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English Crystal

Can you really substitute English Crystals with the equivalent Crystal lovibond? I have tried once and flavor was very different. I see the NB Bourbon Porter calls for .5lb English Dark Crystal and wondering if I could just sub in C80 or if flavor would be off.

The flavors are quite different, and at that quantity I’d guess you could taste it.

I don’t think a half a pound will make much of a difference. If I were putting an order together I’d get the dark crystal but if I were brewing from my inventory and all I had was C80 I’d use it.

You must be one of those super tasters Sean, I don’t think I could tell the difference at that amount.

I don’t really have all that good a palate actually. I just know that in my APA I can tell the difference at 4% of the grist. In a porter, maybe not so much.

If you chew on english and american crystal type grains it’s pretty obvious what the differences are. I’d recommend ordering some briess crystal 40 and some carastan and seeing the difference. You could do the same with other color ranges as well. I bought some Fawcett85/90 once which had way more flavor than Amer. C120.

My guess would be that the darker the cara, the more pronounced the differences become. As mentioned above, tasting the grain is a great way to distinguish differences…

Flavor varies quite a bit just from maltster to maltster.

True that the flavors vary but the English is always more intense IME. I would almost suggest using one color block lower if you are subbing english for american in a recipe, ie 40 lov english instead of 60 lov Briess.

British use more modified malts for their caramel malts. So there will have fuller, richer flavor components. American crystal has a more singular caramelized flavor.

Thomas Fawcett & Sons Dark Crystal (which comes in I, II and III) is very nice. You can really tell the difference over standard “British Crystal 55L” and definitely over American crystal. This stuff is a deep, saturated red/amber color that is beautiful and the deep malty flavor is fantastic. I used it in a couple of bitters and ESBs and my opinion is that it’s the stuff to use if you want some amount of authenticity. Cheers.

If I had to sub in American crystal I’d use about 50% more, or maybe some biscuit/Victory in addition to the crystal. But I won’t because I have good supplies of British crystals.

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