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I have 1kg of Château Black Of Black malt. Bought it without really planning, because it's description was appealing. Particularly:

the flavour and aroma typical of the traditional Black malt without intensifying the beer’s colour.

and

amber-coloured beer with a more pronounced roasted character

And that's what I wanted. I wanted red, scratchy, burnt and bitter-hoppy-sweet session beer, and turns out I don't know how to do it. Season ends soon, so I ask you. What style / recipe would give this malt justice and meet my wants?

I was thinking about adding ~10% of it to pale ale malt. Directly to mash, as stepping extracts more colour than taste, and I want taste more. Mangrove Jack's M15 Imperial yeast with attenuation of 70 to 75%, with a bit of light crystal malt should give me some sweetness without caramel taste. But that's about as far as I got.

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Well for starters that is still a very dark malt 225L. It's marketed to give more 'black' flavor with less color. But could easily go really dark if overdosed.

Castle recommends up to 5% of grist for porters and stouts.

If your color target is 'red' you need to keep in the 18-28 SRM area. This would be a very small addition of this malt 1% or so.

Edit: I did some quick calcs a grist 10% and base malt of 2row 1.054 og, would make a reddish beer. But going above the 5% may give it some unexpected flavors, not just 'more dark' flavors.

  • It recommends it for stouts and porters. 5% max is separate sentence. It does not say 5% would make beer black. Anyway, good point. And it means I have more batches out of it. – Mołot Feb 29 '16 at 14:58
  • @Mołot true but 5% is the max recommended, and porters and stouts are on the dark end if the recommended uses. – Evil Zymurgist Feb 29 '16 at 15:01
  • As far as I remember, many stout recipes use 10 to 15% of roasted barley, and that's twice as dark... Of course 10% Black of Black might be too much, but on my monitor Brewtarget didn't show it to be stout-dark. – Mołot Feb 29 '16 at 15:06
  • @Mołot speciality grains like this are really our spices in the craft. Too much can easily ruin a beer, just as too much salt in cooking can ruin a dish. I would try to get your color from a different grain, use this one in moderation. – Evil Zymurgist Feb 29 '16 at 15:09
  • And that's what I'll do. A bit of roasted barley, maybe a hint of 600EBC crystal malt, and I'll get there :) maybe put your last comment into your answer? Can't upvote it second time, but that's a good step towards full recipe. – Mołot Feb 29 '16 at 15:11

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