Warning Regarding Black Swaen Malt

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by scottakelly, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (471) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Because of some positive feedback regarding Swaen malts in a recent thread ( https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/pilsner-malt.527332/page-2 ) I decided to purchase a sack of Swaen Light Munich a few months ago. This thread is being done as a warning to others thinking of buying the product. I will shortly be emailing the retailer and LC Carlson.

    So, sack of grain is labeled as intended...

    [​IMG]

    I first used this malt on August 30 in a beer intended to be a fest beer. 80% pils and 20% light munich. The color of the grain immediately grabbed my attention.

    [​IMG]

    I knew immediately this was not light munich. I wondered if it was their dark munich, but the grain is very dark, even for a dark munich. I proceeded with brew day, expecting to now get a marzen instead of a fest bier. The wort color confirmed my suspicion.

    Now that the beer is ready, I am highly unhappy. This is not dark munich. No dark toast flavors. It has a dark fruit aspect to it similar to a dark crystal or special b. The color is an orange-red too, which I would not expect from a dark munich. It's a drinkable beer, if blindfolded I would call it an amber ale or lager, but nowhere close to the oktoberfest I was expecting.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly, I used this malt for another brew before knowing the results. I'll be drinking amber lager for awhile, crossing my fingers for some satisfaction for my wasted money and efforts.

    I also bought a sack of Swaen Pilsner when I purchased the light munich, which I have not got into yet. Hopefully I will not be burned twice.

    Tagging @plaztikjezuz who has had good success with some of their malts.
     
    SFACRKnight likes this.
  2. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (471) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    For some reason I was thinking the malster was Black Swaen before posting and not just Swaen. Apologies before someone points it out.
     
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,446) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Did you taste the malt? Is it glassy?
     
    utahbeerdude likes this.
  4. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (706) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    This appears to be a caramel malt...not a base malt
    http://theswaen.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TheSwaen_GOLDSWAEN_MUNICH_LIGHT_specs_2016.pdf

    I've been on their site before...it sucks and so does their linguistics expert/website developer...hopefully their products are better than their choice of names for a caramel malt :grimacing:
     
    scottakelly and JackHorzempa like this.
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,730) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    Wow! I'm surprised we haven't heard about this already. This has the potential to burn a lot of homebrewers. Every retailer selling it as a Munich malt, widely accepted as a base malt, needs to know this.
     
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  6. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (724) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    yeah that will mess up a lot of brews . Still, at least you didn't do a 100% one....
     
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  7. frozyn

    frozyn Zealot (561) May 16, 2015 New York
    Premium Trader

    Sorry to hear about this, certainly a very disappointing situation. The heads up is very much appreciated -- thanks for looking out for the rest of us.
     
  8. csurowiec

    csurowiec Disciple (327) Mar 7, 2010 Maryland

    Thanks for the warnings about their Munich malt. I've used their Ale Malt many times and been very happy with it but never tried anything else from that company.
     
  9. HerbMeowing

    HerbMeowing Aspirant (288) Nov 10, 2010 Virginia

  10. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (471) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    I have not tasted the malt. It's not glassy.
     
  11. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (471) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    Asked and answered. Obviously no indication on the retail website that this was a caramel malt and not a base malt.
     
  12. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Disciple (365) May 2, 2006 Utah

    Not all caramel malts are glassy. Typically, those produced in a kiln, rather than a roaster, are not glassy, even though they have essentially the same properties as a glassy crystal malt.

    Definitely a poor naming choice.

    Cheers!
     
  13. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (706) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    What every homebrewer needs...55 lbs. of crystal malt
    I anticipate a Crystal Malt Police no knock warrant :astonished:
     
  14. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,371) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  15. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,730) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    Hopefully you have some local homebrewers or club that you can share the info and the malt with - it would take me a long time to get through the better part of a sack of caramunich-like malt,
     
  16. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (706) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    What's your point? They could have called it Cara Chrystal (and sort of did) or CrystaMunich.
    I think their problem was dividing their types of grain/malt by mostly color initially...all their "GoldSwaen" products are caramel malts...kinda forces consumers to use their terminology.

    Could be an EU patent/trademark/copyright thing
     
    #16 GreenKrusty101, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  17. scottakelly

    scottakelly Devotee (471) May 9, 2007 Ohio

    It might end up as donated chicken feed. Unfortunately few homebrewers in this area.
     
  18. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,371) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Yes on the EU part, as Weyermann has the trademarks for CaraMunich.
    They, Swaen, didn’t come up with a good name, at least for the US market.

    Weyermann markets CaraPils in the EU. In the US the call it CaraFoam, as Briess has the US trademark for CaraPils.
     
  19. secondbase

    secondbase Initiate (54) Jun 3, 2015 Tennessee

    The GoldSwaen line is all crystal malts. I hope you can find a use for this. I can't imagine going through a whole sack of crystal malt though....
     
  20. Hanglow

    Hanglow Crusader (724) Feb 18, 2012 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    vac pack it into 500g amounts maybe? chuck some in the freezer, some in the fridge etc. In ten years time you might have used it up :0
     
  21. Silver_Is_Money

    Silver_Is_Money Initiate (29) Jun 4, 2017 Ohio

    Swaen's bag labeling is as follows:

    Swaen = base malts and specialty malts such as Munich and Melanoidin
    GoldSwaen = caramel (crystal) malts
    WhiteSwaen = Wheat malts
    GreenSwaen = Organic malts
    BlackSwaen = Dark Roasted malts
    PlatinumSwaen = Spelt malt

    https://mashmadeeasy.yolasite.com
     
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  22. makisupapolice14

    makisupapolice14 Initiate (195) Jun 5, 2005 New York

    I used their brown malt in a brown ale last year it it came out quite sweet.
    Is it possible I added a
    Bunch of unintended Crystal (hence the sweeter than expected result?)
     
  23. Silver_Is_Money

    Silver_Is_Money Initiate (29) Jun 4, 2017 Ohio

    Brown is in the GoldSwaen family, and is a roughly 83L crystal malt.
     
  24. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,446) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Yes, the only malt they call "brown" is a caramel malt.

    I haven't used any of their malts. Maybe they are awesome. But some of their names are a huge fail.
     
  25. Silver_Is_Money

    Silver_Is_Money Initiate (29) Jun 4, 2017 Ohio

    Perhaps some of the blame lies with the re-packagers, wherein they are not specifying clearly the category classification of the malt, or they are not carrying over the Gold, Green, Black, etc... designators onto their smaller repackages.

    https://mashmadeeasy.yolasite.com/
     
  26. makisupapolice14

    makisupapolice14 Initiate (195) Jun 5, 2005 New York

    Well I guess I'm rebrewing that cigar
    City Maduro brown clone again soon with the correct brown malt haha. Thanks! Only beer I've ever brewed that while still pretty good,
    Was a bit too cloying
     
  27. plaztikjezuz

    plaztikjezuz Defender (617) Dec 19, 2004 Michigan

    The Swaen is what their base malts are called. The Gold Swaen is their crystal malts. Black Swaen is their roasted/toasted malts. White Swaen is their wheat (red), I do find this one confusing, since they used to carry a white wheat.

    This looks like it was labeled wrong. Right bag, wrong printed label. Sorry that happened on my advice. I do like the swaen malts.

    Call the company who you bought the bag from you will need to initiate the return/refund through the retailer.

    I can only imagine they will not want it back if it was shipped to you. I would ask for a little more than a refund since it screwed up two of your brews. They should send you a new bag of lt munich and give you a quarter to half your money back because of the wasted brews which is time which is money.

    Judging by the color it looks like the Gold Swaen Brown which is an 80 l crystal. IS it starchy or glassy when broke in half?
     
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  28. plaztikjezuz

    plaztikjezuz Defender (617) Dec 19, 2004 Michigan

    I agree the names are confusing as all hell. White Swaen Classic Wheat is red wheat. How dumb.

    But think of it like this....

    You had to learn what Carafa was at one point in time. You will pick these names up because the malt is worth the effort.
     
  29. thehaze

    thehaze Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2017 Romania

    I buy The Swaen because I live in Europe and never had the issue you have experienced.

    I am inclined to believe your LHBS screwed up, as I never received grain sacks with that expiry date stamp, like you have on yours. That is not common, so somebody made a mistake.

    Also, you should consider changing the title of the thread, as it is highly incorrect and clickbait-ish and has nothing to do with the reality of things. And nothing to do with the Black malt from that maltster.

    You sent the email to your retailer more than 2 weeks ago.

    May we know what the retailer said and how you are planning on closing this thread?
     
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  30. pweis909

    pweis909 Poo-Bah (1,730) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin
    Premium

    See the second post re:correcting the name.

    The Swaen brand, including all the color designations, is pretty new to North American markets that I know and had I encountered Gold Swaen Munich Light prior to this thread I would have assumed it was a light munich base malt, not a crystal malt. I think there is a valuable message in this thread for others unfamiliar with the brand and there is nothing click-baitish about that.
     
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  31. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Crusader (706) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    Giving a caramel malt a name like Munich Light will result in a lot of pissed off consumers...in many countries/languages...bad marketing is bad marketing. The thread title really should be changed, but not because it is click-bait....the casual reader won't read it in context and realize the maltster isn't to blame so much as a douche bag front office puke that doesn't know anything about brewing beer, imho.
     
    MrOH likes this.
  32. Silver_Is_Money

    Silver_Is_Money Initiate (29) Jun 4, 2017 Ohio

    Perhaps a moderator can change Black to Gold in the subject line for this thread. Clearly we are discussing GoldSwaen here and not BlackSwaen.
     
  33. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,446) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania

    I don't think the issue was the packaging (which LHBSs don't do anyway with whole sacks). The issue was naming a crystal malt "Munich Light." That's just a wholesale marketing fail, and the LHBS isn't responsible for that. This thread will probably keep some other customers from being tripped up by that.

    May we know what prompted you to join BA yesterday and post just one message?
     
  34. Silver_Is_Money

    Silver_Is_Money Initiate (29) Jun 4, 2017 Ohio

    Did Weyermann make a mistake when they named their CaraMunich line of three caramel Munich malts then? I believe this to be where Swaen got the idea for their naming method for their caramel/crystal line of malts with likely similar caramel Munich characteristics. Only they are telling us it is a caramel/crystal malt by the use of the word 'Gold' instead of 'Cara'.

    Weyermann CaraMunich = Caramel Munich
    GoldSwaen Munich = Caramel Munich

    Part of it may come down to how many variations of the name Caramunich Weyermann has trademarked or copyrighted. The EU's layer of governance may frown upon Swaen attempting to better identify their caramel Munich malts upon legal grounds. ???
     
    #34 Silver_Is_Money, Oct 31, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  35. thehaze

    thehaze Initiate (0) Oct 30, 2017 Romania

  36. Hogue2112

    Hogue2112 Initiate (0) Apr 7, 2016 Ohio

    I'd make a trip out for a beer trade and a few pounds! Could meet in Dayton?
     
  37. KenLenard

    KenLenard Initiate (0) May 14, 2018 Illinois

    Thought I would mention that I made a lager over the weekend and used 4 ounces (2.8% of the grist) of something called GoldSwaen Hell Caramel malt. I assumed it was like CaraHell and maybe it is. The color is 8°L but it really gave this gold lager a deep, rich color that I did not expect. Also, I have gone through a 55-lb sack of Swaen Pilsner malt (and I have another) and I like it. It made some great beers. I also went through a sack of Swaen Pale Ale Malt and I was not as impressed with it. It was a little flat and shallow-tasting.