Crystal & Munich Malt in APA/AIPA?

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matt76

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Do you guys tend to add a bit of Crystal and/or Munich malts to your APAs/AIPAs?

Up to now I've tended to go with simply a base malt (variously MO, GP or lager) and a load of hops. I note that in the bible GH uses only base malt in his American and 60min IPAs. And I believe St Austell Proper Job is just base malt too.

On the other hand a number of other recipes I've seen in books, trustyworthy web sources and commercial brews use (roughly) 10% Munich and 10% Crystal malt (of one form or another, be it light, medium, dark or the fancy Weyermann CaraXYZ ones).

Recently I've done a few brews like this, I can certainly tell the difference and I think I like it (what matters most I suppose!) - now I just need to fine tune the balance between sweetness, bitterness and hoppiness.

I'm just curious to gauge opinion - do you use Munich and/or Crystal (or similar) in your APAs/AIPAs, and if so what kind and how much?

Cheers,

Matt
 

samale

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I have used both. If you look at the early pale ale like Sierra Nevada they use base malt plus crystal typically west coast style. I have used everything from Munich, Vienna, crystal,biscuit, Cara range, rye, oats of every kind, Honey malt. I don't really stick to recipes I try different things and see what I like and and works for me.
Personally I love honey malt or try golden naked oats if you want it hazy.
 

Sadfield

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I do. Particularly, Simpson's Munich at 10-20%, as I use Extra Pale Planet as my base malt, so the Munich adds some colour back, as well as boosting maltiness and body without sweetness. If I use Crystal malts, it'll be upto 5% of Caramalt.
 

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Yes, sometimes up to 15% Munich and then possible also a little crystal but not much only arround 5% and usually the lighter end of the crystal spectrum
 

samale

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Crystal has seemed to fall in popularity recently for IPA/pale ale.
 

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Yeah used each and even both at the same time...I do like Munich.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I'm just curious to gauge opinion - do you use Munich and/or Crystal (or similar) in your APAs/AIPAs, and if so what kind and how much?
Define "AIPA" - super-fruity NEIPA or super-bitter West Coast style?

The world in general has moved away from crystal in the 21st century - compare all the golden bitters that are replacing brown bitters in British pubs - but it's also a question of style. Those old-style West Coast IPAs often had 15-20% US caramel malt (less intense than UK crystal) just to balance the unbalanced amount of bitterness they had. Modern New England style beers have little kettle bitterness, more fruit, often more interesting UK base malts and more yeast character, so they don't need the caramel/crystal in the same way - a lot will have none or maybe just a hint of honey malt or something.
 

MyQul

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Define "AIPA" - super-fruity NEIPA or super-bitter West Coast style?

The world in general has moved away from crystal in the 21st century
I haven't. I put 10% in my bitters. I love the caramelly sweetness crystal brings. What the betting that in 1/5/10 years the latest 'beer fashion' will be loads of crystal in beers?
 

strange-steve

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I think a little Munich and crystal adds a touch of depth to an IPA/APA stopping them from being one-dimensional. In Brewing Classic Styles the American IPAs and APAs all have crystal and/Munich in them. For a long time I've been wanting to brew a Munich and Amarillo smash, to me it sounds amazing.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I haven't. I put 10% in my bitters. I love the caramelly sweetness crystal brings. What the betting that in 1/5/10 years the latest 'beer fashion' will be loads of crystal in beers?
Hey, whatever floats your boat.

But these things tend to change on a generational timescale - think of how long it took mild to disappear. And don't underestimate how your choice is dictated by geography - I grew up on Boddies and Yorkshire bitters, so don't think lots of crystal is the norm for everyone. Heck, even Fuller's only use 7.2% light crystal in their main partigyle, and frankly that's about as much as I can take without sugar to dry it out. But the move towards golden ales outside Manchester has been one of the big trends in beer for over a decade now, it's not something that will reverse overnight.
 

matt76

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Hi all,

Thanks for the many and varied responses, really interesting stuff.

It's notable that most would be quite sparing with the crystal malt.

It's an interesting contrast to:
- Lagunitas IPA recipe
- "Simple Homebrewing" (pub. 2019)
- Various "Make your best..... IPA/APA" recipes by Josh Weikert at beerandbrewing.com (roughly 2-4 years old now)

... All of which suggest about 10% each Munich and crystal for these beers and are not exactly ancient.

(I'm thinking more traditional by the way, not NEIPA).

Food for thought, and more experimenting for me.

Cheers,

Matt
 
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jjsh

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Just to consider things, If I was doing a UK IPA, then I might well use crystal, depending on what point in history it was from. If it was meant to be a post war IPA then I probably would; if it was Victorian, then no.
 

Northern_Brewer

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- Lagunitas IPA recipe
- "Simple Homebrewing" (pub. 2019)
- Various "Make your best..... IPA/APA" recipes by Josh Weikert at beerandbrewing.com (roughly 2-4 years old now)

... All of which suggest about 10% each Munich and crystal for these beers and are not exactly ancient.

(I'm thinking more traditional by the way, not NEIPA).
Well Lagunitas is a good example of a classic West Coast IPA - it's 25 years old. And of course you'll get modern recipes for "old" styles - a recipe for say 18th-century porter is not going to start using Citra or Galaxy. But my sense is that if someone was to do a "modern" West Coast IPA, they'd still use some US caramel malt, but less than Lagunitas does.

But crystal use Stateside seems to have peaked with the IBU race of the early 2010s when you needed a more meaty grist to balance the bitterness, it's easy to forget that the New England thing only really started going mainstream in 2015 or so.
 

MickDundee

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Well Lagunitas is a good example of a classic West Coast IPA - it's 25 years old. And of course you'll get modern recipes for "old" styles - a recipe for say 18th-century porter is not going to start using Citra or Galaxy. But my sense is that if someone was to do a "modern" West Coast IPA, they'd still use some US caramel malt, but less than Lagunitas does.

But crystal use Stateside seems to have peaked with the IBU race of the early 2010s when you needed a more meaty grist to balance the bitterness, it's easy to forget that the New England thing only really started going mainstream in 2015 or so.
It’s beers like Laguinitas and 13 Guns that put me off American West Coast IPAs - I always thought they were over bitter and cloying with not enough hop aroma.
 

An Ankoù

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Do you guys tend to add a bit of Crystal and/or Munich malts to your APAs/AIPAs?

Up to now I've tended to go with simply a base malt (variously MO, GP or lager) and a load of hops. I note that in the bible GH uses only base malt in his American and 60min IPAs. And I believe St Austell Proper Job is just base malt too.

On the other hand a number of other recipes I've seen in books, trustyworthy web sources and commercial brews use (roughly) 10% Munich and 10% Crystal malt (of one form or another, be it light, medium, dark or the fancy Weyermann CaraXYZ ones).

Recently I've done a few brews like this, I can certainly tell the difference and I think I like it (what matters most I suppose!) - now I just need to fine tune the balance between sweetness, bitterness and hoppiness.

I'm just curious to gauge opinion - do you use Munich and/or Crystal (or similar) in your APAs/AIPAs, and if so what kind and how much?

Cheers,

Matt
To tell you the truth, I've yet to make an APA I'm satisfied with. Started by making the recipe with a very complex malt profile in Morton's book and I'm not impressed. It seems too strong for the style and too complicated, too for what (unless I'm mistaken) should be to the Americans what Best Bitter is to the Brits. Made some of Greg Highes' AIPA with a much simpler profile and less dangerous drinkablilty. It's a lot better, but I'm not happy with it yet. Can anyone recommend a typical, easy-to-find commercial brew of this style. I've been sort of thinking around Anchor Liberty, but that seems a bit strong, too.
 

Northern_Brewer

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It's one of those weird things, that at times it seems we have more APAs than the US does, they're more into IPAs of 5.5-7% whereas APA fits our culture (and pint size!) better and we've pushed the ABV down a bit (see eg Beavertown Neck Oil), although they're now following with what they call Session IPAs like Founder's All-Day (4.7% although you may want to research the way Founder's treat their staff), .

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the obvious benchmark although at 5.6% it's a touch on the high side, they have a recipe here - 2 row with 8% 60L US caramel malt to 1.054 OG, Chico yeast (ie US-05/WLP001/1056) and a load of Cascade to 38IBU.
 

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