Chapter 20


Changing Flavors

What if you want a maltier tasting beer? A bigger, more robust malt flavor is usually achieved by adding more malt / malt extract to the recipe. A 1.050 OG beer is usually maltier than a 1.035 OG beer. If you do this, be sure to increase the bittering hops a bit to keep it balanced. This brings up another way to enhance the maltiness of a beer and that is to cut back on the flavor and aroma hop additions. You can keep the total hop bitterness and balance the same by adding more bittering hops at the beginning of the boil, but by cutting back on the middle and late hop additions, the malt flavors and aromas will be more dominant.

But what if you don't want the increased alcohol level that comes with an increase in gravity? The solution will depend on what flavor profile you are trying to achieve. If you want a maltier flavor, use a small amount of one of the toasted malts (e.g. vienna, munich, biscuit, etc.) in place of some of the base malt to help produce the malty aromas of German Bocks and Oktoberfests. If you want a richer, sweeter flavor, then use the next higher lovibond level of caramel malt to give a higher proportion of unfermentable sugars than the preceding caramel malt. If the flavor of the beer is too caramel sweet, then do the opposite. You can add Carastan or Crystal 15 or 25 malt to produce a lighter, honey-like sweetness instead of the caramel of Crystal 60 and 80 or the bittersweet of Crystal 120 and Special B.