Weyermann Abbey Malt – A new kid on the block

Welcome to Kettle to Keg’s new Malt Profile Series, where we’ll break down the extensive grain list that we carry here at the shop.  This series will bring you detailed information on grains so you don’t have to hunt it down yourself.  Today we will be talking about Weyermann Abbey Malt.  This is a newer product for Weyermann and there is not a lot of information about it yet.  As a matter of fact I have not used this malt, which was the impetus for starting this series with this particular grain.

To business then! This is technically a base malt, however be it one with a weak diastatic factor (the ability to convert starch to sugar).  It has some power, but needs to be mixed with true base malts for full conversion.  It is 15 – 19 Lovibond and has a pronounced “malty flavor”, according to the Weyermann website. Due to its weaker diastatic power and the darkness of the color of the grain, the maltsters say that it can be used for up to 50% of the grain bill and would be good in Belgian, Trappist/Monastic, fruit and faro type beers.  In doing my research on this malt, I read a few of recipes and comments that said this grain gave a complex flavor profile when used in a fairly simplistic grain bill.

I am planning on using this grain in my next batch of blonde ale, which I often use as a test bed beer when I will be adding new malts (as I recently did with rye malt).  The modifications (below) give me 16 % of the Abbey malt in the grain bill.  I usually like to start slow when adding new grains, and then brew between two and three renditions of the given beer with increasing amounts of the new malt.  I do this because natural products rarely progress in a linear fashion, usually topping out at some point or becoming more over whelming with smaller inputs.  This practice allows the brewer to dial in the amount of a particular grain, as well as accounting for seasonal variability with very minor adjustment in the grain bill.  The question begs, however, will this be a Belgian/abbey blonde or a blonde with a new back ground flavor?  Only time will tell!

 Blonde Ale* (Original)

Blonde Ale (Modified)

Grain

11.5 pounds – 2 Row

0.5 pounds -Crystal10L

Hops

2.0 ozWillamette4.8 % 60 Min

Mash

152 deg for 1 hour

* From “Brewing Classic Styles”

Grain

10 Pounds – 2 Row

2 Pound – Abbey Malt

Hops

2.0 ozWillamette4.8 % 60 Min

Mash

152 deg for 1 hour

 

If you do choose to brew with this grain, try to do a side-by-side recipes to analyze the difference that this grain makes in your beer. And by all means – bring some into the shop to let us taste what you have done!

T-90 versus T-45 Hop Pellets….What does it mean?

When you shop for hops, do you ever wonder what the “T – 90” description means? Because it is on the Kettle to Keg website, we felt that it should be explained to better aid our customers in selecting their hops and for our advanced brewers who are trying to dial in their process.  At Kettle to Keg  we carry hops in the three major forms: pellets, plugs, and cones, but it will be the pellets we talk most about as they are the most available and easiest to use.  As a quick review let us look at the other two styles:

Cones are simply the flowering bud of the hop plant that has been dried and are then added direct to the boil or the fermentors/keg for dry hopping.  They tend to add a lot of chunky material that plugs siphons and air locks.

Plugs are ground hops pressed into a disk about half an inch around and quarter of an inch thick.  These were initially made for cask beer so they would fit through the bung.  They also add chunky material to the wort/beer causing the same problem noted above.

Pellets come in two forms: T-45 and T-90 formats which are determined by the way they are processed.  T-90 Pellets are milled into a powder and then squeezed through a die. They retain all of the vegetative matter that came in the hop cones and can be used as a full replacement for cone hops.  T-45 pellets follow a similar process except that when they are milled it is with the addition of heat to make the lupulin less sticky.  Once through the mill some of the vegetative matter is removed and the remaining material is then pressed through a die to make the familiar pellet shape.  T-45 pellets can also be used a full replacement for hop cones.  The difference between the two types of pellets is that with the T-45 version you get he same alpha acid numbers with less over all material in the kettle at the end of the day.  Because hop pellets have small relative surface area in relation to leaf and plug hops, pellets have a lower oxygen exposure per surface area than the other forms, which means a drop in degradation over time.

So how should we protect our hops once we have them home? There are two major hop destroying entities; light and oxygen.  Heat and bacteria are two more that play a lesser destructive role. Without going into a long and boring lecture on the chemistry of hop degradation, suffice it to say that light causes the hops to degrade and produce a chemical that is akin to that of a skunks spray and oxygen causes hops to oxidize decreasing the life of the hop oils.  Both reactions shorten the already short shelf life of hops. The way we protect our little bittering buddies is to shelter them in a dark, cool place (like a freezer) and store them in an oxygen impermeable vessel.  The best way to ensure that you are getting the freshest hops is to shop at Kettle to Keg where our stock of hops rotates fair frequently. 
Cheers!

The K-2-K Team.

Hop of the Month – Admiral and Bramling

Admiral Hop Pellets

We carry Admiral Hops at 10.5% AA (type 90 pellets) Admiral originated in theUnited Kingdomby crossing the Northdown and Challenger varieties.  It is primarily a bittering hop due to it’s high alpha acid concentration.

Hop Profile

  • Alpha Acid: 13 -16%
  • Beta Acid: 5 – 8%
  • Co-Humulone: 37 – 45%

Aroma: herbal, woody, minor citrus

Hop Substitution:Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Challenger, Chinook, Northdown

Beer Styles: ESB, APA, BelgianIndia Pale Ale, Imperial IPA, English IPA, Pale Ale, Bitter.

Bramling Cross Hop Pellets

We carry Bramling Cross (UK) Hops at 5.0% AA (type 90 pellets).  Bramling Cross originated inUnited Kingdomand is a dual purpose hop useful both for bittering and flavor additions.

Hop Profile

  • Alpha Acid: 5 – 8%
  • Beta Acid: 2 – 3%
  • Co-Humulone: 33 – 35%

Aroma: fruity, herbal, spicy

Hop Substitutions: Golding,East Kent Golding, Progress

Beer Styles: Golden Ale,Rye Ale, IPA, Stout, Imp Stout, Pale Ale, Holiday Ale