What is it?
Vienna malt is a very useful base malt. It offers a grainy, malty flavour to beers, which is more subtle than other malts such as Munich. It is excellent for flavouring heavily-hopped beers because it adds bold malt character without overpowering the showcased hops. It only imparts a light colouring and this makes Vienna a versatile malt. Vienna generally creates full-bodied, golden coloured smooth tasting beers.
Vienna malt forms the basis for the famous Märzen and Oktoberfest beers, whose characteristics are a golden colour and full malt flavour. However, it can be added in varying amounts to different beer styles. eg. simply add 25% into a Bohemian-style Pilsner for additional malt chewiness or up to 90% in a rich amber ale. Add 10 – 40% Vienna malt to the grist for Octoberfests, up to 90% for Vienna’s and up to 40% of the grist in Doppelbocks. Vienna Malt can be added in small quantities, up to 10%, to Porters, Browns and Mild’s, to further enhance their malty profiles. It can also be used to partner pale malt, in small percentages (3–5%) in order to expand the richness of the malt profile. To achieve the characteristic Orangish hue in Belgian Saisons, some brewers add 5 – 20% of Vienna to the malt bill.
It is important not to boil Vienna malt. When temperatures exceed 170 F you risk extracting tannins from the grain, which will damage the flavour of your beer. Vienna malt can be fully mashed as part of a grain bill, but the flavour can be simply extracted through partial mashing. To partial mash, steep the Vienna malt in water at 155 F for 30 minutes, Try to achieve a stable temperature and be careful not to let it rise near or above 170 F. Then remove the Vienna and start your boil.
- Vienna Beer
- Marzen Beer
- Amber Lager
- Golden Ale
Vienna malt has all the characteristics and chemical composition of a base malt, including enzymatic power. It provides a sweet flavour and has a mild maltiness. Colour averages between 3-4 °L. Its diastatic power (the amount of enzymatic starch conversion potential) is approximately 120–140. (Pilsner malt, by comparison, is rated at 110–130 and pale malt rates 130–150). The alpha-amylase (the enzymes used to break down the starches into sugars) levels measure between 40–45 (pilsner pale malt is 43–48; pale malt is 42–46). Vienna malt has a very high diastatic power which is why it works well as a base malt. Although it is kilned at higher temperatures, Vienna malt is not subjected to the heat as long as other malts in its category, which enables the activity of the enzymes to be high and strong. Caramelisation is not required for this malt so it is dried fairly cool before being roasted. Can be used up to 100% in the mash tun.
What are the scales used?
"Degrees Lovibond" or "°L" scale is a measure of the colour of beer. The determination of the degrees Lovibond takes place by comparing the colour of the substance to a series of amber to brown glass slides. The scale was devised by Joseph Williams Lovibond. The Standard Reference Method (SRM) and European Brewery Convention (EBC) methods have largely replaced it, with the SRM giving results approximately equal to the °L.
The Standard Reference Method or SRM is a system modern brewers use to measure the colour intensity of a beer or wort. The EBC convention also measures beer and wort colour, as well as quantifying turbidity (also known as haze) in beer. EBC (European Brewing Convention) is used to indicate colour in malts (and beers). The lower the EBC is, the lighter is the malt (thus kilned for a shorter time). EBC and SRM/°L scales and conversions are available online and usually provide colour swatches to indicate the colour depth that you are likely to achieve from specific malts. Most craft brewers measure the colour of the grain using EBC (European Brewing Convention). The higher the EBC the darker the malt. Other countries may prefer Lovibond (L) or the Standard Reference Method (SRM). There are currently two colour scales in common use: SRM in the US, and EBC in Europe. The SRM (Standard Research Method) scale is based on an older degrees Lovibond scale and for all practical purposes, SRM and degree Lovibond are identical. So to convert SRM to EBC simply multiply by 2. e.g. 4 SRM = 8 EBC. The formula for converting Lovibond to EBC is EBC=(2*Lovibond)-1.2
Why Use Dark Rock Malts and Hops?
The Dark Rock Brewing team are passionate about producing the best quality beers. Their mission is to help you to "Master your Craft" and brew the best craft beers possible. There is no reason why home-produced ales cannot be just as good as commercial equivalents. The key to success is having a wide selection of the best quality and freshest ingredients possible. Dark Rock ingredients are not just great value, they are of the highest quality and always supplied fresh. The team strive to source the best malts, and constantly innovate and experiment with new styles and products. Dark Rock also markets top-quality all-grain and partial--mash kits which receive fabulous reviews. They are experienced commercial brewers and supply craft micro-breweries and nano-breweries with equipment and ingredients. They also provide training and business development consultancy to scale-up breweries. This experience is channelled into equipping the home craft brewer with the "tools to compete". Use Dark Rock products and you can't go wrong.