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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through October 20, 2007 * Special B vs. 120L crystal < Previous Next >

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Tex Brewer
Member
Username: Texbrewer

Post Number: 185
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 216.203.59.252
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 05:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I made an oatmeal stout that called for 0.5 lb of 120L crystal. The guy at my LHBS convinced me to use Special B instead, which is also 120L. The stout is in the primary now. Any thoughts on the differences here? Was this a good idea?

(Message edited by texbrewer on September 21, 2007)
 

Skotrat
Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 222
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 24.60.78.162
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 06:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Special B and Crystal 120 are very similar.

Both in my mind have the same flavor profile.

Burnt Toffee/caramel

Raisin like tones

Special B is darker (140-160) and more robust than your average 120 crystal
 

Hophead
Senior Member
Username: Hophead

Post Number: 2641
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 167.4.1.41
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 06:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Special B is a little darker and has a slightly different taste than crystal120, but 8oz in a stout, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. You should be just fine...

Prost!

<curse my slow fingers>.... what skottie said...

(Message edited by hophead on September 21, 2007)
 

Jim O'Conner
Advanced Member
Username: Roguejim

Post Number: 965
Registered: 06-2003
Posted From: 67.133.58.165
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 09:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anyone tried British crystal 135L? It seems to be the preferred crystal malt in SSOS. So naturally I bought several pounds.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1313
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 10:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got what I believe to be the 135L British crystal from a reputable supplier by mistake - it was supposed to be medium British crystal, but there is no freakin' way it was. It has a similar semi-burnt raisin cookie taste as Special B, but the Special B seems more "figgy" and "datey" and the British seems more toasty.

They are different. It wouldn't ruin a British ale to use Special B, nor would it ruin a Belgian ale to use a touch of British crystal, but there is a discernable difference.
 

Jon Steinhauer
Senior Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 1157
Registered: 03-2002
Posted From: 74.36.10.235
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 - 11:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think the dark crystal malts are fantastic for porters and stouts. Simpson's Extra Dark Crystal (about 160L) adds nice body and some sweetness without the raisins.

I agree with Graham, when you are attempting to be true to a style by guidelines. For the same reason, I think using British crystal malts for color in a Vienna/Oktoberfest just isn't right compared to Munich or Vienna malts. The crystals give a little more complex malt aspect (some caramelly/fruity notes) whereas the Munich/Vienna malts I find simply toasty.

Does anyone know how Special B is made in comparison to dark crystal malts, which we pretty much know how they are made?
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 680
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 65.1.103.104
Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 02:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Graham,
Was that crystal, per chance, a Thomas Fawcett from North Country? If so, I have found that the medium TF British crystals (55L) look REALLY dark.. I am not sure how they process it, but it looking at the grain and tasting it, it seem much darker than the lovibond rating.. but it isn't. Most of the color is on the outside..
 

Ted Grudzinski
Member
Username: Tgrudzin

Post Number: 210
Registered: 08-2003
Posted From: 68.77.36.61
Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 02:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OK, I think your stout will be fine, but I find there is a difference between 120 crystal and Special B. Briess actually makes both, a 120 Crystal and an Extra Special Roast, listed at 130 L.

http://www.briess.com/brew/products.shtml#darkroast}
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1314
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 03:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tom, yes it was, and I'm still reasonably sure it was the wrong malt. I could be wrong.

I ordered a pound of Mittelfruh from them and got a pound of domestic Hallertau. They were very nice about fixing the problem, but the fact remains that I didn't get what I ordered the first time. Makes you wonder.
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 681
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 70.149.131.67
Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 - 11:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Graham,
All I can tell you is that we got a whole bag of it, with the lot analysis. And it brews like 55L crystal, even if it doesn't look or taste like it upon chewing the grain.

Like I said, most of the color is on the outside. We also bought 85L crystal, and the Dark II (forget what that Lov is), and you can line them up side by side and see the difference. I was extremely skeptical it was right also, but I am somewhat sure now.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1316
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 68.32.253.156
Posted on Sunday, September 23, 2007 - 12:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good to know, Tom, but I had a third discrepancy that I cannot recall specifically now. I placed a rather large order with them, and in addition to the other issues, I had a grain that was blatantly obviously NOT what they labelled it as, and another grain that was equally blatantly NOT what they labelled it as, but taken together, it was obvious that they had been switched. I wish I could remember what they were to add credence to my observation, but I cannot. Suffice it to say that it was beyond doubt, as opposed to suggestive in the case of the British crystal.

My vague recollection is that it was a British pale chocolate versus a regular chocolate. The more I think about it, the more I'm sure that's what it was. Pretty obvious in looking and tasting.
 

Skotrat
Member
Username: Skotrat

Post Number: 225
Registered: 07-2007
Posted From: 24.60.78.162
Posted on Sunday, September 23, 2007 - 02:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you are ordering full bags from North Country they will switch for what they feel is the closest available grain.

They will do this without notifying you.

In the notes section of the order I always write:

"No Order Substitutions; please contact buyer if item(s) are back ordered"

This has worked well and avoided incorrect orders arriving to my home.

I have only ordered less than a full bag once so I have no experience with them making mistakes or subs on small amounts.

I did question them this past winter when I had a 55 pound bag of flaked maize show up that only weighed 41 pounds.

Still though, the folks at North Country have always been receptive and extremely easy to deal with in my opinion.
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 2895
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 209.155.236.154
Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 - 09:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That's kinda weird about the flaked maize. I bought a C&B 10 lb. bag once that only weighed about 8 lbs. My lhbs owner made good on it.

What's up with flaked maize and weights?
 

Dave Coppes
Member
Username: Pale_dave

Post Number: 139
Registered: 07-2006
Posted From: 24.62.227.102
Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 - 10:15 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Maybe flaked maize is lighter than barley and therefore 55 pounds of it only weighs 41 pounds

I think DaVinci did some kind of experiment with flaked maize in Pisa and proved that, didn't he?

Joking aside, maybe they are just filling up a bag that holds the right amount of denser grain and they aren't weighing it at all.