Rye malt

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CD

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I see that St Austell Brewery have re-branded HSD - which officially stands for ‘Hick’s Special Draught’, but is universally known in Cornwall as ‘High Speed Diesel’ - as plain ‘Hicks’. Available from Tesco’s in bottle-conditioned form, it is a magnificent drink, and lists Rye as one of the ingredients.

Has anybody any experience with incorporating Rye malt in brewing an English Bitter, because I would be interested in hearing about it.
 

An Ankoù

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I've used rye malt in a bitter. I'll have to look up my notes, but it wasn't more than 10% It gives the flavour of rye, like rye bread. I wasn't especially enamoured of it, as I recall. If I were to do it again, I think I'd use rye crystal malt rather than barley crystal malt. It goes well with Red-X malt, but that's hardly an English bitter.
A few small-scale trial brews might be in order rather than your "Let's see if we can refloat the Titanic" gyles! :laugh8:
 
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CD

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A few small-scale trial brews might be in order rather than your "Let's see if we can refloat the Titanic" gyles! :laugh8:
Unfortunately I now have neither the equipment nor the patience to do small brews – it’s all or nothing! What I might try is just replacing ½ Kg of the 1.5Kg of crystal malt with rye crystal malt. That should be barely detectable in 30 gallons.

I’ve got a long time to think about it anyhow, as my assistant brewer is among the 5000 people who went to the Newquay Board Masters festival, and tested Covid positive as a result. He has been self-isolating for almost a fortnight, tested positive yesterday, and is slowly coming out of it.
 

Northern_Brewer

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I know some commercial brewers who like some rye malt to go with Goldings as they reckon it complements it. I'm not the most massive fan of it in general, but I can sort of see what they mean.
 
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PhilBrew

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Hi CD

When I was researching into making an (American) Rye Pale Ale a while ago I looked at a fair few recipes across the internet and there seemed to be two main approaches used, either ... to use a big slug (30-40% or more of the grainbill) of the base malt as Malted Rye, or ... to use around 4-5% Cara/Crystal Rye (in place of other cara/crystal grains in a "typical" Pale Ale grainbill) :?: ... having since brewed beers using both approaches I'd say taking the Cara/Crystal Rye approach gives more of a pronounced Rye spiciness than even a very high proportion of Rye Malt (I'm currently drinking a (West Coast) Rye IPA that had 55% Rye Malt in the grainbill and the rye impressions are very subtle (although they may just be struggling to show themselves through a $hit-load of hops)) ... I wonder whether the additional roasting of the grains to cara/crystal-ise them emphasises those rye impressions somehow :?:

Anyways, I have no idea whether that 1.5kg of crsytal malt represents 5% of your grainbill or 15% ... but in the interests of trying to maintain some "balance" of the flavours in a Bitter, I'd suggest you wouldn't want to go much above 2%-ish of Crystal Rye ... as a starter for ten wink...

Cheers, PhilB
 

Clint

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Hiya CD,only used it in a APA..I like the spicy flavour it can give....but as mentioned use in a traditional bitter may make it just not that! Saying that though I have a brew book with a bitter recipe that adds black pepper...I had the book to hand..its in Jon Finch Craft Beer,Teasel Bitter from Stroud Brewery, 19 litre batch size,25g crushed black peppercorns at 5 minutes.
 
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Cheshire Cat

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Hiya CD,only used it in a APA..I like the spicy flavour it can give....but as mentioned use in a traditional bitter may make it just not that! Saying that though I have a brew book with a bitter recipe that adds black pepper...I had the book to hand..its in Jon Finch Craft Beer,Teasel Bitter from Stroud Brewery, 19 litre batch size,25g crushed black peppercorns at 5 minutes.
That recipe is not to be sneezed at 😂
 

Slid

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There is a recipe in the "new" CAMRA / GW book "Red Spider Rye" at ~ 12% grain bill. I did this about a year or so ago and thought it tasted vaguely of cardboard. Also requires Rice Hulls in the mash, otherwise bad issues with stuck mash and stuck sparge.
 

the baron

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Do use Oat or rice husks with rye as it will generally give a stuck mash as Slid says
 
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CD

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Thanks everybody for your experience with rye. My interest was aroused because of the, to me, much improved flavour of Hicks Special Draught, and appearance of the word ‘rye’ on the listed ingredients. Anyhow I contacted the Brewery via their website, said how much I was enjoying ‘Hicks’, and speculated that it was not the same recipe. I got the following reply from the ‘brewing team’.

"Yes it is. It’s always been in the beer but new legislation requires each cereal to be listed separately."

So in view of that, and the general warnings from others, I reckon I will stick to my tried and tested brew. I almost broke the rule that if it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it!
 

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I started brewing with rye about 20 years ago. I can say with confidence, if you aren't using at least 20% in your grist bill, you're wasting your time. When I started using rye, there was virtually nothing in print about it. Now everybody says how gummy it is. Malted rye isn't any more gummy than malted wheat; another hull-less grain. When you start brewing with raw rye, that's quite a different story.
My typical pale rye ale contains about 33% malted rye and I don't generally add rice hulls to the mash as I lauter slowly.
 

Cheshire Cat

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I agree when I made a Rye Pale ale I used 38.5% rye with 58% Maris otter and the rest Carapils. No rice hulls either.
 
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