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what is 20L, 80L crystal malt ?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by KimJohn, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. KimJohn

    KimJohn Initiate (15) Dec 14, 2012

    I have what appears to be a great recipe guide and am a new brewer. What does 20L or 80L or aat least 80L mean in the description of a crystal malt?
  2. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (595) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    KimJohn likes this.
  3. KimJohn

    KimJohn Initiate (15) Dec 14, 2012

  4. roast or toast : )
  5. This is my scale of looking at it for Crystal malt. Took this advice from the head brewer at 21st Amendment.

    10L = More Honey-like Flavor / Lightest Color Contribution
    60L = Perfect Caramel Flavor / Medium Color Contribution
    120L = Burnt Caramel Flavor / Darkest Color Contribution
    CBlack85 likes this.
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (750) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Lovibond simply represents the amount of color that will be imparted to the wort. It's not (directly) a degree of roast. Crystal malts are not necessarily roasted. Some are kilned.
  7. LeRose

    LeRose Advocate (595) Massachusetts Nov 24, 2011

    Correct...good catch. The web link explained it better.
  8. As are base malts, I believe.
  9. I use British crystal malts and personally find that in the higher end (90-120L) the malts tend to give dried fruit (raisin & dates) flavours.
  10. While there are kiln-caramel malts, I've never seen them in a homebrew shop. Cargill is the only company I know of that makes them and pretty much just for large brewers. Who am I missing?
  11. Yep. Base malts are kilned. Crystal/caramel are almost always roasted in a drum roaster except for kiln-caramel, which are partially caramelized malts, and like I mentioned above, I've never seen them in a homebrew shop or seen anyone talk about them here. The drum roaster lets the maltster seal in moisture at lower temperature, which is the stweing step that converts starch to sugar, before releasing the moisture and ramping the temperature up to higher than kilns can go, which fully caramelizes the sugars and gives the varying degrees of roasted flavors.
  12. "except for kiln-caramel, which are partially caramelized malts, and like I mentioned above, I've never seen them in a homebrew shop "

    Could this be what Briess is touting as their "different" Carapils? http://beeradvocate.com/community/threads/carapils-in-a-dipa.60341/

    I think there must be some marketing going on here : )

    Edit: I think I may have linked you to the wrong thread...go to Briess website if I sent you on a wild goose chase.
  13. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (750) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Dingeman's I think.
  14. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (750) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Edit: I'm looking now and seeing conflicting info on Dingemans Cara malts.
  15. No, not Briess carapils. Maybe that is how they make that, but that's now what I was thinking.

    Check this info on kiln vs roasted caramel malts from Cargill:

  16. I'm really asking for it here, but here goes ...caramel is caramel... no matter what...Lovibond (color/tint-flavors) differ, but aren't all Caramel/Crystals devoid of ensymes? WTF am I missing here?

    I guess it comes down to personal preference again.
  17. Good info!
  18. "The one objectively beneficial flavor characteristic of the kilned product is a comparatively lower astringency contributed to the finished beer" (from the Cargill website)

    anyone had astringency problems with regular caramel? I didn't think so.
  19. Not a problem, but I think there is a level is astringency contributed by darker caramel malts as part of their desirable flavor profile. If you are looking for some body/color but not any burnt caramel flavor, it makes total sense that the kiln-carmel equivalent could have a smooth, less roasted flavor. I think you are thinking of astringency as necessarily bad when that's not the case.
  20. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (200) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    911 - calling the crystal police.
  21. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (200) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    "what is 20L, 80L crystal malt ?"

    Only the worst thing in the world according some on this board.
  22. Kilned caramel is a kinder, gentler devil : )
  23. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (445) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    I don't remember where I read it, but is there any truth behind the lovabond being tied to how long the grain is kilned/steamed? 80L=80 minutes of cook time?
  24. The term Cara is pretty universal but the terms tied to them are specific to the maltings they come from.

    Cara-pils is a registered trademark for Briess Malt and it is a very low color 'Dextrin Malt'. Weyermann produces the same thing but has to sell it as 'Cara-foam', Great Western cleverly calls it 'Dextra-Pils'. It goes on and on. Trade names and specs are not universal...do your research!
  25. yinzer

    yinzer Savant (385) Pennsylvania Nov 24, 2006

    I don't think so. But I think of L in terms of finished beer. It's a measurement of how much light reflects through the beer. And when a beer is really dark they cut it in half and try again. There is a good schpeal about it on TBN. The color(?) show.

    I always thought the for grains it's a reverse engineering of what the result will be. Which is pretty much a silly number.
  26. It is a color rating. Color is developed by time and temperature.

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