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I'm about to start a run of English beers with some great yeasts available right now (Wyeast's PC strains are crackers this quarter).

Discussions in the past on base malt options  always seem to result in consensus that Gladfields are great for pale and more yeast or hop driven styles but there's a gap where the toasty/biscuity/nutty malt flavours of English styles are concerned.  (i.e. nothing does malt and biscuit like Marris Otter or Golden Promise). 

I'm leaning more strongly than ever towards using fresh, local products and  want to nail a good Mild, Bitter, Brown and Stout using Gladfields malt.   I'm keen to know if anyone has cracked this. 

Can you offer your thoughts on successfully using  Gladfields for English beers - to a level where given the choice of MO/GP or Gladfields you'd go with the Gladdies?

If so, what are the secrets to success?  What adjuncts, mash process, water chemistry etc are you using.  Are there any tips on fermentation and packaging that seem to work.  Keen to hear it all.

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while Maris tends to be the go to for most British style beers etc. the standard Gladfields ale Malt stands upo pretty well.

you could increase your specialties a touch, or mash slightly higher.

i use gladdies almost exclusively, unless its my english brown ale then i'll use maris, but only because thats what i started with. fresh is best in my eyes.

Plenty of commercial craft brewers use gladfields so has to be pretty good right. I read somewhere that it is more aromatic as it is fresher than the imported stuff. Also, realistically what can English maltsters do that is better than what they can do on their new high tech malting equipment? This is a rare case where I fell patriotic!

Hey mate

I was in Brewers Coop the other day and they had special pricing on (I think it was Warminster) floor malted grain from the UK.  Personally I've found floor malting to make a huge difference to the 'maltiness' of a base malt.  The sack didn't indicate variety of malt from what I saw, but regardless I'll be back for a couple of sacks.

Hope you're keeping well.

I've started using Gladdies in all my beers, and have found the ale malt works well in the English styles. It's perhaps a little more neutral than MO, but then so is Golden Promise to my taste. You could add a touch of their biscuit or aromatic malts if you wanted to, but I wouldn't think you'd need much.

The crystal malts are a bit different - sweeter and less caramelly. I still have a way to go in figuring them out exactly, especially in bitters, ESB etc. Fantastic in pale ales and IPAs but I need to experiment a bit in the English styles. If anyone's solved this enigma I'd love to know!

I love their darker and roasted malts so have had no problems making browns, porters and stouts. Especially love their light chocolate, GREAT in brown ales.

Hey Fellas,

Thanks for the replies.  I've been doing a bit of reading around the subject (brewers publications books by Gordon Strong, Malt, John Mallet and Water, John Palmer mostly).  Along with your suggestions and observations from my previous brews I reckon I'm going to have to experiment with a range of variables (though I know I won't be disciplined enough to try one at a time) along the lines of:

  • A base of around 85% fresh Gladdies Pale Ale
  • Try toasting a good portion of the base malt @ 120degrees for 15-20 minutes to increase bready /toasty flavours
  • Some Vienna (up to 10%) for some subtle toasty/ nuttiness
  • Try a touch of Munich for more dense maltiness
  • Water additions for enhanced maltiness (SO4 : Chloride ratio of 1 at around 100ppm)
  • Maybe 1-3%  Biscuit (or less Amber) malt
  • Try boiling down a portion of the first runnings to a syrup separately and add back to the kettle

@ Tom - thanks for the heads up on the floor malted option.  I agree the floor malted varieties I've used in the past have been a cut above machine malted versions.  But this challenge for me is to use Gladfields malts as the local alternative (and yes, keeping well - will get along to a Guild meeting sometime soon)

@Mark  - I agree on the Gladdies crystals too.  They're more one dimensional lolly sweet than complex caramel to me.  I'm hoping my last bullet above might address some of that.

Still keen to hear if anyone else has solved this and knows the answer.

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