I usually know about how many lbs. of base malt I need to obtain close to the ABV I’m after. When I add specialty grain it’s for color, mouthfeel etc. Sugars to boost the ABV or lighten it up. If everything goes into a brewing program, I still use Pro Mash, it will give you the percentage of everything you add and the expected OG so I kind of work it backwards.

Me most the time 75 to 80 % my speciality grains about 20%

Reading that the first thing in the morning(omg). Thank you all. It sound like when I adding the extra 2# of 2 row to the brown ale , I was adding more base not specialty. If I wanted to add more flavor to the brown ale, I needed to add more specialty. I read the tags and put them in my favorites, is there lists of the two malts, like there is list of hops?

@irishjoe I suggest you go to your LHBS and taste the base grains. My current favorite base malt, Golden Promise, has a distinctive taste. You can taste the difference between Maris floor vs kiln as well. The 2 row grown in my state all are distractive vs grown elsewhere (and not always a good distinctive).
In my LHBS all the base malts are in big bins and the specialty malts are in pour containers.
You can usually tell all the specialty malts by their listed color which is typically darker than the base malts. The names also give away the specialty grains (i.e. Cara, Carmel, Honey, Special, Smoked, Roasted…)

When you added 2# of 2 row you did add some malty taste but you also increased the alcohol. The specialty malts add flavor without contributing that much to the OG.

Think of the base malt as a blank canvas to paint on… Specialty is the colors… Sneezles61

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I learned a little more today, thank all. Cheers!!!:slight_smile:

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This is a good analogy. To take the analogy a bit further, 90% of people who consume/see a painting won’t be able to tell you if it’s painted on 12oz Cotton Duck, Belgian Linen, or raw Jute. These are all types of “canvas” but the results of paint on all these different surfaces is radical for those who can “taste” the difference. Blarph, Jute… what are you a caveman?

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