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Has anyone had any luck/experience using graham crackers in a pumpkin ale recipe? I've seen some people using graham cracker "extract" with some luck, however, I'm referring to using actual graham crackers in the mash and/or secondary. The intent is to get a rich "pie crust" flavor (ex: ST Pumking). FYI, I'm already planning to use Victory malt at about 10% of the grain bill. Thanks!

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    Experience - no. But I would advise against "dry grahaming". Starch in your beer is not a good thing. – Mołot Oct 7 '15 at 14:13
  • Try it and report back! – Wyrmwood Oct 14 '15 at 0:02
  • Graham is right... just use a toasted malt. That CaraBrown sounds nice. I've had luck with Marris Otter. – BoilerBrad Oct 15 '15 at 17:41
  • For a 10 gallon batch, I added 3.6 lbs (4 boxes) of Nabisco graham crackers in the mash. Should be ready to keg in a couple weeks, at which time I will report back on the results. Stay tuned... – Greg Oct 15 '15 at 19:04
  • Question for an SE guru...I have results to report back on using graham crackers in my recipe. Should I post as an "answer" to my original question or as a "comment" underneath? – Greg Nov 17 '15 at 21:15
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Don't use commercially produced Graham crackers, as these will contain unconvertible starches, oils, fats, preservatives, etc that can wreck your beer. Also, you can never assume that a finished flavor will transfer into a fermented product like that.

I was on a quest once to get "graham cracker" flavor into a brown ale, and while I never got the perfect flavor I was seeking, i got relatively close by using CaraBrown from Bries. CaraBrown is a hybrid crystal/roasted malt that's fairly available, and it specifically lists "toasted, biscuity, nutty, graham cracker flavors" in its description.

http://www.rebelbrewer.com/shop/brewing-ingredients/grain/specialty-grains/grainother/briess-carabrown-by-the-pound

The graham cracker flavor was very fleeting, by my recollection of that batch, but was noticeable, and my mild / brown ale with CaraBrown was once of my better batches of that style.

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I have never tried it, but if I wanted to I would rather add grains that have that flavour (pilsner malt) as opposed to adding the actual cracker.

[Added on request] Here is a document (25Mb) from Weyermann Maltings that shows the flavour charts of their malt as well as the resulting wort.

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  • You sure it's pilsner, and not bisquit malt? – Mołot Oct 8 '15 at 11:40
  • I am pretty sure. Other malts may provide the same flavour. I just find the graham cracker flavour more in pale lagers than most other styles. Download this file (25mb). It has flavour charts on various Weyermann malts and it might help you decide on which is best for you. weyermann.de/downloads/maltwheel/… – Atron Seige Oct 9 '15 at 6:13
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    Whilst I don't quite agree with your taste, I admit taste is far from objective thing. Good link, can you add it directly to your answer? Would be bad if it got lost. By the way - in my experience decoction mash is pretty much needed to get any cookie / cracker taste from even best malts, anyway. – Mołot Oct 9 '15 at 7:41
  • Some brewers have used melanoidin malts to get the decoction taste. – Atron Seige Oct 9 '15 at 8:24
  • And again - I love melano malts. I truly do. But I find the taste to be different from true decoction. Not worse or better, just slightly different - but close enough, I guess. – Mołot Oct 9 '15 at 8:31

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