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Is Marris Otter all it's cracked up to be? What is your favourite base malt?

I stumbled across this blog post the other day, and it got me wondering what people around here prefer to brew with? I know a lot of people think MO is just thing for english style ales... but I hear things like Golden Promise getting high praise too.


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Kegged this beer last weekend. Found the differences interesting. The base malt character seems to be a bit more grainy, while being slightly less bready and sweet than a malt like Golden Promise. The difference between the toffee/medium crystal combo and my usual caramalt/fawcett medium crystal combo was also pretty interesting

The beer certainly seemed similar, but I thought it had a drier, more North American character than the original beer.  The English malt brought out more of a slightly fruity, lolly like note with the hops, which was not necessarily sweet, just a bit more toffee like. I get more of a sweet caramel character from the Gladfield crystal than the slightly darker toffee from the similar colour Thomas Fawcett malt. I really like both beers, but will probably stick with using the English malt for my Pale Ale because I like the way it works with the NZ hops.

I think the Gladfield crystal is something I will use more for beers like American IPA's, Ambers etc. where I want a "cleaner" (not sure that is the right word but can't find anything better) caramel note in the beer. One thing I'm keen to look at more is the difference between toffee malt and some of the lighter caramalt/crystals available. 


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