From the HBD Archive
From: polstra!larryba@uunet.UU.NET (Larry Barello)
Subject: Re: Lager vs Ale malts?
Date: 1992-07-20 06:06:36 GMT

In HBD #924 Brian Bliss writes:
>...
>Oatmeal and steel-cut oats do not contain amylase enzyme, which is
>necessary to convert the starchy oats into sugars. Lager malt
>is a good source of amylase, or you can add diastatic malt syrup
>...
It is interesting the notion of a "lager" malt. Now I have no
doubt that there is such a grain out there, but I believe that the
realities of modern brewing make lager malt archaic. Let me explain.

I have heard, and claimed that most US lager malts are in fact
fully modified and can be mashed with a single step infusion. I have
also hear that most German brewers are now using single step infusion
mashing.

Last weekend, at the Oregon Brewers Festival, I had a long discussion
with some maltsters from Great Western Malting (GWM) regarding their
Pale Malt. This stuff is a 2-Row blend of fully modified malt. The
reason it is fully modified is to MAXIMIZE the enzyme content - needed
for the high adjunct ratios in Bud, etc. beers. It is blended to
produce a highly consistent product. The big boys simply demand that.
This is the same base malt used by many west coast microbrewers. It
is also the same malt that many, erroneously, call Klages. yes, there
is klages in it, but ther eis also Harrington, Crystal and some other
names I now forget. If your malt supplier has Huge Baird malts, their
"klages" malt is most likely the GWM pale malt as GWM distributes HB
specialties.

The bottom line is that step mashing is probably a quaint practice that
is a hangover from big commercial breweries that use lots of rice and
corn (where step mashing is still needed). For most practical purposes,
using all malt recipes with US and european malts single step infusion
mashing is adequate and sufficient and won't produce chill haze.
I forgot to ask them about their 6-row stuff, but I believe the same
story holds as members of the Brews Brothers of Seattle have reported
single step infusion mashing of 6-Row working out just fine.

So, anyone else out there given up step mashing when doing all malt
recipes and been satisfied with the results? Anyone else have any
evidence to support or debunk my claims, above?

I look forward to hearing from Y'all.

Cheers!

- Larry Barello

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