Maris Otter tastes like diacetyl?

Any homebrewer getting into it this late in the game knows that the internet is a great resource for obtaining recipes, tips, and information in general about the hobby.  I want to start getting more involved in the online community so I posted about a topic I heard on a Can You Brew It show on the Brewing Network.  It was concerning Maris Otter base malt and there propensity for diacetyl-type flavors when used in high proportions.

This was my thread post:

“So I was listening to the most recent Can You Brew It podcast for Meantime English IPA and the brewer (can’t remember his name at the moment) said something really interesting. He mentioned that they had an all 100% Maris Otter beer and he had to eventually back it down from 100% because he “swore to God” that much Maris Otter “has a distinct flavor very similar to diacetyl”.

I think this idea might have some ground because I recently did a bitter with probably 90% Maris Otter and a little dark crystal and I swore it tasted straight up like butter. Is this an old idea or has anyone else experienced this?”

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2 thoughts on “Maris Otter tastes like diacetyl?

  1. Adam Hurlburt says:

    I had the same situation but initially I thought it to be the yeast (wlp007), since then I’ve done several batches with significant amounts of maris otter (I have two sacks of it) and have found that it’s better with darker, heavier beers. the 3 lighter pale ale types seemed very butterscotchy and sweet in a cooked sugar kind of way without having a high gravity. I found it more appropriate on some strange brews that I’ve put together such as some over the top dubbel style beers with wlp550 and found it to be complimentary. I have a spruce tip beer with the wlp550, dates and honey that it worked with but I could see that tipping the porportions the wrong way would have made that beer too much like the others. I think you have to be careful on how much of this base malt you use.

    • kylers says:

      Awesome! Thanks for the info. I never thought to try it in Belgian beers. I used to use it as the base malt for my house IPA but then changed to Golden Promise to reduce the bready flavors and make it seem more hoppy.

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