Beer Maverick
Caramel/Crystal Malt Image

Caramel/Crystal Malt

Type: Grain (Barley)
Category: Crystal Malt

Depending on where you are the terms Crystal and Caramel can be used interchangeably. Crystal malts are steepable and they're generally used to add sweetness and color to both extract and all-grain brews. As a general rule, the lighter-colored crystal malts (10L) are more strictly 'sweet', while darker crystal malts (up to 120L) can add some roastiness or nuttiness in addition to sweetness.

Crystal malts are made from barley grain in a process similar to that of making pale malts. As with pale malts, the grains are steeped and germinated. Unlike pale malts, crystal malts are then stewed — they are heated in a closed system that doesn’t allow moisture to escape. As a result, the starch interiors of the barley grains are broken into sugars by amylase enzymes in the barley. After stewing, the grains are kilned. Kilning dries the grain, darkens the husk and caramelizes some of the sugar inside.

Caramel/Crystal Malt Brewing Values

These are the common ranges that we've seen with Caramel/Crystal Malt over the years. Each manufacturer can have slightly different qualities, so these ranges are based on a combination and average.

SRM
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
10-110 SRM
(8 - 82° Lovibond)
Diastatic Power
Diastatic power (DP) is a measurement of a malted grain's enzymes, which are responsible for converting the grain's starches into sugar during mashing.
PPG
PPG measures the maximum starting gravity (SG) of the fermentable in points/pound/gallon. This can differ based on your mash efficiency and the amount of wort collected.
35 ppg
(1.035 SG)
Batch Max
Certain grains and adjuncts should only be used below a maximum percentage of the grain bill. Exceeding this can cause off flavors or poor mash efficiency.
15%

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