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Diluting maris otter?

Would subbing half a recipes Maris otter with something cheaper like Rahr or great western pale malt affect the flavor too much in a English recipe where the base malt is 90+ % of the grain bill. My thought is that I could get some of the complexity the English malts offer while keeping cost down a bit by using a malt that is almost half the cost.

Maris otter has a its own flavor and from what I have tasted of rahr, witch I use a lot there will be a noticeably difference but is it worth the extra cost of using otter?, not to me. I only use otter when I can get 50# of it at good price. I would use 2# of brown malt with the rahr or some other specialty grain to get the complexity that way. but that’s just me, I’m kind of cheap.

What is that going to save you per pint glass, .15-.20? That’s false economy in my book. :cheers:

I think it’s a neat idea, and I would suggest just using a small amt (10-20%) dilution to start out. Doubt if you could tell much negative difference if any

What is that going to save you per pint glass, .15-.20? That’s false economy in my book. :cheers: [/quote]

I was looking at bulk prices on another site Great Western pale was $37 for 55# and Crisp MO was $63.

For me, the answer to this question is pretty easy- when you’re making an English-style beer, use English malt, and when you’re making an American-style beer, use American malt. And use that strategy for every beer you make. Cost is always an issue, but if you won’t spend a little extra money to make something as it should be made, you’ll never know what it should really taste like, anyway. And your English-style beer might cost you a little more money than an APA when it comes to malt, but when you factor in hops, APAs made with cheap American 2-row brewers’ malt still come out costing just as much as the English-style beer, if not more. So it’s not always a simple question of zeroing in on one ingredient in the beer, and saving money on that one thing.
I say you should go for what you really want in any beer you make, if you can afford it.
But I definitely see where you’re coming from on the economics of the base malt. I don’t own my own grain mill, so I’m always buying my malt in small quantities, usually just enough for one beer. When you’re only buying that much at a time, the price difference isn’t usually all that dramatic between the batch made with cheap malt and one made with more expensive malt. It’s your call, but I say you should only consider cheaper ways of making beers after you’ve made them the best way you can afford to make them first. That way, you have an idea of how good that style of beer can be (assuming you performed your job as brewmaster well) :slight_smile: , and then you can make informed decisions of what it does and doesn’t need to be made with. Perfection first, economics later. That’s how I approach my beers. But that’s just me.

[quote=“deliusism1”]For me, the answer to this question is pretty easy- when you’re making an English-style beer, use English malt, and when you’re making an American-style beer, use American malt. And use that strategy for every beer you make. Cost is always an issue, but if you won’t spend a little extra money to make something as it should be made, you’ll never know what it should really taste like, anyway. And your English-style beer might cost you a little more money than an APA when it comes to malt, but when you factor in hops, APAs made with cheap American 2-row brewers’ malt still come out costing just as much as the English-style beer, if not more. So it’s not always a simple question of zeroing in on one ingredient in the beer, and saving money on that one thing.
I say you should go for what you really want in any beer you make, if you can afford it.
But I definitely see where you’re coming from on the economics of the base malt. I don’t own my own grain mill, so I’m always buying my malt in small quantities, usually just enough for one beer. When you’re only buying that much at a time, the price difference isn’t usually all that dramatic between the batch made with cheap malt and one made with more expensive malt. It’s your call, but I say you should only consider cheaper ways of making beers after you’ve made them the best way you can afford to make them first. That way, you have an idea of how good that style of beer can be (assuming you performed your job as brewmaster well) :slight_smile: , and then you can make informed decisions of what it does and doesn’t need to be made with. Perfection first, economics later. That’s how I approach my beers. But that’s just me.[/quote]

+1
MO has a whole different level of complexity that you just can’t get from 2 row. I bought a 50# bag of 2 row for less than a buck a pound but for my english and irish beers I use MO or sometimes Simspon’s Golden Promise. When I make belgians I use Belgian pils. They do cost a little more but like del said it’s the way the beer should be made if you want to make it to style and you’ll save on your hop schedule to balance it out. I also harvest and re-use my yeast for 3 generations so I save $8-9 there each batch.

Having said that, it’s your beer so make it the way you like and enjoy! :cheers:

[quote=“deliusism1”]For me, the answer to this question is pretty easy- when you’re making an English-style beer, use English malt, and when you’re making an American-style beer, use American malt. And use that strategy for every beer you make. Cost is always an issue, but if you won’t spend a little extra money to make something as it should be made, you’ll never know what it should really taste like, anyway. And your English-style beer might cost you a little more money than an APA when it comes to malt, but when you factor in hops, APAs made with cheap American 2-row brewers’ malt still come out costing just as much as the English-style beer, if not more. So it’s not always a simple question of zeroing in on one ingredient in the beer, and saving money on that one thing.
I say you should go for what you really want in any beer you make, if you can afford it.
But I definitely see where you’re coming from on the economics of the base malt. I don’t own my own grain mill, so I’m always buying my malt in small quantities, usually just enough for one beer. When you’re only buying that much at a time, the price difference isn’t usually all that dramatic between the batch made with cheap malt and one made with more expensive malt. It’s your call, but I say you should only consider cheaper ways of making beers after you’ve made them the best way you can afford to make them first. That way, you have an idea of how good that style of beer can be (assuming you performed your job as brewmaster well) :slight_smile: , and then you can make informed decisions of what it does and doesn’t need to be made with. Perfection first, economics later. That’s how I approach my beers. But that’s just me.[/quote]

Well said brother. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing but lately I’ve been interested the challenge of being as economical as possible while still keeping quality as #1, not to mention I’m broke. I’ve been trying to narrow yeast strains to only a few and focusing on brewing a handful of styles really well with as many common ingredients as possible. I feel this philosophy will benefit me anyways if I ever take the leap into trying to make a career out of brewing. But for now I am a homebrewer and if I feel the need to brew a beer with a 6 base malts, 4 yeast stains and every hop that starts with the letter C I damn right will.

What about the Rahr pale ale malt instead of the 2-row? I sometimes use part M O and part PNW pale ale malt. It costs the same as 2-row but is closer in character to the M O.

I usually don’t use malts like MO, Vienna, Munich, etc. enough to justify buying full sacks, when I have a brew that needs one or more of those malts I just buy what I need for it. It costs a little more but I’m not sitting on some malt that I may not use for a year or so.

Theres a definite remedy for that, MAKE MORE BITTERS!

As for diluting MO, why would you want half as much of that wonderful flavor? I’d rather have half as much beer. Then brew another half batch of pale ale with Rahr 2-row. Best of both worlds.

I sort of see it as a style thing for me. For my American stuff I use Rahr, cause usually hops drown out
any malt thing. But Belgians, Germans, British, it’s about the malts and I use the best I can, but there again that’s just my taste.

For english styles, I use all british malt, but when I am making an APA or IPA, I use about 50/50 british/american base malt. Commonly I use Golden Promise and “dilute” it with an equal amount of GW or Briess 2-row.

I use about 50/50 2-row and MO for my IPA’s with very good results. No crystal malt needed.

MO on Brits and Scots (unless I have Golden Promise for the Scots), Avengard or Bestmalz for my pilsners and BoPils, 2 row with corn for my American lagers, and Vienna for an authentic (no Crystal) Vienna lager. Use what tastes right. I use Briess 2 row for American beers, but I don’t make many of those any more (hop bombs are just not my thing anymore - I like them as the rare alternative to my preferred styles). Not that I have anything against you drinking the tongue scraping IBU maxed DIPAs, if you like them that much. They are interesting in the amount of hops used and the challenge to maintain balance, but really…(did I just say this out loud?). Back to the thread - don’t dilute MO when you brew British.

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