Caramel Malts, or 'Crystal' malts are they are sometimes called, are a class of adjunct malts that have been treated during the malting process to produce
more-complex sugars that are ultimately not broken down by the yeast and contribute a mouth-feel or fullness to the beer. In addition, maltsters roast Caramel
malts to different levels of Lovibond to bring about more honey, biscuit, roast, and toffee like flavors as well as color into the beer.
The 'base' Crystal malt that is used in recipes is Pale Malt that has undergone this special process. However, maltsters have also taken other malts such as Pilsner, Munich, Vienna and made malts with trade names like CaraVienna, CaraPils, CaraMunich, etc.
Of note to the extract brewer is the fact that Caramel malts do not need to be converted in the mash and can be steeped in the brewing water while it is heating to extract color, flavor, and mouthfeel components.
The following are some examples of Caramel malts:
- CaraPils - (1.5 to 3L) - Pilsner malt steeped to add mouthfeel without much color or flavor.
- CaraFoam - (1.5L) - Carapils-like malt from Weyerermann
- Caramel Malts - Anywhere from 10L to 120 L
- CaraVienna (CaraVienne) - (20 to 22L) - Vienna Malt based crystal malt product.
- CaraHell - (10 to 11L)
- CaraRed - (20L) - Adds a great red hue - great in Red ales or Scottish -/L beers.
- CaraAmber - (27L) - Intensifies color and aroma.
- CaraMunich - (43 to57L) - Varies by maltster, adds toffee, roast
- CaraAroma - (120L) - Adds color, armoa, coffe, roast, toast to stouts and porters
- Carafa I (337L), Carafa II (425L) and Carafa III (470L) - Adds color, aroma to stouts,schwartzbiers, dopplebock, etc.
Typical Use : Adjunct Malt
Lovibond : Varies
Flavor/Aroma : Varies from little to intense.
Styles : Lots and Lots ...
All Grain Recipe - Oktoberfest ::: 1.052/1.016 (5 Gal)
6 lbs. - Pilsner Malt (German if you have it)
4 lb. - Munich Malt
1/2 lb. - CaraPils Malt
1/2 lb. - Victory Malt
1/4 lb. - Crystal Malt (120L)
Hop Schedule (24 IBU)
1 oz - Hallertau (60 Min.)
1/2 oz - Tettnang (30 Min.)
1/2 oz - Tettnang (10 Min.)
White Labs Oktoberfest / Marzen Lager (WLP820) - 1800 ml starter
Mash at 122° for 30 min, then raise to 154° for 30 min.
Sparge as usual
Boil for 60 minutes
Cool and ferment at 52° to 58°
NOTE : this is a slow yeast ... make a big, good starter and give it time.