In this episode, we discussed some recent malt experiments we did for a tasting at the last Cap and Hare meeting and we start a regular discussion about the many types of hops available to brewers, covering American, English, and Noble hop varieties. This time around, we’ll cover Cascade and Northern Brewer for the American variety, East Kent Goldings and Target for the English variety, and Hallertau Mittelfruh and Saaz for the Noble variety.

For the experiment, we wanted to find out what differences testers might find between the typical American crystal malt when put up against the English variety of caramel malt. They are both meant to be the same type of malt, used for the same reasons--to add color and flavor to your beer. But they are created in different ways by maltsters and it definitely does create a difference between the types. To put it simply, the American version (example, Briess Crystal 60) will deliver color and flavor character with sweetness that is drier and less bready than its English equivalent (example, Crisp Light Crystal 60), Which basically makes them ideal for the styles they are typically used for, such as an American pale ale versus a British pale ale. You want a difference in the malt profile between the two.

In our hop discussion, we wanted to begin a dialogue on the large variety of hops we carry in our store. Too often we see people sticking with the same hop again and again due to lack of info on substitutes or out of concern about trying anything new. And we always support your experimentation to find out what new things you might be able to do with a new variety of hop, either to replace or support the hops you already know and love. 

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