From the HBD Archive
Subject: Darkening light extract with adjuncts
Date: 1990-05-21 21:31:00 GMT

About 3 weeks ago in Digest #401 Paul Kelly asked:
> Another question regarding bulk extracts: someone recently said that one can
> achieve better quality on dark beers by using light extract, and darkening the
> wort with specialty grains. What grains (and in what amounts) should I use
> to duplicate, say, John Bull unhopped dark with light extract? If I buy the

I knew in the back of my mind that the answer to this question was in a past
issue of ZYMURGY and I finally found it! I moved recently and haven't
unpacked all the boxes.

The winter 1989 ZYMURGY contains an article called "An Easy Guide to Recipe
Formulation" by Monica Favre and Tracy Loysen. They reference an AHA
publication, "How to Use Specialty Malts, with Malt Extract Conversions",
which I do not have. I have not used this method, but plan on tryying it the
next time I brew. Here are the adjunct malt characteristics and malt extract
conversions from the table in the article:

Adjunct Malt Characteristics:

black patent malt: dry, burnt, charcoal bitterness
roasted barley: coffee-like bitterness, roasted flavor
chocolate malt: dark color, toasted flavor
crystal malt: sweet, amber color, adds body

Malt Extract Conversions:

5 lbs. Very Dark Extract = 5 lbs. light or amber malt extract + 2 cups
black, roasted, or chocolate

5 lbs. Amber Extract = 5 lbs. light malt extract + 2 cups crystal malt
= 5 lbs. light malt extract + 1/2 cup black,
roasted, or chocolate

5 lbs. Medium Brown Extract = 5 lbs. light or amber malt extract + 1 cup black,
roasted, or chocolate malt + (optional) 1 or 2
cups crystal

The above article is an excellent source for those extract brewers who want to
do some of their own designing of recipes without taking the step towards


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