Several times I’ve experienced beers with a distinct grain flavor. By grainy, I’m not talking about a grainy texture or maltyness. Rather, it tasted more like chewing on fresh grain or even cereal. I’m thinking it may have been in wheat beers each time, but it definitely is common to all wheat beers. Can anyone help me put a finger on what this flavor is or how I would reproduce it in one of my own recipes?
Sounds like you are looking for more malty flavors in your beer. I have a couple of thoughts:
Use fresh grain. I have grains that have been sitting in my basement for a couple of years, and I know I shouldn’t do that. If you want maximum malt flavor, buy your grains fresh for every batch.
Purposely shoot for low efficiency. You can do this very easily by using more grain and skipping the sparge. Your efficiency will only be in the low 50s, but since you will extract so little sugar but use so much grain, there is a balance to be struck between the two and doing a no-sparge beer will swing that balance all the way towards malt flavor. Try it and you’ll see for yourself.
Conversely, if you can achieve 90% or more efficiency, you might find as I have that your malt flavor suffers and even a high quality beer tastes somewhat lifeless and watery. It is for that reason that I congratulate anyone who can get consistent efficiency anywhere in the 70% range, which gives a very good balance between sugar extraction and malty flavor extraction. Make sense??