Grain Flavor Profiles

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Grain attributes

Malting: Barley is normally malted. Other grains, unless specifically stated, are unmalted. Unmalted grains have a different flavor than malted. Unmalted grains do not have available enzymes for conversion.

Diastatic power (DP): Measures the enzymatic power of a grain. Measured in Degree Lintner.
Color: The color of a grain is described on the Lovibond scale after kilning. Kilning causes the Maillard Reaction and adds complexity to the flavor of the grain. As a negative kilning reduces the DP and available usable sugars.
Starch content: The prize, this is what is turned into fermentable sugars to feed the yeast to create alcohol.
Flaked: Flaked grains are Gelatinized by the process of flaking. They also have no DP for conversion. This makes using flakes grains convenient as they don't need to be mashed. The downside is that they can make a huge mess and cannot be lautered easily.
Protein Content: For distilling protein content isn't meaningful other than as a nutrient for yeast.


Barley

For brewing and distilling, barley is the most common and modified grain. Heavy flavors to use as the base for most whiskies.

2 Row: Malted 2 row barley is considered a base malt. It can comprise 100% of a grain bill for a simple single malt whiskey. It is high in starches and DP, low in color (L).
6 Row: Lower sugar levels but higher conversion enzymes make this popular for distillers.


Oats

Used in stouts and Belgium ale to create smoothness. Counteracts hard water. Does not affect color.


Maize or Corn

For pure sugar content and cost corn can't be beat. Adds sweetness and lightens up flavor.

Wheat

Wheat adds a smooth gentle flavor to a whiskey. Added as minor part of a grain bill it makes a partner to other grains. Generally not used a majority of a grain bill.
Used to increase body and head retention in moderate amounts (4-6 ounces) with other highly modified malts. 2.7L

Wheat Malt

Used as one of the main grains in wheat beers or can be used in other style beers to aid in head retention, yeast activity, and mouth feel. 2L

Rye

Rye is a very strongly flavored grain with spicey and grass like notes. While it can be used as 100% of a grain bill, it normally is an accent to bourbon and other whiskeys.
A bread grain used to add a dry rye flavor to beers. Hard to mash because of its lack of husk material, so the use of rice hulls is recommended. 2-5L
Used with highly modified malts to deliver a dry, crisp, strong flavor. Not typically used in standard beer varieties. 1-3L