Marris Otter alternative

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Bazz
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Marris Otter alternative

Post by Bazz » Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:25 am

Hi all, i have a quick question about pale ale malt, a few months ago i bought a 25kg sack of Warminster Marris Otter malt and have used it for half a dozen or so brews, and on each of those i have missed my target gravity by a couple of points, previously i had always been spot on when using smaller bags of malt (3kg) so i was wondering if maybe the malt was just not as good. Anyway the sacks nearly gone and i'm looking to get another 25kg sack and was thinking of using something other than Marris Otter, most of the main suppliers sell other pale malts which are generally £10-15 cheaper than MO so was wondering if anyone has any recommendations?

Thanks.

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Hairybiker
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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Hairybiker » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:03 pm

I had no issues using Crisp Pale Malt. I have had issues with the Minch Malt, but mostly down to the crush. (Poor extract & stuck mash issues)
I can recommend the Crisp from Worchester Hop Shop used it many many times with no issues. (And will be ordering a new sack next week)
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Jim
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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:05 pm

Agree with HB - the crush is critical. If that's wrong it doesn't matter how good the malt is, you'll get reduced extraction.
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Goulders
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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Goulders » Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:06 pm

Never had an issue with Warminster. Last brew I got 85%. Try mixing the grain up in the sack

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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by sbond10 » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:07 pm

Try minch works read on my system. Having issues with bairds tho

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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by rpt » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:00 pm

I've used Crisp MO, Irish Stout malt and Muntons Propino and all have given me the same extraction.

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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Dennis King » Thu Mar 17, 2016 10:07 pm

I rate Crisp's as good as any. The maltmiller's crush is spot on.

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Kev888
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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Kev888 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:52 am

Some retailers buy the malt ready crushed, others crush it themselves so even the same brand can differ a little, as well as the variety. So (not having my own mill) I prefer to buy the same product from the same reliable retailer each time to improve consistency.

There may be small differences in yield between the varieties, though IMO small enough that in a typical homebrew setup and scale they are barely detectable and (for me) seem insignificant compared to factors like price, consistency and availability. Some would say flavour too, which I'm sure is true but very subtle - I rarely brew anything so free of other flavours that I can personally tell much difference between (normal) pale malt varieties.

FWIW Pearl is often said to give one of the better yields per £ by commercial breweries, partly because its more disease resistant so cheaper to grow, but I haven't tried it myself (or even seen it available at many homebrew retailers). The homebrew world often doesn't see the kinds of prices that commercial buyers do so this may not follow through to us, though thankfully nor do we need to worry so much about tiny margins.
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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Bazz » Fri Mar 18, 2016 7:58 pm

Thanks for your replies, i'll have a browse and try something new, see if it improves, if not i may have to adjust other bits in my set up.

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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Kev888 » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:23 pm

Yep, always worth experimenting. One suggestion from my own experience though, don't get 'too' fixated on yield or efficiency. On commercial scales these are very important, and within homebrew they can become something to brag about, BUT they are not the same as quality or consistency, and the latter can get compromised if you reach too far, perhaps at surprisingly little saving on grain.
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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Pinto » Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:49 pm

Kev888 wrote:Yep, always worth experimenting. One suggestion from my own experience though, don't get 'too' fixated on yield or efficiency. On commercial scales these are very important, and within homebrew they can become something to brag about, BUT they are not the same as quality or consistency, and the latter can get compromised if you reach too far, perhaps at surprisingly little saving on grain.
Agreed - as a homebrewer,I've always seen "efficiency" as a pissing contest :) - unless you're getting 20% extraction, then its the quality of the make that matters. Few 0.1%'s either way doesnt worry me.
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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Kingfisher4 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:17 pm

Would it be fair to guess that using MO malts has more to do with tradition and perhaps even snob value than flavour?

It will be interesting to see whether I can tell any difference between the Crisp pale malt just received from MM and the previous MO brews.

I suspect not!

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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by charliemartin » Mon Jul 23, 2018 6:17 pm

I found the Hook Head Minch Malt gave me much better efficiency than any other malts, but I crush the malt myself. Not sure if pre-crushed would be as good. Flavour was very good too.
Currently using Crisp Extra Pale Clear Choice malt which gives slightly less efficiency, but clear beer even when I forgot the Protafloc one time.

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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Robwalkeragain » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:07 pm

MO is all over the place. Afaik it only accounts for about 5% of the UK pale malt market so it's really not the be all and end all. Crisp Best Ale is a good sub, but Vienna is a much better highly modified base malt in my opinion, very smooth and delicious but packed with flavour.

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Re: Marris Otter alternative

Post by Kev888 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:22 pm

Kingfisher4 wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:17 pm
Would it be fair to guess that using MO malts has more to do with tradition and perhaps even snob value than flavour?
Not really, or at least not only; it is still one of the best varieties you can easily get for home brewing. It does have its own flavour, whether you can tell in certain recipes may be another matter (I generally can't but then typically have significant other/darker grains in my beers too). But it is also particularly good for having low nitrogen and protein levels, and protein in the finished beer is something we generally work at reducing; it is related to haze later on.

There are more modern types of course, but in general their development has tended towards being cheaper (through higher yield and disease resistance), they're not intrinsically better. Apparently the big breweries prefer cheapness, even if they have to work a bit harder with it.

There are some that I won't choose, because they are much higher in nitrogen and not very much cheaper (in the homebrew market) - so it seems a false economy. Many are still quite acceptable though, it just depends on what your priorities are. I will happily use other varieties like flagon, but if trying to make a particularly good quality beer (especially if pale) I will usually choose MO purely because I think it makes a small difference and is easily available to us.
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