Achieving Maximum Maltiness

I’ve always wondered how to achieve that rich maltiness in English brews. Ive made numerous batches with Maris Otter and cant seem to clone my favorite English Stout like Samuel Smiths Oatmeal Stout or Pale ales like Fullers ESB/London Pride.

My most recent attempt was an Oatmeal stout recipe which ended up tasting nothing like Samuel Smiths Oatmeal stout. I did a side by side tasting and SSOS had an intense maltiness and very little roast flavor compared to my recipe.

Here is my Recipe

Recipe Type: All Grain
Yeast: Wlp002
Yeast Starter: Yes!
Batch Size (Gallons): 5.5
Original Gravity: 1.050
Final Gravity: 1.016
IBU: 35
Boiling Time (Minutes): 60
Color: 29
ABV 4.6%

6.75 lbs Pale Malt, Maris Otter (3.0 SRM)
1 lbs Oats, Flaked (1.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Chocolate malt (pale) (200.0 SRM)
4.0 oz Roasted Barley
8.0 oz Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM)
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM)

The stout was in the primary for 4 weeks then transferred to the keg.

Samuel Smiths Oatmeal stout is 5% ABV with a final gravity of 1.014 which would mean the OG is 1.050 so I was close.

When tasting SSOS I get a very rich malty sweetness and a touch of oatmeal with hardly any roast flavor. When tasting mine a get the same mouthfeel but a very dry and nutty flavor with some coffee like notes but no extreme maltiness present.

The question is how on earth do I get this rich malt flavor in the original beer? My Brew has a higher OG but its not as sweet? perhaps I should back of the IBUs? I know for a fact I should remove the Victory and the Pale chocolate and replace it with more Maris Otter to increase the malty backbone but for some reason i dont feel that will be enough. Maybe it’s because i’m not aging the beer long enough for the base malt to stick out? Maybe im using the wrong yeast? Wlp002 is a very low attenuater so i tend to mash very low like 148. Is there a difference if I used a high attenuating yeast and mashed real high like 156/158???

Any suggestions would be much appreciated

Happy Holidays!

I’m sure it’s not Samuel Smith’s secret, but I don’t think you can beat Munich malt for malty goodness.

+1 on munich malt. Also, cut back on the bittering IBUs, this will increase your perception of the malty sweetness.

Here are some ideas. I was on this same quest a couple of summers ago after drinking some beers my daughter brought me from Germany. They had incredible malt flavors. I brew mostly ales so I have incorporated some of these techniques into my regular brews. Some of this I got from the Hochkurz mash schedule on braukaiser.com. Thanks to everyone who sent me to that site.

Mash at 148-150 for 20 min for fermentability and then take your mash up to 160 for 45 min to develop more maltose.

Don’t do such a long primary. Those yeast need 10 days max at that gravity. If I do a 5 day primary, I get to much diacetyl. Ten days comes out much cleaner, and should reduce the amount of sugars being consumed by the yeast during the extra long ferment. Sometimes I get busy and my beers sit around for 2 or 3 weeks, and I always think those beers lose a bit of their malt character.

1968/002 is pretty hearty yeast. I have never had a stuck fermentation with it in 20 years of using it. I always do a starter though.

Try no-sparging.

Make sure you’re using UK Crystal Malt. The US stuff just isn’t the same.

And, as others have said, while Munich Malt may not be traditional in English ales, it really brings the malty goodness.

I reread the hochkurz mash article last night, but it was too late to post. The low temp is to develop maltose, and the high temp is to develop dextrins. Either way, my beers have been much maltier using this mash schedule, but still finish out at 1/4 original gravity. My Belgians also finish out dry.

No sparge is good, but I doubt the Germans are that inefficient, and they are getting incredible malt flavors. A friend of mine uses no sparge, and he stops running when there is still 20% of the extract in the kettle.

[quote=“SA Brew”]No sparge is good, but I doubt the Germans are that inefficient, and they are getting incredible malt flavors. A friend of mine uses no sparge, and he stops running when there is still 20% of the extract in the kettle.[/quote]No-sparge is just the first stage of a parti-gyle if you want to be more efficient with it. Why would your friend leave wort in the mashtun (assuming you meant MT, not kettle)?

Shady, when no sparging are you increasing your quarts per pound to achieve your boil volume? I’d assume so and if so, what is your typical pre-volume for a 5 gallon batch? Also, what is your multiplier for absorbtion to grain?

Always appreciate your input.
Thanks, Mike

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]Shady, when no sparging are you increasing your quarts per pound to achieve your boil volume? I’d assume so and if so, what is your typical pre-volume for a 5 gallon batch? Also, what is your multiplier for absorbtion to grain?[/quote]Haven’t done a 5-gal batch in a long time, but I did a 12-gal batch last brew day with 40 lbs of grain, mashed with 12 gallons then added another 7 gallons at whatever temp was needed to boost the mash temp to 163F for a 10- to 15-minute rest, then drained 15 gallons to the kettle. Absorption is a consistent 0.125 gal/lb for my system.

Stupid question; so this method of raising the temp with that much add’l water for a hold time increases efficiency? or maltiness over draining and batch sparging with at 7g’s?

What about doing this through a decoction of 1/3 or so of the mash? That would get you some malty goodness! Definitely worth a shot and decoction is really a piece of cake as long as you don’t mind stirring!

Yes. I meant mash tun. Sorry about that. I was multi tasking as I was typing and was just trying to finish before the system timed me out.

I don’t know why he leaves so much behind in the mash tun, but his beers always come out very malty and it is not from a lack of hops. The malt flavor is very nice. He uses a bag of Maris Otter to make 22 gallons of beer at 1.055. It is basically a very malty ESB without much crystal malt.

You could do a decoction to raise the temp. Most people just don’t want to take the time to do it. I do that when I am brewing a German style lager, but for my ales, I usually just infuse some boiling water.

[quote=“Steppedonapoptop”]Stupid question; so this method of raising the temp with that much add’l water for a hold time increases efficiency? or maltiness over draining and batch sparging with at 7g’s?[/quote]Both.