For quite a while, I've wanted to do a batch that was 100% Aromatic malt. I don't know where I got the idea, but theoretically (depending on who's numbers you look at) Aromatic can self convert. Once I ran some conservative numbers, I found out that it was really cutting it close. So, with half Belgian Pale, I get somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 Linter.
I'm not really sure what I'm going for in this batch. Near as I can tell, it will end up being some Belgian-style Amber/Brown or some other style-be-damned Belgian ale. I could even re-invent the Dubbel! Who knows, there is only one way to figure it out, and that's to waste some grain.
After thinking about it for quite a while, I thought why don't I make this a nano-mash a la Agatha Feltus' article “Nanomashing: Investigating Specialty Grains on a Small Scale” from Zymurgy May/June 2013. I thought if I was going to go to the trouble to do one, I might test out some other specialty grains that I've had some interest in and meld with what I was trying to go after. These are:
1. Briess' Special Roast
2. Briess' Extra Special
3. Simpson's Coffee
4. Crisp's Pale Chocolate
5. Castle's Special “B”
6. Briess' Rye Malt
These are kind of a diverse cast of characters, but we shall see where they will take me. So to further the experiment, I would use about 100 g of grain for each test sample with 400 mL of 155 F water in each sample. Like the Zymurgy article says, it should give me around a 1.055 starting gravity. I'll let them sit for an hour to steep. My wife and I will be the taste testers on each batch. Our tastes are very different, but I know when she wrinkles her nose, it isn't any good.
Of the 100 g of grain, I'll proportion it out like this:
1. Control sample, 50 g of Belgian Pale, 50 g of Aromatic
2. All other batches, 50 g of Belgian Pale, 40 g of Aromatic, 10 grams of specialty.
In some instances, I realize that 10% of the specialty grains might be a little in your face, but I think that's what I'm going for. I might have to tweak the percentage (I'm probably assuming that it will be down to 5% or less) for the special grains if I make a full batch. I also plan on mixing the 7 batches once they are done, to see if they compliment each other, etc.
Any ideas from the peanut gallery? Anyone done something similar and want to steer me in another direction?